Enchanted Evenings At Waldorf Astoria Orlando

The Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, near Disney, has an unimaginable amount family fun going on this summer during Enchanted Evenings. Enchanted Evenings schedule of events happen every weekend through Labor Day. We had the chance to stay at the Waldorf Astoria, in a two bedroom suite perfect for families, during Read more

Family Getaway Postcard Inn St. Pete Beach

A few weeks ago, our family, along with two other Orlando families,ventured to St. Pete beach on the Gulf Coast to celebrate a little friend's 8th birthday at the Postcard Inn. I was attracted to the aesthetics of this trendy spot since it was transformed from a Travelodge in Read more

Best Play Spots in Paris

It's almost three weeks since we returned from Europe, and I've finally sifted through my photos. I felt like my first post should talk about the fun playgrounds/parks in Paris. What an awesome experience to see the girls jumping right into the mix at playgrounds many miles from their Read more

Fun Travel Prep for Kids - Paris & London

It's not everyday you travel over the pond to such amazing places like Paris and London. I decided to start the journey for me and Mia long before we packed our bags for the airport. Here are a few fun things we did to get ready and excited! My brother sent Read more

Hidden Gem: Sand Key Florida

My other half planned a short getaway for our nine year anniversary. I wasn't exactly sure where we were headed, but knew it was somewhere around Clearwater Beach. As we drove over the bridge to Clearwater, I kept expecting a turn off at one of the many beach hotels. To my surprise Read more

Westin Cape Coral Weekend Getaway

Most of you who follow my Instagram or Twitter know that we had a fabulously fun weekend at the Westin in Cape Coral, FL a few weeks ago. The property became a Westin in December of 2013 and underwent a plethora of renovations, which I believe puts it in the best Read more

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

We finally had the chance to visit Disney's Art of Animation Resort this week for a little staycation. It is located where construction on the unfinished half of Disney's Pop Century Resort was started, but later abandoned after 9/11. The resort is the first to be built in the complex Read more

Meeting Winter - Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Most of the world has seen (or at least heard of) the movie Dolphin Tale. The story highlights the rescue of a wounded dolphin who ends up losing one very important important thing... a tale! The Clearwater Marine Aquarium works hard in the movie to create a prosthetic tail just Read more

DK Travel Guide Giveaway – London, Paris, New York & Italy

Win 4-Pack of Travel Guide Books!

Win 4-Pack of Travel Guide Books!

The DK travel guide covers are recognizable to just about everyone. Hard to believe that DK’s Eyewitness Travel guides have been around for 20 years. This summer, guides to iconic destinations like Italy, Ireland, London, Paris, and New York City received a makeover.

As many of you know we embarked on a journey to Paris and London a few months back. We pulled from multiple resources for our trip, but this new revamped London guide is definitely a perfect one stop shop for your London travel. Mia had a great time perusing the book reminiscing about our London trip.

I love to give away books on Mamma Mia, but especially travel related books! I’m excited to give away a 4-pack from DK including the new London,Paris, Italy and New York City guide books. Perfect for planning a trip or just dreaming about one! The pack is valued at $100.

Travel Guide Book Giveaway

4 Travel Guides Worth $100

How to Win:

  • Leave a comment letting me know which location you’d most like to visit out of the four books.
  • Follow DK Travel (@dk_travel) on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did.
  • Like DK Travel on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did.

I’ll select a winner on Monday, August 4 at 3 pm.

Happy Travels!

This contest is open to residents of US/Canada only. I was provide with a copy of the DK London guide for review. All opinions on The Mamma Mia Blog are my own. Photographs and text reproduced by permission of DK, a division of Penguin Random House ©2014 by DK.

 

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Random, Travel 13 Comments

#Snacks2Go for Summer Travel & Day Trips

Click for 10 Tasty Travel Snacks

Click for 10 Tasty Travel Snacks #Snacks2Go

As many of you know, when I’m not exploring new places and food with my family, I’m spending my days with Produce for Kids. We work everyday to spread the healthy eating message to families with tips and easy produce packed recipes.

This week we are hosting a Twitter party with Bolthouse Farms and my fabulous friend Estela Schnelle from Weekly Bite to chat about #Snacks2Go for those summer road trips and long pool days. Travel and on the go snacking is always a hurdle in our family so I’m really excited to hear and share tips with others. Click the image to get our recent round-up of snacks!

