4.01.2015

Get Away Today!

We love Disney at our house. Frozen is always playing on our car radio and Ariel swims across our TV screen on a regular basis. I have three little girls that hardly ever end the day wearing the clothes they were dressed in; they finish in one of the many Disney Princess dresses we have as dress ups.



I grew up going to Disneyland. Even though we lived in Utah miles and miles away from the park, we always had season passes. I love the feeling that you get right when you walk into the park.  Your first step and you feel like you're 10 years old again and everything imaginary becomes reality. It truly is magical. Everyone in my family is as much an addict as myself. And then I got married.

My husband did not grow up going to Disneyland. He went once his whole childhood and was already a teenager so he missed out on some of the magic due to the cynical attitude of a 15 year old boy. He had no idea the gravitational pull Disneyland would have on his future wife. In the nine years we have been married, we've been twice almost every year. He feels the magic more now that we have little girls to bring, but sometimes it's still like pulling teeth to get him to agree to go!

It's really the money that holds him back. He has a hard time justifying the cost of the vacation. We recently discovered Get Away Today; a travel destination website. They make planning a Disney vacation so much easier! And the deals keep coming. Cherry Blossoms is excited to announce that we have partnered with Get Away Today! When planning your Southern California vacation, use the code CHERRYB to get an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer package including hotel and a two ticket minimum.

Right now, Disney's California Adventure has been taken over by FROZEN. This amazing event is only available until May 15th, after that... it melts away for good. I am dying to go, it's the perfect reason to book another vacation to Disney! How could I keep my mini Ana and Elsa away from all the snow in Southern California? I mean seriously, look at those faces. After all, the cold never bothered us anyway :)

-Ashley


3.31.2015

FREE Spring Printable

Spring is here!  I get a little giddy when all the flowers are in bloom!  Hooray, no more dark, cold days!  To celebrate the warmer weather, I've created a spring printable to share with you today.  As usual, I couldn't decide so I created two different prints.  The first is a more subtle pale pink and the second print is a brighter and darker color.





I used the darker print for my spring decorating.

Click HERE for the PDF for both prints.  Both prints are 5x7.   When you decide which one you want, choose the "print current page" option.  p.s. I think it looks best when it is printed on card stock paper.  Happy Spring!







3.30.2015

Review and Giveaway: Annmarie Skin Care Minerals Foundation

After I reviewed Annmarie Skin Care in the fall I made my husband buy me some for Christmas. He was hesitant at first but I convinced him that all I wanted for Christmas was that amazing facial oil. I loaded the website, told him he was under no obligation to get it for me, and walked away. He's a smart man, he did as he was told.

I have used that facial oil daily since Christmas. It's my favourite part of my skin care routine and the only thing I never cheat.

So late this winter when the company emailed me that they were coming out with a line of make-up I knew I had to sample some. I just love this company's commitment to safe, healthy, beneficial skin care products!



Our skin is our largest organ and even when we watch what we eat and drink we often unknowingly smear toxic chemicals over our body for ready absorption by our skin. Annmarie Skin Care wants to change that. They started first by overhauling the skin care regime and now they are cleaning up our makeup. That's right, you don't have to go au naturel if you don't want to, and you don't have to compromise your health to do so.



I received a sample kit of the Minerals Foundation for review and was immediately excited to see that the foundation is based on the herbal facial oil I love so much. It begins as a powder, and with just a pea-sized amount of the powder mixed with a squirt or two of oil you decide how heavy or light you want your coverage, mixing to your daily need. I couldn't believe how easy it was. I could definitely believe how great my face felt because as I said I was already in love with the oil. I didn't feel caked on, I didn't feel like I was wearing a mask, in fact I totally forgot I was wearing it and when I looked in the mirror I just looked like I had better skin than I really do. The sample kit comes with four different shades, and I found I preferred to mix them a little and get just the right shade. This flexibility of consistency and tone makes this an amazing product to take you throughout all the seasons of the year!

My skin was nourished and fed, all while looking and feeling better than ever. I haven't been wearing much makeup these days as I have been concerned about the contents of makeup and don't like the feel of stuff on my skin, but I can easily see myself wearing makeup more often with this Annmarie foundation. I don't feel it at all, but I sure love knowing it's doing good for my skin. Go check it out!

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THE GIVEAWAY:

One lucky reader will win a sample kit of the Minerals Foundation just as I received with a $10 coupon for a future purchase!
US residents only, please.
~enter after the jump!~
Disclosure:
I received a sample size product free of charge for the purpose of this review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
The opinions presented in this review are mine and have been written in my own words.

