Category Archives: Reviews

Carlucci’s Waterfront: Fine Dining for Families

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation
~I received a Carlucci’s Waterfront gift card to help facilitate my review. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

To end our family’s staycation in Mt. Laurel, NJ this past weekend, we decided to have a nice sit down dinner after checking out of the hotel and before heading home. I searched around online to see what restaurants were in the Mt. Laurel area and came across an Italian fare, Carlucci’s Waterfront.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

Carlucci’s Waterfront is just one of six of Carlucci’s family of restaurants, and is owned and operated by the Capuano family. When the Capuano’s came to the US from Italy in ‘83, they brought along with them some amazing family recipes and are sharing those recipes in their restaurants.

As adults we enjoy the food, atmosphere and overall experience of fine dining, but as parents, kid-friendly dining is imperative. Carlucci’s Waterfront is the perfect combination of the two – fine dining for families – and was a perfect way to end our family weekend.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

Upon pulling into the parking lot, which is fairly large by the way, you see the restaurant sitting in the distance. At the moment, Carlucci’s is doing some renovations, but luckily is still open for dining.

As we walked in, we were immediately greeted by the hostess who sat us right away. We arrived just after Carlucci’s opened at 11:00 am on Sunday, so the restaurant was pretty empty. But it didn’t take long before guests started rolling in.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

And lucky for us, we were seated at a great table right next to a set of sliding doors, and had an amazing view of the outdoor seating and the waterfront. While it was a very nice day out, it was still a bit too nippy to eat outside on the terrace which I would have loved, but I’m glad we were still able to enjoy the view.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

After being seated, we were each poured a glass of water, and brought out a plate of bruschetta and basket of bread. You’d think my family hadn’t eaten in a week because the bread was gone before I could blink. The bruschetta was delicious and I could have eaten the whole plate, but I was generous enough to share with everyone else even though they hoarded the bread.

We then ordered some additional beverages and our meals. I want to add that Carlucci’s Waterfront offers a lunch menu on Sunday’s, which in my experience is rare, so that was a nice little surprise. And before we knew it our dishes had arrived.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

I started with a Caesar Salad and then moved on to my Seafood Duette. The Seafood Duette is a combo of scallops and shrimp tossed with spinach, cherry tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil with a touch of lemon, white wine and zafferano, all served over a plate of linguine.

Ooohhh maaan, my taste buds were in heaven! My daughter even had a few bites. I’ve had “Italian food” before, but this was real and it was love at first bite.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

My other half started with some Lentil Soup, one of the soups of the day, and then enjoyed some Broccoli and Shrimp Pappardelle. This dish consists of homemade pappardelle sautéed with broccoli, shrimp and cherry tomatoes, in garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

It looked very appetizing on my end and his favorite part of the dish was the shrimp and sauce. He didn’t much care for the pappardelle, but simply because it is a larger sized pasta. Any other pasta and he probably would have cleaned his plate, so it’s just a personal preference. But he enjoyed trying something new!

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

The kids enjoyed some typical children’s menu favorites. My son, the picker eater, had his usual Chicken Fingers and French Fries, and my daughter had some Penne Alfredo.

I tasted the Penne Alfredo and I have to say, I would be very surprised if the alfredo sauce was not homemade. It was like no alfredo sauce I have ever eaten before. It had a bit of a sweet taste to it and was very distinctive. If my daughter didn’t eat it, I certainly would have had no problem finishing it for her.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

The food was absolutely delectable and the overall ambience was delightful. Carlucci’s Waterfront also features a fully stocked bar for any type of adult beverage you may want.

While we were dining, a group of guests strolled in, ordered some drinks from the bar and then enjoyed some conversation on the terrace before coming back inside to dine. Carlucci’s really is a great place to just come and hang out, and enjoy some amazing food.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

Carlucci’s Waterfront also offers banquet and event dining, including wedding events. The restaurant itself is beautiful and then open up the sliding doors that lead to the outdoor terrace, and you’re all set for your next large event.

It just so happens that while we were there, a group of guests were preparing to host a baby shower and I was thinking to myself Carlucci’s was a great choice. I would love to hold a party there!

I can say with confidence that if we are ever in the Mt. Laurel area again, we will definitely be dining at Carlucci’s Waterfront. Quite frankly, I can’t wait to go back!

Do you have a restaurant in your area that offers fine dining for famlies?

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*I received a Carlucci’s Waterfront gift card to help facilitate my review. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the restaurant. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the restaurant.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

A Splashing Good Time at CoCo Key Water Resort

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

~Thank you to CoCo Key Water Resort for providing complimentary passes to facilitate this review. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

This past weekend my family enjoyed a short staycation in the Mt. Laurel, NJ area. It was nice to get out of the house and explore what the state has to offer and there were different things about the weekend that each of us enjoyed, from shopping, to dining, to a little indoor water park fun.

Yeap, you read that right. We had water park fun in NJ, in April! It was cold and rainy ALL weekend, but it didn’t stop us from splashing around at CoCo Key Water Resort like it was summer.

CoCo Key is an indoor water park that offers family fun for all ages. Guests of The Hotel ML can purchase passes to visit anytime during their stay, or the general public can purchase a daily pass and just spend the day splashing around.

My kids absolutely love playing in the water and since moving from FL to NJ, the only water play they’ve gotten is during bath time. So I knew CoCo Key would be the perfect getaway for them and they ended up having a splashing good time! The water park was their favorite part of our staycation and my son is already asking to go back.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

We ventured over to the water park, which is accessible via the hotel and also has its own entrance, sometime early Saturday afternoon. As you walk in, there’s a counter for purchasing your passes and another counter for cashing in your arcade tickets.

Not only does CoCo Key offer an indoor water park, but also has a nice little arcade. If it weren’t for my son wanting so badly to play in the water park, he could have spent all day in the arcade.

Just beyond the entrance area are doors that lead you into the water park, which is two levels. You enter on the upper level and can either walk down a flight of stairs or take the elevator down to the lower level.

Upper Level

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Dip-In: This is a kiddie play area that’s perfect for the littlest swimmers. A one foot deep wading pool, Dip-In features a pirate ship in the center with double slides, as well as a baby bungee corner, and is lots of fun for toddlers and smaller kids.

The weekend we were visiting, the hotel was offering special movie nights that took place at the water park at 9:30 pm. This was after the water park closed at 9:00 pm, so it was only available to hotel guests. Friday night we went to check it out and the movie, Shrek the Third, was actually playing on the sail of the pirate ship! I thought that was pretty fun and a little added perk for the kids.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Lower Level

Coral Cove’s Slam Dunk: A three foot deep circular pool where you can enjoy a little water basketball.

