Four Little Monsters Blog
The adventures of a Mom and her monsters.
Four Little Monsters is your source for family friendly event, product  and travel reviews in Mid-Atlantic USA. We find fun wherever we go, even right here at home.
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Sally Nightmare Before Christmas Custome, Halloween 2015, Costume Discounters, Review

by EJ on 09/29/15

Halloween 2015 is almost here but there's still time to order the perfect Halloween costume! While my kids have been busy changing their minds about what they want to be, I've been set on my costume for weeks. Yes, I'm one of those parents. Costumes are always required. I'm a huge Tim Burton fan and this year I'll be Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. By our annual Halloween party, the whole first floor of my home will be transformed into Halloweentown and my costume has to rock so that I may welcome all the witches, ghouls and vampires over in style. Luckily, I'm a face painter so the makeup will be killer, too.

For just the right costume, I turned to Costume Discounters, who have an amazing selection of affordable Nightmare Before Christmas Costumes. I chose the more true-to-film version of the Sally costume, the Sally Adult Quality Costume. Costume Discounters also offers a teen and sassier version.

The Sally Adult Quality Costume features a full-length polyester dress featuring the stitched-together fabric look from the movie, shredded sleeves and bottom hem. The pops of orange, teal, light blue, fuchsia and pink look amazing against the darker
colors, the large stitches and swirly patterns. There are two pale arm gloves that mimic Sally's white-blue doll-skin and the collar of the dress matches these, too. I was able to mix a similar color of body paint for my face. I'm not a huge fan of the red yarn wig (most costume wigs are just awkward in general) but Sally's doll hair would be hard to match without it. Overall, the costume is a lot of fun, very true to the movie while remaining light and comfortable. Since I'll be hosting a party in this dress, comfort is
definitely key. I'd definitely recommend this costume to all my fellow Nightmare fans!

Tell us who you're dressing as this Halloween 2015? Who is your favorite Nightmare Before Christmas character and why?

Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters Blog received a costume from Costume Discounters for the purpose of this review. All opinions belong to the blogger.

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Quarter Launch Celebration

by EJ on 09/18/15

We attended the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge quarter launch and coin exchange today, September 18th, 2015. Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is our family's favorite birding spot and we go several times a week to hike and photograph birds and wildlife. Naturally, we had to be there for this special event! The Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge quarter is the 29th quarter released in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program by the United States Mint. Other quarters released this year feature the Homestead National Monument of America, Kisatchie National Forest, Blue Ridge Parkway and Saratoga National Historical Park.

We were a tad late to the party but our little lady was immediately greeted by Puddles the... well, he's either a duck or a Night Heron? Maybe a duck. Either way, she pushed five kids out of the way (Sorry, Moms, she's all business!) to give that bird a big hug. Other highlights included visits with former Delaware Governor and U.S. Representative to Delaware Michael Castle, members of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, live music and of course, the brand-new quarter itself. We took home ten dollars worth of Bombay Hook quarters which we'll proudly display and give as gifts.

The Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge quarter features a Great Blue Heron in the forefront and a Great Egret in the background. The art was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Joel Iskowitz and engraved by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. 

Millions of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge quarters were sent out into circulation by the Federal Reserve on Sept. 14th.  On Sept. 30th, the public can purchase collectible products that also feature Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge quarters directly from the Mint beginning noon Eastern Time via the bureau's online catalog at and at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). 

An Interview with a Daughter of NASA Engineer Raymond Haney

by EJ on 09/04/15

Space exploration has been in the news a lot lately. For example, the New Horizons mission finally reached Pluto this summer and twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly began an incredible experiment that will address the effects of long-term space travel on the human body. All this space buzz is getting my little ones super excited about astronomy. Actually, our family has always been a fan of space, astronauts and all things mysterious out there in the universe. For us, a trip to the Air & Space Museum in DC is like visiting a candy store. Our love of the stars and planets might have something to do with the fact that my step-grandfather, Raymond Haney, was a NASA engineer and his son continues to work in the same field to this day. Yes, that definitely has something to do with it. Let's face it, though, the universe and the sheer enormity of things to discover up there is amazing. Space will always be cool.

With the first high definition photographs of Pluto and it's moons unveiled this past July, it got me thinking about another exciting July for space exploration, for humankind and specifically for certain members of my family who were kids when my grandfather was involved with NASA. I spoke with my aunt Joan Romano of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to find out what it was like to be the child of a NASA engineer during a time when humankind first set feet on the moon.

Where were you and how old were you during the first moon landing in July of 1969?