3.29.2015

Review & Giveaway: System Sharpener






Have you ever tried to make a meal using dull knives? I have, and believe me it is NOT fun. It takes FOREVER to cut anything and you have to use so much force. Just a few weeks ago my husband and I were complaining about how quickly our knives become dull. We have splurged on really expensive knives and within months they sadly become dull. My husband and I didn't know what to do...do we send them to be resharpened? Do we just purchase a whole new set of knives? While browsing Amazon one day I ran across the System Sharpener and thank goodness I did. The System Sharpener has taken our dull knives and made them sharper than ever. 

The System Sharpener works with Kitchen, Ceramic, Hunting, Fruit, Butterfly, Pocket and Survival knives. With the System Sharpener you get TWO stages of sharpening, in one small compact unit. I love the size as the unit easily fits into a drawer for easy storage. The unit comes with an extra strong suction pad that lets you sharpen knives one handed. 
The System Sharpeners key to success is the Ceramic Bond wheel, Diamond Grinding wheel and suction pad design. This allows for a safe and simple method to sharpen knives while never causing nicks in the blade.  There are two methods that can be used with the System Sharpener;

Coarse Sharpening 
(suitable for Blunt/Ceramic Knives)
Use a slight downward pressure with only three to five pulls running the blade from its heel to its point. All nicks will be removed.

Fine Honning
Polish the knife edge to maximum sharpness with just a few pulls. 

It is recommended that you sharpen your knives at least once a week to keep your blades in tip top shape. The System Sharpener is not recommended for serrated blades or scissors.


The System Sharpener offers a Money-back Satisfaction Guarantee...but believe me you will be satisfied! We love our System Sharpener, it has made cooking so much easier and our knives have never looked or performed better. 

The Giveaway
Enter to win a System Sharpener of your very own!

Tell me in a comment below why you would like to win the System Sharpener!
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3.28.2015

Review: PetBox

     
      Give Hermes, our year old miniature poodle, a bone or a toy and he is content for hours. A bored Hermes however is a different kind of animal, as he can act a bit wild. Wild entails jumping from couch to couch, barking at our neighbors when they walk by and just being restless. Add two kids under the age of 9 with a restless dog and you've got one crazy household. I am always on the lookout for great new products to keep Hermes content, but with my busy lifestyle its difficult to find the time to do so. When I found out about PetBox, a company founded in 2013 out of San Diego that ships the best pet products right to your door, I wanted to know more. 

   Since being founded in 2013 PetBox has grown to over 60,000 shipments supported by over 250 pet brands. In its first year, PetBox became San Diego's fastest growing ecommerce startup.

Savings.
PetBox members save money because PetBox doesn't have the costs associated with running an expensive retail store. Not to mention, members always receive FREE shipping. 
Flexibility.
PetBox has a subscription plan for every budget and  members aren't limited with how many items they can pack in their shipment. Need 50 items this month? No problem, PetBox has got you covered! 
Choice.
One box for all – get items for your cat, dog, pig, or all three! Pick your favorites or let PetBox's pet experts do the work and send you a collection built just for you. 

My Review
   I was sent a PetBox to review with Hermes and boy was it a lifesaver. The box contained three toys, two bags of treats and a can of food--more than enough to keep Hermes happy for a month! My favorite item was Old Mother Hubbard's 'Bits of Love'. The snacks are peanut butter flavored and the perfect size for our little guy. He loves getting them as treats after doing fun tricks. The pull toy was a bit large for Hermes but he didn't let that stop him! He drags it around the house and chews on it. The other toys he loved showing off and then ripping to shreds but it took him quite a while to do so. Everything came packaged in a super cute box and I was really pleased with the quality of each item that was sent. I highly recommend checking PetBox out and giving them a try. Your dog will thank you (in licks). 


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3.27.2015

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb-Family Movie Night


   As a family of four we are always busy.  It seems that sometimes it's quite difficult to find a good day to set aside for family time. Thankfully, our Monday evenings (as part of our religion) is designated as Family Home Evening. Family Home Evening is a time when we can step away from our busy lives and schedules and focus on whats really important, one another. For Family Home Evening we sometimes play games, teach a lesson or watch a movie. This past Monday night we were able to sit down with big bowls of popcorn and watch the newest Night at the Museum movie; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. 



    My children had watched the previous two Night at the Museum movies a year or two ago, so they didn't really remember them. We decided to watch the previous Night at the Museum movies Sunday so we could all catch up together (plus, we got to spend EXTRA family time together which is always FUN!). Our kids couldn't wait for Monday evening to watch the newest Night and the Museum; Secret of the Tomb. All day long they kept asking my husband and I if it was time to watch the movie! Before we started the film we popped some popcorn, piled some fluffy pillows on the floor and took a few selfies with Dexter (the money from Night at the Museum). Sadly, Daddy was busy popping the popcorn at the time so the kids and I are the only ones in the picture!



