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Editor Reviews

 
Our Editors post real reviews on the products we use and the services we try. Stay tuned to our Contests page for an opportunity to win some of our faves.
 
 
 

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We’re in Love! Will Tropical Smoothie Café steal your heart, too?
Written by Karen Logan   

For months, we’ve been in love with Tropical Smoothie Café’s better-for-you smoothies, so when the opportunity came for us (and a handful of our readers) to join them for a VIP Party to try out not only their smoothies but their food as well, we were beyond excited! We showed up, and Tropical Smoothie Café “showed out” – in a spectacular way!

I (Karen) represented WoodlandsMommy.com, and I was so pleased to be joined by the Harriman, Lockwood, Bickel and Andrews families. These sweet families were so much fun and allowed me to take some great photos! (Make sure you CLICK HERE to check out the entire Tropical Smoothie Cafe VIP Party photo album.)


For the record, Tropical Smoothie Café is located at 19074 Interstate 45 in the Shenandoah Portofino. The first thing you’ll notice when you walk through the doors is the clean, vibrant, relaxing atmosphere. This place is a lot of fun, and the setting is perfect for unwinding. The staff greeted us by name with smiles, and they had our VIP tables reserved and ready.

It’s a good thing we weren’t expected to order off the menu for our event. The Tropical Smoothie Café menu is loaded with pure awesomeness – toasted flatbreads, toasted sandwiches, signature wraps and bowls, all-day breakfast items (yes, breakfast!), sides & desserts, and, of course, smoothies. Some of the flavor combinations are just too creative to pass up. How does one choose? Lucky us, we didn’t have to. Our host indulged us in a large variety of foods and smoothies, making for a fun, hospitable, over-the-top experience for us and our readers!
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Mommy & Me Mani/Pedis in The Woodlands
Written by Keri Stooksbury   
alt A reader asked for recommendations on the best nail salon for Mommy & Me mani/pedis, and we've got your answers below!
 
  • Ella reports Today Nails & Spa at 8000 McBeth Way Ste. 120 has a bear and Hello Kitty chair for kids
  • Elizabeth and Brandi are fans of the Mommy & Me room with Hello Kitty chairs at LUSH & Co. Spa at 8633 W. Rayford Dr. Ste. 400
  • Tasha reports Nails of America Creekside at 26400 Kuykendahl has a Mommy & Me room
  • Stacie reports PL Nails & Spa inside H-E-B at 3601 FM 1488 has a Hello Kitty chair
  • Gossip & Co. Nail Spa at 12603 Louetta Rd. Ste. 100 has a Mommy & Me room
 
If your daughter wants her nails done solo, try Sweet & Sassy or Snip-Its.
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Monster Jam With Kids: Our Tips For A Great Time!
Written by Keri Stooksbury   
altMy kids are huge fans of Hot Wheels and Monster Jam trucks at home. The smashing, the crashing, the soaring down ramps and into my walls. For years I've noticed Monster Jam rolling through town and wondered, what's the best age to bring my kids? Can my oldest handle the noise? The stimulation? The late night? The crowds?
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Surviving Schlitterbahn South Padre With 3 Little Kids!
Written by Keri Stooksbury   
altCan a family of 5, including 3 novice swimmers under the age of 6, survive a day at the waterpark and live to tell the tale? Schlitterbahn South Padre offered me a chance to find out, and to that I say, "Challenge accepted!"

This is the first summer my kids have taken proper swim lessons. I have a 5 year old son who can newly swim fairly independently and 3 year old twins who are comfortable in the water but not confident or independent swimmers. Were we crazy thinking we could tackle a day at the waterpark? We were pleasantly surprised and I'm ready to share my tips for having a memorable experience for the entire family!
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Editor's Review: The Woodlands Resort - A Phenomenal Summer Staycation!
Written by Karen Logan   

WOW! I had no idea I would LOVE my overnight stay at The Woodalnds Resort and Conference Center as much as I did! Oh boy! I mean, I’ve always known it’s a nice resort from what I’ve seen of photos plus from my occasional business stops to the front / lobby area. And I’d always heard (and have even promoted on WoodlandsMommy.com) that the crowning glory of the resort is the pool area, but let’s face it, we live in the land of milk and honey. In The Woodlands, lushly landscaped properties, upscale amenities, and gorgeous swimming holes (including a lazy river at Rob Fleming) abound!  Would it really be worth my while to drive a couple of minutes to the resort for more of the same? 
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Don't Miss THE LION KING The Musical this summer!
Written by Karen Logan   

The brilliant sun advances upon Pride Rock, and for the next two hours, you literally feel the earth move under your feet. From Rafiki’s striking, melodic lead-in to the final curtain call, everything about THE LION KING the musical is pure enchantment. Lucky Houston; THE LION KING has returned this summer for a month-long run at The Hobby Center (June 27 through July 23, 2017), and the magical, landmark event is nothing short of spectacular. Tickets begin at $54.50 (plus applicable fees) and can be found by visiting thehobbycenter.org
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Ready, Set, Go! Go-Kart Raceway a perfect 9th Birthday Celebration!
Written by Karen Logan   

It’s party time! We ventured beyond The Woodlands to find something exciting and different for my second daughter’s 9th birthday last month. Go-Kart Raceway on W. Mount Houston Rd was a hit! In the past, we’ve enjoyed go-karts  indoors before, but there’s nothing like driving a fast cart in the cool, open air. We loved it! 

 

Okay, so maybe this isn’t the ideal area to hang out in with 4 kids, but we felt very safe here.

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Editor's Review - Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park
Written by Karen Logan   

If you’re on the hunt for something extraordinary, check out Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park located in Spring! We found ourselves celebrating my 7-year-old’s birthday here, and I was blown away with all the excitement they had in store for us! Of course, there were the wall-to-wall trampolines and a trampoline “runway” – similar to some other trampoline parks and with similar rules. But Urban Air is so much more than JUST a trampoline park. 

