Baymax is Awesome – Big Hero 6 Rocks

Baymax

I got the chance to see an advanced screening of Big Hero 6, and it was awesome! I was able to view the movie free of charge, but as always, I speak the truth. All opinions are my own. It's All About Soul Big Hero 6 is one of those rare family movies that really does have something for everyone. It's a classic story of good vs. evil. It's also a classic story of friendship, loss, love, and … [Read more...]

Family Time – Every Moment Counts Sweepstakes

family-timeFamily Time From Mrs. Fields

Family time is the most important time. Between after school activities, work, and the general craziness of life, family time often gets pushed to the side. That's why I'm so excited to tell you all about the "Mrs. Fields Family Moments" campaign which builds on the USO's "Every Moment Counts" campaign. I am participating in this campaign as a member of The Niche Parent Network & Conference in … [Read more...]

Watch Your Favorite Movies with Feeln Giveaway

Find your favorite family movies on Feeln

Tis the season for snuggling up with your loved ones and getting cozy to watch your favorite movies. Make accessing your favorite family movies anytime really easy and affordable with Feeln! I received compensation and a subscription to Feeln to facilitate this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Favorite Movies For us, we have several favorites belonging to all sorts of … [Read more...]

My No Good Very Bad Day

My No Good Very Bad Day

Have you ever had a no good very bad day? Has it ever seemed like everything was stacked against you? I certainly have. In fact I've had a slew of them this past week. A No Good Very Bad Day - Or Days Suck As I sit here writing this, weak, fatigued, still recovering from the flu while simultaneously attempting to remain upright, I SHOULD be getting ready for an advanced screening of … [Read more...]

Spooky Campfire Stories Come Alive with Audible

Spooky Campfire Stories Come Alive with Audible

Spooky campfire stories are one of the most fun parts of family camping. When I was a kid, our campfire stories were either read from a book or recounted by memory. With Audible, scary stories can be enjoyed by the entire family at the same time. This way no one knows what's coming, and everyone can be surprised and spooked at the same time. This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was … [Read more...]

Boating on Calm Water Makes me Happy

Boating on Calm Water Makes me Happy

Boating is supposed to be a nice, relaxing summer activity. I only feel that way on calm water. This is a Fashionista Events opportunity. There have been times when we have gone out on Lake Michigan and I am white knuckling it the whole way. The waves can get scary big and they can be quite unpredictable. I trust my hubby as a captain and know he would never put us in danger, but I am an anxious … [Read more...]

The Cheesecake Factory and #NationalCheesecakeDay

#NationalCheesecakeDay excitement

Did you even know National Cheesecake Day exists!? Like any of us need an excuse to have cheesecake! Well, maybe some of us do... which is why I'm so excited to announce that The Cheesecake Factory will be offering half price cheesecake for not just one day, but TWO DAYS! They are also running a super fun contest where you can win $4000! This is a sponsored post, but all thoughts and opinions are … [Read more...]

Traveling with Your Big Family #RockYourVacation

Traveling with your big family can be affordable #RockYourVacation

Growing up we went on several vacations and it's only now that I'm an adult with my own family that I realize how fortunate we were. With a blended family consisting of 8 of us, I cannot believe my parents were able and brave enough to take us anywhere! While on the #RockYourVacation trip, I learned several ways big families can make traveling easier, more fun and affordable. I went on this trip … [Read more...]

My Dreams Come True at Discovery Cove

Dolphin kisses at Discovery Cove Orlando #RockYourVacation

Okay, I don't even know how to begin to describe the awesomeness that is Discovery Cove. Spending half a day at this wonderful park in Orlando, was part of the #RockYourVacation FAM trip. While I received these opportunities for free, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Discovery Cove Orlando - Dolphins Perhaps I should first let you know that I have wanted to swim with dolphins since I … [Read more...]

Glamping With Nature’s Sleep #NaturesSleep

Glamping with #NaturesSleep

If you're not sure what 'Glamping' is then you're just not camping the right way. Glamping simply means glamorous camping and Nature's Sleep has the tools to make this possible and awesome. I am a Nature's Sleep 2014 ambassador and receive products to facilitate my reviews, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Glamping with Nature's Sleep This month the girls and I had a blast glamping in … [Read more...]

If You’re going to Kissimmee This is a MUST

Riding the TALLEST SKYCOASTER IN THE WORLD with two mom bloggers #RockYourVacation

Going to Kissimmee, Florida on the #RockYourVacation trip was seriously the best vacation of my life. The only thing that would have made it better, was to have my family there too. But, I got to hang with some of the coolest bloggers I have ever met! I was able to go on this trip free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own. If You're In Kissimmee... If you're in, near or … [Read more...]

