Butterfly Kit Review

I had way too much fun with our first ever butterfly kit. I was like a crazy butterfly lady! We purchased this butterfly kit by Insect Lore about a month ago and we just let the butterflies out last week. It was so much fun for everyone!

The kit comes with 5 baby caterpillars, a butterfly habitat and ingredients to make nectar. We didn’t use the nectar, we gave them fresh fruit every day – only the best for my baby butterflies (crazy butterfly lady here!). It took about a week for the caterpillars to cocoon, and then another few days for them to hatch into beautiful butterflies (our transitioned very fast, instructions said at least a week, but ours did within several days). Pro tip: not all transition at the same time. Our last one took 2 additional days, so don’t give up too soon!
Once they form their cocoons you can easily transfer them to the Butterfly Garden (or habitat). This kit makes it easy, and fun, to watch this wonderful transition. Although it was kind of sad, letting them go was the cherry on top. It’s like they didn’t know to use fully use their wings so they just hung out on the boys for awhile. It was so sweet!
I also purchased the below books to help educate us on the process. We incorporated these into our bedtime reading routine and it helped us to know what stages our butterflies were in. I highly recommend supporting a local book store to shop these books! I purchased mine from 2 Dandelions Bookshop in Brighton, Michigan.
If you’ve done this before, I’d love to hear about your experience! The boys are still talking about it and I’m looking forward to doing it again next year!
*This post contains affiliate links

Care Skincare Giveaway

Care skincare
Did you read my review of Care skincare? If you did and I peaked your interest, here’s a great opportunity to win a full size Deep Moisture Fix to try for yourself!

Here are the rules: Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Must be 18+ in US to enter. Once I reach out to the winner, they will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. If I don’t hear back within 48 hours, I’ll have to select a new winner. Good luck! 

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Care Skincare Review

We’ve had a fairly mild winter so far in Michigan, but it’s still cold (20s!) and taking a major toll on my skin. It got to the point that I was so dry I couldn’t even wear my foundation with loads of moisturizer underneath. I was flaking like crazy!

I have sensitive skin so I sometimes shy away from trying new skincare products, but Care beauty came along and caught my eye with ‘clean beauty’ messaging. The verdict: I love this line of skincare products. Here’s what I’ve tried so far:
I started to test with this product since ‘deep moisture’ was exactly what my face needed. At first glance, this pink, fluffy gel-cream did not look like it was going to do the trick. It has a light feeling to the touch and I thought there was no way it was going to clear up my dry skin. But I was wrong. After 3 days of using this morning and night my skin was back to normal, I could wear my foundation without looking scaly, and even without makeup my skin looked refreshed. This gel is so hydrating! As soon as I put it on my face I could tell my skin was drinking up it’s moisture. This gel has Vitamins C & E that protect and nourish skin, while the caffeine helps firm and brighten (I drink loads of caffeine each day, why not also use it topically?). 
This cream is thick and rich and feels so good around my eyes! It includes Hyaluronic acid which is super hydrating and also contains caffeine, like the Hydrating Moisture Cream, to help rid your under-eyes from puffiness and dark circles (I’m a mom – I NEED this!). I’ve been putting this around my eye area and lip area (not on my lips, but around them) which has been so dry with this weather. I usually worry about putting stuff around my lips because of past acne breakouts in this area, but this cream hasn’t caused me any issues. The texture is a thick, fluffy cream, very much opposite of the Hydrating Moisture Cream. 
This is my first time using a toner consistently in my skincare routine. I had no idea how important it is – even after washing my face, I had so much dirt still left on my skin. I always feared toner would dry my skin out, but this did the opposite. My skin felt super clean and soft after using this. I now use this toner every night after washing my face, and before applying my night time moisturizer. 
I love the background for this brand – it’s a husband and wife startup! The husband, Ricardo, wrapped up a successful career as a Clinique executive. His wife, Pilar, found skincare to be over complicated, overpriced and full of ingredients that didn’t’ have a purpose or could cause more harm than good. So together they created Care. All products are straight-forward with no hidden ingredients and they also never test on animals. I’m totally digging this backstory and brand! 
If you’ve tried this line I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below! 
*I received press samples, but all opinions are my own