Coconut Grove Lazy River: A three foot deep lazy river where you can hop in a float and take a relaxing 300 foot ride, but be sure to watch out for the splashy surprises along the way.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Lily Pad Adventure: A fun water activity that tests your balance and strength, the Lily Pad Adventure is like something you’d see in an obstacle course. With the help of an overhead rope to hang onto, do you think you could keep your balance long enough to cross the pool on floating “lily pads” without falling in?

Palm Grotto Indoor/Outdoor Spa: This one is for adults only. While the kids splash around, sit back and enjoy a hot, relaxing dip in the whirlpools of the hot tub spa.

Parrot’s Perch: In the center of it all is Parrot’s Perch. It’s like a big water playground and jungle gym that everyone can climb on, shoot water cannons, slip down the slides and get drenched when the 300 gallon water bucket at the top fills up and tips over.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Large Water Slides: If you’re looking for a real thrill, take a ride on one of the three large water slides – Pelican Plunge, Barracuda Blast, and Shark Slam. Grab a raft and make your way to the top by climbing the indoor stairway. The slides themselves twist, turn and wind outdoors, but they’re all completely covered and protected from the elements. The entrance and all three slide exits are indoors so you never actually step foot outside.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Food

If you plan to spend the whole day at CoCo Key, I can guarantee you’re going to get hungry. But never fear because you can pick up pizza, burgers, chicken nuggets and more at Gator’s Grab & Go, or grab a cocktail at Wet Rooster’s, a full service bar.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Safety

There are lifeguards, on lifeguards, on lifeguards at CoCo Key. They’re everywhere and they actually pay attention to ensure everyone stays safe. There was a lot of whistle blowing during our visit, haha.

If something were to happen though, there’s also a first aid station. And if you need a life jacket for your little swimmer, they’re on hand too.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

What to Bring

For a day at CoCo Key you’ll definitely need to bring your own towels. We just used our hotel bathroom towels since we didn’t bring any from home.

And since I know you’ll want to preserve some family memories, I’m sure you’ll bring along a camera or take photos with your cell phone. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any photos of my kids playing around, for fear of dropping my phone in the water and the shear fact of having to wrangle two small kids, I really needed both of my hands available. I did see a lot of people who were wearing waterproof cell phone holders around their neck, so I would recommend bringing something like that along so your phone isn’t far out of reach, but is still protected.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

And for anything else you bring along, lockers can be rented ($10) to keep those items safe. There is plenty of space on both the upper and lower levels to sit, but if everyone in your party is enjoying the fun, you will not want to leave your belongings just sitting around. So the lockers are plus and you can access them at any time you need to.

Our Experience

Since we were visiting on a Saturday, I think the water park was a little more crowded than if we had visited another day. The kids had a really great time and we did too, but there are a few things I want to note.

The first thing is the smell of chlorine is pretty overpowering, which I totally understand given it’s a water park, but it kind of smells like a dirty chlorine. Not that fresh, super clean, dive right in kind of smell. And for as strong as the chlorine smell is and as much as they must be using, the water was pretty murky. I don’t know if this is just a result of all the traffic that comes in and out, or if it was intentional to give kind of like a natural outdoor look to the water.

The thing that really bummed us out was that Dip-In, the kiddie area on the upper level, was closed off and reserved for a birthday party. Birthday parties are a great feature that CoCo Key Water Resort offers, and there are a handful of private rooms near the resort entrance for facilitating them, as well as a large sitting area on the upper level where these parties can also be held.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

But at the same time, this really hindered how much freedom we could give our one year old. Since we couldn’t access the kiddie area, we were forced to stay on the lower level.

Let me preface this a little bit so it makes more sense as to why this bummed us out. So once you get wet, you better stay in the water because – You. Will. Freeze. After getting wet our daughter was literally shivering in our arms so it was either keep her in the water or wrap her in a towel, which she was not about to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else having fun.

The water in the Parrot’s Perch area is very shallow. We sat her down and it barely covered her legs, so this wasn’t going to work for us. The only other option was to sit in the water that was at the entrance to the lazy river. The water was warmer there and it was deep enough to keep our daughter decently submerged so that she wasn’t shivering. The problem is that this was not a very safe place for us to be, or anyone else for that matter.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel
This is where we were sitting at the entrance to the lazy river.

There was traffic coming in and out for those visitors who wanted to ride around the lazy river, and not only that but there were bigger kids hanging out in that area as well and their splashing around and rough housing was not safe for our kids. So not having access to the kiddie area on the upper level was a bit of an issue for us and we actually only stayed for a little over an hour.

The other thing I want to note is that the day we checked out (Sunday), the water park was only open until 3:00 pm due to a private event (normally open until 6:00 pm). Since we had our passes, we could have stayed after checking out of our room and enjoyed the water park until it closed, but we chose not to. And I’m all for private events like this, but as a visitor who’s paying to enjoy a full day of water park fun, this would upset me. I’d hate to show up promising my kids a full day of fun, only to find out that’s not going to happen.

So I suggest calling ahead of time to ensure there are no special events taking place that could hinder your family’s fun. So long as there’s nothing going on that would have certain areas closed off, or affecting the park hours, I think you’ll have a good time.

Overall, my kids didn’t know any different and they had a ton of fun playing in the water. At CoCo Key Water Resort you won’t have to worry about sunscreen, but it’ll still wear you out like a day in the sun. Just the little amount of time we spent at the water park wore me out and I was ready for a nap as soon as we returned to our hotel room.

Have you ever visited an indoor water park?

Connect with Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel: Website | Facebook | TwitterInstagram

*Complimentary CoCo Key Water Resort passes were provided for purposes of facilitating this review. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Our Weekend Stay at The Hotel ML

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel
~Thank you to The Hotel ML for hosting the Making Time family at a discounted rate. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

It’s been a while since my family has taken a vacation, so it was time I took action and planned something fun for us. Rather than going all out and traveling far, I decided to find something that was a little closer to home.

Since moving to NJ last November we haven’t really ventured out of our immediate area, so I thought a short staycation would be a great way to get out of the house, explore the state and enjoy some time together.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

So where did we go? We spent the weekend at The Hotel ML!

Hotel

Just about an hour and a half drive from our home, The Hotel ML is situated in Mt. Laurel, NJ. The hotel itself is very beautiful. The entrance is gorgeous and very inviting. As soon as we stepped foot into the hotel lobby, I was blown away.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

There’s obviously the front desk, two sitting areas and a lounge where you can enjoy some beverages and watch a little TV. Everything appeared to be new and modern, and if it’s not new, then they’re doing a good job of keeping it up.

