Monday, December 12, 2011

3 giveaways going on

Get your entries in for the 3 great giveaways on right now - they are all ending in the next 7 days.

TruKid products
Howard B. Wigglebottom
Rubbermaid FilterFresh Water Bottle

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Funhaven - review part 2

Now that you have read part 1 of my Funhaven review,  I will let you know how our experience was.

Grand Opening of Funhaven is Wednesday, December 14th~! Head on over and check it out for yourself!

Hannah was an awesome tour guide - she is one of the party hosts, and I can see why. She certainly knew how to help show us a great time - I can only imagine how much fun a birthday party would be with her!

Julien was so patient while she was showing us around, and I know he was really wanting to try out the Jungle Gym/Ballocity. Once she finished giving us our tour, we headed over to the cashier so we could get our funcard. I decided to purchase the Hobbyist pack - since he also wanted to bowl, it seemed a perfect fit for our needs.

He had a blast on the jungle gym. The floor is padded with soft mats, so it's easy to walk on. The balls are super soft, so no need to worry about getting hit with them. They have 6 guns (3 on either side) on the upper level of the jungle gym, so you can load them up with balls and shoot them at people.  If your looking for a place for your kids to burn off some energy - it's awesome. I joined Julien on the climber, and it was pretty fun!  They have yellow bags that you can fill with balls so you don't have to constantly run and grab a few at a time!

Julien looking out from the upper level

Jule's heading for a gun


posing for mommy to take a picture
I don't think Julien ever would have been finished at Ballocity, but I wanted to try out the bowling lanes. We headed down the twisty slide (it goes fast and you land hard - but it was fun!) and off we went to bowl!  I think 4 is a little young - he doesn't quite get that you don't THROW the balls, he did enjoy it, but it didn't hold his attention for too long; I think a few years older and it would be an awesome attraction - they even have the gutter guards up!

When we finished with bowling, we headed to the gaming area and played air hockey - it's one of my favorite games, so I had a blast!

Julien taking a shot - he scored!
After air hockey, we had a look around the games to see what else he might like to play, a motorcycle racing game it was!

posing for mommy again!
He found a game that he wanted to try, but we were out of money on our card. I headed off to the kiosk to load it up. I found it slightly confusing at first, but it didn't take me long to figure it out. If your someone who is not technically inclined, then you could always have the cashier load the card for you. Be warned, it won't give you money back - so make sure you have the right amount of coin to load on, or use your credit card.  I only had a few dollars in change - so I chose to load on $3.00 - unfortunately, it wouldn't accept my looney, or 2 of my quarters.  After some digging around, I managed to find 2 more quarters that it did accept.

We headed over to the next game that caught his eye - but when I scanned my card I noticed that it was saying I had less money than I loaded with.  I figured when we finished playing that game, I would go to the cashier to have her look into it. Unfortunately - the game would not let us play.  When I saw the cashier, she looked up the card and it showed that we HAD played. There was a supervisor/manager there, so she brought us over and scanned her card so we could play - but there were still issues. She had her tech guy come over ,and in the meantime took us over to the claw game (candy prizes) and gave us 4 free plays - which was awesome. She was super friendly, and Julien had a lot of fun.  I am sure the glitches will be worked out - and I felt she did MORE than she needed to rectify the situation. Again, a testament to the employee's that they have hired.

After playing with the claw, we tried a few more games and then headed over to the redemption counter.  The clerk scanned our card, told us how many tickets we had and Julien picked his prize.  We still have 4 tickets left to carry over to our next visit.

Be warned - they have an extremely large selection of prizes - so if you have a lot of tickets to use, it may take awhile to decide what you want (or should I say what the kids want!)

We honestly could have stayed for another 2 hours - I know Jules would have loved to get back to the jungle gym, but we needed to get home. So we headed to the frozen yogurt bar and got a cup. Julien liked that he could get his own (with a little help from me) and he enjoyed sitting at a table to finish his treat.

Enjoying his treat at the end of a fun day, and his prize sitting on the table!
I found the staff to be extremely friendly, the floors are clean and the attractions were as well. I was really impressed with the cleanliness of the bathroom (automatic toilets, soap dispenser and taps) and the fact that they have a child sized sink thrilled both Jules and I.

