Review: Having A Ball Alphabet Pop Top by Bright Starts

Every parent knows the sign of a great new toy: You look down to see a naked leg.

Meaning, the screaming whining demanding sticky mess that you birthed is no longer attached to it and is instead playing and giggling happily with said toy.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Having A Ball Alphabet Pop Top by Bright Starts!


Having a Ball™ Alphabet Pop Top™

Toddlers will have a ball with the Alphabet Pop Top™! Just push the plunger and watch the top spin with dancing lights, sounds, and melodies.  For an extra surprise, after the third push, the cute character balls pop out to delight toddlers!  The light-up buttons teach ABC’s, colors, and objects.
  • Push the plunger to spin the top and hear silly sounds, lights, and melodies
  • Melodies play while character balls spin around and then pop out for laugh out loud fun
  • Light up buttons teach ABC’s, colors, and objects
  • Each character ball is removable making them great for on-the-go fun
Additional Features:
  • Includes 2 AA batteries
  • Includes 4 character balls

Age: 6 Months & Up

Sold at Toys R’ Us

As soon as this baby came out of the shipping box, Boogie was all over it and unlike a few other toys, it was easy for her to figure it out so she was into it immediately.

This is seriously a cute toy. Upon pushing the button at the top, the entire toy spins around ejecting 1 or all of the 4 animal balls. Kid gets up, puts them back and starts over. 

It’s EXERCISE! Brilliant. 

Seriously though, this toy lights up, has cute songs and keeps the kid engaged for far longer than other toys I’ve seen. Boogie is going through a “ball” phase so it ties together many of her favorite things.

As a parent you will also appreciate that it has LOTS of different songs (instead of one annoying that will seer into your brain causing you to remove the batteries the batteries to die. Awe sad.). In related great news: it’s not too loud. We have a few toys that Boogie LOVES that will startle everyone in the house when turned on.

In the end, I would HIGHLY recommend this toy as a gift or for your own child. Or you could just come by and play with ours, if you can pry it out of Boogie’s chubby little hands.

Great news everyone!
To celebrate the launch of the Having a Ball toddler toy line, Bright Starts is holding a contest to give away 5 Get Rollin’ Activity Tables on their Facebook page! Just go visit them on Facebook to enter for your chance to win this awesome new toy. Easy peasy! Contest runs from August 25 to September 9. 

Good luck!

San Diego or bust.

Lots of big and exciting things going on around here.

First off, I will be making the big move to WordPress soon, I’ll keep you all updated. Also getting a big ‘ol fancy domain name. I feel so grown up!

I am also working on a review for you guys for a new toy from Bright Starts and once I can get it out of Boogie’s tight grasp I’ll be sure to tell you all about it.

And lastly I have some BIG BIG BIG news….but I’m not going to tell you about it now. You’re just going to have to wait.

Now on to the latest in the life of the better half…

We took out show on the road this past weekend. Rutherford has family in San Diego and since those burning in hell look to us Arizonans with sympathy, we felt it was time to get out of dodge.

Just in case you don’t know…San Diego is exactly 6 hours from Phoenix. Yup, six freaking hours!! As in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…6 hours in a car with a child that has now learned to walk so staying in one place for too long is completely unheard of.

I was beginning to think I had lost my damn mind.

If you have been keeping up with me here you know that I am an over preparer. If I am only going to need 2 diapers, I bring 4. Quick trip to the grocery store I bring snack cup, juice cup, woobie and a sweater just in case it’s chilly in the frozen food section. Over night stay? Forgetaboutit, we’re now talking 2 to 3 bags of crap. So a 6 hour car trip to the beach….I started prepping 2 weeks prior.

1 suit case.

1 diaper bag.

1 stroller.

1 pack and play.

1 bag of food and snacks (with cooler bag for juice and soy milk bottles).

1 bag or toys for the car.

1 iPad fully charged with 3 season of Yo Gabba Gabba.

2 woobies….

Oh yeah, and a suit case for Rutherford and I.

Check, check, check…

Hang on, I’m tired just thinking about it again. I think I need to lie down.

Okay, I’m good now.

In the end I was pretty impressed with myself, and more so with how well Boogie did.

We decided to leave at 6pm on Thursday, hoping the kid would sleep on the way there. Yeah, not so much. She fell asleep about 45 minutes before we got there so we got a good 5 hours of non-stop Yo Gabba Gabba. Do you want to know any song? Cuz I can sing it to you…I know it… It’s burned into my brain…

We were so happy to be in San Diego with family and all we needed was a good nights sleep and we were good as new.

Check out the pics…

Our amazing hosts, the Fracassi Family!

Boogie’s first beach trip.

She wasn’t too sure about the sand.
Daddy’s girl.
Little cousin Mateo. I tried to steal him.
Cousin Dominic. How freakin’ cute is this kid?!
Boogie discovered swings on this trip, now we need to buy her one.
So cool.

We had the most wonderful trip and are happy to be home now after another 6 hours in the car listening to Yo Gabba Gabba.

Arizona managed to get a smidge closer to the sun while we were gone. Not sure how that happens. 

We want to thank the Fracassi family for being so wonderful and welcoming to us. We love you guys and had the best time. We will be back soon, we promise! Give those boys hugs and kisses for us.


We need to talk….

I have a confession… I’ve been cheating on you. I KNOW! I’m terrible…but it’s not what you think.

I haven’t been here because I have, GASP…. been writing for someone else! And it was gooooood.

What can I say, I get around… the internet. I am easy… to read.

