Thursday, March 26, 2015

Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center Review #BATBTravels

Disclosure:  Complimentary tickets were provided to facilitate this review.

Our family loves to visit aquariums, which is why we saw it fit to take mini me, on her birthday to the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center located in Riverhead, NY. Open for the last 15 years, the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center is home to one of the largest all-living coral displays in the Western Hemisphere. Exciting, right?

After an hour and a half drive, in our Chevy Equinox, we arrived at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center with mini me asleep in the backseat. When she saw where we were, she was excited!  The aquarium’s entrance features a seal display.  Yup! Seals greet you as you enter the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center.  It leaves you to wonder what’s in store once you get indoors.

Once inside, there’s a touch tank, Ray Bay, to your left housing a tank full of southern stingrays, cownose rays, and Atlantic stingrays.  At first, mini me was scared to touch them, and then she warmed up, and was excited to touch a few. She became even more excited once they began splashing the water on her.

The Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center features three different displays and exhibits: indoor, outdoor, and interactive.  Of the indoor exhibits, we loved the butterfly sanctuary, Amazon Aviary, and The Lost City of Atlantis Shark Exhibit.

Mini me, to our surprise was brave enough to venture into the Amazon Aviary, allowing the various birds to sit on her arm.  My husband went in with her because I was too scared to get that close to all of those birds, in an enclosed area at that.  But, mini me loved it.   Also, to get to the Amazon Aviary, we had to walk through a Butterfly sanctuary, filled with 40-50 different species of beautiful butterflies from all over the world.  Some of the butterflies were as large as my hand. Although we were warned that some might land on us, none did. We were also warned to be careful to watch our steps because some butterflies may be resting on the floor. Unfortunately, we came across one wounded butterfly that someone stepped on, which mini me was a bit sad about.

The Lost City of Atlantis Shark Exhibit was amazing!  The 120,000 tank features a variety of non-aggressive sharks like sand tiger sharks, nurse sharks, and other sea creatures like moray eels, and Queensland groupers. Best of all, if you're adventurous, you can schedule a session to swim with the sharks. What caught mini me’s attention was Poseidon.  She shouted, “Mommy, that’s Ariel’s father.” My husband and I laughed. Leave it to a toddler to relate this experience to the Little Mermaid.

Since we’re at the start of the spring, the weather is still a bit on the colder side, so a lot of the outdoor exhibits were closed. However, we were able to see penguins, an otter, and since mini me wanted to see monkeys, we were surprised to find three Japanese Snow Monkeys.  Mini me enjoyed seeing the monkeys, and even talked to them a bit. 

Since we visited the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center on a weekday, we were unable to see any of the shows, which only means we have to go back on a weekend, maybe this summer.  My only fear is that the aquarium will be too crowded to enjoy.

Overall, we enjoyed our experience at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center.  The aquarium exceeded our expectations, and was much larger than we’d imagined. Although on the smaller side of aquariums we’ve visited in the past, it’s a good size aquarium for small children like the age of our daughter who is four years old.  We like that the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center had a variety of interactive experiences, which is helpful in teaching children from a young age tolerance for different forms of life, and to appreciate nature.  If you’re looking for something to do with your children on Long Island, check out the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center.

For more photos from our trip, visit Beauty and the Bump on Facebook.

The Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center is located at 431 E Main St, Riverhead, NY 11901. 

Get social with the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center on Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Pinterest.

Does your family enjoy aquariums as much as our?
Have you visited the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center? 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Foodie Friday: PINES Mighty Greens Superfood Blend Review

My husband and I use our Vitamix to make green smoothies using a combination of fresh kale and/or spinach mixed with various fruits like bananas, raspberries and blueberries.  When I was asked to receive the PINES Mighty Greens Superfood Blend for review, I accepted.  The thought of having a all of the nutrients of the leafy greens we use in our green smoothies combined into one powder was appealing.  Continue reading to see what I think of the PINES Mighty Greens Superfood Blend.

PINES Mighty Greens is described as "...a great tasting, dark green food that you can mix with water or juice, or add in to just about any recipe. It’s a simple and effective nutrient-dense, dark green blend of organic wheatgrass and organic alfalfa combined with other nutrient-dense superfoods."

