10 Reasons Everything Is Awesome at the LEGOLAND Hotel

Our five-year-old's birthday wish was to spend the night at the new Florida LEGOLAND® Hotel. And quite honestly, I was pretty pumped to check it out myself. We took advantage of the Florida resident rate (35% off) and were set. There are always extra deals and promos here. I Read more

Park City, Utah Skiing With The Family

It's been awhile since the entire family went west, but it was time! I had a few snickers when I announced our plans to embark on a ski adventure with the entire family to Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival. But, then again places that people don't Read more

The Newest Vacation Rental in Orlando

I'm so excited to share my most recent article in PLAYGROUND magazine. Friends from my hometown in Pennsylvania have created the most amazing vacation rental space here in Orlando. Click through to read about the inspiration behind this awesome home and how you can book your stay.   Follow our family 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


Family Weekend Fun in the OC

Orlando Science Center $5 Admission

We’ll be at one or both of these happenings if I can escape my world of DIY house renovations this weekend.

$5 Admission to Science Center Orlando Science Center will be open this Saturday, October 16 for an admission of only $5! The “Walmart $5 Day” sponsored by the Walmart Foundation is tied to the Greenovations event that’s designed to educate visitors on ways to live a “greener life”. All Greenovations activities and the usual Science Center big screen films and exhibits are included with admission. Normal admission is $17 general and $12 ages 3-11. Hours of operation are 10 am – 5 pm. For more info go to www.osc.org.

Monsters, I mean movie at Barber Park

Free Movie in the Park How can you go wrong with an outdoor movie in the park in October. Barber Park will be showing Monsters vs.Aliens for free this Friday night, October 15. Movie starts at 7:30 pm or when it gets dark. Coolers, chairs, blankets and bug spray are recommended. However, alcohol and pets are not…. leave them at home. Barber Park is on Gatlin Rd. between Conway Rd. and Dixie Belle. Close to my new hood. Visit www.orangecountyparks.net for more information.

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando Leave a comment

Foto Friday Erica Clements Style

It all started with those dang mug shot looking pregnancy photos I posted a few weeks back. I took the first amateur step in embracing my growing belly with photos, and then the next thing you know, I’m in Erica Clements studio with Mia embracing this moment in life.

Mia and I had lots of fun with this shoot, and the delicious cupcakes provided by Erica helped too. Here are my fav pics from our session and also information on Erica’s holiday mini-sessions. If you are interested in holiday cards, call her NOW! Time slots are filling up and yes… the holidays are almost upon us.

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Posted on by Amanda in Foto Friday, Orlando, Prego 2 Comments

Bringing Play Time Back

Sadly, I had to be reminded this week, by the owner of Amaya Papaya, of  “The Importance of Play.” My busy life got the best of me, and it’s time to bring play time back!

Amaya Papaya, located in Casselberry (right outside of Orlando), has created a destination for families to play, learn, party and shop together while hanging out in an eclectic parent-child hangout. Children ages 0 – 5 can learn through hands on discovery, role playing, physical activity and parent/child interaction. Parents can play with their children on play structures, slides, and in imagination-inspiring themed play areas, or relax and talk to other grown ups while watching their children explore from one of the wifi equipped lounge areas.

Amaya Papaya

There is always some hip happening taking place at Amaya Papaya so check the calendar for special classes, story times and events for children and adults.

So enough of my babble… get over there and experience what the hype is about first hand. I’ll make it easy for you.

WIN: Leave a comment below letting me know how you instate the “Importance of Play” in your family and you’ll be entered to win a free open play card for Amaya Papaya. I have 3 to giveaway. This contest will run through Friday, October 15.

Amaya Papaya is open Monday – Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm and Fridays from 10 am to 5 pm. Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for private parties or open play (check the calendar.)  Price of admission for kids is $9.99 for kids 1-6 and $4.99 for babies 8 – 12 months, unless of course you have a free pass from The Mamma Mia Blog! 

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Orlando 7 Comments

Foto Friday: Pinkberry Otown Par-tay

Pinkberry Orlando Opening

Mia and her buddy Jayla enjoying thier Pinkberry

Ran into some fro-yo loving peeps

The Pink Carpet

After hair, make-up, tats and nails by Pinkberry

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando Leave a comment

Pinkberry Coming to Orlando

Bet you thought the title of this post was a misprint. Think again! Pinkberry is really coming to Orlando and soon… August 20 to be exact. The new location of swirly goodness is 7600 Dr. Philips Blvd. on the corner of Sandlake and Dr. Philips.