Join us! You can RSVP here or simply hop on the hashtag #Snacks2Go on Twitter Wednesday evening at 9 pm ET. There will be fun giveaways from Bolthouse and Produce for Kids!

#Snacks2Go Twitter Party June 25 9 pm ET

#Snacks2Go Twitter Party June 25 9 pm ET

Follow our family travel & food adventures live on Instagram and Twitter! 

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Enchanted Evenings At Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Waldorf Astoria Enchanted Evenings

Waldorf Astoria Pool Entrance

The Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, near Disney, has an unimaginable amount family fun going on this summer during Enchanted Evenings. Enchanted Evenings schedule of events happen every weekend through Labor Day.

We had the chance to stay at the Waldorf Astoria, in a two bedroom suite perfect for families, during the kick-off of Enchanted Evenings. The girls finished school on Wednesday so it was the perfect way to celebrate summer.

Enchanted Evenings at Waldorf had fun poolside activities for the kids including Water Walkers. (Take a look at this video of Mia taking advantage.) She never stopped laughing. Other family friendly activities taking place around the hotel were a Weird Science Ice Cream Social, Regatta Sailboat Decorating, Kids Club Astoria After Dark and Family S’mores Night. The full schedule of events is here.

We spent a lot of time at the zero entry pool, perfect for the girls. I heard several guests raving about the Lime In he Coconut poolside cocktail and had to try it out. This drink was heavenly! Just a five minute walk from the Waldorf pool is the Hilton Bonnet Creek (where there’s another schedule of family activities for Summer Blast) pool and lazy river. I’ll have a post coming ASAP on Hilton Bonnet Creek’s festivities, which you are welcome to enjoy as a guest at Waldorf.

Ice Cream Social Waldorf Astoria

Ice Cream Social Waldorf Astoria

Oscar’s for breakfast was the highlight of our mornings. The breakfast buffet left us full through lunch. I couldn’t get enough of the fresh squeezed juices like – carrot and watermelon. The girls had to be carried away from the pastry display.

Service, in true Waldorf style, was impeccable and even Mia commented on the friendliness of the staff. As a testament to the family fun we had, our 3-yr-old cried in the lobby saying she never wanted to leave.

Summer rates during Enchanted Evenings start at $249. This location is perfect for your Orlando staycation (like us) or families visiting Orlando on summer break.

Follow our family travel & food adventures live on Instagram and Twitter! 

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Waldorf Astoria

The girls in the Waldorf lobby looking out to pool

Enchanted Evenings Waldorf Astoria

Relaxing after a fun filled day! 

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando, Travel Leave a comment

The Baby Tree Book Giveaway

The Baby Tree is a new super cute book that plays off of a child’s confusion of exactly where babies come from. While I do think there’s a time when this answer should be explained in detail, for now, I’m happy to share this playful book with my girls.

The Baby Tree Book Giveaway

The Baby Tree Book Giveaway

Answering this question has never been this easy or entertaining! In the book, a curious little boy asks everyone from his babysitter to the mailman where babies come from… getting all sorts of funny answers along the way before his parents gently set him straight.

The Baby Tree is a new book from Sophie Blackall. She is the illustrator of several award-winning books, including Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges, Meet Wild Boars by Meg Rosoff, Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson, and the Ivy and Bean books by Annie Barrows.

I’m excited to be able to give a copy of the book away along with a soft kids blanket!

How to Enter:

  • Leave a comment below with the funniest story you were told about where babies come from
  • Tweet about the giveaway using the hashtag #thebabytree and tag (The Mamma Mia Blog) @amandamkeefer
  • Follow Penguin Kids on Twitter or Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did so

This giveaway is open to US residents. I’ll notify a winner on June 20 at 3 pm.

Sample and prizing courtesy of Penguin Books USA

Be sure to follow our family adventures live on Instagram and Twitter!

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Parenting, Prego 25 Comments

Family Getaway Postcard Inn St. Pete Beach

Postcard Inn

A few weeks ago, our family, along with two other Orlando families,ventured to St. Pete beach on the Gulf Coast to celebrate a little friend’s 8th birthday at the Postcard Inn. I was attracted to the aesthetics of this trendy spot since it was transformed from a Travelodge in 2009 and was super excited to finally check it out in person.