I was approached by the apparently misinformed awesome ladies of to do some articles for moms by moms about all that is trendy, fashionable and beautiful. Right up my alley, right? Cuz I am totally not the person who comes to mind when you think of fashion and beauty. (Thank God, ya’ll can’t see what I look like right now. However, I do make mismatched dirty PJ’s, unwashed hair and a face that hasn’t seen a drop of makeup in days look hawt. I am almost exactly like Victoria Beckham, only not at all.)

I will continue to bore you with my piddly little blog, it’s not going  anywhere. In fact, it’s GROWING everyday!

I appreciate your support in this new endeavor and hope you will check it out! And I hope all of you are following me on Twitter. You wouldn’t want to miss out on important things like what I had for lunch or my reiterating of conversations had with Rutherford about my “raging Sangria habit” or the fact that he now refers to me as “Sangria Lohan”. 

I have to go now…my glass is empty.

And you have to go read this —> The most awesome SheKnows article ever!

I look like a WINNER!

I am bitter bitter bitter party of one. Seat by the window please so that I can see all the fun being had while I sit at my table alone…weeping in my water WITH NO lemon. That’s how pathetic and bitter I am, I won’t even allow myself a stiff cocktail at my own imaginary pity party.

Why so cranky you ask? Well all my bloggy BFF’s and blog idols are partying it up at #BlogHer2011, sharing witty repartee, clanking wine glasses and getting more free swag than these 2 scrawny arms can hold.


I am swearing off Twitter till the madness ends…

Alas, on a higher note, I had an awesome day today and am much prettier because of it.

A few weeks ago I was having one of those days. You wake up, you look like hell warmed over with sheet marks on your across your face, babies already crying, you make the mistake of weighing yourself with your nighty on (it adds 3 pounds, don’t argue with me), the husbands already gone for work, the dogs are barking and then you do it….

You look in the mirror….

You look exactly how you didn’t want to look when you grew up and had kids.

Commence weeping.

A few days later I was doing my usual perusing of Google reader and I came across one of my favorite local websites The Tom Kat Studio. If you guys have not seen the awesomeness that is this woman, you are missing out. Go check it…I’ll wait….


See, I told you.

Anyway, she was giving away a beauty re-do at the award winning and super posh Taglio Salon in Scottsdale, AZ.

This was right up my alley.. Exactly what I need…trust me… So, I wrote in why I thought I needed to win this awesomeness…

Oh please God, pick me. I am a former hairdresser now stay at home mom…and I look every bit the part. I was so used to the years of being in the salon and having perfect hair that now I can hardly look in the mirror. I look exactly how I DIDN’T want to look when I became a mom. The other day I was so frustrated by my terrible hair i screamed and chucked my brush across the room breaking it..and I cried. I need a change, I need something…I need to feel good about myself again. I am crossing my fingers and toes as I put my poorly home colored hair in a pony tail..again. Thanks guys!”
I WON FIRST PRIZE!!!! Not only did I win, but the cutie patootie girl who emailed me to let me know I won told me I made her cry. THAT is how pathetic I am. A totally true story about my everyday life brought someone to tears. 

Still, I won, so whatev…
I excitedly made my appointment for Thursday, confirmed my awesome sister-in-law Sarah to watch my little monkey and counted the hours…
I have to say, even making my appointment made me feel uber special. The owner, Dino, called me personally to congratulate me and make me feel all warm fuzzy and welcome. 
Upon walking in I was greeted with a smile, a glass of ice water with a fancy lemon wedge (tres chic), beautiful product displays, WiFi, and get this, A WINE BAR! If I could move in, I would. (But I’m a package deal with the kid and the dude and I only saw 1 couch. Oh well…)
Being a former hairdresser (hairdressers are the WORST kind of client, BTW), I was really nervous about what was going to happen. At Taglio, the stylists specialize meaning they either only do cutting or coloring, not both. This makes for a very knowledgeable and talented stylist. 
I was starting to feel better…
Then I met Erin, my cutter and stylist. Man does she know her stuff. She took the time to get to know me and my hair, she listened to my issues and made me feel like I was in good hands. And boy, can she cut a mean bang. Seriously, go see her. 
Next was Bradly, my colorist. Love. He’s one of those people you just want to cart around in your shirt pocket because he says awesome stuff like “you’re so cute”, “you’re so funny”and, “your husband is hot”. It doesn’t hurt that he is an amazing colorist. Oh yeah, and hands down, THE BEST shampoo and scalp massage I’ve ever gotten. I would pay just to go there and have him wash my hair and if I lived closer he’d be in trouble. He’s lucky I don’t because I would be there so much his little fingers would get all pruney and I’m sure he wouldn’t like that. 
I didn’t put any before shots because you’ve all seen the awefulness that is me, you don’t need that ruining your day. Check out these foils though. As a hairdresser, I know that clean, neat and orderly foils is a sign of good color and a good colorist. Check these babies out.
Hot stuff.

Everyone in this salon was lovely, nice and welcoming. The salon itself is absolutely gorgeous. It was a 45 minute drive from my house…but I’ll be back. 
My new BFF’s.
As a mom and a wife, I spend all day doing things for my family, happily and lovingly. Sometimes we need to do things for ourselves too. This was a day I needed so bad. When I got home I was happy, relaxed and, for once in a long time, feeling pretty. Thank you Tom Kat Studio for giving me this wonderful gift. Thank you Dino & Tom for welcoming me so warmly in your beautiful space. Thank you Erin & Bradly for making a masterpiece out of a mess.
See you all in 6-8 weeks!