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

Healthy Lunchbox Ideas

Mia has a book called Samantha's Silly-icious Sandwiches. Samantha gets sick of having the same boring sandwich in her lunch everyday and decides to create her own unique sandwiches. Her "Silly-icious Sandwiches" turn into a hit at school and a booming business, which she soon hands over for her 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

Guest bloggers

Hey Kids! Please Touch! – guest post by Abbey

There’s someone in this world who ranks pretty high on my special list… And, she just happens to be my sister. While most days you’ll find my sister Abbey writing scientific documents with facts and figures, she took a step away to write this post on her recent trip to the Philadelphia Please Touch Museum with my fabulous nephew. Enjoy!

While looking for things to do on a recent weekend trip to Philly with my almost two year old son, I came across info on the Please Touch Museum. From the website, it seemed appropriate for a wide range of ages so I figured it would be something my son, the friend I was visiting, and I could all do together.

Once inside, Keefer started out cruising in the stroller but that was soon a lost cause. It is the “please touch” museum afterall! Keefer loved the grocery store. (Go figure) He grabbed a shopping cart and headed straight for the produce section where he stocked up on cauliflower, multiple heads of lettuce, and a few tomatoes (all plastic of course). During the shopping excursion, he also grabbed a few boxes of cake mix and a giant plastic turkey.  He knew exactly what to do when he went to the register and another young museum-goer scanned his items.

There was a “garage” where kids could play on cars, fill up tanks, drive a bus, or play on a model monorail.  Some other cool things were the Wonderland area, where we ran through a maze and were able to sit down for tea with some lifesize replicas of the Alice in Wonderland characters, River Adventures, and Rainforest Rhythm.

My friend and I had as much fun playing as Keefer did! The only dissapointing thing about our visit was the museum closed at 5 and we didn’t get there until 3 due to our lengthy drive from the Pittsburgh area. It would be nice if they had at least one day where evening hours are offered to accomodate those parents who work during the day (like myself.) The Museum is open 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am – 5 pm Sunday. The price tag seemed a bit steep for our short visit but would be worth it for a whole day of fun. Admission is $15 per person – one flat rate and kids under one are free.

Check out  Please Touch online for more details!

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Posted on by Amanda in Guest bloggers, Travel Leave a comment

Pregnancy After Cancer – Who Needs Statistics Anyway!


This week I welcome Tanya Villar as a Mamma Mia guest blogger. Tanya is a true survivor and a dear friend. You know the kind of friend that would drive five hours in the middle of the night in the rain to pick you up on the side of the road. Yeah… that’s her.

I have always known I wanted to be a mom. Choosing my career as a teacher was a no-brainer knowing that I wanted to spend the maximum amount of time with my future children.

At the age of 25 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and faced with the question, “Do you want to freeze your eggs?” They told me chances of getting pregnant after chemo and other treatments would be slim. I opted out due to financial reasons, and not really knowing if I would live or die. I told the doctor what is meant to be would be. I had a double mastectomy twenty days after that question. It was a scary time. My cancer had started to spread, but not to the stage four. I was a cusp of stage 2/3 cancer.

Five years went by, my cancer was in remission and I met someone that I thought could be “the one.” When we first started dating, I was very open about the potential issues with conceiving. Without a second thought he said, “There is always adoption.” Exactly what I needed to hear!

A year into our relationship, we moved in together and began discussing marriage and children. In October of 2006, we decided to test the odds and try to conceive.

We knew it would be a process, figuring we’d have time to get married and do other things. On December 1, 2006, and four pregnancy tests later (you never quite believe the first two or even three), we found out we were going to be parents. So much for statistics!

Although I was labeled high-risk, I had a perfect pregnancy that resulted in a perfect little boy (all 8lbs 15oz and 21 inches of him) who joined our family on August 13, 2007.

It has now been two years since my son was born, and I am due with child number two at the end of September! I was never a big fan of statistics anyway!

I feel extremely fortunate to have beaten the odds not once, but twice! Motherhood has been the most amazing gift, and I truly appreciate every step of the journey. My son is the most amazing little man. I love him with everything I have. I can’t wait to share my life with his little brother.

If I had based my life on statistics, I would have never been a mother. I am a cancer survivor…but most importantly…I am a mother!

If you are interested in learning more about breast cancer, other amazing survivors or to make a donation visit the Susan G. Komen website.

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Posted on by Amanda in Amazing Moms, Guest bloggers, Parenting Leave a comment