I really think that all ages would have fun here. I probably wouldn't go just with Kyle (15mths) but to bring him with us as a family outing would be fine. He would have a blast at the ballocity/jungle gym.

Cost wise, it may work out to be a little expensive - but I think the prices are worth the experience that you receive.  If the staff can maintain their friendly attitudes, and the place stays clean (cause a lot of times things start to slip after being open for a while) then I think that Funhaven will do amazingly well

All in all, we had an amazing Mommy and Julien afternoon! I will definitely head back with the kids!

**I was not compensated at all for this review; I paid for our experience out of my own pocket, and this is an honest review of our experience. As always, opinions stated are that of Tales of Mommyhood, and your experience/opinion may vary**

Funhaven - Review part 1

Funhaven is Ottawa's newest indoor attraction. They have so much to choose from, and it is great for all ages.  They had their opening day on Wednesday, December 7 - and their grand opening will be this coming Wednesday, December 14th.

I was pretty sure that Julien would have a blast, so I contacted the Sales Manager, Lydia - and asked if I could come in and do a review. She arranged for me to have a tour with one of Funhaven's AWESOME employee's, Hannah.

I am going to write the review in 2 parts. The first, I will tell you about our tour, and in the 2nd, I will post about our experience!

The centre is huge. When you walk in, there is a large space where you can hang up coats and leave boots (it is wide open, so you wouldn't want to leave any sort of valuables) but there is ample room for hanging coats and lots of hangers.

There is small window into an office, and here you will find your party experts. If you want any information on birthday or corporate parties, you can get that all in this spot. (I think that this should have a sign above it - there were a few people waiting in line, only to find out when they got to the window that they needed to go to another area)

Hannah was awesome as a tour guide - and it took us almost 30 minutes to go through everything and learn more about the games/attractions and birthday parties..

To your left is a HUGE rounded counter, and that is where you will find the cashier and the redemption clerks.

You then enter into a large area that is filled with arcade games (a photo booth, wheel of fortune, deal or no deal, the claw game (with candy as a prize!) motorcycle racing, air hockey and much more!)

They have bumper cars - there is a minimum height requirement for the bumper cars (44inches) and they are built for a single rider. They do have a height sheet at the entrance to the attraction if you are unsure of your child's height.

Next to that is the ballocity/jungle gym - this was Julien's favorite attraction. It is a very large climbing structure  that uses soft mats and mesh. You can climb your way up and shoot soft balls at other people - they have a few small slides and one large turny slide. There are a few ball cannons that are easily operated by little hands!

There will be a toddler area immediately beside the jungle gym - right now they have a few toys but I was told that it will be getting much bigger soon.

Once you enter the area for ballocity, there are a few comfy chairs that parents can sit and relax while the kids play - or, you can join them for the fun!

They have 4 mini-bowling lanes; laser frenzy (it's a mission impossible style game where you make your way through laser beams!) and a climbing wall (they have very secure harnesses, and a staff member present at all times!)

They have a very large laser tag area that is glow in the dark. They have 30  vests/guns so a number of people can play at a time. Each round lasts for 15minutes.

There is a canteen that serves pizza, subs, drinks and more. Also a selfe serve frozen yogurt bar- I saw 10 different flavors and they will be receiving there topping centre very soon (50 toppings!)

The bathrooms are large and clean, and they have a child sized sink which was awesome - no more having to pick up your kids to wash their hands!

They have a nice sized party room on the main level - they can use this room if a guest has mobility issues or needs a wheelchair accessible room. Upstairs, they have a very large room which can be divided and they can host a number of parties at one time!

To play at funhaven, you need a funcard. This card can be registered and re-used. You have your choice of paying for a package (with the cashier) or loading a set amount of money (can be done at 1 of 3 kiosks)  To gain entrance to any of the attractions, you swipe your card. It reads the card and then deducts whatever amount from your total. The ballocity is unlimited - once you pay for the attraction ($9.99 on it's own 18+free with purchase for child) you can play all day if you want - your card will allow access until end of business the day your purchase it.

Some of the arcade games require tokens, and there is a token machine (you use your funcard to purchase tokens) other games you just swipe your card and it will deduct the amount needed. It will also calculate how many "tickets" you win and they are held virtually on your card. When you are finished, you can go to the redemption counter and choose your prize. Should you have any tickets or money left on your card, it will carry over to your next visit*(as long as you register your card, which can be done at any of the funcard kiosks located throughout the centre - you can load money onto your card as well. If you want to buy a package, you need to see the cashier)

All of the staff specialize in certain area's - so they really know there stuff for their specific attraction.

