Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ticket Giveaway from Chuggington LIVE!

Do you have any CHUGGINGTON fans in your house? The Great Rescue Adventure LIVE, steams into Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center on Saturday, January 31, 2015 for two performances, at 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. 

CHUGGINGTON LIVE! The Great Rescue Adventure brings the familiar series television to the stage featuring a variety of human characters and full costume characters-Wilson, Brewster, Koko, Jackman, Hanzo, Zack and Skylar.  The characters perform well-known songs from the television series along with new ones created for the tour.  The production also features impressive trains with working features and movements.  Additional characters, animated locomotives and action sequences are staged on a giant LED video screen backdrop. For more information about CHUGGINGTON LIVE! The Great Rescue Adventure tour, visit

This tour is presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, as part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series.  Go here to purchase tickets. 

I have 2 tickets to give away to the 6:00 p.m. show on Saturday, January 31! 
Tickets will be held at Will Call. Go here to enter:

Life Like Touring has been delivering quality live family entertainment to international audiences for over 10 years.  During this time, this Australian-born Production Company has written, produced and toured live theatre shows for many of the biggest brands in family entertainment.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Winter Vacay Giveaway

The winter months are here in full force! Many of us dislike being cold and it can be easy to fall into the "winter blues" as we stay inside more, get less Vitamin D, and begin to feel cooped up as the winter months drag on. My solution is to embrace the fun parts of the outdoors that winter brings us! Taking a little getaway in the middle of winter is another way to break up the monotony and bring some extra excitement into these cold days. So I began the hunt for the perfect winter family getaway to share with not only my family, but also YOU. And I do believe I found it! Hidden Valley Resort was very gracious to work with me in this promotion and I can't wait to share the fun of our family getaway and give you the chance to win this experience as well!

Hidden Valley is a sister resort to Seven Springs Resort, but a little smaller, which means a little less crowded! It is located in the heart of the beautiful Laurel Highlands, and just over an hour from Pittsburgh. It includes 26 slopes and trails to ski or snowboard, snowsports school, three on site restaurants, a fitness center, pool, The Trillium Spa which offers manis, pedis, massages + more, and an 18-hole golf course in the summer.

Loved the beautiful stone buildings!

All rooms include a small refrigerator, sink, microwave, hair dryer and a Keurig coffee maker (boy, did I love not having terrible hotel coffee!) A suite will include a living room with a beautiful fireplace. There is nothing better than coming in from snow sports to a toasty fire!

Although we were there for the snow, it sure was a bonus to have the indoor pool. My kids loved their swim time! And mom & dad enjoyed warming up in the sauna afterwards. :) 

Continental breakfast comes with your stay and includes cereal, oatmeal, pastries, fruit, juice, milk  and coffee. 

Are your kids new to skiing? Hidden Valley has you covered! My son enjoyed The First Time Experience lesson with his instructor and really loved his first time on the slopes.

For children that are 5 and older, you might be interested in dropping them off at Lil' Rippers School for a several hour experience in learning and fun! (This also might give parents a chance to hit the slopes.) :) The entire ski staff was extremely kind and helpful to all of us. 


My kids are 2, 3, almost 4, and almost 6. Yes, it's a lot of work just to get everyone outfitted and up the hills. We weren't without the cries of I'm hot! and my neck is itchy!! They are apparently allergic to layers of clothing. :) But without a doubt, all the craziness was more than worth everyone getting this fun experience. I'm embracing this quote I recently read: Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that multiple times. :) 

Riding the ramp up the bunny hill!

We were so very grateful to have our beloved babysitter with us which made it possible to not only get all the kids on the hill, but mommy & daddy got to sneak in a few runs during nap time as well. It's so tranquil riding up the lift and being at the top of the hills. We felt so refreshed and renewed being outside in the crisp cold and quiet. It was a perfect short date. :) It is so gorgeous at the tops of the slopes!

Snow tubing is another fun option at the resort! Kids must be at least 4 years old, 4-9 must be accompanied by an adult. Tubing is closed Monday - Wednesday.  

Photo courtesy of Hidden Valley Resort

Hidden Valley has three on site restaurants, Clock Tower RestaurantGlaciers Pub, and Sunrise Sunset Cafe. Glaciers Pub was definitely our favorite. Pickle fries? Oh yes. :) 

We chose to do our trip Sunday - Tuesday because we knew the resort would be quieter and less crowded (definitely a good choice for our season of life!). However, the on-site restaurants close a lot earlier on the weekdays and so you definitely want to check with them for closing times or you might find yourselves showing up to a dark restaurant, as we did. Twice. :) Somerset is about 25 minutes and Donegal is about 15 minutes away and they both have quite a few options. We definitely recommend Tall Cedars in Donegal for the excellent pizza! Rey Azteca Mexican Restaurant in Somerset was also highly recommended. 

Vacation in the winter definitely means some inside time, so don't forget a few things to keep them occupied! The matching game and Uno were also some of our favorites. 