To the right of the lobby area there are meeting rooms for private events, such as conferences, wedding activities and other social events. In fact, I believe someone was hosting wedding activities the evening we checked in. I overheard their party talking about it while passing through the lobby the next day.

Our Room

To the left of the lobby area is the elevator and rooms. Our third floor room at The Hotel ML was a very nice size. It was probably the largest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in and the kids were able to run around to let out a little of their excitement. With two double beds, a lounge chair and ottoman, office desk, dresser with TV and mini fridge, and full bathroom, it was a home away from home.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

After arriving we headed to the closest store to pick up a few snacks and drinks to stock our mini fridge. This was great because the kids are always wanting something, so having the mini fridge helped save us some money on food and drinks throughout the weekend.

While it was a spacious room, there were a few things that could use some improvement and it’s mostly all aesthetic. I was told the room was newly renovated, but the only thing that looked new was the bathroom sink and counter.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

There were marker lines on the window curtains, most likely caused by kids during a previous stay. But it’s a kid-friendly hotel, so things like this are to be expected now and then. The furniture and mini fridge were also pretty dinged up. Again, this is something that can be expected with the traffic that comes in and out, but it was very obvious and immediately noticeable.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel
This was the view from our large room window. Since it was 50 degrees out the pool was closed, hence the pool cover.

 

Another issue was the mattress or bed springs on one of the beds was broken, I think. I didn’t even notice it until the day we left because I had been sleeping on the other bed, but I sat on it while getting ready to leave and drastically sunk down.

So again, nothing in the room really stood out to me as being renovated besides the bathroom sink. While I’m on the topic of the bathroom, I also want to note the toilet was lower to the ground than an average toilet. Not a complaint, but just something to mention. This is actually great for the kids, but as an adult you better make sure you have your squat game on point.

After being blown away at the entry and lobby area, I was expecting a bit of a nicer room. Overall, the room was okay and I’d consider it pretty average. Nothing too over the top and fancy, but it was suitable for our weekend stay.

Dining

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

If you get a little hungry, you can always order room service or head down to Talia’s. Situated just behind the lobby lounge is Talia’s Restaurant and Bar. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to dine at Talia’s, but they serve up-scale comfort food all day.

In the morning you can enjoy a breakfast buffet, and for lunch and dinner you can order dishes like Short Rib Grilled Cheese, Portobello Sandwich, half pound Black Angus burger or Cajun Seared Salmon, just to name a few.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

If you’re just looking for a snack, sweet treat or cup of coffee, I suggest heading to The Little Shop of Coffee, located between the elevators and front desk. You can find snacks, ice cream treats, a variety of coffees and a table or two to just sit and enjoy some conversation.

There’s also PLENTY of off-site dining options, too. Starbucks, Ale House and Bob Evans are just across the street from the hotel. And in the general area, a short ride will take you to any restaurant you can imagine. It would take me a while to list them all, but during our stay we dined at Don Pablos, Cracker Barrel and Grand Lux Cafe.

Attractions

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

So, you’re probably wondering what’s so great about The Hotel ML that we chose to spend our weekend family staycation there. The answer is simple – CoCo Key Water Resort! The kids had a blast and I can’t wait to tell you all about it – tomorrow, haha.

Sounds like fun, right? I’ll give you a little info now, just to be fair. CoCo Key Water Resort is on the same premises as The Hotel ML. It’s housed in a separate building towards the back of the property, but can easily be accessed from the hotel.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel
One of the CoCo Key wristbands is missing because my son just couldn’t wait to get his weekend fun started.

 

As soon as we left the lobby area and walked to the elevators, we could smell the chlorine so there’s no missing the fact it’s there, even if you’re not visiting the hotel for purposes of the water park. To get there, just take the elevator down to the first floor (the lobby is on the second floor) and walk your way through the halls.

Check out our weekend staycation at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort! #TheHotelML #CoCoKeyWaterResort #staycation #MtLaurel #travel

There are rooms on the first floor, so I would assume if you’re staying on the first floor, you’re probably going to hear a lot more noise and traffic as hotel guests utilizing the water park make their way through the halls. But just a short one to two minute walk and you’re ready to enjoy some indoor water park fun!

Aside from the on-site fun of CoCo Key Water Resort, there are also some fun things in the general area to do. Want to do some shopping? Head to Moorestown Mall or Cherry Hill Mall. Want to do something fun with the family? There’s a bowling alley right down the road or spend a few hours at Sky Zone Trampoline Park. Still not enough? Make your way to The Funplex for bumper cars, laser tag and more!

I had no idea there was so much to do in the Mt. Laurel area. It was nice to get out of the house and have a mini family vacation, while exploring what our new home state has to offer. I can’t wait until our next staycation!

When and where was your last staycation?

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*This hotel stay was provided at a discounted rate for purposes of this review. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

#TBT with Pocoyo & Sonic {Giveaway}

The new Pocoyo and Sonic DVD releases from NCircle Entertainment this month really have me reliving my childhood. It's been a real blast from the past! #TBT #Pocoyo #SonictheHedgehog #SonicUnderground #NCircleEntertainment #Giveaway
~Thank you to NCircle Entertainment for providing DVDs for review. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

This week has been a total throwback for me. NCircle Entertainment has some pretty amazing releases this month. Last week I shared with you the new Dino Dan: Dino Go Seek release, but this week I’ve really had fun reliving some childhood memories with Pocoyo and Sonic the Hedgehog.

The new Pocoyo and Sonic DVD releases from NCircle Entertainment this month really have me reliving my childhood. It's been a real blast from the past! #TBT #Pocoyo #SonictheHedgehog #SonicUnderground #NCircleEntertainment #Giveaway

While Pocoyo wasn’t around when I was a kid, that doesn’t mean he can’t offer a little inspiration from my childhood. The new Pocoyo: Playtime! release is filled with over an hour of nothing but playtime fun. One of the activities Pocoyo and his friends partake in is a short camp out, complete with a tent, hammock and flashlight.

The new Pocoyo and Sonic DVD releases from NCircle Entertainment this month really have me reliving my childhood. It's been a real blast from the past! #TBT #Pocoyo #SonictheHedgehog #SonicUnderground #NCircleEntertainment #Giveaway

The new Pocoyo and Sonic DVD releases from NCircle Entertainment this month really have me reliving my childhood. It's been a real blast from the past! #TBT #Pocoyo #SonictheHedgehog #SonicUnderground #NCircleEntertainment #Giveaway

This inspired me to help my kids build an indoor tent and have a little camp out of our own. This is something I did all the time as a child. We turned our entire living room into one big tent (this was a good way to get my kids to clean up too, haha) and loaded it up with pillows and blankets, and just hung out for a while. We got a little hungry so my son did a little fishing and quickly caught us something to eat!