This opening marks Pinkberry's first location in Florida.

I’ve been a  Pinkberry fan since my first Pinkberry experience in San Diego. For years I’ve been dreaming of the day I would have full access to my very own local Pinkberry. Why do I love it? Um, how about gummy bears to fresh fruits to pomegranate juice to Belgian chocolate shavings?  Your yogurt will be dressed to impress your taste buds with Pinkberry’s unbelievable toppings bar.  All this, besides the fact that almost every celeb you swoon over has been spotted munching on the frozen yogurt.

And now, an extra special Pinkberry experience offer from The Mamma Mia Blog, comment below to win two tickets to the exclusive VIP Pinkberry event taking place the night before opening from 6-9 pm. There is a “Groupie” event taking place the same evening that’s open to the public, but your exclusive tickets will allow you into the VIP area where you will enjoy a world with no lines, a pinwheel full of great prizes, FREE frozen Pinkberry yogurt and fun times with yours truly. Although, I don’t know how much talking I’ll be doing as I shovel frozen yogurt down my throat.

More good news! If you don’t win the VIP tickets, I’m giving away two runner up prize packs with Pinkberry coupons and t-shirts. Keep on entering!

There will be a total of 3 winners. I’ll announce the grand prize and runner up winners on Tuesday, August 17.

How to enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post – 1 entry PER DAY so return to Mamma Mia daily!!
  • “Like” Pinkberry on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know – 1 entry
  • Become a Groupie on the Pinkberry website and leave a comment letting me know – 1 entry

Gotta love this… Pinkberry will be donating a portion of all opening weekend sales to assist Give Kids The World efforts in providing critically ill children and their families with a carefree Orlando vacation. Kudos to Pinkberry on this initiative.

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Orlando 18 Comments

Let Them Have Cake Shooters!

Most of us who live in the Orlando area know of Sprinkles Custom Cakes. This dessert mecca offers the best sweets around for events, parties or even just because you want some cake.

Sprinkles has recently introduced a new member to their dessert family… Cake Shooters!!  The picture says it all.  Flavors are available in yellow rasberry swirl, pina coloda, OMG (combo of rasberry swirl and butter cream icing) and Sprinkles signature. We’ve tried them, and seriously can’t decide on a favorite.

Get this! Tori Spelling even ordered these sweet treats  (delivered from Orlando to L.A.) for her daughter’s 2nd birthday. Read more here at People.com.

Now, the moment you have been waiting for…. You, yes you, can win a a box of six cake shooters just by leaving a comment stating what flavor sounds like it would tickle your taste buds. You can earn up to two bonus entries by becoming a Sprinkles Fan on Facebook and following Sprinkles on Twitter. Three (3) entries total per person. Please leave additional comments stating you’ve become a Facebook Fan and Twitter follower.

This giveaway will run through Friday, July 23 when a winner will be selected from Random.org.

The giveaway is open to Central Florida residents (or anyone interested in making a drive to pick up the shooters) as you will need to pick your prize up at the Sprinkles Custom Cakes location on Fairbanks Ave.

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Orlando 34 Comments

Splash Up! Aquatica Orlando

Mia and I had the awesome opportunity last week to attend Aquatica Splash Up. The event allowed tweeters, bloggers and the such the chance to explore the 2-year-old Orlando water park. Mia and I are long time Sea World fans and were excited to see how Sea World’s emphasis on wildlife was incorporated into Aquatica.

We were fortunate enough to link up  with fellow blogger and PLAYGROUND online editor, Jen Burg and her family to explore the park on the scorching FL afternoon. (If you don’t know Jen you should. Check out her Suburban Mom blog for great deals on just about everything!)

The tiny tots area, Kata’s Kookabura Cove, was perfect for Jen’s 2-year-old daughter Kendall and even for 4-year-old Mia. The water was the perfect temp and the slides were still thrilling even for my mini thrill seeker. I could have lounged in Kookabura Cove all day!

Next we ventured to Walkabout Waters… where the bigger kids play. Mia thoroughly enjoyed herself, but was definitely on the cusp of being a little small to hang with this crowd. I could barely keep up with her in her excitement to try just about every slide and climbing option in Walkabout Waters. My effort to keep up with Mia was quite entertaining to the Burg family and I’m sure anyone else observing my net climbing skills.