Postcard is extremely unique with a 70s style hipster Florida ambiance… think faded photographs of surfers and other beach scenes on the walls of the rooms and  couches and chairs that look like they’ve been handpicked from a thrift store. This is not your run of the mill beach property.

The kids loved the outdoor movie on Friday evening in the garden. The birthday girls’ mom had the necessities to make S’mores so our the crew was able to enjoy sweet snacks while watching a kiddie flick. A local surf instructor, recommended by the front desk, gave the girls an hour long surf lesson Saturday morning. This was the highlight of their weekend for sure.

The hotel pool is huge. Nothing fancy, but reminisce of your 70s beach side pool with the perfect view. Wait staff circle the lounge chairs to take Postcard Inn St. Pete Beachfood and drink orders, but during busy times, I recommend popping over to the snack window or stopping off at the bar to order.

The clientele was a mix of locals hanging out at the beach side bar, families and couples. The beach on the spring Saturday we were there was definitely more calm and family friendly during the morning hours from 9 am – 12 pm. After that, it was bustling with locals and early 20 somethings who wanted to be stationed near the beach bar on a Saturday afternoon.

Rates are reasonable and Florida resident rates are almost always available. The garden rooms were we stayed went through a complete overhaul last year and the poolside cabana rooms will be updated next fall.

If you are looking for the swank surroundings and service you’d receive at the Ritz, this isn’t the spot for you. However if you are looking for an eclectic laid back beach weekend, I say this is the place to be.

Postcard Inn

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PS – The giant swan float traveled with our group from Orlando. Not property of Postcard Inn.

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Posted on by Amanda in Travel 1 Comment

Dinner Time = Family Time #MealsTogether

I must start off by saying this is a sponsored post by Tyson. However, I believe strongly in family meal time so all opinions shared in this post are my own.

 

Tyson #MealsTogether

What family dinner looks like in our house

While our family is involved in numerous after school/after work activities, I shoot for the entire brood to sit down at the family dinner table at least three weekdays and on weekends. It’s tough, and I imagine as the girls get older it will get tougher. I try to make sure the family has something yummy and healthy on the table, but also cherish the conversations and laughs we share.

 

Tyson #MealsTogether

Our quick weeknight meal

Tyson is running a #MealsTogether initiative encouraging families to share meal time together. Accompanying the message is a photo contest where all you need to do is upload a photo of what meal time looks like at your house.

 

For our Tyson #MealsTogether entry we used a photo from a quick weeknight meal. I use Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken breast strips, heated  in the oven with sliced zucchini and then accompanied with steamed broccoli and watermelon. It was just me and the girls for dinner so this was the perfect quick and healthy meal before we were off to dance class.

 

Enter the Tyson #MealsTogether photo contest here.  They are giving away weekly prize packs and a grand prize of $1,500!  Our entry is above. Good luck!

 

Tyson #MealsTogether

Tyson #MealsTogether

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Best Play Spots in Paris

It’s almost three weeks since we returned from Europe, and I’ve finally sifted through my photos. I felt like my first post should talk about the fun playgrounds/parks in Paris. What an awesome experience to see the girls jumping right into the mix at playgrounds many miles from their home. We only had three days in the City of Love, but found some awesome kids spots to share and recommend.

Jardin Du Luxembourg - Or as Mia calls it “the largest playground in the world.” Check out this kiddie zipline in our video. It was 1 Euro to enter, but totally worth the minimal cost. The park is in the garden of the French Senate located within the Luxembourg Palace.

Luxembourg Palace

Luxembourg Palace

 


Jardin des Tuileries – Perfect stop after visiting the Louvre. This garden was created in 1554 and located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde! Grassy areas to picnic, a cool playground, food vendors (including cotton candy) and a trampoline park in the midst of it all.

Jardin des Tuileries near the Louvre

Jardin des Tuileries near the Louvre

Jardin des Tuileries near the Louvre

Jardin des Tuileries near the Louvre

Gardens surrounding the play area

Gardens surrounding the play area

 

Parc de Bercy Right near our hotel in Bercy Village was the huge Bercy Parc area connecting 12 beautiful gardens. The girls loved the winding paths and of course the fun play area. The parc is situated on the bank of the Sienne so you can take a peek at the famous river and the city.