The new Pocoyo and Sonic DVD releases from NCircle Entertainment this month really have me reliving my childhood. It's been a real blast from the past! #TBT #Pocoyo #SonictheHedgehog #SonicUnderground #NCircleEntertainment #Giveaway

I love Pocoyo for my toddler because it introduces children to simple and basic vocabulary, and even starts teaching concepts like location. In one particular part of this DVD, Pocoyo’s ducky friend Pato teaches what it means for a ball to be outside, inside, behind and in front of a box. The simple, but fun and colorful graphics and playtime adventures are a wonderful learning tool for youngsters.

Pocoyo: Playtime! Stories

  • Playtime
  • Camping
  • Hide and Seek
  • Wheels
  • The Amazing Tower
  • Pocoyo’s New Toys
  • Painting with Pocoyo
  • Playing Dress Up
  • Pocoyo’s Restaurant
  • Ahoy, Pocoyo!
  • Traffic Jam

The new Pocoyo and Sonic DVD releases from NCircle Entertainment this month really have me reliving my childhood. It's been a real blast from the past! #TBT #Pocoyo #SonictheHedgehog #SonicUnderground #NCircleEntertainment #Giveaway

And the real blast from the past this week? Sonic the Hedgehog! Let me first start off by telling you that in second grade, I dressed up as Sonic for Halloween. It was all blue everything, including a foam-like mask that had Sonic’s signature spikey hair. I have no idea why I remember that other than it was pretty awesome!

So to be completely honest, when I saw NCircle Entertainment was releasing Sonic Underground Vol. 2, I knew I had to have it. Not for the kids, but for me! Although my son has enjoyed watching the three disc set with me.

The new Pocoyo and Sonic DVD releases from NCircle Entertainment this month really have me reliving my childhood. It's been a real blast from the past! #TBT #Pocoyo #SonictheHedgehog #SonicUnderground #NCircleEntertainment #Giveaway

If you’re not familiar with Sonic Underground, it’s a series of stories that tell how Sonic and his siblings Sonia and Manic search for their mother, Queen Aleena. And it just wouldn’t be Sonic without Dr. Robotnik, so of course he’s the villain still working against Sonic. Both are trying to find Queen Aleena’s crown jewel, which will help them locate Queen Aleena herself. Who do you think will succeed in finding it first?

Volume 2 happens to be the last and final stories of the Sonic Underground tale and has a run time of about 7 hours. It even includes 20 bonus music videos because did I mention Sonic and his siblings have a rock band? Their name is Sonic Underground! Duh!

Sonic Underground Vol. 2 Stories

  • The Jewel of the Crown
  • Three Hedgehogs and a Baby
  • Dunes Day
  • Mummy, Dearest
  • The Hedgehog in an Iron Mask
  • Six is a Crowd
  • Wedding Bell Blues
  • Flying Fortress
  • No Hedgehog is an Island
  • New Echidna in Town
  • Country Crisis
  • Haircraft in Space
  • Healer
  • Sonia’s Choice
  • The Big Melt
  • Sleepers
  • Bartleby the Prisoner
  • The Art of Destruction
  • The Pendant
  • Virtual Danger

Does any of this bring up any of your childhood memories? You can have your own throwback week because I have a chance for you to win a copy of both of these fun DVDs! Just enter using the giveaway form below!

When was the last time you had an indoor camp out or built a fort?

Connect with In this new DVD, Autumn Journey: Guess How Much I Love You, your children will follow Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends on 6 autumn adventures. Enter now for a chance to win your very own copy! #giveawayWebsite / Facebook / Twitter

The new Pocoyo and Sonic DVD releases from NCircle Entertainment this month really have me reliving my childhood. It's been a real blast from the past! #TBT #Pocoyo #SonictheHedgehog #SonicUnderground #NCircleEntertainment #Giveaway

One lucky Making Time reader will win a copy of Pocoyo: Playtime! and Sonic Underground Vol. 2! GOOD LUCK!

This giveaway is open to US Residents, ages 18+ and ends on May 4, 2017 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

*I received samples free of charge from NCircle Entertainment as part of their Brand Ambassadorship. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Dinosaur Fun with Dino Dan + Free Printable Activities

Dinosaur Fun with Dino Dan + Free Printable Activities #NCircleEntertainment #DinoDan

~Thank you to NCircle Entertainment for providing a DVD for review. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

By now, you probably know that in preparation for my son starting kindergarten next year, I’ve been doing some homeschool preschool activities with him. I can’t even begin to tell you how far he’s come.

This week, I decided to take a nice little detour from our usual workbook and do something more entertaining. It’s important that at such a young age we make learning fun and intriguing, or the info isn’t going to be retained. So yesterday we spent the day working with dinosaurs.

Dinosaur Fun with Dino Dan + Free Printable Activities #NCircleEntertainment #DinoDan

We started our day of dinosaurs with some free Dino Dan printable activities. The set includes six printouts and engages children through coloring, working their way through mazes, exercising their seek and find skills, and more!

Dinosaur Fun with Dino Dan + Free Printable Activities #NCircleEntertainment #DinoDan

My favorite printable was the dot-to-dot T-Rex skull. My son loves dot-to-dot activities, but this one was challenging for him because it starts at number one and goes all the way up to 77.

My son hasn’t really learned counting past the teens, so it was a great learning activity for him. By the time he got to around the 50’s, he had gotten the hang of counting that high and it was fun to watch it click for him.

After a few of these activities, we watched Dino Dan: Dino Go Seek, one of the April releases from NCircle Entertainment. The DVD includes five different fun dinosaur stories and we learned a little about the Microraptor, Dromaeosaurus, Troodon, Kosmoceratops, Dracorex and other dinosaurs.

Stories include:

  • Dino Go Seek
  • Train of Dinos
  • Robots & Dinos
  • Dino Clash
  • Dino Racing

Dinosaur Fun with Dino Dan + Free Printable Activities #NCircleEntertainment #DinoDan

My son’s favorite story was “Dino Go Seek,” where Trek played an indoor game of hide and seek with his friends and grandmother. Everyone hid, while Trek did the seeking. Along the way, Trek learned how Microraptor’s use various skills to stay hidden so as to avoid becoming prey.

How?

Trek’s friends and grandmother were using some of the same exact skills in their game of hide and seek – from hiding is small, tight spaces, to moving around and not staying in one spot for too long. Needless to say, my son picked up a few hiding tips from the Microraptor for when he plays hide and seek with his friends!

Want to have a little dinosaur fun with your child? You can start by printing out the free Dino Dan activities and don’t forget to get your copy of the new Dino Dan: Dino Go Seek!

Do you have a dinosaur loving kiddo?

