Florida Ocean Adventure

The Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center is a hidden gem on the Treasure Coast. Perfect for families and a great learning experience. Read more

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

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

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

Hey Kids! Please Touch! – guest post by Abbey

There’s someone in this world who ranks pretty high on my special list… And, she just happens to be my sister. While most days you’ll find my sister Abbey writing scientific documents with facts and figures, she took a step away to write this post on her recent trip to the Philadelphia Please Touch Museum with my fabulous nephew. Enjoy!

While looking for things to do on a recent weekend trip to Philly with my almost two year old son, I came across info on the Please Touch Museum. From the website, it seemed appropriate for a wide range of ages so I figured it would be something my son, the friend I was visiting, and I could all do together.

Once inside, Keefer started out cruising in the stroller but that was soon a lost cause. It is the “please touch” museum afterall! Keefer loved the grocery store. (Go figure) He grabbed a shopping cart and headed straight for the produce section where he stocked up on cauliflower, multiple heads of lettuce, and a few tomatoes (all plastic of course). During the shopping excursion, he also grabbed a few boxes of cake mix and a giant plastic turkey.  He knew exactly what to do when he went to the register and another young museum-goer scanned his items.

There was a “garage” where kids could play on cars, fill up tanks, drive a bus, or play on a model monorail.  Some other cool things were the Wonderland area, where we ran through a maze and were able to sit down for tea with some lifesize replicas of the Alice in Wonderland characters, River Adventures, and Rainforest Rhythm.

My friend and I had as much fun playing as Keefer did! The only dissapointing thing about our visit was the museum closed at 5 and we didn’t get there until 3 due to our lengthy drive from the Pittsburgh area. It would be nice if they had at least one day where evening hours are offered to accomodate those parents who work during the day (like myself.) The Museum is open 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am – 5 pm Sunday. The price tag seemed a bit steep for our short visit but would be worth it for a whole day of fun. Admission is $15 per person – one flat rate and kids under one are free.

Check out  Please Touch online for more details!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Guest bloggers, Travel Leave a comment

PLAYGROUND Fall Issue

The fall issue of PLAYGROUND is available all over town! Pick up a copy for tons of fall tips, fashion and fun in Central Florida.

Parenthood comes with lots of joys, but also just a “tiny bit” of stress. Moms need a workout that is not going to add extra stress to that “tiny bit” they already have. The perfect fix…paddleboard yoga. It’s fun, it’s outdoors and it offers a great workout. Pick up the latest issue of PLAYGROUND magazine or click through the online edition to read my latest article – Time for a PADDLING.

PLAYGROUND Fall 2011

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Orlando, PLAYGROUND Leave a comment

Life Lessons & Magnetic Marbles

My baby, Charli, puts everything in her mouth. My big girl, Mia, has never been one to put things in her mouth. This is why I was extremely surprised when I had the call last Tuesday that Mia had swallowed a magnetic marble at school. So here we are, week number three of Kindergarten and ingesting magnetic marbles. I raced to the school clinic to discover a crying Mia insisting that she had been wiping her mouth and had inhaled the marble accidentally. Part of me wants to believe this tale as I’ve never seen the child put a single thing in her mouth. The other part of me wonders the odds of inhaling a marble.

A quick phone call to our pediatrician to find out next steps, and I was on my way to Arnold Palmer ER. Apparently if more than one magnetic object is swallowed there is a chance they can connect and cause some havoc on the intestines. Mia couldn’t confirm it was only one marble.

After about an hour in the waiting room and another hour watching Disney Channel from the comfort of our ER bed, we had the following news…

Looks Like One Marble To Me!

Whew! They found only one marble in there and we were good to go. Never could I have ever imagined my life would consist of six straight hours focused on a magnetic marble. So happy they let me steal a pic of this.

Mia is doing well. We kept an “eye out” for the return of the marble, but haven’t seen it. lol Stay tuned.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Parenting 2 Comments

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.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

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.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Parenting 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.

 

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Food, Giveaways 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.

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

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.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr

Posted on by Amanda in Food Leave a comment
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed