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

Giveaways

Doggie Portraits Sit Stay Pose Promo Code

Artwork courtesy of Etsy Shop Sit Stay Pose

Artwork courtesy of Etsy Shop Sit Stay Pose

If you are like us, your dog is part of the family. Our boxer loves (aka tolerates) being dressed up in capes, headbands and attending tea parties.

My dear friend and dog lover, Anne Dalles, recently discovered she has a special gift for painting dogs. She simply asks for a photo of the pup and goes to town, as you can see by the photo of my girls with our dog, Sam.  I’m obsessed and I feel like most dog lovers out there will be too!

Anne gave me a special code for readers of my blog to use on her Etsy shop for a 20% discount. It’s good through 11/20 with the code MAMMAMIA20.

The Inspiration Girls & Sam

The Inspiration Girls & Sam

This would make an awesome Christmas gift for the dog lover in your family! Prices vary on how many dogs or kids are featured in the art and on canvas size.

 

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, What's Cool Leave a comment

Must Have Preschooler App

Endless ABC is available for iPhone and iPad.

Endless ABC is available for iPhone and iPad

A mom at my daughter’s school alerted me to Endless ABC, aka the best preschooler app ever.

I simply could not resist sharing with all my other parent friends out there! In just a month, my two-year-old is able to identify all of her letters. She has also caught onto the phonetics that go along with each letter.

Word like HILARIOUS are introduced to toddler's vocab.

Word like HILARIOUS are introduced to preschooler’s vocab.

 

With this app, kids select a word and then the playful monsters throw the letters about. It’s up to your preschooler to put the word back together. As they drag each letter to its spot, the sound the letter makes blares out in a funny and catchy way. Once your child completes the word, the crowd cheers and the lovable monsters demonstrate the definition of the word.

Whether you’re commuting or waiting for your meal at the restaurant, this is the perfect way to keep your preschooler occupied and learning at the same time. You are welcome.

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Parenting, What's Cool 1 Comment

Mia’s Birthday Night At The Movies

Thinking of doing a movie night birthday? I have a few simple ideas to help you along the way. I Googled “movie night” up and down and around when planning for Mia’s party. Shave some time off your planning and check out the tips below! We have an outdoor movie screen and projector which is great for movie nights. If you are in the market for the big screen, check out Amazon.com for the most competitive prices. And now… lights, camera, action!

 

Snagged popcorn bags and glow bracelets at the Dollar Store. Table cloth from Party City.

 

Cake courtesy of fabulous Aunt Christy. Find popcorn cake ideas for all skill levels on Pinterest. Click image to link!

 

Popcorn bins from Dollar Store. Table cloth from Party City. Candy and confetti from Target.

 

Shoebox wrapped with red wrapping paper and printed Lights, Camera Action tags and Rice Krispie stars for a takeaway favor.

 

Lots of fun was had a Mia's Movie Night!

Lots of fun was had at Mia’s Movie Night!

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Home, Parenting, What's Cool Leave a comment

What To Love Now

Pencils, backpacks and lunch bags for Mia. Bottles, strollers and diapers for Charil. Talk about being in two worlds at once! Here are just a few of my new finds for you to love now. Don’t forget to enter the On The Fly giveaway!

Pee Wee PC

The Pee Wee PC is the computer created just for kids. It is extremely durable (think water resistant keyboard), has a pivoting screen, a built in camera and stylus to use with specific learning programs. Right now Pee Wee PC is offering a 10% discount on purchases of $20 or more. This is perfect for your little scholar.

Company Kids Lunch & Backpacks

In my quest to find a cool backpack for Mia, I came across Company Kids. They offer the perfect size backpack, lunch bag or messenger bag for any little one off to school. Personalization is an option. The Back to School promo runs through September 15 with prices as low as $19.

Samba Sushi Chopsitcks

I highlighted the Combi Sushi Trainer in my last product round-up, but I’ve found another chopstick trainer for little hands that I love - Sushi Samba Kids Chopsticks. Mia loves the bright colors and ease of using these cool sticks. “Big kids” ie. your friend who continues to sacrifice spicy tuna rolls can use them too. A pack of 4 can be snagged for only $10!