Connect with In this new DVD, Autumn Journey: Guess How Much I Love You, your children will follow Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends on 6 autumn adventures. Enter now for a chance to win your very own copy! #giveawayWebsite / Facebook / Twitter

*The free printables contained in this post were provided to me by NCircle Entertainment. I also received a sample free of charge from NCircle Entertainment as part of their Brand Ambassadorship. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Kidz Gear Makes Adult Quality Headphones with Kids in Mind

Kidz Gear offers adult quality headphones, made with kids in mind. From the adjustable headset, to the detachable boom mic and even Bluetooth capability, these kids headphones would make any adult jealous. Head over to the blog and check them out! #KidzGear #wirelessheadphones
~Thank you to Kidz Gear and Thomas PR for providing a set of Bluetooth™ Wireless Stereo Headphones for review. As always, opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.~

Race car engines revving, Transformers crashing and fighting, gun fire blazing, soccer game commentary. These are just a few of the sounds that fill my living room on any given day. Can I just get a little peace and quiet, please?

My son loves playing video games (as does daddy) and while I do my best to limit his game time, I get tired of hearing the same noises over and over and over. On the few days I actually decide to do a little work, the sounds can be quite distracting and make it difficult to concentrate. It literally flushes my productivity down the toilet.

Just recently my son got the opportunity to try the Bluetooth™ Wireless Stereo Headphones from Kidz Gear and they are a total game changer (no pun intended). Immediately upon opening the headphones, my son connected them to the PS4 controller just like daddy does and for that matter, couldn’t wait for daddy to get home from work so he could show them to him.

Kidz Gear offers adult quality headphones, made with kids in mind. From the adjustable headset, to the detachable boom mic and even Bluetooth capability, these kids headphones would make any adult jealous. Head over to the blog and check them out! #KidzGear #wirelessheadphones

Connecting the headphones to the controller redirected all game sounds to him and the living room became silent. Finally! He’s occupied, the room is quiet and I can actually be productive at a little work.

What makes the Kidz Gear Bluetooth™ Wireless Stereo Headphones unique?

  • Use with audio cable connection OR use Bluetooth wireless connection.
  • Rechargeable battery via USB cable.
  • Up to 10 hrs listening time when fully charged.
  • Speaker diameter of 30 mm is optimal for small ears.
  • Adjustable headset.
  • Each earbud is labeled with L or R so kid’s know which side is which.
  • Detachable boom microphone for hands-free calls or video gaming.
  • Headset controls on right earbud.
  • Convenient carrying case.

When playing video games, the headphones connect to the controller using the audio cable, but the headphones can also be used wirelessly on any device that has Bluetooth capability, like a tablet or cell phone. Obviously with the audio cable, it’s as simple as plugging them in. But connecting the headphones wirelessly to a device is super easy, too.

Connect Wirelessly

  1. Turn the Bluetooth function switch from off to on.
  2. Hold down the play/pause/answer button on the right headphone until the LED indicator blinks continually between red and green.
  3. Visit the Bluetooth settings on the device you want to connect and select “BTKG1.”

Kidz Gear offers adult quality headphones, made with kids in mind. From the adjustable headset, to the detachable boom mic and even Bluetooth capability, these kids headphones would make any adult jealous. Head over to the blog and check them out! #KidzGear #wirelessheadphones

Voila! You’re ready to listen wirelessly!

One of the fun features of the Bluetooth™ Wireless Stereo Headphones is the detachable boom microphone. It can be used for talking on the phone and even for taking some online tests and gaming. I’ve discovered that the boom mic only works when the headphones are connected wirelessly to a device, but not when connected with the audio cable.

Kidz Gear offers adult quality headphones, made with kids in mind. From the adjustable headset, to the detachable boom mic and even Bluetooth capability, these kids headphones would make any adult jealous. Head over to the blog and check them out! #KidzGear #wirelessheadphones

Unfortunately, when I tried connecting the headphones via Bluetooth to our PS4, I received a message that the PS4 doesn’t support Bluetooth audio devices. Really, Sony? This bummed us out because we thought my son would be able to use the talking feature while playing his games.

But boy he loves taking phone calls with the boom mic. It’s literally hands-free calling for kids. I cringe every time my kids are on my cell phone talking with grandma and accidentally drop the phone. My heart skips a beat when it hits the floor, but with the Bluetooth™ Wireless Stereo Headphones I can put the phone on the counter and they can still talk wirelessly to grandma while playing.

Kidz Gear offers adult quality headphones, made with kids in mind. From the adjustable headset, to the detachable boom mic and even Bluetooth capability, these kids headphones would make any adult jealous. Head over to the blog and check them out! #KidzGear #wirelessheadphones

The only downside of the Bluetooth™ Wireless Stereo Headphones is that even though there are built-in volume controls, they don’t work (they do work on the standard, wired set). But never fear! Simply adjusting the volume on the device will adjust the volume output in the headphones. So when my son’s using the headphones with his iPad, adjusting the iPad’s volume settings also adjusts the volume output of the headphones.

Yes, other headsets can be used for these same exact things, but because of the size and make of the Kidz Gear headphones, they’re much easier for kids to use and keep on their ears. Earbuds, in particular, are pretty much a no-go when it comes to kids and their small ears, and other headphone sets that have microphone capabilities can get pretty pricey.

Just imagine how upset you’d be if you spent a pretty penny on a set of headphones and they just ended up destroyed. Yeah, no thanks! This wireless set is just $29.99 and even comes with a nice little carrying bag.

Kidz Gear offers adult quality headphones, made with kids in mind. From the adjustable headset, to the detachable boom mic and even Bluetooth capability, these kids headphones would make any adult jealous. Head over to the blog and check them out! #KidzGear #wirelessheadphones

In the end, I get a little more peace and quiet from video games and my son gets adult quality headphones made just for kids. Not only do I see him continuing to use his Bluetooth™ Wireless Stereo Headphones at home for his iPad and gaming, but they would be great for long roadtrips in the car, airplane rides and even in waiting rooms. We have a weekend vacation planned next month and I will definitely make sure these are packed for the car ride!

Shop Kidz Gear:

The Standard KidzControl™ Volume Limit Headphones – $19.99 + free shipping

Unplugged Bluetooth™ Wireless Stereo Headphones – $29.99 + free shipping

How will your child use their Bluetooth™ Wireless Stereo Headphones from Kidz Gear?

