Friday, May 31, 2013

Dad Post: Going Bald and Other Embarrassing Stuff.

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for Viviscal. I received product samples and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

I told my wife I would write a post on her blog every now and then when she needed a male perspective. I was thinking beer reviews, video game posts, stuff like that. Not thinning hair. But, yes, that is what she asked me to write about. Like most men, that is not really something I like to talk about. I am in my late 20's now, but I am already experiencing a little bit of thinning hair. My hairline especially is receding pretty bad. Early baldness runs in my family, so I am not really surprised about what is happening, but it still sucks. 

My wife is really supportive of the whole hair loss thing. Honestly, she likes me better bald LOL. I am on the verge of just going ahead and shaving my head completely. However, I know a lot of other guys that I work with that have taken a different route. Some of my friends are using different things like hair filler fibers and stuff like that. There are some great options on this website if shaving your head isn't the route you want to go. Oh yeah, if you do decide to buy from Walgreens, you can save 10% off of your order if you enter "VIVISCALMAN" at checkout. That code runs through July, so move fast! 

I am curious to know what age other men start losing their hair. I know most of you are ladies, so, when did your boyfriends or husbands start losing their hair? Would you rather them leave it the way it is, or shave it off, or try to do something about it? Tell the truth ladies, because I want to know. I'm gonna be checking in on this post to see what you guys say! 

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for Viviscal. I received product samples and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

HALO SwaddleChange: An Innovative New Product!

We have mentioned before how many times we love HALO products here at Flip Out Mama. It's unfortunate that I have no more little babies left around here, because that means that I don't get a chance to use HALO products very often! However, when we got the chance to check out one of HALO's newest creations, I was excited to try it, and I new it would be a great product for someone very special to me! 

This, my friends, is my brand new baby nephew, Kaiden Paul! Isn't he the cutest thing you've ever seen? Well, he's actually my great nephew, but what's the difference? I have been waiting a LONG time for my niece to have this baby, and during that time I have gotten the chance to check out some really great stuff that Mr. Kaiden will need now that he has arrived! One of those things is the new HALO SwaddleChange from our friends at HALO. 

The SwaddleChange is a changing pad cover, but it's unlike any changing pad cover that you have ever seen before. Because, with this one, not only is it cute, it's functional too! It is perfect for soothing new babies who might be a little bit creeped out by laying on the big changing table all alone, or it can also help "corral" wild ones who might not take so kindly to being still while getting a clean booty! Here's more about it: 

The NEW HALO® SwaddleChange™ changing pad cover is the greatest invention since, well, the HALO® SleepSack® wearable blanket! Made of cuddly soft Velboa fabric, it features an attached and adjustable swaddle wrap for soothing newborns during diaper changing, and keeping older babies’ hands and bodies “under control” while lying on the pad for changing (no more wrestling matches!). Fits most contour changing pads with elastic all around, and ample gussets for secure fit. Has openings for any changing pad’s safety belt; do not leave baby unattended. 100% polyester; machine wash (close fastener strips before laundering). For babies birth- I year.

I have to say, this is SUCH a cool product! I am a little bit jealous that I don't have a baby to use this with anymore! I know a certain little bean that LOVED to pull my hair, rip my earrings out, and try to climb off of the changing table during every single diaper change. This thing would have been a LIFESAVER with him! I am sure my niece will be putting her SwaddleChange to use real soon, and I hope that I can get her to send me a picture of that little chunky monkey using it! He is the cutest! Before Kaiden was born, she put her SwaddleChange on the changing table, and she called to tell me how easy it was to get on, and she was very excited to use it with her new little guy! 

If you are looking for a new and innovative gift to give for a baby shower, I would recommend the HALO SwaddleChange. At under $25, it's also super affordable! I love that it comes in four different colors, so you can pick the one that suits your nursery the best! Plus, when it gets dirty, (and you KNOW it will!) you can just through it in the wash, which is a huge plus! Wanna check it out for yourself? You can do that here! And, make sure you stay up to date on all of HALO's latest news by joining them on Facebook and Twitter as well! Happy swaddling! 

I received a promotional product in exchange for this post. All opinions are 100% my own and are never influenced by any outside means. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Oriental Trading Company = Everything You Need!

I can't deny it, one of the best parts of being a blogger is having packages show up on your doorstep with super cool stuff to try. Even better than that? When the package is a surprise! That's what happened a few weeks ago, when a giant package showed up on my doorstep from Oriental Trading Company. Now, I have been an OTC fan for years and years, but this particular time, I didn't remember ordering anything.. And I didn't! The package was a gift from Oriental Trading Company as a part of their blogger program, and it was such a nice surprise! 

