10 Reasons to Visit The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village This Summer {+ Ticket Giveaway!}

10 Reasons to Visit The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village This Summer

Nothing screams summer in metro Detroit quite like a visit to The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. This place is amazing for kids, adults and history lovers alike, and always top of my list when entertaining out-of-town visitors.

I’ve compiled a list of 10 reasons to visit this summer, but believe me — I’ve left off a ton. See the entire calendar of fun here. In the meantime, here’s a few excuses to get you to make the drive to this Dearborn gem!

IMAX Theatre presentation of Secret Ocean 3D {Through Sept. 7} — Jean Michel is the son of ocean pioneer Jacques Cousteau and has been exploring Earth’s oceans for nearly 70 years. His movie gives a breakthrough look at a secret world within the ocean. Spend a rainy day watching this masterpiece and teaching kids more about the mysteries of our ocean. {Tickets range from $9.75-$13.75}

National Get Outdoors Day {June 13} — Join a historic forest ranger in Greenfield Village for a day of one-of-a-kind outdoor activities, including an afternoon nature hike, presentations by our historic forest ranger on horseback, tours of the William Ford Horse Barn and other hands-on activities. {Free with GFV ticket admission}

Tinker Hack Invent

Tinker.Hack.Invent Saturdays {Weekly throughout summer} — Inspire ingenuity in your kids and join the Tinker Task Force to let them have a blast trying your hand at all sorts of things. Hands-on. How-to, DIY, science and more, with a different activities each month. {Free admission with Henry Ford ticket purchase. Some activities may have an extra fee.}

Macy’s 2nd Mondays {2nd Monday of each month} — Introduce your preschool children to the wonders of The Henry Ford — all before nap time. Storytelling, live entertainment and dozens of hands-on activities. During summer, all the events take place in the Village. Monthly themes: June 8 – Liberty Craftworks, July 13 – Summer Celebration, August 10 – All Aboard!, September 14 – Back to School. {Children under 4 are always FREE. All of the special children’s activities are included with admission.} [Read more…]

Coupon for Michigan Science Center! {Expires 8/31/15}

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Planning some summertime adventures to amuse the kids? If so, I’m excited to share a special offer from the Michigan Science Center in Detroit just for my readers – $3 off admission.

If you haven’t been, it’s a MUST!

To print this coupon for Michigan Science Center, simply click on it and send it to the printer, or show this image on your phone upon arrival.

Coupon for Michigan Science Center

Read about my past experience there at this post or see some visuals at this album of photos on my Facebook page.

Follow Michigan Science Center on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy summer planning! Stay tuned for more ideas and discounts for summer coming soon.

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How To Save Money at Southeast Michigan Attractions {36 Ideas Around Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and Lansing Areas}

There is nothing I love more than going on an adventure to a new place. Only thing is, my sense of adventure doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with my budget. With three kids, I’m quickly learning how to be highly aware of the costs to do everything from grocery shop to vacation, which is why I created this handy dandy guide for how to save money at southeast Michigan attractions.

I hope it helps your family save some moula too! 😉

How To Save Money at Southeast Michigan Attractions

RE-PIN HERE

The Adventure Park {West Bloomfield}

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield subscribers can get $5 off each admission ticket with the Healthy Blues Extras program

Ann Arbor Hands On Museum {Ann Arbor}

  • Purchase a membership for free general admission for a year, plus special discounts, invitations to exclusive events and entry/discounts to more than 300 museums nationwide
  • $5 after 5 p.m. on Thursdays

Arab American National Museum {Dearborn}

  • Buy one, get one free with the D Discount Pass {valid on adult and/or children’s admission}

Arts & Scraps {Detroit}

  • Check out a Michigan Activity Pass from your local library and receive a visit to 4 stations to build, discover, and learn; then create a project to take home free of charge

Buick Automotive Gallery {Flint}

  • Check out a Michigan Activity Pass from your local library and receive one free child with regular paid adult admission