Connect with : Website | Facebook | Twitter

*Thank you to Kidz Gear and Thomas PR for providing a set of Bluetooth™ Wireless Stereo Headphones for my review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

The Ultimate Easter Basket + I See Me! Giveaway

Need some ideas for pulling off the ultimate Easter basket? I've got just what you need! Head over to the blog to check out what goes into my ultimate Easter baskets and even enter to win an I See Me! personalized book of your choice! They make great Easter basket features! #Easter #Easterbasket #giveaway #entertowin #personalizedbook #iseemebooks
~Thank you to I See Me! for providing a personalized book for my review. As always, all opinions are still 100% my own. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive compensation for any purchase made through them.~

Now that we’ve covered Easter outfits, let’s get into Easter baskets! I love putting together collections of fun and learning for my kids, no matter what holiday it is and Easter is no different. It just so happens that I’ve been planning this year’s Easter baskets since last year!

Yeap, you heard me right. After the holiday last year, I purchased plastic eggs, straw filling and even the “baskets” on clearance, and have held on to them even through our move. I’ve also collected swimsuits and summer shoes during various end of season sales. I sized up and now a few of those will fit, so they’re perfect additions to my kids Easter baskets! And with Easter almost here, I’m excited to pull everything together.

Here comes Peter Cottontail.

Hopping down the bunny trail.

Hippity, hoppity, Easter’s on its way!

So what all goes into an ultimate Easter basket? I love to incorporate my kids favorite candy treats, which they only get on special occasions or as rewards, fun toys and activities they can enjoy indoors and outdoors, and even a handful of things that help spark their imagination and learning processes.

Ultimate Easter basket ideas:

Need some ideas for pulling off the ultimate Easter basket? I've got just what you need! Head over to the blog to check out what goes into my ultimate Easter baskets and even enter to win an I See Me! personalized book of your choice! They make great Easter basket features! #Easter #Easterbasket #giveaway #entertowin #personalizedbook #iseemebooks

Like Christmas, I typically do one larger or more pricey gift along with smaller, less expensive ones. The special feature in my son’s Easter basket this year is a personalized book from I See Me! It’s personalized to include a picture of him, a special dedication and the book is ALL about him. The only thing more fun than reading an exciting story, is when that story is all about you!

Need some ideas for pulling off the ultimate Easter basket? I've got just what you need! Head over to the blog to check out what goes into my ultimate Easter baskets and even enter to win an I See Me! personalized book of your choice! They make great Easter basket features! #Easter #Easterbasket #giveaway #entertowin #personalizedbook #iseemebooks

In “Terrell’s Very Own Trucks and Things That Go!,” a variety of transportation vehicles and vessels work together to build “the perfect name,” my son’s name. On each and every page, a “thing that goes” brings in one letter, until they’ve collected every letter needed to compile his first AND last name (and it’s a long one, haha).

It’s such a fun rhyming book and at the end, my son can learn a little bit about all 64 “things that go” – trucks, cars, planes, trains, boats, cranes, diggers, tanks and more. My little car fanatic will be over the moon to see his favorite transportation vehicles working together to build his name.

Not only does I See Me! offer personalized books and stories, but they also have stickers, lunch boxes, puzzles, coloring books, placematsgrowth charts and music, all of which can be personalized for your little one. I mentioned a few of these in my ultimate Easter basket idea list above! How cool would it be to have an Easter basket full of personalized fun?

To get you started on your ultimate Easter basket, I have the chance for you to win an I See Me! personalized book of your choice! There are so many great options to choose from. Simply enter using the giveaway form below.

Need some ideas for pulling off the ultimate Easter basket? I've got just what you need! Head over to the blog to check out what goes into my ultimate Easter baskets and even enter to win an I See Me! personalized book of your choice! They make great Easter basket features! #Easter #Easterbasket #giveaway #entertowin #personalizedbook #iseemebooks

As for the smaller, less expensive items I include in my kids Easter baskets, Target is one of my go-to solutions. Never underestimate “The One Spot” located at the entrance of the store. You can find all kinds of fun things there for $1. Just last week I got bubbles, coloring books, a small pair of Disney socks for my daughter and even some writing tools for my son!

What do you like to put in your kid’s Easter basket?

Connect with: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Discounts

Need some ideas for pulling off the ultimate Easter basket? I've got just what you need! Head over to the blog to check out what goes into my ultimate Easter baskets and even enter to win an I See Me! personalized book of your choice! They make great Easter basket features! #Easter #Easterbasket #giveaway #entertowin #personalizedbook #iseemebooks

One lucky Making Time reader will win an I See Me! personalized book of their choice! GOOD LUCK!

This giveaway is open to US Residents, ages 18+ and ends on April 5, 2017 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

*Thank you to I See Me! for providing a book for my review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive compensation for your purchase. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Ecocentric Mom Mystery Bonus Box

I love monthly subscription boxes and Ecocentric Mom happens to be one of my favs! This time around, though, I'm showing you an extra bonus box, the Mom & Baby Mystery Bonus Box. You won't believe all of the full-size products included! #EcocentricMom #allnatural #parenting #healthybaby #healthyfamily #MysteryBonusBox #subscriptionbox

~Thank you to Ecocentric Mom for providing a Mystery Bonus Box for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase.~

I’m sure you already know how much I love monthly subscription boxes. From storybooks and activities for my kids, to men’s clothing for my boyfriend, to beauty products for myself and even general home products for the whole family, there is no shortage of subscription boxes delivered to our house every month.

One of my favorite subscription boxes is Ecocentric Mom, which offers all-natural products that promote healthy living for mom and baby, and even during pregnancy. I’ve actually shared with you a Mom & Baby Box and a Mom Box from Ecocentric Mom in the past. But today I want to share an extra special box from Ecocentric Mom, the Mystery Bonus Box.

There are two Mystery Bonus Box types available – Mom/Woman or Mom & Baby. In the video below, I’m unboxing one of the Mom & Baby Mystery Bonus Boxes. Take a look!

What’s in my Mom & Baby Mystery Bonus Box?

  • Silimap Folding Silicone Map (for baby)
  • Oilogic Stuffy Nose & Cough Essential Oil Roll-On (for baby)
  • Kala Coconut Oil (for mom & baby)
  • Hevea Natural Rubber Pacifier (for baby)
  • Soft Chick Rattle (for baby)
  • EcoLips PoGo Organic Lip Balm (for mom)
  • Manna Kadar Gloss Stain (for mom)
  • Hyperbiotics Pro-Moms (for mom)
  • Patel’s Milk Water Tea (for mom)
  • Weleda Baby Derma Diaper Rash Cream (for baby)
  • Shea Moisture Lotion and Baby Wash/Shampoo Samples (for baby)
  • Fizz Wizz Cleaning Tablets Sample (for baby)
  • Fizz Wizz Pacifier/Nipple/Bottle Wipes (for baby)
  • Dapple Dish Detergent Sample (for mom)
  • Zabana Essentials Balancing & Calming Face + Body Tonic (for mom)
  • Wrap-N-Mat Snack Pouch (for baby)

I love monthly subscription boxes and Ecocentric Mom happens to be one of my favs! This time around, though, I'm showing you an extra bonus box, the Mom & Baby Mystery Bonus Box. You won't believe all of the full-size products included! #EcocentricMom #allnatural #parenting #healthybaby #healthyfamily #MysteryBonusBox #subscriptionbox

Oh my goodness! Just look at ALL of these amazing products! Again, everything is all-natural, organic and promotes a healthy home and body. Some of these products I’m familiar with because I received them in previous Ecocentric Mom boxes, but the majority of these products and brands are new to me. That’s one of the things I love about boxes like this. I get to try new products and brands that I otherwise probably wouldn’t even know about!

