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I’m Going to the EdExpo 2015 in Atlanta!

This is a partnered post. All opinions are mine alone.

As you all know, education plays a big role in our lives. Not only does Nate currently hold a Master’s Degree in Education Administration, and hope to complete his Doctorate soon, but he’s also worked in the education field for the last 10 years. We focus a lot on providing educational experiences and environments for the boys as well. With all of that said, I’m excited to share an opportunity I will be covering on the blog.

EDExpo is the premier showcase for the latest innovations covering every facet of learning, from instructional materials, teaching aids, and technology products to educational games, toys, and supplies and will take place on February 22-24 in Atlanta, GA.

I will be scouting the Expo for the latest and most innovative products from around the world! Of course, I’ll be tweeting away about all of my great finds, and sharing a recap post once I return.

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TradeWinds resort

Just Let Go at TradeWinds Island Resort in St Pete Beach

Accommodations were provided in exchange for our honest review of TradeWinds property. All opinions are mine alone.

TradeWinds resort

TradeWinds Island Resort is a family friendly beachfront property that has it all! Relax and unwind or play all day – it’s up to you. Located on the island of St. Pete Beach, which was recently voted the #1 beach destination in the US by TripAdvisor, TradeWinds offers vacationers a tropical atmosphere they can truly enjoy.

After checking in, guests head down the garden atrium to their respective buildings. This 8,000 square foot space includes conference rooms, a gift shop, bar, and the Palm Court Italian Grill.

TradeWinds Island Grand

Recently, guest rooms at TradeWinds Island Grand received a facelift reflecting an upscale look with natural stone travertine, nature-themed artwork, and dark wood furniture. [Read more…]

best time to visit Disney 2015

The Best Times to Visit Walt Disney World & Where to Stay

This is a partnered post. All opinions are mine alone.

Wondering when is the best time of year to visit Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando, Florida? I came across this helpful calendar of the Best Times to Visit Walt Disney World in 2015 and wanted to share it with all of you.
best time to visit Disney 2015If you want to avoid hurricane season here in Florida, I recommend planning your visit to Walt Disney World between April 13th and May 22nd. The crowds are the lightest during that time of year and more enjoyable for you and your family. Summertime is always the heaviest travel season, especially for Disney! If you want to spend the holidays at Disney, plan a visit during mid November or early December. [Read more…]

Cottonelle

Stay Fresh & Clean During Summer Travel with Cottonelle #LetsTalkBums

This post is sponsored by Cottonelle, but my love for their fresh care flushable cleansing cloths on-the-go soft packs is all my own!

Cottonelle

When traveling during the summer months, you always want to make sure you are fresh & clean. That’s where Cottonelle comes in! Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths On-The-Go Soft packs are perfect for keeping clean during summer travel. Our family kicked off summer with quite the bang, we sold our home and while waiting for new home to complete the building process we’ve been hotel hopping. We spent many, many summer days in the pool, at the beach, and other fun family adventures. 

Being prepared with Cottonelle Flushable on-the-go soft packs has made life easier while traveling. It fits conveniently in the diaper bag, my purse, or the beach bag. Plus paired with Cottonelle Clean Care toilet paper makes the perfect wet + dry combination. 
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Dream vacation sweepstakes

Win Your Dream Vacation Sweepstakes #RCIDreamVacay

win your Dream vacation sweepstakesIf you could pick anywhere in the world to travel to, where would it be? Australia? Brazil? Fiji? Those are definitely on my bucket list. Luckily most of my ultimate vacation destinations have already been fulfilled thanks to my hubby who is a world traveler. We’ve been to Hawaii, Paris, Rome, Venice, Amalfi Coast, and more. Once kids came into the picture, we became more of domestic travelers, but I still have a few places in mind I’d love to visit once the kids are a bit older.
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Beach Essentials

10 Beach Essentials for Families

Beach Essentials
Summer is right around the corner! Get prepared for the beach with these 10 beach essentials for families.

Lightspeed Quick Cabana

 

71PHUi517XL._SL1500_

The Lightspeed Quick Cabana is perfect for the beach, backyard, or any other place you need get some shade from the sun or protection from the elements. With the Lightspeed integrated pole system, the poles are built into the tent, eliminating the difficulty associated with traditional separate pole tents. The revolutionary compression hub system allows you to set up the tent quickly and easily. This sun shelter is both lightweight and compact, making it easy to bring anywhere. Another style of beach cabana that I personally reviewed is the Sun Smarties Cabana by One Step Ahead.