My threenager. What more can I say? :) 

And now it's time to pass the fun on to you! Hidden Valley Resort has generously offered to give away the Valley Family Memories Package to one lucky family! 
Package Includes:
  • Two nights of lodging in a standard room at The Inn at Hidden Valley. Inquire about suite rates.
  • Unlimited skiing/snowboarding at Hidden Valley the day of your arrival until close the day you check-out. Please note – slopes close at 4:30 p.m., Monday and Tuesday
  • Complimentary continental breakfast
  • One family-size one-topping pizza
  • One $15 gift card per adult
  • Up to two children age 11 and under receive free lodging, free skiing and free inclusion package when sharing a room with paying adults

Some blackout dates will apply. Winner will be notified on how to redeem their package. Prize package must be redeemed by March 31, 2015. 

Please note: only complete entries will be accepted. This includes leaving a blog comment and complete contact info, thank you! 

Thank you, Hidden Valley Resort, for sharing your family winter vacay with us! 

Hidden Valley Resort generously sponsored this post and provided my family with all the mentioned amenities. All opinions remain my own. It truly was fantastic. :) 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

In Review: Jazzercize ( + free classes! )

I've always loved sports & fitness. Team sports, running, exercise classes....I'm in! But then this little thing happened called children and wow, it is so hard to find the time, energy and venue that is a good fit around taking care of my 4 little ones. Maybe you made a goal in the new year to try to be more fit or maybe you fall into those "winter blues" that is so easy to do in the long, cold months of winter.  Exercise is such a good way to keep yourself feeling better both mentally, emotionally and physically! This past week I was invited to participate in my first Jazzercise class. What made this possible? Three little words: free childcare provided. YES.

I really didn't know much about Jazzercise and it can be hard to picture how physically challenging a class can be when it is set to Jazz. But what I found out is that they actually use a wide variety of music. Dance, hip-hop, country, and yes, a little jazz during cool-down time, it all makes for a fun and lively class!

 I attended the Dance Mixx class which promises to torch fat, sculpt lean muscle, and crush calories with its high intensity workout that mixes dance-based cardio with strength training. Fresh, pulse-pounding music and body-blasting moves bring the intensity to transform your body, boost your mood and ignite your energy.j I would definitely say it lives up to its claim! It was high movement, an intense core workout and FUN! Kim was a great instructor who stayed engaged with everyone and kept it energetic.

I attended a class in the North Hills where they offer 10 classes a week (morning, afternoon & evening options). As I mentioned, they also offer FREE child care (for the morning class) in a room stocked with books, blocks & toys. One of the great things about Jazzercise, is that you can pay a monthly fee and your classes are unlimited for the month! Miss your usual class? Not a problem, just try one on a different day. Take one, three, five or ten classes a week, it's all up to you! Go here to put in your zip code to find your nearest class location. Many locations offer even more classes a week. Childcare will vary by location. 

One thing I really enjoyed about the class is the variety of ages. Seriously, I love taking a fitness class with women who could be my children's grandma, they're so motivating and fun!! But don't worry, there is a variety of attenders from young moms to the older group. Or you could be like this mother/daughter duo and take it together!

So here is the coolest news! You have the opportunity to get the month of January for FREE when you sign up a 6 or 12 month membership. There is also no joining fee when you sign up for a membership this month. Not sure about committing to a membership? Classes are $10 each, try a few to see if it's a good fit for you! 

I definitely encourage you to consider Jazzercise. Group fitness is always a great way of accountability to keep you consistent and is usually way more enjoyable than working out by yourself. I always do better at "momming" when I've had a good workout. It magically extends your patience level as well, haha! Here's to banning winter blues, feeling fit, and maybe making some new friends in the process. Sounds like a win-win-win. :)  

This post sponsored by Jazzercise. All opinions remain my own. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ticket Giveaway: Sesame Street Live

My kids are quite excited because those lovable, furry creatures are on their way back to Pittsburgh! Yep, it's Sesame Street Live and always a fun show. Kids love the music, singing, dancing and just seeing their favorite characters in action.

This year's show focuses on friendship as Elmo, Grover, Abby Cadabby, and their Sesame Street friends welcome Chamki, Grover’s friend from India, to Sesame Street. Together, they explore the universal fun of friendship and celebrate cultural similarities, from singing and dancing, to sharing cookies! 

Sesame Street Live has 7 show times at CONSOL Energy Center! 

Friday, January 9th: 10:30am / 6:30pm

Saturday, January 10th: 10:30am / 2pm / 5:30pm
Sunday, January 11th: 1pm / 4:30pm

Order tickets online here or at the Dick's Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center, all Ticketmaster locations including select Giant Eagle locations, and Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at 1-800-745-3000.

We have 20 tickets to giveaway - 5 families will each win 4 tickets! 

Your tickets will be left at Will Call with the show time of your choosing. 