I was ten (and a half) years old. It was my older sister's birthday and we went to where my Dad worked - Goddard Space Flight Center. Goddard was the testing station for NASA. My dad was a vacuum test engineer... There was a big room with guys lined up at desks, a lot like how the control room looked in the movie Apollo 13. There was a big wall of screens. They were like the biggest televisions I had ever seen. My dad showed us how all of the centers, Houston, Canaveral, Alabama, and Goddard are all linked and they each had a job to do. And then the room got really quiet. There seemed like one-hundred but I am sure it wasn't that many guys that looked like my dad - white short sleeved shirts and black framed glasses. I couldn't see past them and my dad pulled chairs up for my brother and I to stand on, we were in the very back of the room. The silence seemed to last forever and everyone stared at the screens. Then it erupted in screaming and hugging and I saw the foot step on the moon. Those are the most vivid memories, except then we went out to lunch at the Department of Agriculture's cafeteria and I had chocolate pudding.

I told you about the restaurant because I wanted to show how these amazing engineers were just normal guys. The Dept of Agriculture had this cafeteria and the engineers called it The Funny Farm and they loved to eat there. You had to drive by the farms that the Dept ran and we would stop and see the baby animals on the way. The day of the moon landing we saw baby pigs be born and I think my dad was almost as excited about the pigs as he was about the moon.

How did you father react while watching the first moon landing?

You have to know he was a man who cried at phone commercials. I looked at his face and he was biting his bottom lip, tears were streaming down his face, and he had these unbelievable blue eyes (he called them Heavenly blue), and they were shining. His cheeks were so red. He was hugging and thumping the other engineers and us... Those guys live and breathe outer space and the magic it holds.

What is a vacuum test engineer?

A vacuum test engineer runs these giant vacuum chambers. Since space is a huge vacuum, anything they send out in it gets tested first in these big vacuum rooms. Dad put stuff in it and monitored how well it did, if they needed something else, stuff like that. The things I remember most that he worked on were the IMP-1, the tiles from the space shuttles, which you may recall had some issues and he had warned them, he worked on the mirror for the Hubble (and said it was out of round, which just pissed him to no end), he worked on designing the elbow for the arm that came out of the space shuttle, and he worked with the National Archives in developing a way to put old texts through the vacuum which helped halt the aging process. As he said, it worked for books, not people. He also built his own solar collector in our back yard and on sunny days our house used no electricity. It was ugly but it was amazing.

What's another memory you have of your father and his work?

The other NASA memory that is really vivid is the day the shuttle blew up. Dad had just retired, but he had worked on this - it was his last project. He called me that morning to remind me to watch. I was standing with my roommate when we saw it explode and I ran to call my dad. He was sobbing. He couldn't believe it and just fell apart.

How did your father nurture a love of space and science in his children?

He would just always say, "Look at that!" He was always showing us how stuff worked, asking us questions why we thought something was like it was. Clouds, stars, bugs, everything was cool. And I really, really wanted to be an astronaut. The year I graduated from high school was the first year women were allowed to apply to the Naval Academy. My dad got Barbara Mikulski to do my recommendation, even. And my mom shot it down. Seriously killed me. She didn't want any daughter in harm's way. She did approve art school so I went to MICA... But my dad was so cool with me going to art school, too - he would come down with me and look at the architecture and go to the galleries. He got me confident enough to drive through the city and read a map... he did make everything about science and was always saying, "look at the physics of it." Even a Frisbee, kites and footballs. He taught me to throw a pretty good spiral, how to change the oil and spark plugs in my car (so that no mechanic would ever rip me off). And all of it was about science.

Note: Raymond Haney received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He served in the United States Marine Corps and the reserves for over twenty years. Throughout his career, he worked as a research and development engineer for Holley Carburetor Company in Detroit, a Propulsion and Fuel Engineer at the Martin Company in Baltimore and later became the senior engineer in their space simulation lab. He started work on the Saturn launch vehicle and Titan. He served as senior engineer in the Test and Evaluation Lab for Sperry Rand at Goddard Space Flight Center. He was the liaison between NASA test conductors and facility managers. He was a member of the Institute of Environmental Sciences and was co-chair of the Seventh Space Simulation Conference. 

Further Information:

Kids and families can read all about what's going on at NASA by visiting the NASA Kids Club.
Sign up to track the International Space Station with email alerts from Spot the Station.

Monster Jam Comes to Wells Fargo Center Oct 2nd and 3rd, 2015, WIN MONSTER JAM TICKETS

by EJ on 09/02/15

Ever since last year's Monster Jam event in Philly, our son has been begging for more Monster Jam! Well, the time has finally come. My little monster is as excited as can be. This time, we won't forget the ear plugs!