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History {Detroit}

Cranbrook Art Museum {Bloomfield Hills}

  • Check out a Michigan Activity Pass from your local library and receive four free general admissions per pass

Cranbrook Institute of Science {Bloomfield Hills}

  • Visit on the first Friday each month for FREE entry after 5 p.m., courtesy of MASCO Corporation
  • Get discounted admission by visiting from 5-10 p.m. on Fridays and SaturdaysPurchase a membership for free general admission for a year, plus special discounts, invitations to exclusive events and entry/discounts to more than 300 museums nationwide
Giraffe Feeding at the Detroit Zoo

Feeding a giraffe at the Detroit Zoo

Detroit Zoo {Royal Oak}

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield subscribers can get discounts on admission with the Healthy Blues Extras program {general admission is $2 off}
  • If you go to the zoo more than two times/year, get a membership. This will also get you a discount to zoos and aquariums nationwide.

[Read more…]

KINDness Safari Coming to the Detroit Zoo May 16, 2015 #KindAwesome

Kindess Safari

I am receiving zoo admission for my family in exchange for this post.

Three rockin’ companies I love have partnered to bring an awesome activity to us: KIND, Zulily and the Detroit Zoo.

Local families can visit the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak on Saturday, May 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a kindness safari, presented by KIND and Zulily. The kindness safari includes a scavenger hunt booklet, which features interactive kindness activities inspired by animals {i.e. see a bear; give somebody in your family a bear hug!}. How cute is this?!

Safari Kits

In addition, attendees will receive flowers upon leaving to pass on to someone else as well as a take-home kindness kit that comes in a complimentary lunch tote that kids can color on {pictured above}.

This is part of the Kind Kids program, which uses fun family activities to teach kids the importance of kindness. Learn more here and follow the #KindAwesome hashtag for live updates.

SCORE FREE ADMISSION!

The first 50 visitors to the zoo with this voucher can get FREE zoo admission.

Hope to see you there!

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Stamp Out Hunger on May 9, 2015 and Help Families in Need {Nationwide}

Stamp Out Hunger

This Saturday, May 9 brings one of my favorite days of the year: Stamp Out Hunger! I love this program for an easy way to make a difference — without even leaving the house.

All you have to do is collect and bag non-perishables you’d like to donate and place them in a bag in/near your mailbox before your mail time for your letter carrier to pick-up. All of these items will be delivered to your local food bank.

Items to consider donating include canned meats/fish, soup, juice, canned veggies, pasta, cereal, peanut butter and rice. Do not include items that are expired or in glass containers.

From my experience volunteering at food banks, cans of tuna or chicken and peanut butter specifically are great to donate since this often may be the only source of protein someone receives.

Other reasons I love this program:

  • It’s an excuse to clean out my pantry.
  • It’s such an EASY way to help people in need.
  • It helps families in MY neighborhood — literally.
  • It serves as a reminder that I am very blessed to be food secure.
  • It provides me with a great lesson to teach my children about giving back and helping others.

Pantry Organizing

A clean pantry is a happy pantry, right?

Did you know one in four Michigan children live in poverty, with household incomes under $24,000 for a family of four? For these individuals, a simple food donation can make all the difference.

Last year’s drive resulted in nearly 73 million pounds of non-perishable food left by customers’
mailboxes nationwide. Fingers crossed we can beat that number this year. Do your part and put together a bag of items and help a family in need!

Read more about the Stamp Out Hunger initiative here.

Donations

Getting my bag of donations ready!

If you forget to put out items, you can always call one of these Southeast Michigan food banks to see how you can help:

What items will you be donating to help Stamp Out Hunger?

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Family Fun in May 2015 in Southeast Michigan {Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint & Lansing Areas}

Just writing the word ‘May’ makes me SO happy. It’s one of my favorite months of the year for many reasons — the flowers peeking out, the smell of fresh-cut grass, and the return of many farmer’s markets are just a few. Luckily, there is plenty to do with kids this month too!

