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

Zoe’s Room (No Sisters Allowed)

The girls love sharing a room... now.

The girls love sharing a room… now.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, it is obvious that my girls have recently moved into the same bedroom. When I heard my friends at Scholastic had a new book, Zoe’s Room (No Sisters Allowed) by Bethanie Deeney Murguia, I knew they had to be spying in on my life.

Win a copy below!

Win a copy below!

We recently moved Charli over to Mia’s room to free up a little space in the house for a guest room. It wasn’t the easiest transition as both girls were accustomed to their very own space. As time passed, it has turned out be one of the best decisions I’ve made.

In this super cute book, Zoe goes through the same thing I imagine Mia going through. She has to figure out how to make her “system” work along with her little sister instead of against her.

In the book, Zoe is the Queen of the whole Universe… but her favorite part in the Universe is her own room, where she hosts tea parties, builds empires out of blocks and gazes out upon the stars.

Then her parents announce that her little sister is moving in to Zoe’s room. Little sisters aren’t good at tea parties (too rude), block building (too clumsy) and starwatching (just plain too young!). Turns out the new little roommate is a pain until Zoe discovers that even her smallest subjects can be useful in a storm.

Take a peak inside the book at the clip below.

Want to win your very own copy of Zoe’s Room (No Sisters Allowed)? I have two copies to giveaway!

How to Enter:

  • Leave a tip in the comments for parents moving siblings into the same bedroom. Or, leave a funny anecdote about your own experience.

For extra entries:

  • Follow @mammamiafl on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did so.
  • Follow @scholastic on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did so.
  • Tweet about the giveaway and leave a link to your tweet.

I’ll choose a winner Friday, June 21 at 3 pm. The giveaway is limited to U.S. entrants. Good luck!

Scholastic provided me with a copy of Zoe’s Room (No Sisters Allowed) for review. All prizing is courtesy of Scholastic. Opinions delivered on The Mamma Mia Blog are my very own. 

 

 

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Parenting 8 Comments

Cutter Giveaway

Screen shot 2013-05-30 at 10.08.04 PM

Enter to win $55 worth of Cutter products!

As a follow up to my previous post, I am excited to offer a Cutter product giveaway valued at $55. The winner of the giveaway will receive the same amazing box of products that I was able to sample.

There are 10 different Cutter products in the winning package including four outdoor candles. Who doesn’t love a great candle? Especially candles that ward off West Nile carrying mosquitos!

How to Enter:

*Leave a comment letting me know how you protect your family from pesky summer bugs.

Extra Entries:

*Like Cutter on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did so.

*Tweet about the giveaway and leave a comment with a link to the tweet.

I’ll select a winner at random on Thursday, June 13 at 3 pm. Good luck!

I received complimentary products and compensation from Cutter. However, all opinions on The Mamma Mia Blog are my very own. 

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways 92 Comments

Oh Joy! It’s Mosquito Season.

If there is a mosquito within one mile of me, I am sure to have ten huge welts on my  legs. You’d think after living in Florida for ten years, I would have developed some type of immunity…  No such luck. I now have two little girls who have unfortunately acquired my mosquito magnet gene.

With the Florida weather heating up, hearing from Cutter last month was more than timely. As you know, Mamma Mia is not a review focused blog, and I only work with about 10% of the companies who contact me. However, when it’s a company,like Cutter, that is aligned with my family, I jump at the chance to talk about it.

Cutter generously sent my mosquito magnet magnet family a handful of their amazing products. We had an outdoor movie night with a few friends last weekend and had fun testing them out. We challenged  those pesky Florida mosquitos to come and get us. Cutter Natural, was great for the entire family. My fave was the Cutter Dry, with no oil or grease and of course the Citroguard candles!

Mia loving the Cutter Natural spray

Mia loving the Cutter Natural spray

Cutter SSSS

Cutter Dry – No oil or grease!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cutter Citrogaurd Candle

Cutter Citroguard Candle

More Cutter products to keep off the Florida bugs!

More Cutter products to keep off the Florida bug life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now, a mosquito free movie night!