 

Just minutes from our Hotel Kyriad Bercy was this quaint park

Just minutes from our Hotel Kyriad Bercy

These trees were just days away from blooming

These trees were just days away from blooming

Taking a glimpse of the Sienne

Getting a glimpse of the Sienne

 

Check back for more posts from our Europe adventure! I promise I’m getting through these photos and memories and will have lots to share to help you plan or dream about your next family trip.

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Fun Travel Prep for Kids – Paris & London

It’s not everyday you travel over the pond to such amazing places like Paris and London. I decided to start the journey for me and Mia long before we packed our bags for the airport. Here are a few fun things we did to get ready and excited!

Kiddie Travel Journal

Kiddie Travel Journal

My brother sent an awesome kids travel journal so Mia could document her first international trip. She created her packing list, wrote down what she thinks will be her favorite things and even drew in pictures of what she imagines will happen on her trip. There are pages for pre, during and post trip. The journal is simplistic and is an easy and great way to document the adventure through your child’s eyes.

We visited our local library and found multiple gems like Kidding Around London and Count Your Way Through France. Books that talk about landmarks and quirky facts are the best. For instance did you know a baguette can be up to three feet?

The library also had a London and Paris DVD from the series Travel With Kids that we were able to check out.

Mia received the book Charlotte in Paris, from my sister. While in Paris, Charlotte dines at a cafe on the Champs-Elysees, watches a marionette show in the Tuileries gardens and celebrates her birthday at the Eiffel Tower. Mia will celebrate her 8th birthday at the Eiffel Tower as well! Perfect.

Charlotte in Paris

Charlotte in Paris

Last but not least, Mia has been working on the fun kids language app Duolingo for weeks. She is not speaking fluent French just yet, but she definitely knows more than me and is going to have fun recognizing and hearing words she knows.

I can’t wait to share the fun details of our upcoming travels.

Follow our journey on Instagram and Twitter!

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Giveaway Time! Mega Bloks Barbie™ Build ‘n Play Luxe Camper

Charli (3)  is obsessed with building puzzles and  any type of blocks she can get her hands on. I think I have an engineer on my hands! The Mega Bloks Barbie™ Luxe Camper is right up her alley because it combines another love… Barbie. Geared to kids ages 4-10, but she and I worked on it as a team.

MEGA BLOKS BARBIE™ BUILD ‘N PLAY LUXE CAMPER

MEGA BLOKS BARBIE™ BUILD ‘N PLAY LUXE CAMPER

The sparkling holiday cruiser includes bunk beds, make-up area and  front seats. Outside of the camper there is a firepit, hot tub and picnic area. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty jealous of Barbie and her friends once we completed the camper.

I’m really excited to be able to give one away!

How To Win:

  • Leave a comment below letting me know your favorite thing (or not fave thing) about camping
  • Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did so
  • Tweet about the giveaway: Win a @MegaBloks Barbie Luxe Camper on The Mamma Mia Blog @amandamkeefer #giveaway
Contest open to US residents only. Contest ends on March 25 at 3 pm.I was provided with product for review. All thoughts and opinions on The Mamma Mia Blog are my own.
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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways 21 Comments

Hidden Gem: Sand Key Florida

My other half planned a short getaway for our nine year anniversary. I wasn’t exactly sure where we were headed, but knew it was somewhere around Clearwater Beach.

Marriott Sand Key

Marriott Sand Key

As we drove over the bridge to Clearwater, I kept expecting a turn off at one of the many beach hotels.

To my surprise we headed over a bridge away from Clearwater Beach and turned into the Marriott Sand Key.

We only had Saturday and Sunday to spend in the area, but I can tell you this was pure paradise. Close enough to Clearwater tourist area to enjoy the pier and shops if you wanted, but far enough that you are amongst residential condos and free to enjoy a beach undergoing a nourishment project that welcomes a plethora of amazing shells.

Sand Key Beach

Sand Key Beach

The Marriott Sand Key has an amazing pool area, kids club (We’ll be back withthe kids), restaurants (on location and nearby), fun water sports, tiki bar, great room views and friendly staff.

We will definitely be back!

Be sure to follow more of our family travel & adventures on Instagram!

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