The package contained tons of great "springy" products from Oriental Trading! I was really surprised and impressed at all the great items that Oriental Trading Company sent us! One of my favorites? These adorable spring bandannas: 

Aren't these adorable!? I love them! I put them in goodie bags at my niece's baby shower, and they were a huge hit! I also think they would be great as napkins too! The folks at Oriental Trading also sent some great party supplies, perfect for a springtime party! 

How cute is this stuff? I love it! I was able to pass most of it on to my sister to use for my other niece's birthday party, since it was all cute, but not "tough" enough for my boys! However there was a TON of stuff that I was able to repurpose for the boy's zombie birthday bash! The silverware, all lime green, fit in perfectly with the lime green, red and black zombie theme! The folks at Oriental Trading also sent a ton of lime green balloons, which were a perfect match! The best part? With the gift card that Oriental Trading sent, I was able to pick up a few more goodies for the boys' zombie party, plus some great stuff for homeschooling in the fall! That's right, they even have school stuff, and a ton of it! Great prices, great products, what more could you want? I am thouroughly impressed with Oriental Trading Company, from their customer service, to fast shipping, to great product selection and even better prices! 

Here's a few items that I picked up for the party: 

And a few more great things that I found for homeschooling! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am that I found Oriental Trading for our home school supplies, they are going to save me so much money in the coming months and years! 

So, bottom line, if you are throwing a party, a baby shower, whatever, Oriental Trading is where you need to go! If you are a teacher, or a homeschool mom like me, they have got you covered too! If you are a crafty mama, unlike me, Oriental Trading also has a ton of great craft supplies! They also have a ton of stuff that would be great for prizes if you have like a neighborhood carnival, or something like that! Seriously, check them out! They always have great sales as well, and their clearance items are wonderfully priced! They often have great promotions like free shipping, etc, so make sure to check them out! Thanks again to Oriental Trading Company for providing us with some great items! We love them and will continue to shop there forever! 

 I was provided with a promotional product, but was under no obligation to give a review. All opinions are my own and are never influenced by any outside means. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day Out With Thomas!

A Larger than Life Train for the Ride of Their Life.  The GO GO Thomas Tour 2013, visiting the National Railroad Museum on June 12-16, 2013. This fun-filled event offers little engineers and their families the opportunity to take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, star of the popular Thomas & Friends series. Children will take a ride along with their favorite engine friend on his latest adventure and participate in Thomas-themed activities including:
* A 25-minute (approximate) ride with
Thomas the Tank Engine  pic
* Meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway
* A Thomas & Friends Imagination Station; featuring stamps, temporary tattoos, hands-on arts & crafts, train tables, and coloring sheets
* Storytelling
* Video viewing and much more
The GO GO Thomas Tour 2013 is visiting the Kentucky Railroad Museum onJune 1-2, 2013 and June 8-9.  Get Your Tickets Today!

Book Review: Road To Madina by Alaa Alghamdi

I hate how busy I have been lately. I don't have time to read any good books anymore. Reading used to be something that I really enjoyed but lately I haven't really had the chance. Boo. However, I recently got the chance to review the book "Road To Madina" by Alaa Alghamdi. When I heard the book's description, I was really interested:

Set in Madina, Saudi Arabia and Leeds, U.K, the novel tells the story of a young Saudi woman, Maryam, who somewhat reluctantly decides to pursue postgraduate studies in Leeds. Her hesitation stems from the fact that she is a devout and traditional person, deeply dedicated to her Muslim faith, and is initially ambivalent about leaving the world she has always known. However, encouraged by her mother, an academic who also studied and lived in the West, she ventures to this new place and encounters both enriching experiences and a sense of displacement. Her sojourn in the West leads to a new set of decisions to be made. The novel follows Maryam from the age of 22, when she is deciding to apply to study in Leeds, to her eventual return to Saudi Arabia several years later.

I have to say that this book was really interesting to me. I am a little older than Maryam in the story, but I really connected with her character and found her to be a great inspiration. I also really love to read about different cultures and connect with different ways of life than my own, and this book really gave me a lot of insight into what life is like on the other side of the world.

This was a really great story, about a girl, nervous, shy and afraid, who turns into a young woman in a relatively short period of time. It was kind of like a coming of age story. I really grew to like Maryam and want the best for her during this story. I was proud when she made good choices, and cringed when she made different ones than I would have made, but I always wanted her to succeed. This was a great book and I think it is a perfect beach or poolside read for Summer! I highly recommend it!

Newport Aquarium, Here We Come!