At twelve feet tall and ten thousand pounds, this year's Monster Jam brings the most incredible performers on four wheels to a custom-designed track packed with awesome obstacles to jump over and smash. Kids and families will love the action-packed stunts and the competition between these colorful, powerful beasts on wheels. So pack your ear plugs and get ready for a roaring good time.

Save on Monster Jam tickets with this Exclusive Promo Code.

You can save $5 off $30 and $20 seats using Monster Jam Promo Code "BLOG". Valid on 10/3 at 7:30 PM. Valid on 10/4 at 2 pm. Expires Oct. 1st. Not valid for front row, VIP or $15 seats. Not valid on Kids Price. Limit of 6. Buy your Monster Jam tickets at

One lucky reader will win a Family 4 Pack of tickets for Monster Jam for the October 2nd 7:30 PM performance!

Related Post: Last Year's Monster Jam Review
Related Video

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Hippo Awareness Weekend with Nile Hippos' Genny & Button at Adventure Aquarium

by EJ on 08/28/15

Adventure Aquarium of Camden, New Jersey celebrates their first Hippo Awareness Weekend this Saturday August 29th and Sunday August 30th with brand new programming to feature hippo feedings, enrichment and interactions, a behind-the-scenes hippo movie, hippo nutrition facts and information on ways your family can save hippos in the wild. "We are excited to celebrate our first-ever Hippo Awareness Weekend at Adventure Aquarium," says Michele Pagel, Curator of Birds and Mammals, "Hippos are vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. This weekend gives us a chance to educate our guests about these amazing animals while also making them aware of hippo conservation efforts Adventure Aquarium is involved with called the Turgwe Hippo Trust in Zimbabwe, Africa."

Did you know that Adventure Aquarium is the only aquarium in the world where you can see the third largest animal in the world, the Nile Hippopotamus? The Four Little Monsters crew attended a special pre-party for Genny and Button this week for a sneak-peak of this weekend's event. Genny and Button's dedicated biologists and trainers gave us a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of their 2-ton friends in Hippo Haven, their impressive sanctuary. 

Genny the Hippo was born at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida in 2000 and although younger than Button, she's the bigger hippo. Button was born in Parque Zoological de Leon in Mexico in 1997 and spent some time in Animal Kingdom as well. She was transferred from Animal Kingdom to Adventure Aquarium. Her trainers lovingly call them, "Our Disney Hippos!" Both Hippos know to perform several behaviors including opening their mouths on cue, laying down and others.

The Hippopotamus is a herbivore and eat vegetation in the wild. The aquarium hippos have a more diverse diet than wild Hippos and consume 40 lbs. of food including grains, hay, fruit, vegetables and leafy greens. In the wild, Hippos spend much of the day in water and will leave the water at night for up to six hours to feed.

Believe it or not, Hippos' Genny and Button are talented artists. Enrichment sessions include nose painting and their colorful work will be available to purchase for $35 this weekend with all proceeds benefiting the Turgwe Hippo Trust. Families can also adopt Genny and Button at the Gift Shop. Part of the proceeds go to hippo care at the aquarium while a portion goes to the Turgwe Hippo Trust. Adoptions include an official certificate of adoption for one or two of the hippos, a bio sheet, a photo of Genny or Button and a hippo footprint and hippo plush. 

Read all about the Turgwe Hippo Trust and see how your family can help these vulnerable animals in the wild.

Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters attended a special pre-party event for the purpose of this promotion. All opinions belong to the blogger.

KIDZ BOP Make Some Noise! Tour 2015, Review

by EJ on 08/05/15

KIDZ BOP, a chart-topping band of kid singers that cover today's most popular pop songs, is on tour now through October. Over the past fifteen years, KIDZ BOP has become the # 1 music brand for kids, selling more than 15,000,000 albums that feature the hottest music of the times, sung by kids for kids and edited to be kid-friendly.

The Four Little Monsters crew met up with the KIDZ BOP Make Some Noise! Tour in Wilmington, Delaware.
The current KIDZ BOP kids Grant, Ashlynn, Matt and Bredia took to the stage in front of a crowd of screaming kids. Great songs, sparkling costumes changes and fun choreography kept even some of the littlest audience members on their feet the whole concert long. While we weren't expecting a full-length concert with such young stars and a young audience, the show was longer than expected. It incorporated some interactive moments between the singers and their audience, prizes, cartoons for the little ones, a singing contest between Moms and Dads from the audience and a question and answer session following the show.

See if KIDZ BOP is coming to your city and get your tickets now! Don't forget to pick up your copy of their latest release, KIDZ BOP 29.