Before the evening was through, we had to check out the infamous Dolphin Plunge where you slide down a tube through the tank of Commerson’s dolphins (aka mini shamu). Jen took the liberty of checking out the slide for us.

Last but not least we cruised around the lazy river and were pleasantly surprised to again see into the Commerson’s dolphin tank and also drift past a giant fish tank.

During our afternoon at Aquatica we dined at the Banana Beach Cookout where it’s all you can eat and drink all day. A total bargain for a family day at a water or theme park in Orlando! Adult price is $19.99 and children 3-9 eat all day for $11.99.

Admission to Aquatica is $47.95 for adults and $41.95 for kids. Get this… FL and GA residents can get an after 2 pm year long pass for only $49.95!! What a steal. Be sure to upgrade your ticket before you leave for only a few dollars more.

Disclaimer: Aquatica provided Mia and I with complimentary admission to Aquatica for the event. However, all opinions included above are my own.

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando, Travel 1 Comment

PLAYGROUND Summer Issue Has Arrived!

I’m a little late on this announcement, but as you can see, I’ve been a little busy. PLAYGROUND magazine hit news stands last week. This issue features tons of summer fun and a lovely article by yours truly. My article walks potential first time pet owners through the pros and cons of owning a pet along with insight from the experts. Is there a poodle or a beta fish in your future? Find out. Get to one of PLAYGROUND’s distribution points or subscribe to the magazine.

Summer Issue 2010

Kids Best Friend Parenting 101

Excerpt from Kid’s Best Friend: Thinking about taking the plunge and adding a pet to your already crazy and dysfunctional brood? While having a pet involves work, it can also be an excellent way for a family to come together, share responsibilities and create everlasting memories.

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando, PLAYGROUND 1 Comment

Get Your Muddy On!

Mia flashing a smile before crossing the finish line

So maybe you’ve heard of the Muddy Buddy competition….  Teams of two conquer (or attempt to conquer) a 6-7 mile off-road course including biking and running and obstacles.

At the end of the race, racers crawl through the infamous Mud Pit before crossing the finish. Oh, themed costumes are a must… Prizes involved for the best costumed duo.

While neither Marcus or I competed in the adult portion. (Yeah, yeah… next year, I swear) We were super excited to learn about the Mini Muddy Buddy that accompanies the “old people” race. Entry fees for kids were only $15. Besides and awesome experience, the cost included t-shirts and a froggy medal.

Muddy Buddy

The kids were divided into age groups and then conquered the obstacle course as well as the Mud Pitt.  Music, winners circle, snacks and drinks followed. Teaching your kids to embrace a healthy lifestyle at an early age is so important. This competition really hit that message home.

Find out when the Muddy Buddy is coming to your neck of the woods by clicking here. You MUST watch this video and visit the site for more footage.

Click to see Mia's big muddy finish

A proud daddy and veteran Muddy Buddy participant

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Posted on by Amanda in Fitness & Health, Orlando Leave a comment

Memorial Day Weekend in Central Florida

Hanging around Orlando this holiday weekend? Here are a few ideas for fun around town on a budget.

Sea World After Dark


This weekend kicks off Sea World’s After Dark events that run May 29 through August 15. The events include Shamu Rocks, Sea Lion Tonite and Reflections, a soaring celebration of fountains and fireworks. To add to the excitement, now through December 31, 2010, when U.S. residents purchase a full-price adult admission, children ages 3-12 receive a ticket to SeaWorld for only $5.00. 100% of the proceeds will be donated by SeaWorld to a wildlife conservation project of your choice.

Rockin Lake Eola

Lake Eola Park

The Lake Eola Fountain was finally repaired and turned on this week just in time for the first concert in the  Rockin Lake Eola concert series. Head downtown for some urban action and enjoy the free event happening every Saturday through September 3 from 3 to 11 pm. Groove to live music from local and national acts.  Food and drinks will be available for purchase from local downtown businesses.

Beachfest 2010 Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach Pier

The Cocoa Beach Pier is only 45 minutes East of Orlando and  is hosting the Beachfest 2010 this weekend! The festival features over 22 musical groups, and basically any time you stop by you’ll catch some tunes.  Food and beverages always available for purchase at the pier.

What are your plans in Central Florida this holiday weekend?

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando, Travel Leave a comment
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