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Million Dollar Arm interview

Million Dollar Arm – Suraj & Madhur Interview #MillionDollarArmEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

Who went to the movies this weekend and saw Million Dollar Arm? What did you think? My dad never goes to the movies, like never, ever….how are we related? LOL! ;) Anyway, yesterday was my dad and step-mothers anniversary and they went to the theaters to see Million Dollar Arm, and thought it was great! I’ve seen it twice, and well you already know how I feel about it. :)

While in LA, our group had the opportunity to interview several of the actors, including Jon Hamm and Aasif Mandvi (coming soon). Today I’m sharing our experience interviewing Madhur Mittal & Suraj Sharma who play the two teenage boys in the film.

Madhur
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Disney's Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm Movie Review #MillionDollarArmEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

Disney's Million Dollar Arm
Million Dollar Arm opens in theaters worldwide TODAY, May 16th! I highly encourage you to go see this movie with your kids. It is rated PG. The film is heartfelt, full of spirit, and comical! I’ve already seen the movie twice and love it. 
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JB Bernstein

Million Dollar Arm Interview With JB Bernstein #MillionDollarArmEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

One of my favorite parts of my LA press trip was interviewing the people behind the story of Million Dollar Arm. JB Bernstein is the sports agent who comes up with the plan to seek out new baseball talent in India by hosting a million dollar contest. While there he met Dinesh Patel & Rinku Singh and took them under his wing. The story unfolds on screen and becomes way more than JB ever bargained for. 

JB Bernstein
Interview with JB Bernstein, Dinesh, and Rinku:
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Jimmy Kimmel & myself

Jimmy Kimmel Live with Guests Julia Roberts & Sally Field + Set Tour #ABCTVEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

During my #ABCTVEvent in LA we visited the Jimmy Kimmel Live show for a night full of fun, and lots of laughter. Our evening began with a delicious spread of Cinco de Mayo inspired food, followed by a Q&A with Executive Producer Jill Leiderman and co-head writer Molly McNearney, who also happens to be Jimmy’s wife.

Kimmel had a packed house, which is no surprise considering how entertaining he is. His special guests for the evening were Julia Roberts and Sally Field! Talk about awesome! The ladies participated in the first-ever Celebrity Curse Off, which was REALLY hilarious in person since there were no bleeps. I was shocked at some of the words that came out of their mouths too! LOL!
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Nashville logo

Q&A with Nashville Executive Producers Dee Johnson and Callie Khouri #ABCTVEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

Nashville logo
During my trip to Los Angeles last week our blogger group had the opportunity to sit down for a Q&A with Nashville TV Series Executive Producers Dee Johnson and Callie Khouri

While I had not had the opportunity to catch the full season, we did see episodes “All or Nothing with Me” and “On the Other Hand” (the season finale). Yes, we saw the season finale before it was released!! However, we have been sworn to secrecy so sorry I can’t spill any details. :) I can tell you the season finale is REALLY good and our group was doing a mix of gasping and cheering during the episode.
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jon hamm

Jon Hamm Interview #MillionDollarArmEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

While in LA for the Million Dollar Arm World Premiere, our group had the incredible honor of interviewing Jon Hamm on his role in the film. Jon walked into the room looking very dapper, wearing a black suit and hair perfectly groomed for the premiere that evening. He was as cool and collected as ever during our interview, but for us girls, it was a BIG deal.

jon hamm

About the film:

Million Dollar Arm is based on the true story of sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm), who makes a last-ditch effort to save his career by heading to India where he comes across two 18-year-old boys (Dinesh and Rinku) who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. 
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me at premiere

Million Dollar Arm World Premiere at El Capitan Theatre #MillionDollarArmEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

El Capitan

Staying in theme with the movie, Disney’s Million Dollar Arm begins their World Premiere with a pitching contest and tailgate inspired party. I was very fortunate to be invited for the second time by Disney for a movie premiere and can not even begin to explain how exciting this opportunity was. Growing up I had dreams of being an actress, even modeling for a few years in my teen/early 20’s, but never pursued my dream fully, which ironically is what the film Million Dollar Arm encompasses; following your dreams.

Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest
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I'm going to LA

I’m LA Bound for the Red Carpet Premiere of #MillionDollarArmEvent + More!

Disclosure: I have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

In just a few short weeks I will be LA bound for the Red Carpet Premiere of #MillionDollarArmEvent

Disney's Million Dollar Arm
In case you have not caught the Million Dollar Arm trailer yet, here’s a quick synopsis on the film hitting theaters May 16th:
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4 reasons to visit the Kennedy Space Center

4 Reasons to Visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex this Summer

We were invited as media to visit KSC. No additional compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

4 reasons to visit the Kennedy Space Center
Just 45 minutes from Orlando, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex features many attractions and year-round interactive programs, including meeting real astronauts. Here’s 4 reasons to visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex this summer.