And don’t let me forget to mention that all but three or four products in this box are full-sized! Just so you know, I took the time to research every one of these products just to see what everything would retail for and you’re not going to believe this – $169 (minus the samples)! Holy moly!

Guess how much the Mystery Bonus Box is! Just $44.99! Living an all-natural lifestyle can be expensive. I’m not here to tell you that my family lives a completely all-natural and organic lifestyle because that’s far from the truth, but when I come across good deals like this and know the products are better for me and my family, it would be insane not to take advantage!

Get your Ecocentric Mom Mystery Bonus Box here!

Have you ever tried Ecocentric Mom?

Connect with ecomom-logoShop / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram /Pinterest

*This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase.  I also received a sample free of charge.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Purederm 10 Day Foot Mask

Wonder if those foot mask things work? I've got the answer for you and I think you'll be amazed! Join me on my 10 day foot mask journey (with video updates) and see just what type of results I got. #healthyfeet #Purederm #footmask
~This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase.~

After seeing photos and a short video of women using what seems like a miracle foot mask, I knew I just had to try it out. I haven’t had a pedicure in a really long time and with sandal weather on it’s way, my feet were in need of some love.

The photos and video that I saw depicted the layer of dead skin literally peeling off the bottom of the foot in large sheets. I thought to myself there’s no way this could be, so I took thing into my own hands to find out for sure.

After browsing foot masks on Amazon, I decided to get the three pair pack of Purederm Shiny & Soft Foot Peeling Masks. The same day they arrived, was the same day I tried them out. I was so excited and just couldn’t wait to see if they’d really work!

Wonder if those foot mask things work? I've got the answer for you and I think you'll be amazed! Join me on my 10 day foot mask journey (with video updates) and see just what type of results I got. #healthyfeet #Purederm #footmask

Day 1 – Application

Application of the foot masks was really easy. You’ll see everything in the video below, but the masks are just a foot shaped bag that has a liquid-type substance inside. You place your foot in the mask and wear them for 60-90 minutes.

Wonder if those foot mask things work? I've got the answer for you and I think you'll be amazed! Join me on my 10 day foot mask journey (with video updates) and see just what type of results I got. #healthyfeet #Purederm #footmask

I was a little concerned the foot masks would be kind of loose, but they actually fit nice and tight. For the 90 minutes I wore them I was sitting for the most part, but you’re still able to walk around if you need to. The masks aren’t uncomfortable to wear, but just a squishy feeling if you walk around.

Wonder if those foot mask things work? I've got the answer for you and I think you'll be amazed! Join me on my 10 day foot mask journey (with video updates) and see just what type of results I got. #healthyfeet #Purederm #footmask

After about 30 minutes I started to feel a tingly, almost minty-like feeling and when the 90 minutes was over, I took the masks off and rinsed my feet. I noticed that the nail polish on my little toes and big toes had been affected by the foot mask.

Those particular toes were in positions that they directly rubbed against the sides of the foot mask, so I think that’s why they were the only ones affected. The three middle toenails on each foot were perfectly fine.

Also, that minty-like coolness continued probably until I went to bed that night (I first applied the masks at about 8 pm).

Wonder if those foot mask things work? I've got the answer for you and I think you'll be amazed! Join me on my 10 day foot mask journey (with video updates) and see just what type of results I got. #healthyfeet #Purederm #footmask

Day 3

Day 3 rolled around and I was totally surprised. The masks actually work! The night of day 3, I took my socks off and looked at my feet and there were spots of loose skin just waiting to be peeled away. I peeled what I could (watch the video) and waited to see what else would happen over the next few days.

Wonder if those foot mask things work? I've got the answer for you and I think you'll be amazed! Join me on my 10 day foot mask journey (with video updates) and see just what type of results I got. #healthyfeet #Purederm #footmask
This is everything I peeled off on Day 3!

Day 4

Day 4 came and, again, there was some additional peeling. Even the bottoms of my toes started to peel a little bit.

Day 7

In the video you’ll see I did a 7 day update just so you could see the progress that had been made before actually getting to day 10. The majority of the bottom of my feet had peeled and there were visible rigid lines all the way around the sole of my foot, where you could see at what point it peeled up to. The line stopped right at the top of the sole, all the way around. I figured that was as far as the peeling would go and that the top and sides of the foot wouldn’t do anything, but I later found out I was wrong.

At this point I also had peeling on the front and tops of my toes, around my toenail. I mean the peeling literally went all the around my toenails and all the way up to the crease of my toenails. There was even peeling in between my toes.

The only places that had yet to peel on the bottom were parts of the rougher, callused spots and also the inner sole.

Day 8

On day 8, it was warmer out so I decided to pull out my sandals. My feet needed some moisturizing, but I wanted so bad to wear them so I did. They were thong sandals that went between the toes and up across the top of my foot.

When I got home and took my sandals off, I noticed that there was slight peeling across the tops of my feet. It was nothing like the large pieces that came off the bottom of my feet, but was peeling nonetheless.

Day 10

Finally day 10 arrived and I was amazed at how well these foot masks had worked. Those rough spots that hadn’t yet peeled a few days ago, had peeled at this point. My heel looked amazing and wasn’t at all dry and cracked in the creases. The rougher, callused spots still felt a little rough, but they did peel and were visibly better. Just what I need for sandal wearing!

This also means that the foot masks delivered exactly what they said they would. By day 10 the calluses are supposed to be all gone and as of day 10, all of mine had peeled. The tops of my toes had also started peeling down to the base of the toes and the inner sole that hadn’t peeled yet was very dry and peeled off in small strips.

Day 12

As a little added bonus, after taking a shower the night of day 12 I noticed the tops and sides of my feet were peeling. Again, not in large pieces like the bottoms of my feet did, but with some rough rubbing, the skin kind of rolled off.

Wonder if those foot mask things work? I've got the answer for you and I think you'll be amazed! Join me on my 10 day foot mask journey and see just what type of results I got. #healthyfeet #Purederm #footmask
This picture doesn’t even do justice, but you can see that the dry, flaky skin from the “before” picture is now gone. You definitely want to watch the video!