DNR Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit

Today we made our second trip the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit had a blast. We went last year when Xavier was 1.5 years old and had fun, but the year definitely made a big difference for what Xavier could do on his own here (which was pretty much everything).
The DNR Outdoor Adventure Center is located along the Detroit Riverfront. It’s a beautiful indoor destination that features all things Michigan outdoors. From huge climbing trees, faux campfires and tents, to snowmobiles and 4 wheelers ride simulators, there is something for all ages. I’d say the key age range for this is walking age through 12 years old. Although with close supervision, a crawling baby could have fun here too.
A few highlights…
The huge climbing tree! There is a HUGH hollow tree that has a mini slide perfect for toddlers. Older kids (Xavier at 2.5 could make it up with minor help from his brother) can climb to the second level bridge through the tree. From there they can cross the suspension bridge to the other side of the second floor. Xavier was afraid to cross the bridge at first, and then by the end of the day he was running back and forth.
The simulation rides and games are fun for the older kids. Snowmobiling, 4 wheeling, bike races, fishing and kayaking are all available and are free. There is usually a small wait for each one, about 3-5 minutes.
There is a mini waterfall that pours into a trout lake. There are stepping stones that go across that kids can walk across, but one small slip and they end up in 2 inch water, soaking wet. I saw a little girl drenched! I let Max do this with supervision but Xavier we tried to hold off. He loved looking at the trout in the lake!

There’s a toddler activity room that has a ton of books, puzzles and toys little ones can play with if they need a rest from running. There’s also life size play kitchen and bathroom that teaches how kitchen waste and rainwater contribute to a healthier backyard environment.
Overall Outdoor Center gives kids a ton of room to roam, run and be hands on with everything relating to Michigan Outdoors.
Tips for visiting:
  • Pack a lunch or snacks! There’s a designated eating area but they only have a vending machine with snacks. 
  • Kids don’t have to remove shoes to play, but the floor can get slipper near the waterfall. I would recommend athletic/running shoes.
  • Xavier was drawn to the waterfall, and is so use to going to hands on museums with water tables, that he thought he could splash around in it. He didn’t get too wet this time around, but the first time we went he was soaking. I saw other kids who were drenched as well…bring a change of clothes! 
  • Do breakfast before or lunch after! There are so many new, great restaurants in Detroit, take advantage of being in the city and check out a new location for food. I recommend the Dime Store (if you can get there early) or Hudson Cafe for breakfast, and Townhouse for brunch or lunch. 
  • If you plan on visiting during a snow date, make sure to check Detroit Public Schools website for closures. If Detroit schools are closed, the DNR Adventure Center is closed.
Monday – Closed
Tuesday – Closed
Wednesday – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday – Noon – 5 p.m.

Adults (age 13-61) – $5
Seniors (age 62 and older) – $3
Children (ages 2-12) – $3
Children under age 2 – Free
Annual family membership – $50


Directions & Parking:
Outdoor Adventure Center, 1801 Atwater St, Detroit, MI 48207


Parking is FREE on the east side of the OAC. Visitors can get into the main parking lot from Atwater Street and a smaller lot from St. Aubin Street.
We recommend going to the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center from Chene Street. Then head west on Atwater. The Outdoor Adventure Center entrance is off Atwater, on the east side of the building (where the bright green DNR logo is visible).

Waypoint Goods Travel Scarf Giveaway

If you know me personally or read my blog, you know I LOVE to talk about and share products that add value to my life, save time, or just overall are a game changer. The Travel Scarf from Waypoint Goods is just that. I love the functionality AND look of this scarf.