Family Fun in May 2015 in Southeast Michigan

Family Fun in May 2015 in Southeast Michigan:

May 1 — Into the Wild LIVE with Jack Hanna at The Whiting {Flint} — Learn more about the show at the post linked above.

May 1 — Free Admission to Cranbrook Institute of Science {Bloomfield Hills} — Visit after 5 p.m. the first Friday of every month, courtesy of the MASCO Corporation, for FREE.

May 1 — Touch a Truck at Drake Sports {West Bloomfield} — From 6-9 p.m., kids can get a firsthand look at police, fire, construction, trash and all the really cool work vehicles we see every day, but don’t get the chance to touch. Several food trucks will also be on site. FREE.

May 1-3 — Spring Fling Fest {Mason} — Visit Mason to experience a 5K run, a craft show on the courthouse square, pie sale, duck race and much more. FREE.

May 2 — LEGO Bricks Build Off {Ann Arbor} — The Ann Arbor Art Center presents their Lego Exhibition. View all of the LEGO Bricks creations that were submitted by the finalists in the Ultimate Lego Bricks Build-Off Contest and vote for your favorite! Families are invited to participate in a craft project and LEGO activities during the exhibition. 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. FREE.Heavenly Scent Herb Farm

May 2-3 — Faerie Day Festival at Heavenly Scent Herb Farm {Fenton} — Visit this beautiful farm for fun with fairies! Story telling, dancers, workshops and more. $1/person for entry.

May 2-3 — Victorian Days {Grand Ledge} — Salute the Victorian era with a ball, maypole dance, high tea, Civil War encampment, riverboat rides, carriage rides, period craft demonstrations and more. FREE entry, some activities have a fee.

May 2  — Lunch with Princess Joslyn at Canterbury Village {Lake Orion} – Singing, dancing, story time and lunch with a princess! 11 a.m. $18/person.Picket Fence Frame

May 2 — Home Depot Kids Workshop — Picket Fence Photo Frame {Nationwide} — Come learn how to build a picket fence photo frame. FREE hands-on workshops; designed for children ages 5 – 12, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. All kid get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Register online in advance.

May 2 — Michaels Kid Club {Nationwide} — Drop into a Michael’s Craft Store and take home a completed project! Just $2 per child for 30 minutes of creative craft fun, including supplies. 10 a.m. – noon. Ages 3 and up. This day’s project is a Mother’s Day wood frame.

May 2 – Fly Guy and Other Stories at The Wharton {East Lansing} – This inventive musical revue is based on favorite children’s books and may include Fly Guy meets Fly Girl, in which Fly Guy has met his match, and he is totally impressed…and totally smitten. Tickets: $9. Recommended for ages 4 and up. [Read more…]

Ways I Cheat As A Mom to 3 #GerberWinWinMoment

Gerber Graduates Win Win Moment

This is a sponsored post with Gerber and MomSelect. All opinions expressed are my own. 

I hear it daily: “You are a superwoman!”

While the sentiment is obviously flattering and appreciated, believe me ya’ll — I’m just trying to get through the trenches like everyone else. In my eyes, anyone who is raising a human is a super hero.

Super cape aside, can I tell you a secret? Having 3 kids honestly as hard as having one at times.

After all, they all entertain each other, and my girls love taking care of my little guy.

Seriously, they are my biggest helpers! They love pushing him around and helping me with tasks like getting diapers, finding toys for him to chew on, and keep him occupied while I get things done. He just lights up whenever they are around him. Talk about a win-win!

#GerberWinWinMoment

When it comes to meal time, they LOVE making sure he gets fed. They will even fight over who gets to help him. We started with purees at 6 months, but this kid quickly lost interest and wanted what his sisters were eating, so we just let him feed himself with a combo of infant snacks and whatever we’re eating, and his sisters are always near by to feed him more. [Read more…]

Into the Wild LIVE with Jack Hanna at The Whiting in Flint on 5/1 {+ Giveaway} ENDS 4/28

Have you ever caught animal expert Jack Hanna on TV? We love him here! Excited to share about a fun coming to Flint in a few weeks!