KIDZ BOP Make Some Noise Tour 2015 Comes to Wilmington, DE, Ticket Giveaway

by EJ on 07/01/15

The KIDZ BOP Make Some Noise tour stops in Wilmington, Delaware this July 12th, 2015. The talented KIDZ BOP kids, named Billboard Magazine's "#1 Kids' Artists" for the fifth year in a row, will take the stage to perform family-friendly versions of today's biggest musical hits. The KIDS BOP concert is an engaging, interactive experience for the entire family.

Where:           Grand Opera House
                        818 North Market Street
                        Wilmington, DE 19801
When:             Sunday, July 12th, 2015
                        4:30 PM - doors
                        5:00 PM - show
Who:          The KIDZ BOP Kids: Ashlynn Chong, Bredia Santoro, Grant Knoche and Matt Martinez
KIDS BOP Amazing Stats:

  • Over 15 million albums sold
  • 21 Top Ten Albums on the Billboard 200 Chart. Only 5 artists in history, including Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Frank Sinatra have more.
  • In 2014, KIDZ BOP outsold Pharell Williams, Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea.
  • KIDZ BOP named Billboard Magazine's "#1 Kids' Artist" from 2010 through 2014.
  • Talented performers Ashlynn, Bredia, Grant and Matt host KIDZ BOP radio on Sirius XM Channel 77. 
  • KIDZ BOP 29 was released this past March 2015.

WIN a set of FOUR Tickets to KIDZ BOP Make Some Noise in Wilmington, Delaware.

One lucky reader will win a set of four tickets to see KIDZ BOP in Wilmington, Delaware on July 12th, 2015. Enter below and good luck!

Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters Blog received products in exchange for promotion. All opinions belong to the blogger.
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Backyard Chalk and Bubble Station, On a Dollar Store Budget

by EJ on 06/17/15

This summer, I've vowed to do one Dollar Store Kids Project each week, to keep the kids busy all season long. Inspired by a Buzzfeed Dollar Store Kids post, I'm on a mission to keep my five gremlins happy and occupied while staying on a budget. This week, we created a very simple Backyard Chalk and Bubble Station on the back deck.

We headed out to our local Dollar General and picked up two mini chalkboards, a pack of giant chalk, some bubble wands and other assorted bubbles and two small baskets. Using small picture nails and a hammer, I attached the baskets to the side of our deck. Using Velcro, I attached the chalkboards above each basket and labeled them with the chalk I bought. The kids swarmed the Chalk and Bubble station and had a total blast. I had to wrangle our five year old off the bubbles, as his version of playing with them includes dumping bubble soap all over the deck until there's nothing left. Other than that, our first Backyard Dollar Store Kids Project has been a success.

Total Cost for Backyard Chalk and Bubble Station: $15


Jurassic World Movie Pre-Screen Event with Comcast Freedom PA

by EJ on 06/05/15

Comcast Freedom of PA sent us out to the city this week for a Jurassic World dinner party and pre-screening of the much anticipated 4th installment of the dinosaur disaster movie franchise. Fans of the original Jurassic Park, which redefined the movie world when I was nine years old, this review is for you. I will keep my comments brief to avoid giving anything away but know this... if you loved the original Jurassic Park, then you will want to see this damn movie. 

Jurassic World was everything the previous sequels should have been. They opened the flipping park to the public. I mean... really!? What could go wrong? 

While each sequel was fun (I guess...) in their own way, Jurassic World really nailed it - and I mean, FRIGGEN' NAILED IT. There was action. There was charm. There were dinosaurs chowing down on you know what. The actors were perfect. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard were a great combination, despite the fact that Howard's heels were still intact after running from all those damn dinosaurs (...really? Fine. Whatever.). The story was pretty solid. There were a good number of appreciated references to the original. The dinosaurs ROCKED. I want to see it again. <--- this hasn't happened since The Lord of the Rings. It was almost like being back in my seat as a nine year old, watching the original with my Mom in the theater, mouth agape.

My husband and I high fived over our daughter's head like ten times during the movie. Our dinosaur-obsessed, future paleontologist ten year old (and I wouldn't recommend bringing anyone younger) was enraptured and super pleased with all the new dinosaurs previously not featured in any Jurassic Park movies. Of course, they couldn't leave out our favorites from the original, so Tyrannosaurus Rex and Velociraptor fans can rejoice. The last fifteen minutes of the movie took my breath away. I want that screen shot as a poster. No, that one. No, this one. No, that one.

Memorable things overhead in the Jurassic World pre-screening theater: 

"Never trust a raptor."