We all really enjoyed Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. It was fun seeing all of our favorite characters that we have grown to know and love come to life once again. My eight year old daughter loves learning about history so she really enjoyed identifying each person. My four year old son LOVED Dexter and his funny antics. All in all it was a solid family film that we really enjoyed, and it made for a great movie night together as a family. 

VocalPoint currently has a Night at the Museum discount of $8 OFF!-click here.




The Giveaway
Win a Digital Family Movie Night Kit*
(includes a free download code for Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and activities)
*To use this movie download winner must be able to use one of these; Google Play, Playstation or iTunes

Enter after the jump!

3.26.2015

Review- Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love With Expectations and Protection With Trust

I try really hard to make sure I am doing things right when it comes to my kids. I've read books, blogs, taken parenting classes, you name it. I know that what I do as a mother shapes my kids into the person they will become as an adult. That's huge. What they learn from the example my husband and I set in our family will stay with them their whole lives. My sweet husband, whom I've lived with for almost ten years now, still has habits I know he's bringing into our home from his childhood. Some of those habits I love and am so grateful for, and others... I could live without :)

Parenting is hard. But it is literally the single most important job on the planet.

There are so many different references out there on parenting and so many people ((strangers at Costco)) that are more than willing to lay on the advice when your toddler is having a meltdown in the checkout lane. But how in the world do we cipher through all the craziness to figure out what really matters?

I have been reading the book, "Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love With Expectations and Protection With Trust" by the award winning author Ken Ginsburg. It is so interesting to me that something that is so basic is the basis for the whole book. LOVE. Love your children. Loving them unconditionally with all your heart sets them up for success. You can never love your children too much. Letting them know that there is more than enough love to last their whole lives will make them feel secure and connected to you. They will Trust you. This love will bring them into your bedroom at night when they are teenagers struggling through something that they might need help with. They know they can come to you with any issue they may face because your love holds no conditions. You will not hold them in a negative light because your love withstands the limits of time.

One of my favorite things about the book is the sporadic quotes from anonymous teenagers handing out advice to parents. Some of what they said was so powerful to me. It was almost like a light bulb moment. When you are a teenager, you really think you are invincible. You know everything. I can see now as a parent that this could be infuriating.  A teenager still has SO MUCH to learn but is so stubborn and seemingly unwilling to learn; more like, listen. But maybe it's us as parents that aren't listening? The kids referenced in this book have some seriously profound parenting advice. If we, as parents, listen and love without conditions, then we will be better parents. They will trust us. They will feel safe. They will feel loved.

I have loved reading this book. It has given me new insight to my current parenting stage and ideas to implement in my future. I would recommend it to anyone looking to enhance their relationship with their children, and to be an overall better parent. You can find the book on Amazon HERE.

-Ashley

Disclosure
This is a sponsored post.


3.25.2015

SoCozy

“I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for SoCozy. I received Target gift cards to facilitate my review and thank me for my participation.” 


“Red hair, short hair, pink, curly hair. Being you is SoCozy’s idea of cool. Be you!”

    When it comes to purchasing products for my family to use, I prefer to purchase products that contain safe and non-toxic ingredients. Those products however often come with hefty price tags so I was extremely excited when I found about SoCozy. SoCozy are salon quality hair products for children. SoCozy products are safe, effective and completely non-toxic. 

   SoCozy was created by Cozy Friedman...yes, that's her real name. In 1992, Cozy became concerned when a friend of hers told her about her nephew's awful experience getting a haircut at an adult salon. The little boy was scared and began to cry--and guess what the salon did? They asked the little boy and his Mother to leave! The nerve! After Cozy heard this story she began to research the industry (knowing nothing about the salon industry, children or parents--she wasn't married, didn't have any children and had no retail experience). After all of her researched she was amazed that someone hadn't thought to open a salon for children. She wanted to create a place that kids would love and that would employee the highest level of experienced stylists who liked working with children. 

   On December 10, 1994 (after Cozy obtained her barber's license) the first Cozy's Cuts for Kids opened on Madison Avenue in New York City. Twenty years and multiple salons later her business is still going strong. In keeping with her customer's requests, she has created SoCozy Professional Hair Care for Children. This is the FIRST ever professional line of hair care products made with the finest ingredients gentle enough for kids. 


