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

Orlando

Hey Orlando Babies! Wanna Be A Star?


babytalk magazine has relocated to Orlando and needs your super cute baby to strike a pose. Don’t be shy!

Email three recent photos of your 6-18 month bundle of joy to sabrina.james@bonniercorp.com for consideration. Don’t forget to include date of birth.

If they receive your photos by July 3, your little one could be making their fashion debut in the magazine’s fall fashion shoot on July 7.

Send photos ASAP! You know your baby is a SUPERSTAR!!!

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando Leave a comment

You Are Where You Eat

I like to eat. Actually, I like to eat a lot. Pending budget, our little clan can usually be found eating at Orlando’s new restaurants within one week of their opening, or frequenting Orlando’s most unique and often overlooked establishments.

Right along with breastfeeding and a colic laden baby, one of my biggest fears while pregnant was that my future culinary experiences would consist of Chick-fil-A and Chuck E Cheese.

In an attempt to save my relationship with food, I decided I would not succumb.

Mia was about three weeks old when we made our way to Numero Uno, my favorite Cuban restaurant. (I know, I didn’t hibernate behind closed doors till the eight week shots. Numero Uno was calling for us, and I was quite sure one little trip couldn’t hurt.) The first year flew by and before I knew it Mia was sucking on edamame with the girls and I at our favorite sushi restaurant.

There were certainly times that our dining experience with a small child was strained, but we suffered through and Mia learned…. Even if that meant me taking her outside, looking her sternly in the eyes and telling her to shape up or ship out. You might question if a two-year-old would “get it.” They do.

So to those future mommy’s who think their dining out life is down the tubes. Fret not. Suck it up. You’ll have some hard times, but in the end your kid will know how to act in a restaurant… what is acceptable and what is not. Stay strong, and you to can create a napkin in the lap, waiter savvy toddler.

And, it turns out Chuck E Cheese isn’t all that bad… Every once in awhile. Compromise, and give your child the best. But, don’t give up who you are and what you love, especially when it comes to
your taste buds!

Mia’s Orlando Hot Spots:

Bento Sushi
Located in the Plaza downtown. Sushi at a reasonable price, wine and beer. Mia enjoys a bowl of steamed green beans, rice and Japanese ice cream for desert. The eclectic atmosphere and rocks that lie below the table tops will keep little ones enthralled.

Numero Uno
If you blink, you’ll miss this hidden gem on Orange Avenue near Michigan. The food is authentic Cuban and delicious! Mia’s favorites include anything mommy or daddy order and share with her including (but not limited to) Ropavieja, chicken, tostones, maduros, black beans and rice.

Metro Espresso
Pizzeria with an edge. Metro Espresso serves up pizza, along with salads and other Italian dishes. Mia dines on thin crust pizza, lemonade and half of mom’s side salad. Outside seating lets you soak in the personality of Thornton Park.

On a final note, don’t forget to vote on Nickelodeon’s Parents Picks website for Orlando’s best local blog. Spirit fingers!!!

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando, Parenting Leave a comment

Go To Your Happy Place

I’m not sure if my first statement will discredit my blog in anyway, but hey… what can I do. I am proud to say one of my all-time favorite movies is Happy Gilmore. (Yes, the corny Adam Sandler movie.) “Go to your happy place!”

I thought I knew my “happy places.” I was wrong. An urgent re-evaluation is in order! Life has become so hectic and busy. It has become hard to identify an atmosphere were I feel most relaxed. Yes, I know… floating on a raft in a pool with adult bev in hand. That’s definitely one of them. But, really,where is your “happy place”?

With a long “life” to do list and work on my mind, I woke on Memorial Day with a lump in my throat and a very tight chest.

How could I get out of this funk…

Off we went to feed the swans. Ahhh… Euphoria. Tiny goslings swimming by… mommy and daddy handing over tiny pieces of lettuce to their young. Then, swan attack!!!! Apparently we ventured close to the nest. The dad swan was about to lay down the law. Whatever anxiety was starting to diminish came flooding back.

Next stop, Urban Think, the independent book store on Central Blvd. As we entered the store I felt my anxiety start to float away. By the time Mia and I were sitting with tea and gelato discussing the stores unique string of light fixtures, my anxiety was all but gone.

We watched an independent artist stack the shelves with her most recent work, observed people shuffle in and out asking questions about and ordering all types of teas, we listened to the Coffee House music playing on the the store’s Sirius and then cuddled in a big comfy chair in the kids section and read the best of the best children’s books. I even broke down and wore the Horton ears for a self portrait! (Don’t we look happy?)

Although I’d been in this store many times, I never realized it was my “happy place.” The stresses and rush of everyday life leaves many of us not knowing what calms us or what might be the natural remedy for a tight chest. Stop for a second and savor the moment. You’ll be surprised to find out just where your “happy place” might be and how easy and affordable it is to get there.

Although I’d like to keep my “happy place” to myself, I guess I can share the wealth… Click through to the Urban Think website for a complete list of events and store hours. Your well-being will thank you.

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Vote For The Underdog

Last evening I had a message on Facebook from one of my fav mommy bloggers in Orlando saying – congrats on the nom for best local blogger.

My reaction…. WHAT???

Low and behold, little old Mamma Mia, the new kid on the block, has been nominated for the title of best local blog in Orlando by Nickelodeon’s Parents Picks website

There are seven blogs nominated and they are all fabulous!

Please take a second to go to Nickelodeon’s Parents Picks to vote for Mamma Mia, or the mommy blog of your choice. (wink, wink) Be sure to comment and give a rating as well!

A big thank you to all of my Mamma Mia peeps who read the blog every week. I’m still working through overall design of the site, and promise there is so much more to come!

For Local Blog
in Orlando

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando Leave a comment
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