"Will the dinosaurs have feathers in this one?"

Jurassic World, directed by Colin Trevorrow, executive producer Steven Speilberg, opens in standard, 3D theaters and IMAX theaters, June 12, 2015.

Disclaimer: Comcast Freedom of PA sponsored this event. All opinions belong to the blogger.

Exploring Disney Pixar's Inside Out with Director Peter Docter and Producer Jonas Rivera, Interview & Review

by EJ on 06/01/15

The Four Little Monsters Crew Meets Director Peter Docter
Disney Pixar's newest movie, Inside Out premiered less than two weeks ago at the Cannes Film Festival and met with rapturous applause and rave reviews. In true Pixar form, Inside Out takes audiences on another unique, beautiful adventure: inside the head of twelve year old girl, Riley. This movie really makes you feel all the feels and rightly so since Riley's inner voices' are the story's main protagonists. Joy, the leading emotion inside Riley's head, is a glowing, blue-haired, fairy-like character voiced by Amy Poehler. Her companions inside 'headquarters' (Riley's brain) are Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Mindy Kaling (Disgust) and Anger (Lewis Black).

James P. Sullivan Attends the Pre-Screening of Disney Pixar's Inside Out
Four Little Monsters touched base with Academy Award winning director Peter Docter and Producer Jonas Rivera for a pre-screening of Inside Out, a question and answer session and some very cool one-on-one time between these real-life Disney Pixar heroes and our own little monsters. Of course, we brought Sully and Mike Wazoski along for the adventure; Sully was more than thrilled to meet his maker. Both Docter and Rivera were generous with their time and patient with our silly kids, who couldn't wait to hug the creators of some of their most beloved animated friends.

The Four Little Monsters Crew Meets Producer Jonas Rivera
Explaining how Riley's inner voices were developed, Jonas Rivera said, "We decided early on that it [the brain] should be more abstract, not cells and DNA... more metaphorical." Therefore, the inner workings of the brain became the protagonists, memorable characters who exist inside Riley. Riley is a pre-teen when her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, setting the stage for a whirlwind of emotions and changes inside her brain as she reacts to her new environment. "As a parent, the most heartbreaking thing is they [your kids] begin to give up these things you know they loved," said Docter. At this pivotal age in Riley's life, she has to leave her childhood home, best friends and a beloved sports team - life changes and as a result, Riley changes. Riley's brain houses structures like Family Island, Hockey Island, Goof Ball Island and others, which are powered by her happy core memories. When the core memories are threatened, Goof Ball Island and the other islands begin to break apart, sending Joy and Sadness on a mission to preserve the memories and Joy, herself. Along the way, they encounter forgotten memories and 'lands' like the subconscious and imagination. Docter explained, "Of course, Riley is not aware of Joy or any of them, or any of what Joy goes through for her."

As a writer and artist, I'm familiar with the tough decisions that must be made when sculpting out the final version of a creative work. We asked the Pixar duo if there was a scene or character edited out of the film that they wished remained in the final version. The final version of Inside Out, one of at least nine versions of the film, included five main emotions while previous versions had several more. For instance, Pride, cut from the story, would walk into a scene and declare, I noticed no one applauded when I walked in. Writers decided that five emotions was quite enough. A music cognition scene was also cut from the film, which both Docter and Rivera thought was pretty cool "for five minutes".

We asked Docter what the future might hold for animated movies, to which he replied, "Technology keeps advancing... but there will always be a necessity for character driven stories, like Inside Out... whether they'll be 3-D, virtual reality, or a pill you have to swallow, we'll find out. Yes, you heard it here. That's what going to happen."

Pre-Screening of Disney Pixar's Inside Out in 3-D
We made sure to thank Docter and Rivera for creating movies that express such strong messages of family, friendship, compassion and determination. One of our monsters declared, "Thank you for Cars and make me a Monster Truck movie!" Rivera agreed that was a good idea and assured our little guy that he'd work on it, so everyone can thank our five year old if that ever comes to fruition.

Disney Pixar movies are not only beautiful and artful, but extremely relevant for our family and to humanity, we think. "We're making these films as parents ourselves," explained Docter, "It's really important to us that we make films that are real, that are legit." 

Ever since Toy Story's release in 1995, I've grown up with Disney Pixar movies and they continue to play a huge role in my life and our children's lives today. Our house is full of all things Woody, Buzz, Sully, Mike Wazowski, Lightning McQueen, Mater, Nemo, Dori and the list goes on. These movies take you on incredible, memorable journeys that have shaped us and stay with us, always. In our own brains' headquarters all life long, we are encouraged to embrace childhood, to understand our babies and watch them grow, to just keep swimming, to seek adventure, to cherish friendship and to choose joy.