Follow Me to Kissimmee and See How To #RockYourVacation

Zipline through Gatorland! #RockYourVacation

Next week I have the extraordinary pleasure of accompanying the Instagram #RockYourVacation winner, Brandy, and some fellow bloggers on a trip to Kissimmee, Florida. This is sure to be the time of my life! I would love for all of you to follow me on this fun-filled trip and take notes so you can #RockYourVacation too! Here's a sneak peak at what is in store for us... Follow Me to … [Read more...]

Trip to Outback Headquarters in Tampa #OutbackBestmates

Trip to Outback Headquarters in Tampa #OutbackBestmates

As an Outback Bestmate I was invited to visit their headquarters in Tampa, Florida. All expenses were paid, but all opinions are my own. When I agreed to work with Outback I had no idea that a trip would be involved. What a thrilling opportunity and great chance to really learn about the company. Trip to Outback Headquarters in Tampa We had already been fans of Outback Steakhouse. It's an … [Read more...]

Going to See #MALEFICENT on May 30th with the Family

#MALEFICENT opens in theaters May 30th tell the Family!

Are you going to see MALEFICENT on opening day, May 30th? I know we sure are! MALEFICENT is rated PG, so it's perfect for the whole family! Family Time at the Movies Now that the kids are older and I am no longer 'cool' in their eyes, (pfft... tweendom obviously causes temporary blindness) it is getting harder and harder to find movies that we are all excited to see together. Although, I … [Read more...]

Family Fun in the Garden #GroSomethingGreater

family fun in the greenhouse

This post brought to you by Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine. Everyone seems to be so responsibility-ridden these days that making time for family fun can be tough. That's why we try to make chores a fun family affair. Now that spring has finally arrived, you'll find us tending the yard and garden. I promise, I'm not a slave driver... the kids are really having … [Read more...]

Get Fired Up with a Date Night at Outback #OutbackBestMates

Get Fired Up with a Date Night at Outback #OutbackBestMates

Date night at a steakhouse can be an affordable reality at Outback. As an Outback Best Mate I received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own. I am a carnivore. As much as I have tried to experiment over the years, steak remains one of my all time favorite foods. You never have to twist my arm to head to Outback! Date Night at Outback Mike and I had been extremely overdue for a … [Read more...]

Disneynature’s BEARS in Theaters TODAY

BEARS #DisneynatureBears

If you're looking for something fun to do with the family this weekend, head over to the theater and see Disneynature's BEARS! The kids and I got to preview the film a couple days ago and it was fantastic! Don't worry, all thoughts and opinions shared here are my own. Plus, if you see BEARS this weekend, Disneynature will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation! Disneynature's … [Read more...]

The Joy and Benefits of a Family Garden #GroSomethingGreater

Grandma's Garden

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine. No matter the type of garden, anything is possible.  The sky is truly the limit.  I have been gardening with my grandma since I was a kid and am thrilled to now share this priceless experience with my children. Family Garden We make time to help Gram in the yard as often as possible.  From fruits and … [Read more...]

Teach Kids How To Grow Lunch

urbmat

I am desperately trying to find new ways to get my kids excited about eating healthier.  They are relatively pretty good eaters, but since I am a future Registered Dietitian (RD) there is always room for improvement!  This spring, I am planning to teach them how to grow their own lunch! It will make veggies more fun and educate them about entire process. How To Grow a Garden Made EASY This … [Read more...]

Fun with The Croods and DVD Combo Pack

the croods

I received The Croods as part of the Fox Home Entertainment Network program.  All opinions are my own.  The Croods is a brilliant animated film that can be enjoyed by the entire family.  Ages 4 to 104 will laugh and appreciate this fantastical family as they adventure through spectacular caves and landscapes, meeting surprises and exotic creatures along the way. The Croods Activity … [Read more...]

Top of the Rock NYC Observation Deck Tickets

Rock NYC Observation Deck Tickets Giveaway

Compensation was received for this Top of the Rock giveaway.  All opinions are my own.  With Fall rolling through and everything cooling down, there's never a better time of year to take a stroll through Manhattan. A New York sightseeing trip is fun for the whole family, and if you're going to visit the Big Apple, you'll want the best experience a ticket can provide. A ticket to Top of the Rock … [Read more...]