The Travel Scarf has a hidden zipper pocket to keep your travel essentials close by. Personally, I found it most helpful to have my ID and chap stick tucked away safely in the pouch, while still being easy and fast to get to. I’ll also stick my earbuds in the pocket so I don’t have to dig through my bag, mid flight, to find them. I received the Waypoint Travel Scarf in black (which is always my go to) but I have my eye on a few lighter color ones to travel with in the Spring/Summer months.

It’s called the Travel Scarf, but it should really be called the ‘everyday’ scarf because it’s cute and functional. It’s a mom’s best friend. It can hold tissues, hand sanitizer, a granola bar, money, credit cards and more. I will probably wear this well into the Spring time just because it’s so functional.

Want to check it out for yourself? Waypoint Goods was nice enough to offer up a free scarf to a lucky reader! Please enter below!

The giveaway will end on January 18th. Once I reach out to the winner via email, they will have 48 hours to respond with their contact info. If I don’t hear back within 48 hours, I’ll select a new winner. Must be 18+ to enter. Good luck!

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Bear on a Bike Book Series

My 5 year old likes books. My 2 year old LOVES books. He will sit on my lap and let me read him 10 books in a row. Or he’ll sit on the couch and flip through several by himself. It’s just the sweetest thing.

One of our favorite series of books is by Stella Blackstone. When Max was young someone gifted us ‘Bear on a Bike’ and we’ve been hooked ever since. The Blackstone writes these books is in rhyme, and I’m not sure how, but my husband and I usually read them as a ‘rap,’ which gets the boys really into the stories! Here are our favorites:
Bear at Home       

Bear’s Birthday

Would love for you to share your favorite book series in the comments below!

7 Gift Ideas for Moms Who Travel

I think these items should be on the holiday wish list for any woman who travels for work or fun!
Travel Size Beauty Sets
When traveling, I like to pack light, and usually just a carry on, so I’m held to the TSA rule of only having 3.4 ounce containers of liquid. I love having travel size versions for all of my favorite products so I can feel like myself when on the road. Travel size beauty sets are also a fun, low risk way to try new products without investing in a full size you may not like.

I’m a huge fan of IT Cosmetics (check out What’s in my Work Bag?) and find they always put out amazing beauty sets, especially around the holidays. Check out this IT’s Your IT Girl Super Squad 7-piece makeup & skincare gift set, which contains 3 full size and 4 travel size items.

Or this Heavenly Luxe Must-Haves 5-Piece full size brush set + travel case. Traveling or not, this brush kit is amazing, containing everything you need for a full face makeup session. The case is so darn cute and functional. It will definitely keep your brushes in great shape and prevent them from getting makeup all over your suitcase.

Check out IT Cosmetics stocking stuffer items as well. You may want to snag a couple of these for presents! 

Nice Luggage
I usually buy my luggage at TJ Maxx but you can find some highly rated luggage sets on Amazon right now. This is an AmazonBasics spinner set for $129, which is a great price for a set like this. I always like to get a color besides black so my bag stands out!

Travel Scarf

I’m so in love with my new scarf from Waypoint Goods. I can’t believe no one has thought of this concept sooner…a scarf with a pocket! This makes it easy to have your drivers license or passport, cell phone, keys, and my favorite, a lip balm, handy at all times. I hate when I get settled on a plane and then have to drag my bag out from under the seat or from the overhead to get my cell or chapstick. With a Waypoint Goods travel scarf, everything is easy access in your scarf. I think I’m going to use this scarf in the summer too. Planes are always so chilly and I can’t NOT have all my important items close by – this scarf has spoiled me! They have a large selection of solid colors and prints. If you join their mailing list you can get 10% off your first order. I’ll also be hosting a giveaway soon!