Inside Out hits theaters this June 19th. Be sure to catch Pixar's latest short "Lava" before the film.

Visit Four Little Monsters on Facebook for video and additional material from our visit with Director Peter Docter and Producer Jonas Rivera.

Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters attended a pre-screening of Disney Pixar's Inside Out, a Q & A with Director Peter Docter and Jonas Rivera for the purpose of this review and promotion. All opinions belong to the writer.

Motion Sensor Light Pro Super Bright LED Battery Operated Night Light Promo Codes, Review & Giveaway

by EJ on 05/11/15

We're a camping family and with five kids to chase after, we are always on the look-out for cool, useful products that will make the camping lifestyle easier on our outdoor adventures. Over the past few months, we've been fixing up a pop-up camper to take on the road this summer. Rather than rely on electric sites, which consume energy and are often not available in many of the campgrounds we like, we are trying out the Motion Sensor Light Pro Super Bright LED Battery Operated Cordless Night Light.

The Motion Sensor Light Pro Super Bright LED Battery Operated Cordless Night Light is the perfect addition to our family pop-up camper, providing sufficient overhead light only when needed. We're using the included Command Strips to attach the light fixtures where we want them. The brightness is an awesome bright, neutral white, providing light for all five kids to roam the camper at night before climbing into their beds. The light is portable so we can move it if necessary. Since the AUTO mode is motion activated, the OFF mode comes in handy when the kids are wiggling and giggling in the camper when they're supposed to be sleeping. On the other hand, when left in AUTO mode, the light comes on when someone needs to get up to use the bathroom and stays on until there's no further movement.

The Motion Sensor Light Pro is compact, portable and energy efficient.

The light fixture itself measures a nice compact 4 inches in diameter and two inches thick and includes 15 high energy efficient, ultra bright SMD LEDs. It's super durable and simple. The fixture is encased in an easily gripped matte ABS plastic. It provides about twenty-five seconds of light on AUTO mode and continuous light when in CONT mode. The AUTO mode does not work in daylight and only functions in darkness. There is also an OFF mode. You do need to unlock and remove the back panel to access the mode switch so don't place the light out of reach if you will want to change the modes. There are three options for easy hanging: 3M command strips (included in packaging), magnets (included in light fixture backing) and a hook (included in light fixture backing). The light requires 3AA batteries (not included) to work.

Other useful locations for the Motion Sensor Light Pro Super Bright LED Battery Operated Cordless Night Light include sheds, basement stairwells, hallways, baby's room, garages, car trunks, emergency kits, storage rooms, closets, bathrooms, camping, under cabinet lighting, pantries, attics and more. Purchase of the Motion Sensor Light Pro includes a 1 year manufacturer's warranty. The light can be purchased on Amazon and is eligible for Prime shipping.

Promo Codes for Motion Sensor Light Pro Super Bright LED Battery Operated Cordless Night Light, Save Up to 25% OFF Motion Sensor Light

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*These promo codes will run through May 17th 2015. Enter promo codes at checkout for discount to be applied.

Enter to WIN a Set of Motion Sensor Light Pro Night Lights

Five lucky readers will each win a set of two Motion Sensor Light Pro Super Bright LED Battery Operated Cordless Night Lights. Enter below and good luck!

Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters received products for the purpose of this review. All opinions belong to the blogger.
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A Very Squeaky Mystery Children's Book, Review and Giveaway

by EJ on 05/09/15

The kids and I enjoyed a fresh, new children's book this week called A Very Squeaky Mystery by Laura Angelina and Randy Williamson. It's the second book released by RainbowLeaf Books, a company founded by authors Williamson Angelina. 

A Very Squeaky Mystery follows the adventures of two energetic twins on vacation in a mountain cabin. Having just returned from a mountain cabin trip ourselves, my kids easily related to the setting of the story. The first page, which begins "Two playful twins, Kevin and Scott, are always together and looking for fun. They are now up in the mountains on vacation with their mom and dad..." depicts the twins in a vibrant outdoor scene with a mountain backdrop. The story follows the twins through several days, after a squeaky sound catches their attention. Over the course of those days, the brothers think of creative ways to solve the mystery of the sound. I really enjoyed the contrast of the bright, colorful pages that took place during the day versus the shadowy, mysterious muted colors in the nighttime scenes.

The twins themselves are yellow-headed, bright-eyed, playful and enjoy each others company.  The positive, quick-thinking personalities of these two main characters set a great example, encouraging siblings to appreciate one another and work together to solve problems. The insides of the front and back cover are super cute, showing the twins together on many different occasions, showing the importance of the togetherness of siblings. The illustrations are precious, fun, vibrant and crisp, all attractive qualities in a great children's book.