America’s most beloved animal expert, Jack Hanna, brings his three-time Emmy Award-winning television series to the live stage with Into the Wild Live! at The Whiting in Flint on Friday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m; locally presented by HAP.

In this live show, prepare to be fascinated as Jungle Jack takes you into the wild with a spectacular array of incredible animals. Jack will also share humorous stories and amazing footage from his adventures all around the world from Africa, to the Amazon, to Antarctica and beyond. He will also inspire with his passion and dedication to wildlife conservation.

Audiences can expect to see approximately fifteen animals in the live experience. The exact animals to appear aren’t confirmed until soon before the show since each animal must receive medical clearance, however, fans can expect to see animals such as a baby cheetah, kangaroo, baby tiger, two-toed sloth, penguin and much more.

TICKETS

Tickets range from $19-$45 and are available at www.thewhiting.com by phone at (810) 237-7333 or by walk-up at The Whiting Ticket Center and at the new Flint Farmers’ Market.

The Whiting is located at 1241 E. Kearsley Street in Flint, just off I-475 between the University of Michigan-Flint and Mott Community College on the beautiful Flint Cultural Center campus.

BUY TICKETS HERE: http://thewhiting.com/tickets/production.aspx?performanceNumber=5956

Into the Wild LIVE with Jack Hanna at The Whiting

GIVEAWAY

I have a family 4-pack of tickets to give away, thanks to The Whiting. Ends on April 28, 2015 at midnight. Good luck!

Jack Hanna at The Whiting

What are your child’s favorite animals to see?

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Celebrating 4 Years of Blogging

Today marks 4 years of blogging. While this doesn’t seem like much of a feat, it is. Do you all know how much time blogging takes up? 😉 I only wish I had more time — I have SO many ideas to share!

With that said, I maintain starting this blog has been the best decision I ever could have made for myself and my family. While I don’t make a ton of money with it, I have so much fun, and it has proven to be an amazing outlet for me to connect with awesome people and companies, and to practice my writing and photography skills.

I am a people person through and through. I love learning new things and exploring with my kids. I enjoy trying to help businesses achieve their goal, whether it’s bringing people through the doors or selling tickets. I am very passionate about social media. But most of all, I just love sharing and learning great info from my readers.

I have had many great memories of blogging through the years. A few of my favorites:

~ Taking a ride around Detroit in the Oscar Meyer Weinermobilewienermobile

~ Touring Hudsonville Ice Cream

~ Tossing the first pitch at a Tigers game {at 33 weeks pregnant!}

~ Attending the grand opening for the SEA LIFE Aquarium

Kids Checking out SEA LIFE Michigan

~ Visiting Crooked River Lodge in Alanson, Michigan and Castaway Bay in Sandusky, Ohio

~ Having this post of Christmas events go viral {very cool experience, but also very scary!}

~ Writing dozens of letters to my children for their major age milestones

~ Getting countless messages of appreciation for sharing about my daughter’s speech delays

~ Emails from readers sharing how I have helped their family with free/discounted tickets or ideas for things to do

On a professional level, I’ve been contacted for jobs and worked with many of my ‘dream’ brands, proving you can do anything you set your mind to just by being who you are and doing what you love.

From a family perspective, I have been able to bring SO many experiences to my children — things we never could have afforded otherwise. For that, I am eternally grateful for each and every opportunity I’ve been granted {and for my wonderfully patient husband and eager children for always coming along on adventures}.

Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing my posts during the past 4 years. You fill my heart with joy daily and I feel so blessed to have you along on my journey!

I have a fun giveaway coming up to celebrate, so stay tuned!

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Wild Kratts LIVE! in Detroit 5/28 {+ Family 4-Pack Giveaway} ENDS 5/2

WildKratts_1200x628_4

Wild wild wild Kratts wild wild wild Kratts…Does that theme song get stuck in anyone else’s head nearly every day? It sure does stick over here! I love the Wild Kratts because we are a PBS-loving family, and it’s a show I don’t feel an ounce of guilt for my kiddos to watch in the morning since it’s so educational. So I’m pretty stoked that Wild Kratts LIVE! is coming to the Detroit Opera House on May 28, and I have the chance for one of you to take your family!