Tech Accessories

If you know someone who likes monogrammed items, Mark & Graham have really unique travel gifts. I personally like the Leather Charter Roll Up to keep cords organized in work bags and the Power Up Lightning to USB Key Chain. This key chain can charge your iPhone and also has a USB drive. Mark & Graham offer free personalization as well!
Packing Cubes
When my mom first got these for me I didn’t think I would like them. I was wrong! Packing cubes are awesome for keeping your luggage organized while traveling. I keep them in my luggage at all times so they are handy for all of my trips. Makes it much easier to unpack when your clothes are organized in cubes!

Foldable tote bag
You never know how much room your souvenirs will take up in your suitcase, or if you’ll be able to sneak away to go shopping for yourself, so you’ll want to pack this tote for all trips in case you need extra room! This is also great just keep in the your car for groceries. This one specifically has amazing reviews on Amazon. This would make a great stocking stuffer!

Noise Cancelling Headphones
Nice headphones can be key for relaxing travel. Crying babies and chatty seatmates sometimes need to be drowned out on planes, and these highly rated headphones can do the trick!

*Affiliate links included

5 Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Disney Vacation

Former Disney cast member (and current travel agent with Friend Like Me Travel Co.) shares her tips for how to get the most out of your Disney vacation!
5. Plan, Plan, Plan (or use a travel agent!): Planning a trip to Disney World isn’t what it used to be 10 years ago. You can’t just walk into a restaurant and expect to get a table anymore. It requires planning and lots of it.  If you want to see your little princess’s expression as she meets Cinderella and her friends at the Royal Table, you better be at your computer 6 months ahead of time (to the minute) to secure your dining reservations. Looking forward to seeing your little dude have a blast on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? You’ll have to schedule that 2 months ahead of time. Seem like a scheduling nightmare? This is where a travel agent can take that stress away.
4. Use a Travel Agent: Yes, there are people out there (me!) who love to figure out all the nitty-gritty details that go into planning and executing your perfect vacation. They are a wealth of knowledge, are aware of cost-saving tips, and can eliminate the stress that comes with figuring out all the details. And the best part? Their services are FREE! For real, there is no charge to plan your vacation through a travel agent. Bottom line: Reach out so we plan your trip together! 
3. Your Must-Dos: When sitting down to begin planning your Disney vacation, figure out your must-dos. There is no way that you will be able to fit everything into your vacation- there’s just too much to see and experience! Knowing that ahead of time will help to alleviate some potential stress or frustration with trying to fit it all in. Be sure to ask each member of your family what they really want to do on vacation. Shoot for 2-3 wishes per family member. Also, don’t forget the things that YOU want to do as well! Here’s a quick tip to make sure that mom and dad get to enjoy themselves: bribes. Yep, you’re at Disney World and a lot of the “normal parenting standards” go out the window.
2.  Schedule a Rest Day: Trust me, you want to do this. At the start of the trip, everyone is feeling great. You’re happy, well-rested, and ready to rock out 10 hours at the park. Sure, you can do this for a couple of days in a row, but don’t even think about doing it EVERY SINGLE DAY. You will burn out. Everyone will be tired, cranky and nobody wants to deal with all that nonsense. So, be sure to schedule a rest day in the middle of your vacation. This will allow everyone to begin and finish their vacation feeling happy, rested, and ready to roll!
1. Have Fun: At the end of the day, your kids won’t care that you missed a dinner reservation or that you didn’t get every photo opportunity that you were hoping for. What they will remember is how much fun they had with their family. And let’s be honest, that’s all that really matters!
Planning a Disney vacation can be a stressful and overwhelming experience for many people. Good thing there are people like me to help you create the most magical vacation ever!

Justine is a former Disney Cast member!  In addition to numerous trips to Walt Disney World, she has extensive experience planning trips and traveling around the world. Justine is organized, detailed oriented, and will ensure that her clients have the most magical vacation possible. When she isn’t busy planning amazing trips for her clients, she spends her days enriching the minds of the future as a high school English and Special Education teacher. 
Social Media:
Insta: @yourfriendjustine