With summer vacations quickly approaching, A Very Squeaky Mystery will get siblings in the mood for new places, new adventures and surprises - while being together.

RainbowLeaf Books has two children's books available for purchase, A Little Girl's Wish and A Very Squeaky Mystery. A Very Squeaky Mystery sells for $17.99 (US).

One lucky Four Little Monsters reader will WIN a copy of A Very Squeaky Mystery. Enter below!

Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters Blog received one copy of A Very Squeaky Mystery for the purpose of this review. All opinions belong to the blogger.

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Luray Caverns of Virginia Getaway Guide

by EJ on 04/30/15

It's time to start planning those summer family getaways. If you're in search of a trip that combines earth-friendly experiences, learning and fun, then Luray, Virginia is the destination for you. Luray, Virginia is home to Luray Caverns, a world renowned U.S. national landmark and one of the largest cavern systems in the country. Walking through the Luray Caverns' tunnels is an amazing experience for kids and families, introducing them to a whole new world underground. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, historic Luray is also minutes away from Shenandoah National Park, treetop adventures and ropes' courses, history and museums, camping, hiking and the breathtaking views of Skyline Drive. 

Families will find excellent camping opportunities in Luray, Virginia.

Our preferred base camp in Luray is Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park, which offers tent and RV camping as well as furnished cabins and endless activities for kids. We avoid the hotels and definitely the motels - camping or cabin rentals are the way to go if you want your family happy and comfortable. Whether you prefer tent camping or fully furnished cabins (or something in between), the mountain views and the campfires alone will bring so much joy to your trip. Stay a few days or more.

Takes kids on an underground adventure with a tour of Luray Caverns.

Luray Caverns is accessed only by tour and tour groups depart every twenty minutes. If you get there early, you'll avoid the potentially long lines. Tours include historical information, the geology of the caves (... what's the difference between a stalactite and a stalagmite?) and beautiful underground views. There are no super tight spots so if you're the claustrophobic kind, you should have no problem.

The walkway through the caves are paved but due to the continuing process of cave formation, seeping water sometimes creates slippery spots. Rails are available to keep you upright and safe. Strollers are permitted BUT there are a lot of steps at the entrance and exit so small strollers are recommended. The entire tour is 1.25 miles long with repeated stops to discover natural formations, take pictures and descriptions by the tour guide. The cave is open year-round.

FUN TRIP IDEA: When we visited Luray Caverns, we'd just finished up a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. We themed sections of our trip around different Middle Earth environments, from The Shire (our campground) to the Dwarf Caves (Luray Caverns) and the forests and mountains were the perfect backdrop for this themed trip.

Fascinating Luray Caverns Facts:

1.  Luray Caverns formed when rainwater picked up diluted carbonic acid as it sunk through decaying vegetation in soil. The hollow spaces
formed as the acidic water traveled through the limestone, dissolving layers of rock. As the water filled the empty spaces, the hollow areas grew bigger and continued downward creating the huge chambers seen today. The process continues and Luray Caverns grows one cubic inch per 120 years.

2. The National Park Service and the Department of the Interior named Luray Caverns a Register National Landmark.

3. The largest body of water inside the cave, known as Dream Lake, has only a maximum depth of 18 to 20 inches. The lake's perfect surface creates a mirror image of the ceiling, tricking the eyes. 

4. All formations in Luray Caverns are made of calcite. Pure calcite is white. 

5. When a stalactite and a stalagmite come together, they form a column. The tallest column in Luray Caverns is 47 feet tall.

6. Luray Caverns is home to the Stalacpipe Organ, the largest musical instrument in the world.

7. A cave kiss gives you good luck for one year! (... so I'm told. And we got lots and lots of kisses).

Admission to Luray Caverns includes admission to the Car & Carriage Caravan Museum and the Luray Valley Museum. The Garden Maze and Rope Adventure Park are additional fees.

Luray Caverns General Admission Rates

Seniors (62 & up): $22
Adults: $24
Children (6-12): $12
Includes guided Luray Caverns Tour and self-guided tours of the Car & Carriage Caravan, Toy Town Junction and Luray Valley Museum.
Children ages 5 & under are free when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters Blog received admission to Luray Caverns in exchange for promotion and review. All opinions belong to the blogger.