I'm going to be honest, the taste and texture of the PINES Mighty Greens Superfood Blend took getting used to.  The taste was very green compared to the smoothies we make. I found that if I didn't drink the Mighty Greens Superfood blend quickly - I'm talking a minute or two after mixing it with water - the powder settled at the bottom of the glass.  Whatever settled at the bottom of the glass was very grainy in texture, and didn't feel too good going down.  It almost felt like I was swallowing sand.  I did, however, find a way around it by adding a banana to it, and then putting it in my vitamix to blend.  It tasted much better after that.

The PINES Mighty Greens Superfood Blend contains stevia as a sweetener, which I am not a fan of.  Stevia just leaves a weird after taste in my mouth that I don't like. I prefer my food products or beverages to either have regular sugar, honey or unsweetened.

Overall, the PINES Mighty Greens Superfood Blend, although it contains all of the nutrients of dark, leafy greens, is easy to use, and is low-calorie, it isn't something I'd personally run to re-purchase.  At $37.50/ 8oz, it's priced pretty high for a product in this category, especially since there are other products on the market that I've tried that I like and use, but costs less.

Ingredients: Organic wheatgrass, organic alfalfa leaf, organic hemp protein, organic Rebaudioside A (stevia).

Have you tried PINES Might Greens Superfood Blend?  
How do you incorporate greens into your diet?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Make Bathtime fun with LUSH Pink Fun

I’m a fan of LUSH products – their soaps, shower gels, body conditioners, masks – you name it, I love it! My love for LUSH has transferred over to mini me.  She now cannot enjoy bath time without a piece of LUSH Pink Fun.

What is LUSH Pink Fun?
LUSH Pink Fun is a multi-functional bath and body product, allowing you to use it as a shampoo, soap, or bubble bath.  Due to its malleable nature, it’s akin to play doh, except for bath time.  Children are able to create and mold the Fun into different shapes, creatures, etc. for unlimited bath time fun.

Our thoughts on LUSH Pink Fun

My daughter loves bath time. She brings all, I mean ALL of her toys - a Dora bus included - into the tub with her, so when my husband brought home the LUSH Pink Fun for her to use during bath time, and she was beyond excited.  

Our daughter loves Play Doh.  Imagine how she felt when she found out the LUSH Fun was Play Doh, except for bath time.  She wanted to take a bath right then and there.  It didn't help that the LUSH Fun was pink, and smelled amazing – like candy, with cute, bio-degradable candy wrapper-like packaging to match.  The sweet, candy-like scent lasts for a good part of the day. My daughter always receives compliments on how good she smells because of it, too. LUSH Pink Fun smells so good that I’m tempted to steal a piece to use on myself.

Even though mini me has sensitive skin, the LUSH Pink Fun did not cause her to break out or become itchy.

My only issue with LUSH Pink Fun is the way it lathers. I have noticed that using it with bare hands to massage it onto the skin works best. Using it with a wash rag, not so much. I haven’t yet tried it with a konjac sponge, but, hopefully that will prove better results.  Also, when using the LUSH Pink Fun to make bubbles for a bubble bath, it creates a decent amount of bubbles, but not as much as a LUSH bubble bar.

Overall, LUSH Pink Fun is a hit with our toddler. She enjoys bath time even more when using it to create dresses for her dolls, wash her doll’s hair, etc. Yes, her dolls get expensive baths on our dime. SMH. LUSH Pink fun is something we pick up for mini me several times over once we run out, which means you should just go and pick up some for yourself or your little ones.

LUSH Pink Fun is available at LUSH stores or for $6.95/8.8 oz.  It also comes available in several different fun colors and scents like Red, Green, Yellow and Blue.

Tip: To prevent the LUSH Pink Fun from drying out, leave it in a tin or Ziploc bag.

Ingredients: Talc , Cornflour (Zea mays) , Glycerine , Sodium Laureth Sulfate , Fragrance , Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax tonkinensis pierre) , Tonka Absolute (Dipteryx odorata), Coumarin , Geraniol , Red 27 , Red 33 , Red 4.

Have you tried LUSH Pink Fun?