   After reading all about Cozy and her great products I knew I had to purchase some SoCozy products for my children. I headed into Target where SoCozy items are available for purchase and with the help of my eight year old daughter we decided to get; 

SoCozy Cinch (Detangler+Leave In Conditioner)
SoCozy Cinch (2 in 1 Shampoo and Body Wash)
SoCozy Cinch (Super Hydrating Conditioner)

When I went into Target I checked the baby section for the hair products only to find out that SoCozy is actually stocked in the adult section of hair products. When I finally located them I noticed how bright and adorable the bottles were. When we got home my daughter and I opened the bottles to smell the Shampoo, Conditioner and Detangler. They all smell incredible--I even remarked to my daughter that they "smell like childhood!" I love that SoCozy products all go by the following criteria; “So Smart, So Safe, So Easy, and So Cool”


  •   So Smart: SoCozy serves as an extensive resource for moms, kids, stylists, and salon owners
  • So Safe: SoCozy products are safe and effective – and completely non-toxic
  • So Easy: Simple, fun multi-functional SoCozy products streamline tub time, as well as solutions targeting specific hair concerns
  •  So Cool: SoCozy makes it a mission to build confidence and inspire originality for any kid

Want to enter the SoCozy contest (live from 3/23-4/30)? Click here! 

 From 4/12-4/26 Get $2 off  SoCozy products at Target!

I can't wait to try out the SoCozy products I purchased on my daughter and son. I will be back with another post to inform you of the results we saw from using SoCozy products. In the meantime head to your local Target and purchase some SoCozy products!

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3.24.2015

Review and Giveaway: Disney's Hop to the Music

“I received the Hop To The Music pack as a member of the Entertainment New Media Network. No further compensation was received and all opinions are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links.” 

        I have been racking my brain trying to come up with special items I can add to my children's Easter baskets this year. They have enough clothing, just got new shoes...have way too many books. I should have known that I could turn to Disney to make filling my family's Easter Baskets super easy! Disney kindly sent me the following cd's to add into Easter Baskets this year;

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Volume 1
Into the Woods Deluxe Motion Picture Soundtrack
Disney Junior: DJ Shuffle 2
Disney Frozen: The Songs

My husband is getting the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Volume 1 in his basket. He absolutely adored the movie and the soundtrack. The Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Volume 1 is full of great 70's hits that are featured throughout the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. The music is funky, fun and groovy. My favorite song from the CD? O-O-O Child by the Five Stairsteps.

My eight year old daughter is getting Disney Frozen: The Songs in her basket. All the songs we know and love from Frozen featured on one CD. What could be better? I know she will be thrilled that her favorite songs, "Summertime" and "Do you want a Build a Snowman?" are featured on the CD. I can't wait to see her face on Easter morning!

My four year old son will be receiving Disney Junior: DJ Shuffle 2 which features songs from his favorite show; Jake and the Neverland Pirates. My son is constantly singing songs from the show and I know he will love listening to this CD that also features songs from Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Sheriff Callie. Also included is a brand new song from Miles from Tomorrowland (a new series coming to Disney Junior!). Oh and I can't forget the four karaoke instrumental songs that my son and daughter are going to LOVE sing along to!

For my basket? I am getting the Into the Woods Deluxe Edition Motion Picture Soundtrack. This CD is actually a gift for our whole family as we all absolutely adore the music AND the movie. In fact, back in college I played Little Red in a theatrical production of Into the Woods. My kids love singing along and asking me about my memories in the show. My son loves walking around our home singing "IT'S THE LAST MIDNIGHT" at the top of his lungs, while my daughter prefers Cinderella's "On the Steps of the Palace."

All of the Disney music an be found in Disney's new Music Emporium.
 We are all SO excited to Hop to the Music this Easter with our favorite Disney Music albums!



The Giveaway
Open to US residents only!
(gift will be received in 4-6 weeks after won)

If it comes to this blogger’s attention that the winner of this giveaway has won on an additional blog for this same prize, this blog reserves the right to choose another winner.

Enter to win a Hop To The Music Gift Package!

Enter after the jump!

3.23.2015

Easter Bunny and BunnyVille at Fair Oaks Mall


    Yesterday, I brought my children to Fair Oaks Mall to go visit the Easter Bunny. My eight year old daughter LOVED it--my four year old son--not so much. After much prodding and begging he still wouldn't go near the Easter Bunny, that's alright because I still have a great photo of my daughter grinning from ear to ear. I am hoping next year (once he is a bit older) he might get a little closer to the big bunny. I loved how the Easter Bunny's enclosure featured grass, polka dots and soft spring pastel colors. It was adorable and also fun to see my children explore the games along the outside walls as well. 


    If you are looking for something to get you and your kids hopping for joy, head on over to Bunnyville for 'A Hoppity Easter Weekend' at Fair Oaks Mall on March 28 and 29th from 11am-2pm. There will be FREE face painting, spring crafts, balloon artists AND MORE in Grand Court West! After you are done why not snap a few photos with the Easter Bunny (he is super cute and super friendly!). Oh, and there are also TONS of great shops to shop at--in fact while I was there I stopped into a few of my favorite stores to get my house decorated for the Holiday. So hop to it and put 'A Hoppity Easter Weekend' on your calendar--you won't want to miss it!

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Disclosure
This is a sponsored post.

Disqus for Cherry Blossoms {the blog}