KSC’s most recent attraction, the Space Shuttle Atlantis opened in summer of 2013. This $100 million dollar exhibit “showcases the priceless, historic spacecraft that tells the incredible story of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program,” as described by KSC.
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Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress at Lake Buena Vista – Resort Review

This is a partnered post.

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Located just 1 mile from Disney World, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress offers and unforgettable experience tucked away from all the hustle and bustle of theme park territory. Surrounded by 21 acres of shimmering lakes and lush landscaping, the resort is an ideal destination for leisure or business travelers looking to unwind. 

The 1,500 acre Grand Cypress resort boasts 1,000 feet of white sandy beach on private Lake Windsong, walking paths, free- flowing lagoon pool, and much more. Upon arriving, you are greeted by the Lobby Ambassador (Merlot), who is more than happy to carry on a conversation with you. [Read more…]

Things to do with the family in Las Vegas

Guest post

 

 

 

 

When selecting a destination for a family vacation, there are many considerations that must be made. Certain families enjoy partaking in certain activities over others. Some destinations can provide quite an array of activities which provide variety for families. One of these destinations that are not normally thought of as a family destination is the city of Las Vegas.

Of course Las Vegas is well known for its casinos, however many casinos do offer other activities at their venue that can appeal to most families. For example, one of these is the Bellagio Casino. The front part of the property includes an immense fountain that provides several daily shows. These shows include a choreographed show along with music that is synchronized with the actions of the fountain. Lights are also included in the display which helps make this an excellent sight to see when in Vegas. The music played with the show comes from different genres. Another sight in which to partake while at the Bellagio is the Conservatory and Botanical Garden. Here many beautiful plants and flowers can be observed. This can also be the site for live musical performances that are held periodically. [Read more…]

Planes now playing

Disney’s PLANES Movie Review #DisneyPlanesPremiere

I was invited as media to attend a 2-day trip to LA for the premiere of Disney PLANES. All expenses were paid. All opinions are my own and may differ from your own.

Picking up where I left off (at the Disney Planes Pre-party), I made my way into the El Capitan Theatre and found my seat. The single theater included a large stage where an organ player welcomed us with Disney film songs. Once the multiple curtains were lifted, the Disney PLANES movie began.

PLANES is an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure about Dusty’s dream of competing as a high-flying air racer—and his decidedly unfortunate fear of heights.

Planes Dusty

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El capitan

Disney’s PLANES Landing Zone Pre-party & #DisneyPlanesPremiere

I was invited as media to attend a 2-day trip to LA for the premiere of Disney PLANES. All expenses were paid. All opinions are my own and may differ from your own.

Red carpet premiere

If you have followed my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feed these last few days you have seen a glimpse of this amazing and magical trip I have encountered with Disney Studios. I am SO excited to share my very first experience up close and personal with celebs like Teri Hatcher (below with daughter Emerson), Dane Cook, Bella Thorne, Hilary Duff, Peter Facinelli, Jason Priestley, and more! 

Teri Hatcher Planes premiere

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Planes poster

Walt Disney Studios Hollywood Premiere for PLANES + THE LITTLE MERMAID Behind the Scenes

 Disclosure: I have been invited at media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

Planes poster
The little mermaid poster

I am extremely excited to announce that I will be heading to LA for the red carpet premiere of Disney’s PLANES. “Disney’s Planes” is an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure about Dusty’s dream of competing as a high-flying air racer—and his decidedly unfortunate fear of heights. The movie includes an All-Star cast including:
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family road trip

How to Keep Kids Entertained While Traveling Sponsored

This is a partnered post.

My family loves to travel, whether on a  plane, train, or in a car we love to see the sites that this amazingly diverse world offers. At the age of two our oldest was able to go to Barcelona, Naples, Rome, Florence, and the French Riviera. Now that he is older he has begun to talk, and his little brother has picked up on that trait as well. So picture yourself in a car and there is a constant whining in the back with the proverbial, “Are we there yet?…When are we going to get there?… This is taking fooorever!”