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Fun & Free Programs at the Tomball Library
Written by Karen Logan   

For a change of scenery we sometimes pop in for Toddler Time at the Tomball Community College and Library, and boy is it a treat! It’s about a 22-minute drive there from the Creekside Park area, but once you get there, you’re golden!

Toddler Time takes place Tuesdays at 10:30am and Wednesdays at 9:30am, and it features a member of the library staff reading age-appropriate books (usually there’s a special “theme” for the week), songs & fingerplays, parachute playtime, and a simple craft (great for building fine motor skills). The kids even get to play with egg shakers during some of the songs. After the “formalities”, the staff member pulls down bins of fun toys (toy trucks, play food, animals, and musical instruments), and independent playtime begins! This ends up being fun social time for kids plus a great opportunity for them to learn to share toys and play well with others. Sometimes, Toddler Time includes BUBBLES! 
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Tiff's Treats - Cookie Delivery in The Woodlands ROCKS!
Written by Karen Logan   

Sorry Amazon.com, you’ve just been outdone! I mean, as much as I look forward to those beautiful brown boxes arriving at my front doorstep all too frequently, the experience has nothing on the treat I received at my home yesterday evening. It all started with a very pleasant phone call from Tiff’s Treats customer service. Someone was sending me warm, freshly-baked cookies, and they wanted to find out the best time to have them delivered.

Just to be clear, there’s no bad time to have warm cookies delivered, so I cancelled my 6-year-old’s tumbling class that was scheduled for the evening. Then, I immediately put on my pajamas, (although it was only 4’o clock in the evening). You see, I’m a cookie-eating connoisseur, and if there’s any way you can eat your cookies at home in your PJ’s, you seize the opportunity. If it happens to be raining outside as it was yesterday evening, all the better!

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Gorilla Hole at The Woodlands Rec Center
Written by Jenni Fisher   
Ever since my boys were little and I'd scour the calendars for fun stuff for us to do, I'd come across the "Gorilla Hole" for tweens at The Woodlands Rec Center and wonder what it was all about!
 
This past fall my oldest son began 5th grade and was "eligible" to go try it out.  He rounded up a few of his friends, excited about a chance to be out on the town at night without his parents hovering over him, and headed to check it out.  He had a great time and we felt confident leaving him there for a few hours of social fun!
 
Gorilla Hole is for 5th and 6th graders and is held the first Friday of each month from 7-9:45.   After paying their $7 entry fee, parents sign their kids in with an adult supervisor, they get a wristband and off they go!  The kids spend time playing organized and unorganized games of basketball, dodge ball and dancing to fun music and just hanging out. Snacks and drinks are provided for a few dollars extra.  
 
If you have a 5th or 6th grader who's looking for a little independent-supervised fun, try out the Gorilla Hole.  Our review:  two thumbs up from a few 11 year old boys and their moms! 
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Eat More Kale (and Broccolini) - Chick-fil-A's Superfood Side salad is dressed to impress!
Written by Karen Logan   

Have you tried the new superfood side at Chick-fil-A? I did, and I'm happy to say it's now my new favorite fast food menu side item. No, I’m not kidding. You see, for the past 4 years I've been a Chick-fil-A black card holder - meaning I can flash my VIP card at any local CFA and get an entrée or entire meal for absolutely free, every day that Chick-fil-A is open, for the entire year. So indeed, I've had my share of chicken sandwiches, bowls of tortilla soup, nuggets, and waffle fries. Not that I plan to stop ordering these items anytime soon. And I should note, that I often use my card to get a free Grilled Market salad, and those are super healthy and quite delicious as well. But the new superfood salad is a welcome addition to my palate. It’s light and cool, fresh, flavored just right, and it actually leaves me wanting more. The greens are tender and bite-sized, topped with dried sour cherries and roasted nuts (almonds, pecans, and walnuts) and paired with a delicious maple vinaigrette that really kicks up the salad’s flavor.

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Topgolf KidZone Summer Academy a Win-Win
Written by Karen Logan   

We've partnered with Topgolf and were compensated for this post. Opinions are our own!

I decided to wear green because we were feeling super lucky for the opportunity to host an intimate Mom's Day and Kids Summer Academy event at Topgolf Spring. This time, there were 12 of us mommies and about 15 kiddos, and we had a chance to preview the KidZone Summer Academy. What fun! First of all, you should know that next week is the very last week to take advantage of the Summer Academy for this year, but it’ll return in full force at the beginning of next summer’s break. The Academy takes place Monday – Friday from 9am – 12pm, is for children ages 6-12, and they even feed the kids lunch. So, if you need to rip and run and get last minute school supplies handled next week, Topgolf is a great option for a unique experience for the kiddos. They’ll be well taken care of with a low student-to-teacher ratio of 1-6! Win-win!

Our Summer Academy Preview event was similar to last month’s Ladies’ Happy Hour

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Lou Lou's Beignets - Now Open in The Woodlands
Written by Karen Logan   
Fifteen years ago, I didn't even know how to pronounce the word "beignet", but now, they're one of my favorite desserts. Actually, there's nothing even remotely extraordinary about the taste of this square-shaped, deep-fried pastry usually served drenched in powdered sugar, but there's a  coffeeshop novelty about the entire beignet-eating experience that makes it worthy of repetition.  
 
We recently tried Lou Lou's Beignet's on Research Forest in the Village of Alden Bridge, and our experience was pretty good. My husband was born and raised in New Orleans (home of the world famous beignets of Cafe du Monde), so for us, the bar was  set pretty high.
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