I have an admission, I love Crayola crayons. Back to school used to be my favorite time of year. Walking down craft aisles and into stores with boxes and boxes of beautiful new crayons. Even though I am an adult, I still love drawing, coloring, and doodling with crayons. If there was more time in the day, I would have mandated coloring therapy with the kids. It’s fun, something we can all do, and a way to be creative.
Times have changed. Back to school is not the only time of year to get fun new crayons. Earlier this week I was shopping at Target. When I went down the craft aisle, a new display of Crayola Crayons caught my eyes. They were shiny, different, and intriguing. Check some of them out here:
Aren’t they pretty? Since I was in a hurry, I took a few photos to research them when I got back home. There are 12 different flavors, -er I mean types of the Crayola PYO Crayon 8ct that are only available at Target stores. They include:
Born to Rock – Pirate’s Treasure – Over the Rainbow – Metallic Magic – Dinosaur Roar – Mermaid Shimmer – Pink Princess – Cupcake My Day – Neon Dreams – Gliteratti – Rocker Girl – Sports Fan
Although I wanted to buy all of them, I decided to wait. I am going to take the boys back to let them pick out their own choices. If you are interested, you can see them on the Target website here. Crayola did not ask me to post this, I am just a big fan and thought they were fun for kids of all ages.
So my question to you this week:
Which pack of Crayola PYO crayons would you pick first and what would you color with them?
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, I was a carefree young girl who would go hiking with neighborhood friends. I remember the views were amazing, the trail was fun, and the memories big in my heart. For years, I have been saying to TechyDad that we should go to Thatcher State Park and walk on the Indian Ladder Trail. This weekend, with no notice, we packed the boys into the car for the ride and adventure.
It has been a LONG time since I went to Thatcher Park. I never took TechyDad there before we started our family. My guess is that it has been at least 15 years. A lot has happened in that time. I got married, became a teacher, had two sons, and started to worry about things that never would have bothered me. When we arrived at Thatcher State Park, we parked the car and set off to explore. We were on a mission to find the Indian Ladder Trail, but were not sure if we were going to attempt it.
The views along the way were breathtaking, but I was a little preoccupied at times. I had to watch to avoid the mud covered in leaves, divert the kids from other items, and make sure that they stayed away from the ledge. I do recall listening to JSL chant how it was the best day ever because he was walking in a forest. He would have just enjoyed going along these simple trails, but we were on a mission to get to the Indian Ladder Trail that I had been talking about for years.
I swear that the sides seemed much different before I was a mother. Suddenly, the edge of the mountain looked a lot closer to where the trail was. It was all so very different. Way back in the day, this view would not have sent me into a mild panic.
This was just one of the crazy sets of stairs that I don’t recall being this steep when I was 15+ years younger. Of course, in those days I was not traveling and in charge of two of my own children. I really do think that that made a major difference. If you look at the far end of the photo above, you will see mud, wetness, and leaves. This certainly added a new level of excitement to the trail.
Honestly, it wasn’t that bad. It was just different. Had the trail not been as wet and slippery, I probably would have enjoyed the beautiful colors and two amazing waterfalls a bit more. Still, we stopped for photos in places I remembered.
We all were amazed with Mother Nature’s beauty on this autumn day. Not only were the colors probably the best for viewing, but the water falls were rushing like I had never seen.
There is a lot more to share, plus I have a feeling we will be going back to Thatcher Park again, perhaps before the winter. Of course, the views will not be the same, but the natural beauty and new knowledge of the trail with kids will make our next adventure even better.
Have you ever been back to a place that is very different than you remember it as a parent? I would love to hear your thoughts and memories.
Living in New York state, we are lucky not to be a battle ground for the upcoming presidential election. Thanks to this, the nasty political ads for that race are less frequent. I take that back, perhaps they are more prevalent and I have just tuned them out or just not watching as much television. For those of you living those battleground states, I am SO sorry you have to keep dealing with this on a daily basis.
I promise this is not a political post. My style of writing about election day is nothing really controversial. Basically, similar to my Tuesday Tales post on a book called Vote for Me for kids.
While driving the kids to school, something else made me stop and think. There were few if any campaign signs on lawns in the residential areas. I remember back when most lawns contained signs to support your candidate of choice. Of course around here, we had a lot of Bill Clinton signs. Now I think I can count on one hand the number of signs I have seen for both of the candidates. Even the local candidates are running for office are not as visible. It made me wonder why this is happening. Are campaigns spending less money (don’t laugh), are people less likely to share their political views on their doorstep, or is it something else?
A huge thank you to my friends for assisting me with the photo above. Traci, The View from my Fishbowl, helped me with the fall photo in Ohio. Then I reached out to Cathi, Simple Sojourns, and she took the photo in sunny California.
So my question to you this week:
Have you seen a decrease in political signs in your area? I would love to know what state you are in if you are willing to share. I’m curious if it matters based on location.