Ready to get your feet sandal ready?

Head over to Amazon and get your order in now! When I ordered, the pack of three was just $10.99 and today the pack appears to be $11.99, so know that prices on Amazon change all the time. There are a few different scents that Purederm offers, too. I assume since they’re the same brand, and have the same purpose, they’ll all work the same.

Order Your Favorite Scent: Lemon Apple | Apricot

Also, order when you seem them! They are currently out of stock and every single time I go back to check, it’s the same thing. It just so happens that when I ordered back in February they were out of stock at that time too, but lucky would be restocked in just a few days. As soon as that date came, I believe it was the next day that my order was shipped.

*This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Tackle Picky Eating with a Mealtime Treasure Hunt #GotrovoFun

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

~Thank you to Gotrovo for providing a Mealtime Treasure Hunt for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase.~

I used to sarcastically brag that my 5 year old son had quite the food palette, with a diet that consisted mostly of chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and hot dogs. So sophisticated, right? But now I can do some real bragging and I owe all my thanks to Gotrovo.

I’ve tried a few different tactics to get my son eating new and different foods. I’ve tried hidden veggie recipes, letting him help prepare his meals, cute food creations and even the eat it or do without method (most of the time he’d choose to go hungry, which broke my heart). After all of these fails, I knew I needed a different tactic and that’s what Gotrovo’s Mealtime Treasure Hunt offers.

Concept & Setup

The whole concept behind the Mealtime Treasure Hunt is that kids get rewarded in a fun way (getting to the treasure) for trying new foods. The set, which includes a washable double-sided treasure map, a plate, bowl, cup, fork and shovel (spoon), navigation coin and reward cards, all have a treasure theme.

The map features things like treasure chests, pirate ships, castles, fairies, mermaids and waterfalls. My son absolutely loves everything pirates and treasure, so I knew for sure this was exactly what he needed.

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

To get started with the Mealtime Treasure Hunt, you simply set up the place setting. Put the map down (either side), choose the treasure and place the appropriate reward card on top of the treasure chest in the middle of the map. Then set the plate of food on top of that and add the fork and shovel, which is just too cute by the way. It’s a spoon, but looks like a shovel for digging up the treasure. And don’t forget the cup or drink to wash the dirt off any treasures found.

Treasure Hunt Rules

One of the things about the Mealtime Treasure Hunt that I really like, is that you’re in control of the foods offered. You get to choose the rules of the hunt, too.

For my son, I decided that each bite he took would get him one step closer to the treasure. So after every bite he moves the coin to the next spot on the map until he gets all the way around and to the treasure. Ten bites of food and he’s treasure bound!

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

As a kid who has a limited taste for food, I feel like this is suitable for him, but you can change the rules depending on what you’re trying to get out of your child. I just wanted the boy to take a bite of something he wouldn’t normally eat. Once he starts eating more foods on a regular basis without using the Mealtime Treasure Hunt, I’ll change the rules to continue challenging him.

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

You’re also in control of the treasure. Just think of anything you know your child would enjoy and pick one as the treasure for that particular meal. And any meal at that – breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s great for all meals and even dinner’s out. Just take the map and navigation coin along with you.

As for the treasure, there’s even a reward card that lets your child choose his own treasure once he reaches it. But again, it’s all up to you how you set it up and let it play out.

Treasure Ideas:

  • Child’s favorite candy
  • FaceTime with grandparent(s)
  • Hour at the park
  • New toy
  • Money
  • Weekend at grandma’s (this is a win-win for parent and child, haha)
  • Favorite food for lunch tomorrow
  • Stickers
  • New crayons
  • Trip to the library
  • Outing to a matinee movie
  • Skip a chore

In my opinion, the more involved the treasure, the more involved getting to the treasure should be. For example, if the treasure is an outing to a matinee movie, I would make the treasure hunt a little more challenging, meaning the meal is a little more challenging for your child. I might require my son to take more bites of veggies to get to the treasure.

Does it work?

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

So how did my son do? Let’s just say he’s a challenge himself. The first night was a complete failure. He didn’t even take one bite! But I think I know why. I was so excited to give the Mealtime Treasure Hunt a go, that I went into it a little too strong. I gave him a plate with all foods that he wouldn’t normally eat and I think that was a mistake on my part.

I offered meatloaf, roasted potatoes and cabbage. I knew for sure he wouldn’t eat the cabbage, but I still wanted it on his plate for exposure. I thought for sure he’d at least take a bite of the potatoes because I even put ketchup on them. He eats ketchup on everything! But no. Not. One. Single. Bite.

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

I realized that I needed to ease him into it and couldn’t expect him to dive right in, even though that would have been great. So the next time we tried the Mealtime Treasure Hunt (must have been wild hair day too, haha) I made it a little easier for him. I gave him chicken, which I knew he’d eat, but only gave him enough bites of it to get him eight steps closer to the treasure.

This left him with two more bites to X marks the spot. And to my surprise he took a bite of rice and then ate a piece of carrot. I almost cried! He never eats rice or carrots, and he ate both bites like it was nothing.

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

He reached the treasure and claimed his prize of M&M’s (his favorite candy). He was so excited that he got the treasure. I think giving him that initial push of being so close to the treasure helped a lot and knowing it would only take two more bites to reach his destination, it was a breeze for him and a victory for me.

Since then we’ve had some failures, but we’ve also had some victories. In my book, no victory is too small. Just the other day, he took a few bites out of a burrito, which is another food he would have never even looked twice at. I let him help me put it together and it was nothing but a little rice, ground beef and shredded cheese, but this was huge for him!

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

That particular night I let him take the shortcut to the treasure, which is another cool feature of the Mealtime Treasure Hunt. If your child is struggling, is eating a smaller meal, or as in this case, eating multiple bites of the same thing, the map offers a shortcut that only takes seven bites to get to the treasure.

Now my son asks about his treasure map when it’s time to eat. He knows all of the great treasures that could be in store for him and it makes mealtime fun. When I tell him that he gets to use his treasure map, he always says “Okay, I’m going to eat chicken and rice and carrots.” As I mentioned above, that was the first meal he ate and successfully found the treasure. I just melt when he says he wants to eat rice and carrots. Hopefully soon he’ll start eating them without needing a reward for doing so.

Do you have a picky eater who would benefit from the Mealtime Treasure Hunt?

Get the Gotrovo Mealtime Treasure Hunt on Amazon for just $21 (Amazon prices change all the time so act fast)!

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*Thank you to Gotrovo for providing a Mealtime Treasure Hunt for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.