And now, a mosquito free movie night!

Cutter offers great tips, giveaways and more on their Facebook page. You can find Cutter on Facebook here and on Pinterest here.  

I received complimentary products and compensation from Cutter. However, all opinions on The Mamma Mia Blog are my very own. 

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Posted on by Amanda in Parenting Leave a comment

Mother’s Day Pinterest Public Service Announcement

First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all my moms out there! Second, I have been pondering over a certain topic for a few weeks now and decided Mother’s Day would be a great time to clear the air.

While I love, love Pinterest and all it offers me, I am 100 percent sure Pinterest has created a new breed of craft Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 10.56.52 AMobsessed moms. As if we don’t already have enough pressure, we are now sort of expected to produce that over the top valentine with a quirky message tag or the ultimate handmade whimsical teacher’s gift.

In all honesty, I am being a bit sarcastic in this post as I do love Pinterest. I’m an organizational freak so Pinterest is my paradise. It also allows me to be crafty, which by default I am not. But, I really do think Pinterest has created a new kind of standard for us moms. Who knows if the fad will pass or we will continue to keep doing things bigger and better until we drop.

I have seen the transformation in myself over the past year from Mia’s Movie Night (see exhibit A in previous post) to the valentines the girls sent out this year to classmates. ie. Rock candy with cute message “You Rock Valentine!”

No real answer here… Just a Mamma Mia Public Service Announcement for your Mother’s Day brain.

Happy Mother’s Day! And, take the day off from pinning. Oh, and when you get back on Pinterest tomorrow, follow me

 

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Posted on by Amanda in Parenting Leave a 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!

 

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Posted on by Amanda in Home, Parenting Leave a comment

March is National Nutrition Month!

March is National Nutrition Month and a great time to whip your family’s eating habits into shape. Mia and I visited Fox 35 here in Orlando to show off two easy Ideal Meals from Produce for Kids. After I tore Mia away from the American Idol posters, were actually able to go on air.

Take a minute to view our quick segment below and then go to Produce for Kids for more than 90 chef created, dietician approved quick, healthy and yummy meals for your family!

 

Watch the video on FOX 35′s site here or by clicking on the image above.

 

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Posted on by Amanda in Food Leave a comment

Disney Live! Orlando Ticket Giveaway

My two-year-old Charli is absolutely obsessed with Mickey and his crew. I’m sure the upcoming Orlando Disney Live! show is going to further foster this obsession…. Especially when they pair Mickey and the gang up with today’s hottest hits.

Mickey Mouse and friends will rock with the stars from The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story in their new touring show Disney Live!  Mickey’s Music Festival.  Disney hits are remixed to the hottest sounds of today featuring hip hop, pop, swing, reggae, rock, country and more!

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival

Lineup of performers include Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Ariel, Sebastian, Ursula, Jasmine, Aladdin, Genie, Woody, Buzz and Jessie! These are a just a handful among the more than 25 Disney stars featured in the jam session.

The show is coming to the UCF arena on March 3, 2013 for two shows at 2:30 and 5:30 pm. Mamma Mia readers can get a special $3 off ticket discount by entering DLUCF at checkout.

I’m also giving away a family four-pack of tickets to the March 3 5:30 pm performance.

How you can enter:

1.) Leave a comment letting me know your favorite friend of Mickey’s.

2.) You can enter daily by tweeting about the giveaway and letting me know you did so in a comment.

3) You can follow @disneylive on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did so.

I’ll be selecting a winner on February 17 so get your entries in now!

We will attend the show as guests of Feld Entertainment.

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Orlando 37 Comments

Ear Infections & Dairy: My Story

Babies and toddlers today seem to be plagued by ear infections. What gives? Well, I’m no doctor, that’s for sure, but I do know that I have some info to share based on my own experience.

My littlest bean had eight ear infections in eight months. Not wanting to pump her with another round of antibiotics, our pediatrician sent us off to the ENT. Before our visit I started researching. (ie. Googling any reference to ear infections in toddlers.) I found sites saying all kinds of things, but the one that stood out indicated that consumption of dairy could be a factor in reoccurring ear infections. I even had tips from friends on Facebook that said dairy could be the culprit.

