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

What I Did Wrong…

With that title this post could go in so many different directions! This one is parenting related. We’ll save the others for another post.

I know it’s hard for perfect parents like myself to admit that perhaps not so great parenting choice were made. Believe it or not, it’s okay to not be perfect. Hard concept to accept (I know), but embrace it and living life will be much, much easier. I gathered a few funny quotes from local parents for the spring issue of PLAYGROUND magazine. These brave parents were willing to clear the air and fess up to “what they did wrong.” Now, your turn!

 

What I Did Wrong

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The Family Yard Sale

Growing up, we had a huge community yard sale every summer. I counted down the days to the big sale every year.

Raising money for her Disney Cruise

My family and I would set aside items months ahead of time deeming them yard sale material. We’d all be up early the day of to get our business running. We were serious about making money. Taking turns, we’d watch the sale while the others would go out and search for treasures (or a slushie of some sort.) We ran the operation at my grandma’s house (she was pretty central in the neighborhood) so she kept us in check along with some supervision from our mom. Otherwise, our parents pretty much let us run the show. Each year, we’d end the sale buying pizza for the family and splitting the remaining funds three ways between my brother, sister and I.

This past weekend our neighborhood had a community yard sale. When I originally saw the flier I thought I was going to pass, but Mia reminded me that we do need some extra money for our Disney cruise. (about $2,000, but who is counting) The opportunity also made me think about my childhood yard sales and the fun I had with my family.

Mia's best customer – Charli

Mia and I began digging through clothes, shoes and toys. She and I priced the items – discussing in depth if Big Bird was worth 25 or 50 cents. When Saturday morning rolled around, we were up early setting up. Daddy and I took turns supervising the sale, Mia ran her lemonade/cookie stand and Charli amused customers and played with the toys we were trying to sell.

What a great way to spend our Saturday morning… outside for five hours on a beautiful Saturday, talking with neighbors and bonding over sales strategies. Mia took charge a few times, informing me that “You scared off those customers because you were yelling at me” and “I already know before someone walks over if they are buyers or just looking around.” Please note, by yelling she of course meant me telling her that no one wanted to buy cookies if she was touching them.

Daddy & Mia Bonding

I’m going to have my mom search for some old school yard sale photos for me to post, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy these from our family sale. At the end of the day, we only made about $55. The memory of it, come to find out, is worth way more… I can vouch for it.

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Acupuncture During Pregnancy. Is It Safe?

Wondering how to cure morning sickness, fatigue, back pain during pregnancy? I have a safe natural remedy for you. A lot of women don’t even know this option exists. Read more in my latest article for PLAYGROUND Magazine. (page 22)

Acupuncture While Pregnant

 

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Top 10 Reasons To Love LEGOLAND Florida

LEGOLAND Florida

After months of living just an hour from the new LEGOLAND Florida, we finally had a free day to venture over to the new park. Apparently, I’ve been depriving my children of some serious fun! LEGOLAND was built on the former site of Cypress Gardens  (Florida’s first “theme park”). The park does a great job of combining old and new preserving some of the old Florida style of Cypress Gardens.

And now, the top 10 reasons to love this place!

1)  Tons of shady spaces to relax and let toddlers run around.

2)  Fun rides (I mean really fun) and attractions perfect for kids 2-12.

DUPLO play area

3)  Big, clean bathrooms with lots of changing stations.

4)  You won’t break the bank feeding the family at LEGOLAND.

5)  While considered a Florida theme park, it still feels small – in a good way.

6)  We were there on a holiday (President’s Day) with a lot of other people off of school and work. It never felt crowded.

7)  Not once did I look at my watch and wonder… How can I bribe them to leave. No lie. I had a ton of fun.

8)  Lots of toddler/preschooler play areas near “big kid” rides for parents waiting with little ones.

9)  There aren’t souvenir stands around every corner, but cools shops if you want to pick up a LEGO memory.

New York City recreated out of Legos in Miniland USA

10)  You don’t have to be a LEGO lover to love LEGOLAND. I can vouch for that!

Attention to detail is the theme at LEGOLAND. It shines through in all attractions, rides, exhibits and even the staff . This is definitely a great day trip from Orlando and a must visit attraction for visitors to the Sunshine State.

For ticket prices and park hours visit the LEGOLAND Florida website. Kids under three are free!

I received complimentary tickets from LEGOLAND for our visit. However, as you all know, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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Posted on by Amanda in Featured, Orlando, Travel 7 Comments

$5 Admission to Orlando Science Center Sunday!

I have FABULOUS news for Central Florida families who love the Orlando Science CenterThe Walmart Foundation, has announced the next “Walmart $5 Day” will be THIS Sunday, February 12. All guests to the Science Center on February 12 will enjoy exhibits, films and live programs for $5! General admission fees are usually $17 for adults and $12 for kids (ages 3-11).

