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

Nemours Central Florida Lets Community Choose

Central Floridians have all heard about the new Nemours Childrens Hospital slated to open in September 2012. But, I don’t think anyone knows that WE, i.e. the community of Central Florida, have a chance to  vote on how best to use a $500,000 grant from the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation of Winter Park issued to the new facility.

Nemours took a look at their programs and identified three that could be enhanced with this grant. Now through September 26,members of the community can go to the Nemours Facebook page and vote.

Vote For The Program Of Your Choice

Take a stand (from the comfort of your laptop of course) and vote!

If Facebook isn’t your thing, patients can also vote utilizing paper ballots at the Nemours Children’s Clinics in Orlando, Lake Mary and Viera.

The three potential programs include:

KidsTRACK Care Coordination  Imagine your child has just been diagnosed with a medically complex condition. When you have so many questions, where can you turn for answers and trusted advice? Through Nemours KidsTRACK (Teaching, Research, Advocacy, Community and Knowledge), a care coordinator will provide a single point of contact for families. Whether it’s helping set up doctors’ appointments and talking to insurance agencies, or prepare families to return home by providing training on proper use of medication, our care coordinators will be there for families every step of the way, ensuring a smooth transition from hospital to home life.

Hospital Healing Gardens   What if a hospital stay could also mean an inspirational and transformative healing journey for a child? Our Discovery Garden will create an enriching experience for patient families with an acre of interactive outdoor areas devoted to the five senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Children can explore in a garden filled with herbs and vegetables, create music on the xylophone benches and free-standing drums, experience a wide variety of fragrant flowers, and even find their way through hedge mazes and colorful sculptures.

Sanctuary    Can a trip to the Emergency Department be made less stressful for families? The Emergency Department at the new Nemours Children’s Hospital will do just that, making the entire experience easier and more calming for your family. While you wait for test results, escape and relax with your child in one of our “soothing sanctuary” play areas or enjoy interactive entertainment like educational games, videos and activities. Our Emergency Department will also include a child-life specialist who will talk to families and their child, using technology to help explain information that can often be difficult to understand.

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando 1 Comment

The Real Meaning of Sorry

I don’t repost a lot, but this article on Babble today made way too much sense not to pass on. I originally read it on the site last March, but noticed they had repurposed it, and rightfully so.

I admit my little Mia often says, “Well I said I’m sorry!” I often wonder where I missed the boat on making sure she understood that just saying sorry doesn’t make it all better, all the time. Take a few minutes and read Christina Knapp’s article on Babble.com. I’m definitely going to take this info to heart.

The Real Meaning of Sorry

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Posted on by Amanda in Random 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.

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

Yummy On The Go Lawrys Meal Ideas

As of late, I’ve become a little more adventurous with my cooking. By adventurous I mean stepping away from my “go to” dishes that I’m sure everyone is extremely tired of. Let’s just say if I don’t hear “How many more bites???” it’s a very good day.

When The Motherhood approached me this summer with a chance to really put my “adventurous” cooking into action with Lawrys, I couldn’t say no… Although, I did fear for the other Orlando bloggers who were teamed up with me… Specifically Angie because we were in charge of yes… The Main Dish!

Our team was tasked with coming up with “On The Go” (ie. for busy people like me) dishes – appetizer, side dish and main dish using Lawrys Balsamic Herb Marinade, Lawrys Season Salt Marinade and Lawrys Seasoned Salt. (I’m giving away a package of all three below)

Share the taste of our sweet success below. Hope these “On The Go” dishes make cooking for your family a little easier and tastier.

 Appetizer

Crostini Ingredients

Created by Leigh and Melanie

Crostini with White Bean Spread, Arugula, Prosciutto

Prep & Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  1.  1 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
  2. 1 can cannelini beans (or other white bean, such as Great Northern)
  3. 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1/2 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  5. 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  6. Baby arugula (about 1/2 cup)

    Crostini Appetizer

  7. Thinly-sliced prosciutto (about 1/4 pound)

Toast your bread slices on both sides. This can be done in an oven, or by heating skillet over medium high heat. Add bread slices and toast for about 30 seconds per side. Watch closely so they don’t burn. Make the white bean spread. Drain the liquid from the can of beans. Add to a food processor and puree. Add olive oil, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and pepper and process until well blended. Assemble the crostini. Spread about 2 tsp. of the bean spread on each baguette. Top with 3-4 pieces of baby arugula and a small slice of the prosciutto.

Side Dish

Created by Jen and and Jessica

Sauteed Asparagus

Asparagus Side Dish

Prep & Cook Time: 7 minutes  Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  1. Olive oil
  2. Lemon
  3. Asparagus
  4. Lawrys Season Salt
  5. Grated Parmesan

Heat olive oil in pan. Place asparagus in pan and squeeze lemon juice on top. Top with lemon zest and add a few dashes of Lawrys Season Salt. Turn asparagus while cooking until desired tenderness. Remove from pan then sprinkle fresh parmesan cheese, lemon zest and Lawry’s Seasoned Salt on top prior to serving.