The Ever Interesting Ear

So here’s what I found…. According to the Center for Food Allergies, A milk allergy is by far the most common cause of ear infections. Removing dairy from the diet will often times result in complete resolution of this problem. For some reason, many pediatricians overlook the possibility of food allergies, especially milk allergies to chronic ear infections.

We did still pay a visit to the ENT, who immediately recommended tubes. I asked we hold off for three months while I try removing the daily two sippy cups of milk and yogurt from her diet.

Last April, we switched over to Almond milk, did yogurt once a week and limited cheese to the special occasion pizza. It’s been nine months and not a single ear infection. Why was I never privy to this info and why did I have to search for it?

I love dairy and I love a big glass of milk every now and then. I am in no way the Dairy Debbie Downer. However, it is amazing to realize the power of the foods we put into our body and how we react individually. As busy parents, we look to our pediatricians to offer us this information, but that doesn’t always happen.

I am happy to have helped even just one parent with my post. Feel free to leave me a comment. Again, I am not medically certified in any way, but I am a mom with a very credible story to share.

Here’s another reference article:  HealthyChild.com 

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Posted on by Amanda in Parenting 1 Comment

Pinypon Dolls Holiday Giveaway

I don’t do many product giveaways, but I came across Pinypon dolls this holiday season and couldn’t resist. They are cute, age appropriate, colorful, interchangeable, collectible and best of all affordable.

I love the fact that these dolls employ imagination with their interchangeable outfits, accessories, hairstyles and even faces. My girls were excited to create their own special friends. The more dolls, the more characters girls can create. Pinypon dolls are recommended for ages 3 and up and they are, again, totally affordable starting at $2.99.

Pinypon

Here in Orlando, you can pick them up at Wal-mart. Or, you can win them by entering my giveaway! I’m giving away exactly what you see in the photo here. It’s four dolls and two pets. (A girl can’t be without her pet.)

How to Enter: 

  • Leave a comment below with your best Christmas shopping strategy

 

For Extra Entries: 

  • Follow @Pinypon on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know
  • Follow @mammamiafl on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know
  • Tweet about the contest (you can do this daily) and leave a comment with the link to the tweet

 

I’ll be contacting a winner next Friday, December 21 at 3 pm. I use Random.org to select my giveaway winners. Good luck friends!

I was provided with a sample produce for review from Pinypon. However, all opinions on The Mamma Mia Blog are my very own.  

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways 34 Comments

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey in Orlando and Ticket Giveaway

It’s that time of year again! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is back in town with their show Built to Amaze!

Be a part of the brand-new spectacles from around the world immersed in the circus tradition. Experience it live in Orlando! Going to the circus with your family is a tradition that never, ever gets old. The show will be at the Amway Center Jan. 10-13. Great way to kick off the New Year! Tickets start at $15 and are available at ticketmaster.com and the Amway Center Box Office.

Built To Amaze!

Performances:

Thursday, Jan. 10 at 7:30pm

Friday, Jan. 11 at 7:30pm

Saturday, Jan. 12 at 11:30am, 3:30pm, 7:30pm

Sunday, Jan. 13 at 1pm and 5pm

Best value for families is definitely the Family Value Pack for $88.00. This includes 4 $15 tickets, 4 small lemonades, 4 small popcorns, and 4 lollipops. This offer is valid for any performance except those on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at the Amway Center ticket office or ticketmaster.com.

I have a family four-pack of tickets to give away!

How to Enter:

  • Leave a comment below letting me know, what you think is a Circus staple ie. tigers, clowns.
  • You can also tweet about the contest daily for extra entries. Just leave a comment below with the link to your tweet.

The winner will be notified once the giveaway closes on Friday, December 21 at 3 pm.

The Mamma Mia Blog will attend the show as guests of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. All views and opinions on this blog are my very own. 

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Posted on by Amanda in Deals, Giveaways, Orlando 39 Comments
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