Our New Favorite Place in Chicago #LoveThisCity #MC

Boating on Lake Michigan

Chicago is a beautiful city that I grow more impressed with each time I visit.  Growing up in the suburbs my whole life, I have made frequent trips to the city of Chicago over the years.  As an adult, I find that I appreciate everything that it has to offer so much more.  I pay better attention to my surroundings and soak it all in.  The people, the architecture, the sounds, the energy, the food - … [Read more...]

Date Night with Fireworks on the Seadogs in Chicago

Seadogs Fireworks Cruise Chicago #spon

Thanks to Madame Deals and their #PayItForward campaign my sister and I got to experience the Seadogs Fireworks Cruise in Chicago.  We received this experience free of charge and all opinions are my own. Date Night in Chicago So...  I have a boyfriend.  It's such a big step saying that to the entire internet but since we did the whole posting of "in a relationship" on Facebook, I figured it's … [Read more...]

Seadogs Fireworks Cruise For GNO in Chicago

chicago skyline

The Seadogs Fireworks Cruise made for a perfect girls' night out in Chicago.  We got to take the cruise at no cost as a part of a promotion through Madame Deals and their #Payit4ward campaign.  All opinions are my own. Seadogs Fireworks Cruise Shelley and I were downtown all week for BlogHer.  Our lovely friend, Shauna from Adventures of 8, flew in from Texas to attend the conference, as … [Read more...]

See Disneynature’s BEARS on Earth Day with the Family

Disneynature BEARS cute

Alright, I know Earth Day isn't for a few months but I just couldn't wait to share this with you!  Disneynature has created yet another amazing film.  It gets better...  If you see it with your family during opening week (April 18-24, 2014) Disneynature, via the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation!  Add it to your calendars!  :D It doesn't … [Read more...]

Tubing on the Illinois River with a WOW Tube

Tubing on the Illinois River with a WOW Tube

Tubing is probably the highlight of boating.  We chose our new boat because it was capable of towing a tube!  I was beyond thrilled to receive the Yankee Coupe towable raft from WOW for review.  All opinions are my own. Tubing on the Illinois River Finding the best place to tube around here can be quite challenging.  We live 5 minutes from the Cal Sag river, but people are advised to have … [Read more...]

Experience @MasterCard #Priceless Opportunities in #Chicago #MC

Chicago Wrigley Field

My grandma has been a die hard Chicago Cubs fan since I can remember.  When I was little I used to look forward to watching her in the kitchen, pausing in mid-dish-drying to catch a play and then hollering at the tube in excitement when her Cubbies would prevail.  Now, whenever I see those primary reds and blues, I am reminded of happy childhood memories.  Thanks to MasterCard Priceless … [Read more...]

Take Your Dog on an Adventure Beyond The Fence

happy dog beyond the fence

I'm thrilled to bring you a super fun sponsored post about bringing your dog along on your adventures.  The "Dog Days" of summer are upon us. Dog Fence DIY encourages exploration beyond the fence! Adventures Beyond the Fence Taking your dog outside of his normal environment can be a little stressful at first.  Depending on the temperament of your pup, you may worry about him running away, … [Read more...]

Chicago River and Lake Michigan Boating #DiscoverBoating

lake michigan boating

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Discover Boating. I received collateral to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating. Since we live so close to Lake Michigan, it would be a shame not to fully enjoy it, right?  Since my last post about boating, a lot has happened.  I mentioned that my husband had a fishing boat, but we … [Read more...]

Seadog Chicago Boat Rides for Thrill Seekers

seadog extreme

I am receiving free tickets to a Seadog Fireworks Cruise during BlogHer in a few weeks.  Boating down the Chicago River and in Lake Michigan, it's easy to spot several Seadog boats.  I never knew exactly what they did, though... Turns out there are four different Seadog Cruises to choose from.  Shelley described each one of them in her Seadog post.  The one that most intrigues (and slightly … [Read more...]

Fun Things for Kids to Prevent Summer Brain Drain

fun things for kids to do to prevent summer brain drain #MSIsummerbrain

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.  It is my pleasure to bring you fun things for kids to do over summer break.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. Do you find that your kids' minds turn to mush after summer break? I know mine does if I let it be inactive for too long.  Sheesh, it only takes one long weekend and I feel like I don't … [Read more...]

What To Do and Where To Go in Chicago

Where to go in Chicago Seadog Cruise

Sometimes it is hard to figure out what to do or where to go in Chicago.  Not because there isn't enough going on, but because there is so much, it can be overwhelming to make a decision.  I am so excited that Jen and I will be going on the Fireworks Seadog  cruise while attending BlogHer in Chicago this July.  If you have never been on a Seadog cruise, it should definitely be on your list of what … [Read more...]