Balsamic Pineapple Salmon

Main Dish

Created by Angie and yours truly

Balsamic Pineapple Salmon

Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus marinade)  Cook Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  1. (4) 4 oz. salmon filets
  2. 2 cups pineapple chunks
  3. Lawrys Balsamic Herb Marinade

Marinade salmon in Lawrys Balsamic Herb Marinade (no less than 30 minutes). Cover salmon with pineapples. Bake 30 minutes or until salmon flakes. Enjoy!

How To Win! Leave a comment below letting me know which of these dishes you want to try, and you will be entered to win a pack of Lawrys products – Balsamic Marinade, Season Salt and Season Salt Marinade to try out these dishes.

For an extra entry, Tweet – Win #Lawrys products and get recipe ideas @mammamiafl – and leave a comment letting me know you did.

I’ll select a winner on August 24.

This post is brought to you by The Motherhood and Lawrys, but all these tasty thoughts are my own and those of the Orlando Lawrys team.

 

 

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Healthy Eating 82 Comments

Disney on Ice Giveaway Orlando

Disney on Ice Dare To Dream is coming to the new Amway Center September 9-11. The newest additions to the Disney Princess entourage, Tiana and Rapunzel, will be on hand along with some long time favorites. This show could also be called “Mia’s Heaven.”

Dare to Dream

Mamma Mia is giving away four tickets to the Orlando Disney on Ice Dare To Dream show! If you don’t win this giveaway, there’s still an opportunity to win by using promo code: MOM11 at Ticketmaster or the Amway Box Office to get $11 tickets.

To enter:

  • Leave a comment with the name of the Disney Princess you most relate to. (Gotta have a little fun with this.)

Additional entries:

  • Post this giveaway to Facebook and let me know so in a comment
  • Tweet this giveaway: Win 4 tickets to Disney on Ice Dare to Dream @mammamiafl
The show will take place Sept. 9-11. 7:30 pm on Friday, 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm on Saturday and 1 pm and 5 pm on Sunday. The giveaway will run through August 24. $11 ticket offer is not good on VIP or front row tickets. 

I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, 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. However, all opinions are those of The Mamma Mia Blog.

 

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Orlando 15 Comments

Family Fun in Orlando

Whether you live in Orlando or you are visiting and looking for something to do outside of  “The Mouse,” my top ten family activities are sure to please. Check out who made the cut on my most recent City Guide at SheKnows.com.

 

Orlando Family Activities City Guide

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando, Travel Leave a comment

Perfect Pairing

Summertime for us means cook outs, fun in the sun and hours by the pool with friends. I’m always looking for new ideas, recipes and decor to entertain family and friends, which is why I jumped at the chance to partner with Frito Lay for their #Perfect Pairing summer project.

The girls (ie. my Orlando blogger crew) hosted a Frito Lay #Perfect Pairing get together in Orlando. Oh how I wanted to attend, but my hectic work and travel schedule didn’t agree. Because I couldn’t make the get together I decided to recreate the Orlando get together with my family in Pennsylvania during a weekend there.

One might ask why on earth I’m writing about potato chips when I work for a company focused on healthy eating. For one, we can’t live on just fruits and veggies alone. Two, chips and dip are just part of summer…. Besides the fact that Frito Lay is making their chips with healthier oils and less sodium. Not saying you should give up the yogurt, but one serving of Tostitos tortilla chips has less sodium than a cup of yogurt. So, indulge if you wish.

My PA family loves cheese dip. I scoured the Frito Lay online recipe bank and found the most amazing Roasted Red Pepper Cheesy Dip. It was a hit! A #Perfect Pairing if you will.

Perfect Pairing

Just Two Of My Dip Fans

Summer Cook Out Fun

I missed out on the #Perfect Pairing Orlando get together, but you can read about it on the Unemployed Mom’s blog. There are a ton of yummy dip recipes listed there from the group.

Frito Lay provided The Mamma Mia Blog with chips and ingredients for the recipe. All thoughts and opinions are those of The Mamma Mia Blog.

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Posted on by Amanda in Healthy Eating Leave a comment

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.

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

4th of July in Central Florida

 

Lake Eola

Looking for something fun to do this 4th of July weekend in Central Florida? Here are a couple ideas to get you going.

Fireworks at the FountainThe huge fountain at the center of Lake Eola has been restored to working condition after being struck by lightening last year. The refurbish is just in time for “Fireworks at the Fountain,” taking place on Monday, July 4. Festive food, fun and entertainment will begin at 4 pm. Enjoy an area just for kids too. Get there early for a great viewing spot. The fireworks begin around 9:30 pm.

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach -  Grab your beach blanket and enjoy fireworks Florida style at Shepard Park, Cocoa Beach on Sunday, July 3.The fireworks begin at 9 pm.

Olde Fashioned Independence Day Winter Park -  The Olde Fashioned Independence Day will take place in Central Park with children’s activities, limited food vendors and entertainment. Pull up a lounge chair and relax. Once you have your fill in Central Park, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art (home to the largest collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany work)will be offering free admisison. The Winter Park Historical Museum will also be open free to everyone in celebration of the recent nomination of the Downtown Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places.

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando, Travel Leave a comment

Review of SeaWorld One Ocean

You are seeing the advertisements and hearing the buzz about SeaWorld’s new killer-whale show, “One Ocean.” Check out my review of the show at The Theme Park Mom.

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando, Travel Leave a comment