**I was not compensated at all for this review; I paid for our experience out of my own pocket, and this is an honest review. As always, opinions stated are that of Tales of Mommyhood, and your experience/opinion may vary**











Friday, December 9, 2011

StyleFind



I posted quite awhile about StyleFind, but thought I would bring it up again. It is a website brought to you by the publishers of InStyle.  You can search their database for over 500,000 items including accessories, shoes, clothes and more!

I found out about it when I joined the BzzAgent campaign

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Howard B. Wigglebottom - review and giveaway

I recently posted about Howard B. Wigglebottom and the lessons shared through his books.

I was sent the book "Howard B. Wigglebottom learns to listen" to read with my boys; it is hardcover and was also signed!

The book walks you through a day in the life of Howard B., and the different instances where listening properly would have changed the outcome of the situation.

I was really impressed with the book - the illustrations are wonderfully coloured and detailed; the story isn't super long, and there are only 1 to 2 sentences per page (great for keeping the attention of a young child) and since it is hardcover - it is very sturdy.

Julien sat with me and we read the book - while we were reading, he would point out different things he saw in the picture that related to the story.  It opened up an opportunity to speak about why listening is important.

His favorite part of the book - that Howard B. is a rabbit.  All the characters in the story were different animals, which again is great for getting children interested.

Check out the website for all sorts of free activities to do with the kids!

Buy It:  Howard B. books are available at most Canadian and US book retailers. If your in the States, visit We Do Listen and you can purchase the books (all 10 for only $50.00!!)

Win It: my readers have the chance to win their choice of ONE of the Howard B. Wigglebottom books - use the rafflecopter form below to enter (and please remember to complete all steps, or your entries will be disqualified)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Trukid - review and giveaway!






I had the opportunity to review 2 products from TruKid - the Silly Shampoo and the Bubbly Body Wash. TruKid products are BPA and Phthalate free, and TruKid is cruelty free!
TruKid is a California-based lifestyle company for kids - they focus on creating healthy haits and promoting positive choices.  The company was created by a mom of 6, Jennifer.  To learn more about the history of TruKid, click here

Both of the products have an awesome smell to them, I can't quite place it - but it is somewhat fruity, without being overpowering.


I have been using the shampoo and body wash on both of my boys for the last little while, and am really happy with them.  Julien has mild eczema, and Kyle has moderate to severe, so I was quite hesitant about trying them out on him at first. But I decided to give it a go and I was happy to discover that they did not trigger a flare up.

The shampoo and body wash both really lather up well and provide lots of bubbles! The boys hair smelled so nice, and they had lots of fun playing in the bath water with the body wash bubbles!

TruKid has also created a unique learning system for kids, that is incorporated on the packaging to teach children what the products are for (hair, face, body) which will help to encourage independence.

In my review package, they also included 2 packets of their Rock'in Rash Relief serum (not yet available - in the consumer testing phase) for me to try. I used it on Kyle (he had a patch of eczema on his cheek) and it worked quite well. It is thin, and goes on easily - it has a calming sent to it (reminds me of oils used in massage therapy). It can be used on scratches, burns, eczema, hives, diaper rash or any skin irritation!

Buy It: you can purchase these products or more of their line at the TruKid website.  If you place an order of $35 or more, enter coupon code sillymom for a free bottle of the Silly Shampoo! (can be used once per customer)

Win It:  TruKid is offering one of my readers the chance to win BOTH of the products that I got to test out!  Entering is easy, fill in the rafflecopter form below !

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Howard B. Wigglebottom

Have you heard of Howard B. Wigglebottom? if not - then you should definitely check out the website.  The We Do Listen foundation is a not for profit foundation - their goal is to help educate children and teach them to communicate in a more effective way.  They use the books to teach lessons (listening, bullying, sportsmanship and more)

The website is filled with lots of fun, free activities (online songs to sing with, pages to print and colour - you can even create your own book to colour!)

Keep your eyes on the blog in the next few weeks for a review of one Howard B. Wigglebottom's books, and a giveaway too!