Orlando Science Center

Orlando Science Center

This Sunday, guests can participate in the fifth annual Mission Nutrition featuring displays and demonstrations on medical technology, nutrition and fitness. There will even be chefs will be on hand to host cooking demonstrations for healthy eating. Returning this year is the Physical Challenge Arena with activities like Wii Sports active video games and hula hooping.

The new exhibit, Bob the Builder – Project: Build It! is definitely worth mentioning and seeing! Catch laugh-out-loud Animalopolis or the spellbinding Arabia on the giant screen film in the Dr. Phillips CineDome.

For more information on Walmart $5 Day call 407.514.2000 or visit www.osc.org.

See you there my fellow scientists! (I stole that from Sid)

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TurtleTrek Is Coming to Sea World

The news of Sea World’s TurtleTrek, opening this spring, excites our family more than you could ever know! Turtles have always been a beloved creature in our home. Not that we don’t love all creatures, but the turtles hold a special place in our heart.

TurtleTrek will walk Sea World guests through the life of a Sea Turtle. From hatching on a sandy beach to their extremely long life journey. The cool part is that you’ll be viewing the journey in a giant 360 degree dome and in 3D! (The first ever of its kind in the world!!) The film goes way beyond the concept of high definition – think 26 million individual pixels at 60 frames per second. Yeah… That’s some serious reality there. Want to be a hero for the turtles? This new attraction will tell you just how you can do that.

I’ll pipe down now and let you enjoy a sneak peek in the webisode below.

Sea World's TurtleTrek

P.S. ~ Sea World is offering a Pre-School Pass this year for children under five! Yes, that means a free annual pass for your kiddos to enjoy TurtleTrek any time they want.

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Posted on by Amanda in Featured, Orlando, Travel 1 Comment

Rules of the Playground

Finally, someone took the liberty to put all of the things I’ve been thinking together and publish it! Parents please read this and take it to heart.

Rules of the Playground Courtesy of Babble.com

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Posted on by Amanda in Featured, Parenting 1 Comment

Top 10 Holiday Activities in Orlando

There’s still time left to enjoy one or even two of these events around town! Check out my Top 10 List of Orlando Holiday Activities at SheKnows.com City Guide.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LIST!

Holidays in Orlando!

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Posted on by Amanda in Holiday Travel Series, Orlando, Travel Leave a comment

Holiday Travel Must Haves

Harajuku Mini

Everyone knows I love great products (travel specifically.) Making travel easy, stylish and fun is oh so important. Here are a few travel must haves for your holiday journeys!

The Text Hook

Cutest kids suitcase ever! Being comfortable while traveling is important, but never sacrifice style. Words to live by for sure. My daughter Mia is swooning over this travel accessory. We’ll see if Santa delivers! It’s Harajaku Mini, Gwen Stefani’s line, which is now carried by Target.

I have to talk about one of my favorite products again. The Text Hook is amazing for travel. It secures your smart phone to your stroller (or other travel item with a bar) for easy hands free use. Kids will stay occupied at your departure gate watching their fav movie while your smart phone is perfectly positioned. No holding necessary.

Kiddie Headphones

Super cute DJ style headphones for kids! Mia has the panda bear headphones and loves them. Several websites carry these headphones so shop around for the best prices.

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Posted on by Amanda in Holiday Travel Series, Travel Leave a comment

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Present DRAGONS! Win Tix!

Kicking off 2012 in Central Florida, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® will present DRAGONS! at the Amway Center Jan. 12-16. Honoring the “year of the dragon,” performers from the farthest reaches of the earth will converge on Orlando to showcase truly amazing acts of bravery and astonishing athleticism. Basically be ready to be wowed!

Get tickets for just $12 (plus facility and handling fees) by using promo code MOMMY at checkout on Ticketmaster.  The offer is valid for the following shows: Friday at 7:30 pm; Saturday at 11:30 am and 7:30 pm; Sunday at 5 pm; and Monday (MLK Day) at 5 pm. The discount does not apply to Circus Celebrity, Front Row and VIP tickets.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents DRAGONS!

Or… you could just WIN a family 4-pack here! Entering is simple. Leave a comment below letting me know your favorite circus memory. I’ll pick a random winner on December 19… Just in time for Christmas!

We’ll be attending on Jan. 12 so stay tuned for a review!

If you’re looking for the full meal deal,  the VIP Family Four Pack, which includes 4 VIP tickets, 4 small Lemonades, 4 small Popcorn Boxes, and 4 jumbo Lollipops. The package is $170 and is a savings of over $50! To get this package use promo code FAMDEAL at Ticketmaster checkout.

In exchange for my time reporting my opinion, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events. Rest assured The Mamma Mia opinion is 100% no doubt my own.

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Orlando 4 Comments
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