Spinosaurus, Lost Giant of the Cretaceous, National Geographic Museum Exhibit Review

by EJ on 03/30/15

After snow storms kept us from visiting the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC two separate times over the winter, we finally made it to the Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous exhibit on a chilly but brilliantly sunny day this March. Our dinosaur-obsessed ten year old and future paleontologist was more than thrilled to explore an exhibit devoted solely to her most favorite creature to have ever lived. Trust me, I've been hearing about this dinosaur for quite a while and I'm bombarded by Spinosaurus facts several times a day. According to my daughter, he's been underrated for some time (especially when compared to everyone's favorite Tyrannosaurus Rex) and his stats are quite more impressive. She was delighted to find that National Geographic appreciated her dinosaur so immensely as well. 

Spinosaurus is a story of discovery, adventure, loss and rediscovery.

The exhibit began with the first discovery of Spinosaurus fossils more than 100 years ago, by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer, whose story was full of discovery and loss. His partial skeleton of Spinosaurus was the first find of its kind. Living within dangerous Nazi Germany, Stromer was an outspoken critic of Hitler's regime. The Munich museum that housed Stromer's life work, research and fossil finds was bombed and destroyed in 1944. All of his work, including his beloved Spinosaurus fossils were completely gone. His loss did not end there and as a lover of science and as a mother, his story had me in tears. 

The adventure continued over a century later, with National Geographic explorer and paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim who was not about to let Spinosaurus disappear forever. On a mission to bring Spinosaurus back to light, he embarked on a journey of rediscovery, with the help of fellow explorers and records kept by Stromer. The results of this incredible trek across Northern Africa are documented throughout the exhibit, with an interactive Moroccan fossil market as well as accompanying sound and video.

The exhibit featured far more than only the history of the Spinosaurus fossils; it presented the entire ecosystem of northern Africa during the Cretaceous period, which consisted of a variety of predators in a tropical landscape. How did so many predators thrive in such a place without herbivores for a food source? Researchers have come to the conclusion that Spinosaurus was an aquatic dinosaur, adapted to life on land and in water, with aquatic creatures as its primary food source. 

Our daughter was definitely in the dinosaur zone throughout the exhibit, barely breathing a word to us as she noted in her journal and took photographs with her own camera. Unlike some other dinosaur exhibits we've been to, this one really drew you in and created a sense of adventure for the visitor. From the moment you step into the exhibit, you're taken on a journey. In fact, the whole thing - from Stromer to Ibrahim - it's all just begging to be made into a major motion picture. My daughter is also a budding filmmaker (all her movies are about dinosaurs, of course), so maybe she'll have to take care of that, too.

In the museum courtyard stands a true-to-life sized Spinosaurus, which thrilled the kids to no end. The musuem asks visitors to hashtag #SpinoDino when posting their photos with the magnificent dinosaur. Here's one of ours!

Don't miss your chance to see Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous. The exhibit runs through April 12th of 2015.

About the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC

The National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC brings past and current expeditions, adventures and scientific research to life for visitors of all ages. While tours are offered in the museum, they are not offered for offices and the National Geographic headquarters. To read about the museum, plan your visit and read about current and upcoming exhibitions, visit their website, located HERE.

You can also access information about lectures, live events and speakers for special events HERE.

Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters Blog received admission to National Geographic Museum in exchange for promotional and review purposes. All opinions belong to the blogger.

Inspiralize the Spring by Tuttorosso and Ali Maffuci, Great Prizes and Recipes

by EJ on 03/19/15

Tuttorosso has teamed with Ali Maffucci, who blogs at Inspiralized for an "Inspiralize the Spring" promotion that runs from March 25th through April 15th. This promotion, which will run on Facebook, will give fans the chance to win great prizes, perfect for the springtime cooking season. Prizes include 750 Tuttorosso aprons, 15 copies of Ali's cookbook Inspiralized, a signed copy of Inspiralized as well as fun kitchen gadgets packed in a picnic basket. The promotion will also host a Virtual Dinner Party to exchange Spiralizer ideas and recipes. 

The Inspiralizer Tri-Blade vegetable spiral slicer is a fun way to get more fresh veggies and fruits into
your meals. Using firm fruits and vegetables, the spiral slicer can turn apples, onions, carrots, zucchinis, cucumbers, beets, turnips, rutabagas, cucumbers and more into spiral slices or "pasta" strands. 

Head over to Tuttorosso on Facebook for details on chatting with Ali Maffucci and to stay up to date on the Inspiralize the Spring promotion!

Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters received Tuttorosso products in exchange for this promotion. All opinions belong to the blogger. 


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Copyright: <a href=''>popocorn / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
Copyright: <a href=''>popocorn / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
Copyright: <a href=''>popocorn / 123RF Stock Photo</a>