I can't believe Summer is almost here! What about you guys? Tater only has seven more days of school left, and we will be done! I am so excited, and really ready for some Summer fun! We are going to be doing several "small vacations" close to home this year. Bean is still small, and I am a little nervous to take him anywhere for more than a few days, so we're breaking up our vacations into four 3day increments! Fun fun! Our first mini vacation will be in just a few weeks, when we head up to Ohio for some fun at King's Island and The Beach Waterpark! I can't wait to stop by Newport Aquarium on our way home! 

Newport Aquarium is a little under two hours from our house. We've never been, strangely enough. I always thought my boys wouldn't really enjoy the aquarium all that much, but after our trip to Gatlinburg in January, I saw how much fun they had at Ripley's Aquarium, so I knew another aquarium visit needed to come soon! 

I was really excited to learn that the Newport Aquarium was named the No. 1 aquarium in the 2012 Readers’ Choice Travel Awards from I really can't wait to visit, so I decided to do a little bit of research and see what we were going to be seeing on our trip! First of all, I was thrilled when I found out about the Penguin Parade that goes through the Plaza in front of the aquarium every single day. I know we are going to have to get there early so we can check this out! Our whole family is penguin crazy! 

I am really excited about all of the different exhibits, it looks like there is going to be something for everyone in our family! There are over sixty exhibits! I have to say that I am particularly excited about the Amazon exhibit, it even has a tunnel that you can walk through to see the awesome fish, including the Pacu. I had a Pacu when I was a little girl, he grew so big he couldn't fit in our aquarium anymore and we had to send him to an aquarium to live.. I love these fish and can't wait to check them out up close! 

As for Tater, I am sure that his favorite exhibit will be the Bizarre and Beautiful! He loves things that are weird and unusual, so I know this will be right up his alley! I know how much he enjoyed the giant Spider Crabs at Ripley's, so I know he'll be thrilled to check out this exhibit! 

I know that my hubs will love Gator Alley. His favorite animals are gators, dragons, lizards, etc.. He could spend all day checking them out! And for little beanie? I am thinking that the Frog Bog, with over 20 different species of exotic frogs will be his very favorite!

But, the coolest part, I think we all can agree on? Newport Aquarium features the largest collection of Shark Rays in the world! You might be asking, what's a Shark Ray? Well, folks, Shark Rays are an extremely rare species that have fins like a shark's, but a smooth belly like a stingray. They almost look like a prehistoric creature of some sort! Shark Rays are a super rare species that are hard to find anywhere else in the world, so seeing them at Newport Aquarium is going to be a real treat for our family! We can't wait to meet Sweet Pea, Scooter, Sunshine and Spike! So excited! We can't wait to check out this awesome aquarium! Stay tuned for our review once we get home! 

Do you want to check out the Newport Aquarium too? Here's some more info for you! 

2013 General Admission 
Newport Aquarium Adult Admission (Ages 13+) $23
Newport Aquarium Child Admission (Ages 2 - 12) $15
Children under the age of 2 FREE

The hours for the aquarium vary, but usually are from around 9-10am to around 6-7pm. You can check out this link to check out the hours for the day you would like to visit and plan your day! Are you a planner like me and want to plan your visit out even more? Visit for an interactive map to help you decide what to do first! 

Our family will receive complimentary passes in exchange for our honest review. As always, all opinions are our own and not influenced by any outside sources. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Take The AvoDerm Challenge! #Ad

Are you up for the challenge? The AvoDerm challenge, that is! 

I was compensated for this sponsored post made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own. 

We all love our pets, and now AvoDerm is challenging us to all be a little more particular about what we feed them! The AvoDerm challenge asks you to switch your dog or cat to AvoDerm food and see if you can see the difference! You can see a softer, shinier coat for your pet in just 6 weeks! AvoDerm will even give you a $5 coupon to make switching easier! If you agree to take the challenge, you will even have a chance to enter the AvoDerm sweepstakes for a chance to win a year's supply of AvoDerm! 

What makes AvoDerm different? Well, is full of high quality meats, rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids from natural avocados and completely balanced for the total health of your pet. Want to learn more? You can learn more at the AvoDerm website and be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter. Ready to take the challenge for yourself? You can take the challenge now and receive your $5.00 off coupon.

I was compensated for this sponsored post made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dear Public School....

Dear Public School,

I have some things to say to you.. It has been a long time coming, but now there are 12 days left of first grade, and I just don't care anymore.

I never in a million years thought that I would be saying the things I have to say, or doing the things I am going to do. 

What you have done to my child, are doing to other children, is not okay. It is not. 

Last year, changing my child's teacher six times, it was. not. okay. 

Putting every single one of the "bad" kids in a classroom by themselves, with the new teacher, it was. not. okay. 

Hiring a teacher who had absolutely no way to control those children, it was. not. okay. 