Go here to enter: 

I was given tickets in exchange for promotion, however, all opinions remain my own. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Healthy Together Pittsburgh

I am partnering with Allies for Children and Moms Rising to promote the Healthy Together campaign, which aims to cover 100 percent of children and youth in the City of Pittsburgh with quality, affordable health insurance. This is a sponsored post, however all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Health coverage is a major part of our lives and, in America, it has changed drastically for many of us in the past few years. When you have children, the last thing you want to think about is whether you can afford to take your child to the doctor. I will never forget moving to Pittsburgh and PA for the first time with an infant and finding out about CHIP. Even though my husband's job offered insurance, we were still able to take advantage of this fantastic resource available to kids in PA. Another reason I am so grateful for the coverage afforded to kids in Pittsburgh is because of my role as a foster mom. Children that enter the foster system are automatically enrolled in health care. This is an immediate burden lifted off the foster families shoulders. Many of these kids haven't had regular well visits or been seen at the doctor when they should have been, and so getting them into good health care immediately is extremely vital.  Even if you think your income is above the requirements, it's still worth checking into. There are varying levels of CHIP, some are completely free, if you have higher income you may have to pay some out of pocket costs. But there is a good chance it is still much cheaper than a company's insurance plan.

I recently had a chance to learn more about the Healthy Together initiative at a gathering at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. It was wonderful to learn about the many ways that kids are going to benefit from this resource. 

There are currently 2,000 uninsured children in the Pittsburgh area, but many are working hard to drastically change that statistic. The Office of Mayor William Peduto is partnering with Allies for Children, the Consumer Health Coalition, the Allegheny County Health Department and other child-serving organizations to implement the Healthy Together campaign. Healthy Together will be implementing strategies to make ensure that families are aware of the health insurance resources available to their children. They will be holding enrollment activities in various neighborhoods, working with the above noted organizations to connect with these families, as well as work with Pittsburgh Public Schools to identify uninsured students and connect families to enrollment activities.

Want to attend an enrollment event or learn more about this initiative? Check the Healthy Together website by logging onto Need health insurance? Dial   2-1-1 to be connected to the Consumer Health Coalition. They will provide assistance at no cost. 

Watch this video for more info: 

I'm grateful to those who are working hard to ensure all kids have health insurance. If you think this might be a benefit to your family, don't hesitate to learn more about the options available for your kids!


Facebook: Healthy Together Twitter:
Facebook: Allies for Children Twitter:
Facebook: Consumer Health Coalition Twitter:
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kennywood Holiday Lights ticket giveaway

My family was invited to visit Kennywood for our first experience at the Holiday Lights. What a cool experience! I have never been to an amusement park in the winter and it was decked out in full holiday spirit! We loved the festive atmosphere with so many Christmas lights and the Christmas music playing throughout the park was enough to  put everyone in a jolly mood.

Holiday Lights is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from November 28 – December 21, 2014. Hours are 5 – 9pm.

Admission at the Gate: $16.99 (+ $1 amusement tax). Save $2.00 at Giant Eagle or Purchase online for $14.99  ($1.25 processing fee & $1 amusement tax). Kids 2 and under are FREE! Parking is also free in the Kennywood lot. 

There are over 1 million sparkling lights as well as fun, festive opportunities to decorate cookies, ride the Gingerbread Express, visit Santa, and hear choirs singing throughout the park. You'll find hot chocolate and apple cider added to refreshment stands to help you warm up!

Rides in the main park are open on a limited basis, the carousel is open. Kiddieland has up to 8 rides open which kept my kids plenty busy. This is hands down all 4 of my kid's favorite ride! :)

Your kids might also enjoy a special opportunity to have dinner with Santa! Dinner reservations can be made for Dec. 13, 14 or 20. Dinner is an all-you-can-eat buffet from 3:30-4:30 pm with a visit from Santa from 4-4:45 pm. After that you're welcome to enjoy the evening at the Festival of Lights.
 $26.99 / adults. $23.99 / ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under are free. Space is limited and reservations are required here

You might run into a few fun characters on your visit!

Don't miss the Lagoon where the reflections are gorgeous! The fantastic light show at the Lagoon runs every 30 minutes and is choreographed to some of our favorite Christmas songs. 
Show times: 5:30 pm, 6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00pm, 8:30 pm. Shows last 10 minutes 

I have the chance to share with you a chance to enjoy the Kennywood Holiday Lights with your family! 
One lucky winner will win 4 tickets for the day of your choice. 
Your tickets will be held at Guest Relations under will call. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks, Kennywood, for being a great Pittsburgh holiday tradition!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

In review: Minted

We received our Christmas cards and loved trying out Minted cards for the first time! I also decided to try another new thing this year: postcards. If you are looking to save a little money on both cards and postage, postcards are a great option! You can have a personal message included on the back as well.  Now my biggest challenge is to get them addressed and sent out before Christmas actually passes. :)
I love the quality of Minted, the cards are on wonderful, thick paper. AND they do include FREE addressing on envelopes - what a deal that is! (Postcards aren't included in the free addressing option.)
Being a blogger and playdate coordinator, I am always on the lookout for great business or "mommy cards". Ohhhh, do I love the selection from Minted! Love the option of a square shape, their lovely modern designs, and that they come with a great little carrier box. (I'm also notorious for pulling a bent one out of a bag. :)

Still in need of Christmas cards? Through 12/9,  take advantage of 15% off + free shipping on holiday cards. Code: JOLLY15FS.

Minted provided me with holiday cards. Review contains my own opinions.