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

Disney on Ice Presents Princesses & Heroes – Win Tix!

While I’m on a Disney roll, I am excited to let everyone know that Disney on Ice is coming back to Orlando’s Amway Center the weekend of September 9 for Disney on Ice Presents Princesses & Heroes.

Amway Center Sept. 9 - 11

Amway Center Sept. 9 – 11

Guests to the show can join Ariel (my personal fave princess) as she yearns to explore the world above the waves and Prince Eric breaks Ursula’s slithering spell to reclaim his one true love. Also in the line up, Prince Philip defeats the evil Maleficent as she transforms herself into a fire-breathing dragon in a race against time to rescue Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora. Princesses & Heroes comes full circle with appearances by Jasmine and Aladdin, Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Rapunzel and Tiana!

We’ve been to the show the past two years and are always in awe at the high flying jumps, acrobatics and amazing skating. Not to mention the Disney friends on hand. 

Join us for the show! Enter below to WIN a family 4-pack of tickets to either the Friday, Sept. 13 7:30 pm show or the Saturday, Sept. 14 11 am show. If you aren’t selected for the family 4-pack, you can use special offer code MOMDOI when you purchase to receive a $4 discount on tickets.

How To Enter:

  • Leave a comment with the name of your favorite princess or hero.

Extra Entries:

  • Like Disney on Ice on Facebook and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.
  • Tweet about the contest with a link to the tweet in the comments. Tweet: Win a family 4-pack tix to @DisneyOnIce in #Orlando @mammamiafl http://www.themammamiablog.com.

I’ll notify the winner on Friday, August 23.

Hope to see you at the show!

See pictures as I post from Princesses & Heroes and witness our other family adventures on Instagram. Be sure to follow me!
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We will attend the show as guests of Feld Entertainment. All views and opinions on The Mamma Mia Blog are my very own.

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways 22 Comments

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 Lobby Art of Animationconstruction 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 in over seven years and the fifth to be placed in the value-priced category, along with Disney’s All-Star resort family. Family suites opened in May 2012, and standard rooms opened in September 2012. It took us some time, but we finally made a visit last week with my mom in town.

I wasn’t keen on visiting any of the parks in mid-July at the height of tourist season and heat in Florida so I felt a stay at Art of Animation might just do the trick. Upon arrival, there was a sketch artist sketching away and the lobby was decorated with sketches from popular Disney films. I knew right then as my daughters sat mesmerized watching the artist, that we had made a great decision.

We stayed at The Little Mermaid building, which was perfect for the girls and our short staycation. The entire room was themed after the popular Disney movie. Even the bathtub was painted to represent Ariel’s treasure trove. The Little Mermaid pool area is surrounded by large characters from the movie.

Nemo's Splash PadThe other resort themed buildings include Lion King, Finding Nemo and Cars. My girls had a blast walking through the center area between the resorts and bonding with the extremely well-done characters from the movies and replicated atmospheres.

At Nemo’s Big Blue Pool, my mom and I indulged in a signature cocktail, which was a reasonable $7.50 and the girls swam around in the beach entry pool under the large water spraying jellyfish. There’s a splashpad where my two-year-old spent a huge amount of time splashing around and poolside activities kept the kids entertained all day. Did I mention this is the largest Disney resort pool? There was even a showing of Cinderella under the stars poolside.

The Landscape of Flavors eatery had a wide variety of food to select from and healthy side selections like grapes, apples and yogurt for the girls. I had a Screen shot 2013-07-19 at 1.05.47 PMdelicious veggie burger. For four of us (two adults and two children) our dinner came to about $35. That’s a great price for a meal on Disney property.

In total, there are 1,984 rooms, of which 1,120 are family suites capable of housing up to six people, featuring living rooms and bedrooms. Our room for one night was $148 (prices vary) plus tax. Check on prices here.  As a mom on a budget, this price is super attractive for family fun.

Art of Animation

This was definitely a memory with Nana that will last a lifetime. We had a blast. I can say for sure, we will be going back sometime in the fall for Charli’s birthday!

 

Check out more photos from our most recent Art of Animation visit and other family adventures on Instagram. Be sure to follow me!
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Posted on by Amanda in Travel 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.

 

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Posted on by Amanda in Parenting 1 Comment

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
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