We travel a lot and it’s not always easy to heat a baby’s bottle on the go. A big thank you to On The Fly Bottle Warmer for basically taking the anxiety out of bottle feeding while out and about. You simply place your bottle in the BottleSOC and wrap the air activated layer around. In 30 seconds, baby will be sucking down a warm bottle.

On The Fly

The products in this round-up are cool and functional! Not many products (or people for that matter) can claim this.  If you try any of these products out, let us know what you think. Oh, and enter below to win an On The Fly Bottle Warmer. I have a starter kit to giveaway!

On The Fly Giveaway!!! 

Leave a comment below letting me know your current strategy for heating a bottle while on the go and you could be the proud owner of an On The Fly starter kit. Giveaway closes on Thursday, September 8.

 Earn Extra Entries:

I’m again on the prowl so stay tuned for my next round-up.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Parenting, What's Cool 8 Comments

My New Faves

Mia is five, and a lot has changed in the world of baby products since she was my tiny “only child.” Now that Charli has arrived, I’m exploring a whole new world of cool products. Here are a few of my current faves that I know you will love as much as I do.

Bumbleride Flite With Snack Pack

The Bumbleride Snack Pack I snagged a great deal on my Bumbleride Flite (which I’m absolutely obsessed with) at Macro Baby here in town. Baby Charli is progressing into the world of snacks so I decided to spring for this awesome accessory that fits easily into the car seat adapter bar slots. The snack pack, shown in the photo, wipes down easily and can be removed from the adapter bar if you want to store in the fridge prior to an adventure.

Combi Chop Stick Training Set

Combi Chop Stick Training Set Mia loves going to sushi restaurants. She is talented with the chop sticks. Mia learned on her own, but now Combi makes the Chop Stick trainers. The trainers adjust to your child’s hand growth and offers a three step process to master the art of the chop stick. Charli’s a little young for these, but as soon as she is ready, she’ll have a set. I actually know a few adults who would benefit from these.

Razbaby Self-Closing Pacifier

Self-Closing Pacifier Maybe I’m behind the times on this one, but I am extremely excited to have discovered Razbaby products, specifically the self-closing pacifier. The minute the pacifier hits the ground it shuts and protects. No five second rule needed.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Parenting, What's Cool 1 Comment

Etsy Baby Love

During my pregnancy I became addicted to browsing Etsy. When I discovered most Etsy artists would work with you to create custom pieces, I fell completely in love.

In one of my late night Etsy raids, I stumbled across Paper Pallettes. The shop boasts a variety of amazing canvas art. I sent along the photo of my baby bedding and just like that, I had a custom piece of art for the wall for $25.

My Dwell Studio Baby Bedding From Target

Signature Art From Paper Palettes

After working with Paper Pallettes, I was on a roll. I next found Apryl222 and asked if she could do door knobs and a switch plate to match.  Again, success. The door knobs were $4 a piece and the switch plate was $10. A small price to pay for these original pieces.

Custom Switch Plate from Apryl222

Custom Door Knob From Apryl222

I’m not much for themes, but these additions to the baby’s room helped tie everything together.

Check out @etsy on Twitter for holiday sales!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Parenting, Prego, What's Cool 1 Comment

An Awakening It Was

I gave away two tickets to Spring Awakening last week and was lucky enough to make it to opening night of the show myself. I had to see what all the hype was truly about. Let me tell you, the hype was well deserved.

Cast of Spring Awakening

The music, all written by Duncan Sheik, was the highlight for me. The cast was so full of passion and the coming of age message was delivered in ways that hit home.

As a parent, the show reminded me that what’s best for you and your life isn’t always the path for your children. The “rules” that we are all expected to follow in this life often hold us back from our true passions and self. Parents are many times consumed with how others are viewing them instead of focusing on what’s truly best for their child. We need to foster the passions of our children instead of looking down upon them and shaming them because they don’t fit the mold of society.

Taylor Trensch as Moritz

Spring Awakening is in Orlando through Sunday, May 23 so grab tickets and get to the Bob Carr. Click here for a list of tour dates in other cities across the U.S.

I wouldn’t recommend this show for kids under the age of 14 or 15 due to brief nudity and adult content.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in On Stage, What's Cool 2 Comments

Summer Time Is Water Park Time!

We love pools, we love water and we loooove water parks! This weekend we took part in a little “staycation” of our own at Orlando’s newest water park attraction, CoCo Key Water Park Resort. I’ve noticed the new attraction several times from I-4 and was possibly more excited than Mia to check it out.