ABOUT THE SHOW

Animated Kratt Brothers, Martin and Chris, “come to real life” in a classically Wild Kratts story.  Off “To the Creature Rescue!” the Emmy nominated Kratt Brothers activate some fan favorite Creature Power Suits to confront a comic villain. Through hilarious pratfalls and amazing animal ‘wow facts’ the Wild Kratts team rescues their favorite invention from Zach’s clutches so the animals of the creature world are safe once again.

Wild Kratts LIVE! is created for the stage by the imaginative minds of Martin Kratt and Chris Kratt from  Zooboomafoo, Kratt’s Creatures and Be the Creature. The Kratt Brothers’ national tours draw tens of thousands of creature-crazy kids and their families and the not-for-profit Kratt Brothers Creature Hero Society, together with kids, has successfully protected critical wildlife habitats through the creation of nature reserves.

Wild Kratts LIVE! will be at Detroit Opera House on Thursday, May 28, 2015 for a 7 p.m. show.

TICKETS

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com800-745-3000 and the Detroit Opera House Box Office. Ticket prices start at $35.

GIVEAWAY

I have a family 4-pack of tickets to giveaway to one lucky reader to attend the show on May 28, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Detroit Opera House. Ends on May 2, 2015 at midnight. Good luck!

Wild Kratts

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Monkey Kingdom: A Must-See For Nature Lovers Young and Old

Monkey Kingdom

Wow. I don’t think I have been able to wipe the smile off my face since my Tuesday evening screening of Disneynature’s latest documentary, Monkey Kingdom. I have loved all of the movies in the nature series, but this is my favorite BY FAR.

The story is compelling and surely one parents, children, and nature lovers will enjoy.

ABOUT THE FILM

Narrated by the ever-so-funny Tina Fey, the plot follows Maya, a clever blonde-bobbed toque macaque monkey whose world is forever changed when she welcomes her son, Kip, into her complicated family. Like all families {human and otherwise!}, Maya’s has plenty of colorful personalities, but she is determined to give her son the best life possible. When their home is taken over by neighboring monkeys, Maya’s family is forced to relocate. Thanks to her street smarts, they make the best of it and come out on top.

This film is stunning to watch. From sweeping views of the jungle in Sri Lanka, to seeing all kinds of other creatures including a monitor lizard and some darn cute sloth bears, it will educate everyone who watches. [Read more…]

13 Spring Races To Do in Southeast Michigan + Giveaway to Hightail to Ale 5K in Detroit {Ends 4/30}

As a company that’s committed to helping others lead healthy lifestyles, Michigan-based Absopure is actively involved in the local running community and supports races throughout the state. As the official water sponsor of Running Fit, Absopure has provided me with two registrations to the upcoming Hightail to Ale 5K—the first stop in the brand new Thirsty 3 series.

I am super excited to share that my husband and I are down a combined total of 50 pounds since the beginning of the year!!! The question we keep getting: “What’s your secret?”

Friends, there are no secrets. No fad diets. No crazy painful workout routine. Just better foods, portion control and exercise. Who knew?! 😉

Our preferred form of exercise is running. I know it sounds crazy to many people, but honestly, it’s the best. We love the endorphins it releases, and it’s convenient for us as parents to little ones since we can do it outside in our neighborhood after putting kids to bed. Additionally, it’s the perfect excuse for a guilt-free date!

Jason and I - 5K

We recently got up at the crack of dawn to run the 5K and 10K with the Ann Arbor Marathon. It was super fun, and an awesome excuse to spend some time together.

With spring and summer on the horizon, we are starting to look at some races to keep us motivated to meet our goals {mine is another 10K, his is a half marathon}. I am excited to check out some of these races my friends from Absopure has sent me as part of their partnership with Running Fit.

13 Spring Races To Do in Southeast Michigan
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