family road trip

Well, if you are anything thing like me this can make you go a little crazy. I love traveling, but I do not especially enjoy the getting to the destination part. Like my children, I find myself asking the same questions, but I would not never let them know that. :) But the question is raised, what can I do to entertain my family while traveling? I have come up with some surefire ways to make your travel experiences much more bearable. [Read more…]

eagle nest

Save Up to 30% on Your Crested Butte Colorado Vacation

crested butte logo

Vacationers looking for an off-the-beaten-path Colorado getaway with all the frills of a major resort should head to Crested Butte, a historic town tucked away in the Colorado Rockies Elk Mountain Range. With its affordable accommodations, gourmet restaurants, cozy pubs, and eclectic shops, Crested Butte attracts a devoted legion of repeat visitors year-round! Crested Butte Lodging & Property Management Inc. offers a large selection of quality lodging in Mt. Crested Butte. Choose from studio condominiums to 4 bedroom condominiums in prime locations including ski-in/ski-out or walking distance to the slopes.

eagle nest
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vegas volcano

The Top 25 Free Things to do in Las Vegas

During our recent trip to Vegas we learned there are many free activities to do on and off the Strip.

Here’s a compilation of the top free things to do in Las Vegas:

vegas volcano

1. Mirage Volcano-Known as an iconic strip feature, the redesigned volcano features more fireworks and state-of-the-art sound system. Erupting nightly. Every hour from dusk-11pm at the Mirage Hotel & Casino.

2. See the world’s largest golden nugget at the Golden Nugget near Fremont Street.

3. KC Twins Dueling Pianos-A fun-filled, wacky laugh fest karaoke party at the Piano Bar. See identical twins Kim and Tamara perform. Piano Bar at Harrah’s Las Vegas, 9pm nightly.

4. Fountains of Bellagio-Featuring amazing musical and water displays, this spot is a must-stop for anyone walking the Strip.


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Mona Lisa Da Vinci

Da Vinci – The Genius Exhibit in Las Vegas

On our last day to the Vegas Strip we visited the exquisite Venetian Resort & Casino to see the Da Vinci – The Genius Exhibition. As world travelers, my husband and I have visited Venice before and thought the hotel did a wonderful interpretation of what you can expect when visiting the beautiful city.

Da Vinci – The Genius, located inside an exhibit hall of The Venetian offers a wonderful display of Leonardo’s work throughout the years. Here are some highlights to the exhibition:
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Vegas Monorail

Avoid the Traffic – Las Vegas Monorail

If you’re going to Vegas to experience the strip, then I suggest staying at one of the many hotels available on the strip or within a few miles of it. Our hotel was located on Las Vegas blvd just 2 miles from the strip and offered complimentary shuttle service every half hour. This saved us quite a bit of money, however the traffic on the strip is always bumper to bumper.

One way we found to be extremely easy to get around was using the Las Vegas Monorail. The strip is a long walk and after spending one day back and forth on it, or just one night in heels, your feet and legs ache. The cabs are very pricey and the ticker keeps running even in bumper to bumper traffic. Just a 2 mile trip is $20 one way. Renting a car isn’t the best idea, unless you plan to visit the Grand Canyon or other attractions off the strip because I’m telling you-the traffic is bad.

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Ravioli mozzarella

Piero’s Italian Restaurant – Five Star Dining in Las Vegas

Although just moments from the bright lights and mega-resorts of the Las Vegas Strip, walking into Piero’s is like a trip back in time to “Old-style Vegas.” Casual yet elegant, patrons dine in intimate dining rooms surrounded by Aldo Luongo lithographs, original oils by José Bellver, and fresh floral displays scattered throughout the restaurant.”

Piero’s, a favorite haunt of the Rat Pack is just steps from the Las Vegas Convention Center. This hangout draws a mixed crowd of high-powered executives, to locals and vacationers alike, and at times Hollywood stars like Jennifer Aniston, John Travolta, and Shaq can be seen dining there.

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Suited up

Richard Petty Driving Experience at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Get ready for a week of Vegas on the blog, starting with the Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE)! A few weeks ago Hubby and I visited Las Vegas for the first time. It seemed a bit odd that we hadn’t been to Vegas yet with all of our world traveling experience. Nonetheless, we booked a week-long trip, sans the kids and headed out to “Sin City”.

We could not have booked a better welcome to Las Vegas than visiting the Richard Petty Driving Experience bright and early our first morning in town. The site mentions this about the experience: “Roll the dice in Las Vegas and feel the adrenaline rush behind the wheel of a 600HP NASCAR race car. The nightlife on the Las Vegas Strip may be legendary, but when the sun is up the action is always at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s top attraction, Richard Petty Driving Experience. There is no better way to complete your trip to Las Vegas than to challenge your friends and family on the track at speeds of up to 155 MPH.

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