CoCo Key Water Park

The water park is perfect for kids and the water park caps off admittance at around 650. (I’m not a crowd person so this was paradise) We had Mia and Madi with us so I was able to see the fun factor from a four-year-old and ten-year-old point of view. The girls raced from slide to slide. I could keep a constant eye on both girls from the comfort of my lounge chair. I even had some fun on the slides myself.

The Minnow Lagoon is covered and shielded from the FL sun. Lots of interactive water fun in the shade!

Minnow Lagoon

Parrots Perch

The rooms at the resort are very modern and cozy. If you are hungry there are multiple choices for snacks or a meal. Besides the water park, there’s a large arcade, fun kids lounge in the lobby, resort pool for more water fun after the park closes and a small sand area for building castles.

Opening rates start at $89/night for a limited time. I know where I’m taking my mom on her next visit to Orlando! Water park access is $19 per room, per day for resort guests and $19.95 per person for day guests. The FL resident day pass is $14.95. If you are headed to the other local theme parks, the resort offers a free shuttle service!

Tip: If you are purchasing a day pass, book online. The park is popular and has been selling out quickly!

Let me know when you are planning your trip. We’ll meet you there!

And, in case you need directions… Just follow the tropical red bird in the inner tube.

Disclosure: Our family visited CoCo Key as guests of the new resort. The previous post contains my honest opinion on my family’s experience.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Travel, What's Cool 3 Comments

Being Green Was Never So Much Fun!

Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away… Really, it never gets old. I attended my first Sesame Street Live show at the ripe old age of one, and have been a fan ever since. There was a brief period of time where I thought I was too good etc., ect. But now, Sesame Street is part of my life once again and I’m glad.

Last evening Mia and I attended the opening performance of Sesame Street Live’s Elmo’s Green Thumb at the UCF Arena. (The show’s in town through Sunday, October 11.) Elmo’s Green Thumb brought the same energy and fun that family’s can always expect from Sesame Street Live. The colorful set, special effects, dance and song numbers made for a truly excellent performance.

 In the show, Elmo and his friends look for the perfect spot to plant Elmo’s sunflower, Sunny. Abby Cadabby tries to set a spell to help Sunnygrow, but in turn shrinks the friends. Being so small allows Elmo and his friends to see the garden from a bugs eye perspective, literally. They have a picnic with ladybugs, dance with the beetles and talk face to face with a bee. The accidental shrinking spell allows them to understand why it is so important to respect the earth and nature around us. In the midst of the fun, there’s always a lesson to be learned on Sesame Street!

The set for the show is bright and the effects are the coolest. The music is, as always, amazing with a mix of well-known tunes like “Lady Bug Picnic” and “I Love Trash” and  renditions of songs like “New Attitude” and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” Only the characters from Sesame Street can get away remixing old songs with new words so parents can get in the groove with their kids!

Sorry for the grainy cell phone photo of Mia. Left my camera in the car and had to depend on the cell. Compliments of my technologically advanced mother, a photo of the two of us at my first Sesame Street Live show. Yep that’s me, and as Mia said, “I have a flag.”

So, tear, tear… The show brought back many memories and gave me the opportunity to make a new one with Mia. I’m sure this isn’t news to  anyone. I guess it’s what Sesame Street has been doing for years.                                                                                                                                                                                                     
The show is at the UCF Arena through Sunday, October 11, so get your tickets! If you’re not in Central Florida, find out when Elmo’s Green Thumb is coming to a city near you. You don’t want to miss this one.

PS~ Telly Monster deserves some major recognition for those toe touches!

Photo Credit: TM/© 2009 Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved. Photographs courtesy of VEE Corporation.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in On Stage, What's Cool Leave a comment

Mia’s Best Seller List

At my baby shower, a friend asked that everyone bring their favorite childrens book to help build Mia’s library. What a fabulous idea that was! Mia had a little library ready to go when she arrived. I created a tiny book shelf for her so that all the books were easily accessible. I even set up a “reading chair” for her that she still uses today.

Mia definitely loves her books. I’m glad she inherited more than just my drama queen persona! Here are a few of her current favorites. I’m sure your little ones will love them just as much!



What are your children’s favorite books? Comment and let me know!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in What's Cool Leave a comment