Halloween is just around the corner and candy will be flying by by our faces and those of the youngest members in our family. Moderation is the key, but now that is not the only factor. These days we have choices with candy. Thanks to Unreal, we are able to UNJUNK candy eating to a new level.
Over the weekend, we were able to have an Unreal party to let others taste the new candy. We would be putting this to the test:
Would kids and others be happy with candy that is:
made with real cane sugar,contains no corn syrup, and is free of hydrogenated oils/fats?
packed with twice as much cacao than other brands?
free of artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors (there is no Red #5 here)?
filled with more protein and fiber?
If you are not familiar with Unreal, here is a video to get you caught up on their story and the product:
UNREAL sent me candy to share with family and friends. My mission was to see what they thought of the Unreal candy that is UNJUNKED and reinvented. Since it was a beautiful day, we took everything outside. Before going out, I put one of each of the Unreal varieties and fact sheets (comparing Unreal and other similar candy) for everyone to enjoy and read.
Thanks to the amazing weather, the kids were too focused on playing and not eating. A lot of people took their bags home to try items and got back to me with their thoughts. Of course, a group of us did try the Unreal candy together. Here is a view of the five varieties that are currently available and the feedback that we heard from everyone below.
UNREAL 41 (Candy Coated Chocolates) – A crowd favorite with the kids. They were intrigued with the different colors and enjoyed popping them into their mouths. One adult taste tester noted that he thought the chocolate was the best within these. He said he would definitely purchase these for that reason. I know I like these because I can get them for future birthday parties where a nephew with a food dye allergy will be able to eat the candy.
UNREAL 5 (Chocolate Caramel Nougat Bar) – The kids that were not fans of nuts liked this bar because it was easy to bite into with smaller teeth. One adult noted that it reminded her of the taste in her protein bar that she has every day. She said that wasn’t a bad thing, just something she thought of. Another tester is diabetic and typically avoids regular candy. She gets some of the sugar free variety from time to time, but they have a lot of additives in them. She really liked the taste of this bar and the nutritional information. As a fan of the leading brand variety of this kind, I imagine freezing these for an even more interesting treat.
UNREAL 77 (Peanut Butter Cups) – There were a lot of peanut butter cup fans in the group. People mentioned that the peanut butter was not creamy, but that the flavor was more “peanuty” than traditional brands. Lots of interest in using these for baking projects because they have significantly less sugar and more fiber.
UNREAL 54 (Candy Coated Chocolates with Peanuts) – While the kids enjoyed the nut free variety, the adults also enjoyed the peanut crunch inside of the chocolate candies. They had a nice amount of chocolate surrounding the peanuts. While people noted the muted colors, nobody cared once they were munching away.
UNREAL 8 (Chocolate Peanut Caramel Nougat Bar) – This bar seemed to be the least popular. It wasn’t that there were negative comments, most people did not like mixing these flavors. People noticed that the bar had a lot of fiber, protein, and not many more calories than the nut free version.
General feedback was a lot of interest. We were the only people that had seen them prior to the party and taste testing. Locally, Unreal has been slower to arrive on the store shelves and often is sold out. People really liked the idea of candy being UNJUNKED and the price point not being absurd. The lower sugar amounts, as well as the addition of fiber was a big point of interest amount the women.
I know in our family each member seemed to like something different. We will no doubt be on the look out for Unreal as they start to show up in more retail locations. For those times when we want to splurge on something, I like that they taste good and have none of the questionable artificial additives in them. My boys are also hoping that more varieties will be coming soon.
Have you tried Unreal candy yet? I would love to know what your thoughts are and which candy was your favorite.
Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a compensated Global Influence campaign. Unreal sent us plenty of candy to share, along with additional compensation for party expenses and my time. All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine and not influenced by this factor.
As a child, I have strong memories of playing parachute games at school and during girl scouts. The parachute we used was huge. Lots of girls from our troop and others could gather around it to play games, run, jump, sing, and have a great time. Fast forward to this summer when I won a parachute from Let’s Play on Selfish Mom. On Saturday, we had a party to share the Unreal Candy (more on that soon) that we had received. Since the weather was beautiful, we packed up the scooters, helmets, parachute, and some other outside toys.
The kids all had a great time playing with the parachute. I actually wish I had taken some time to research some parachute games for them to play before we arrived. Unfortunately, I forgot to do this. Thank goodness, kids have great imaginations. They were able to make things up. Once back home, I looked on Pinterest and found a bunch of games that I remember playing as a child. Kid Activities had a great variety, but Woodlands Junior School had fantastic photos of their suggestions. The kids actually managed to do some variations of two of them, and added a new superhero approach.
We tried a variation of popcorn, but the balls we had were too big for the parachute. Next time, I will make sure we pull out some bean bags or other smaller items to use. Of course, the parachute was also a great place to sit down and watch the kids as they were running, jumping, and playing together for some fun in the sun while the sun was shining.
Have you ever played parachute games as a child or with your children? I would love to know what you have done so I can add to my list of possibilities for when the weather cooperates.