Sweet Summer Treats at the Lakeshore East Mariano’s

Vero Gelato at Lakeshore East Mariano's

Grocery shopping is not something my kids usually get very excited about.  However, when I asked who wanted to go to Mariano's, I got an enthusiastic "ME!" from both kids.  They were even more thrilled when I said we were going to shop for sweet summer treats and get Vero Gelato at the Lakeshore East location. Sweet Summer Treats at the Lakeshore East Mariano's If you've never had Vero … [Read more...]

Discover Boating this Summer

girls weekend boating

I am a Discover Boating ambassador through a Mom Central campaign and cannot wait for the summer to fully kick in.  As soon as the weather permits, you will find us on the water.  Boating is a great way to relax, have fun, and spend quality time with the family. Peaceful Boating My husband has a fishing boat and just loves to fish.  While you won't find me with a pole, there's definitely a … [Read more...]

Fun With 3D Jigsaw Puzzles from Wrebbit

Fun with Jigsaw Puzzles

I have an obsession with jigsaw puzzles that is almost to an unhealthy level.  Jigsaw puzzles bring out the best and worst of my OCD tendencies.  When offered the chance to review a 3D Jigsaw Puzzle from Wrebbit3D, I couldn't resist.  I received the Hobbiton™ 3D Jigsaw Puzzle.  My son actually picked this one out because he is a Lord Of The Rings fanatic. 3D Jigsaw Puzzles When I start a … [Read more...]

Monopoly Game Save Your Token

Monopoly Game Save Your Token

The game of Monopoly is a classic in most families.  I have many fond memories (some recent) of long games of Monopoly with friends and family members.  Most people have a favorite token and for me, that's the Scottie Dog.  He is the game piece that I must have.  Turns out he is up for retirement, along with some other pieces, and needs to be saved! Game of Monopoly - Save Your Token! One … [Read more...]

Fun at Best Buy with Skylanders Giants

Skylanders Giants Tree Rex

We love the video game Skylanders Spyro's Adventure.  We play it all the time at our house on the Wii.  When we heard about the Skylanders Giants, we had to see what they are all about!  Best Buy has this whole area set up to play the game using a Giant, Tree Rex, and some of the other characters as well. Fun at Best Buy After waiting for a few kids to take their turns playing the game, I … [Read more...]

Fun in Chicago with the ElliptiGo

ElliptiGo elliptical bike

We do not enjoy Chicago nearly as much as we should since we live just half an hour from the city.  So when Jodi found a Groupon to rent two ElliptiGos for 4 hours to go wherever we want in the city I was all about it. Fitness Experts - Chicago I have to start by saying that these guys are AWESOME!  After purchasing two Groupons (one for Jodi and her son, and one for my son and me) we had … [Read more...]

Game Night with Monopoly Millionaire

game night with monopoly

Game night is something to really look forward to.  Whether it's with friends, family or both, it can be such a blast.  Monopoly is such a classic and still a favorite of ours.  I was eager to see what this new version was all about.  Monopoly Millionaire is a new twist on the game that most of us know and love! Game Night Fun Just recently we visited Mike's parents.  They live about 3 hours … [Read more...]

Chicago Fine Chocolate Show Announcement

chocolate show giveaway

The Chicago Fine Chocolate Show is coming this November.  I am excited to say that I will be attending.  What better way to spend a great day out in our fabulous city by attending a show dedicated to CHOCOLATE?! Chicago Fine Chocolate Show The Chicago Fine Chocolate Show will be taking place on Friday, November 16 through Sunday, November 18, 2012, at Chicago’s Navy Pier.  This is the … [Read more...]

Summer is NOT Over Yet Get More Vacation

kids smiling on vacation

One More Vacation Although it may not seem like it, there is still time to squeeze in at least one more family vacation this summer. Especially with all the extra perks Embassy Suites has to offer. Time flies when you're having fun, and boy did we have a blast this summer!  I can't believe the kids and I are already heading back to school (next week--seems so early?) Thanks to this … [Read more...]

We Got More Vacation Thanks to Embassy Suites

beautiful Chicago

More Vacation Getting more vacation time takes planning and forethought.  However, Embassy Suites also makes it very easy to get more vacation.  With two room suites, free cooked-to-order breakfast, in-room snacks, and a nightly Manager's Reception, we had plenty of funds to spend on other fun things!  Not having to spend so much on food is a huge deal while vacationing. Day One From the … [Read more...]

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