This year, I knew it would be better. I just knew it. 

I was wrong. 

Continuing to allow adults to roam the halls, not even having them sign in. It. is. not. okay. 

When I come to check my child out of school, and you don't ask for ID. Then tell me "he's in a special class, you can just go look for him". It. is. not. okay. What if I was a murderer? 

And, contrary to popular belief, it is not okay to make my kid participate in your flagpole prayer meeting. 
It's not. 

If you would have sent a note home, we would have talked about it at home so he would know what to expect. I have no problem exposing him to things that are different than what we do at home. I have a problem with not finding out about it until it has already happened, and not being able to properly prepare him. 

Also, telling my kid if he doesn't be good, he's going to Hell when he dies? Not okay. 

Taking a show of hands on how many kids have dead grandparents? How many kids pray at night? How many kids go to church? How many kids get spanked? How many kids have parents that are married? Again, not. okay. 

Plus, the constant asking for money and supplies? not. okay. I sent in money for supplies and fees and somewhere around $75 worth of supplies at the beginning of the year. Stop asking for money. Please. Really, the $5 for this activity and $20 for this field trip gets really old really fast. 

The lack of respect for my needs as a parent? Completely unacceptable. The end of the first nine weeks, I email you for a conference. No answer. I call you. You say you'll call me back. You call back (amazingly). We talk and you ask to do a phone conference. I say ok. Two minutes later, you say you have to go, and you'll call me back during your planning. I never hear from you again. All my calls and emails go unanswered. Notes I send in my son's folder, never answered. I feel so disrespected. 

So that's it. I am done. I am finished. It's over. In twelve days, first grade will be over. And we will start a new chapter in our life. We plan to begin homeschooling in the fall. Am I scared? Terrified. 

I am absolutely terrified, and I don't know if I will do a good job. But, I have to do better, right? 

So, ladies, you might be seeing more homeschool related posts here in the future, hope that is okay! 

Wish me luck on this new journey in our lives! 

Book Review: The Tragedy Of Fidel Castro by Joao Cerqueira

The newest book that I reviewed is "The Tragedy of Fidel Castro" by Joao Cerqueira. I was intrigued when I read the summary of the book, and I couldn't wait to see what it really was about. Here's the summary:

When God receives a request from Fátima to help prevent a war between Fidel Castro and JFK, he asks his son, Jesus, to return to Earth and diffuse the conflict. On his island, Fidel Castro faces protests on the streets and realizes that he is about to be overthrown. Alone, surrounded, and aware that the end is fast approaching, he plays his last card. Meanwhile, Christ arrives on Earth and teams up with Fátima, who is convinced she can create a miracle to avoid the final battle between JFK and Fidel Castro and save the world as we know it. At the end, something really extraordinary happens! 

I mean really, how could you not want to know more after reading that?! This book was really a great read, something totally "out of the box" for me, when it comes to what I usually read, but I am always ready to branch out in terms of what I like to read. I honestly didn't know if I would enjoy a book like this, but I am so glad that I read it, it was a really super interesting read!

I don't want to give too much away, but it is actually a hilarious story. The author does something really cool and a little bit "weird" with this book. The characters have famous names, like Christ, God, JFK, Fidel Castro, etc.. but they aren't the same people that we associate with those names.. It makes it really entertaining to read and in my opinion just adds to the story! While I see a lot of close minded folks hating the way that the author used Jesus Christ and God in the story, I found it super creative and really entertaining.

The book was originally written in Spanish, and I have had some of my Spanish friends tell me that the Spanish version is even better, since there are some underlying jokes and elements that us native English speakers aren't really keen to pick up on.. The book is satire, humor, and history all tied together with religion and politics, and I truly believe that everyone should at least give this book a chance, if nothing more than to give yourself a different look at the world and the way you see things! Definitely a great read!

About The Author:

João Cerqueira was born in Portugal in 1964 and lives in Viana do Castelo. He has a PhD in art history from the University of Oporto and is the author of seven books, including the novels Blame It on Too Much Freedom, Devil's Observations, and The Tragedy of Fidel Castro, and the nonfiction books Art and Literature in the Spanish Civil War (published in Portugal and Brazil), Maria Pia: Queen and Woman, José de Guimarães (published in China by the Today Art Museum), and José de Guimarães: Public Art.

Excerpts from The Tragedy of Fidel Castro and Chronicles about Cuba are published in The Liberator Magazine, Literary Lunes Magazine, Toad Suck Review #2, Danse Macabre, All Right Magazine, Contemporary Literary Review India, and on website
Leyendo se hace camino.

His novels satirize modern society and use irony and humor to provoke reflection and controversy.

He is represented by Kontext Agency.


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