Pinkalicious The Musical in Detroit Nov. 21-23 + Ticket Giveaway {Ends 10/22}

Pinkalicious Artwork

I have a partnership with Olympia Entertainment and will be receiving complimentary tickets to the show in exchange for promoting. All opinions expressed are my own.

Based on the popular children’s books by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann, Pinkalicious The Musical will perform six shows at the City Theatre in Detroit from Friday, November 21 through Sunday, November 23.

If you’re not familiar with the books, they are adorable, and perfect for encouraging imagination. Whenever I read the stories to Kinley {4}, I picture her, except everything is blue — her favorite color! Pinkalicious is just relatable to any child in the 3-8 years of age range.

SYNOPSIS:

In Pinkalicious The Musical, Pinkalicious can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament.

The one hour musical, with book and lyrics by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann and music, lyrics and orchestrations by John Gregor, is based on the popular children’s book Pinkalicious by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann. The musical adaptation is directed by Teresa K. Pond with musical direction by Jad Bernardo and original direction by Suzu McConnell-Wood.
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Big List of Fire Department Open Houses in Michigan {During October 2014}

Being from a family of Detroit firefighters, I thought it would be awesome to share some info reader Dave of Page’s Page shared with me regarding some upcoming local firehouse open houses.

Did you know this week is National Fire Prevention Week? Because of this, many stations open their doors to the public for some FREE family fun! You can find a BIG list of upcoming open houses around the state of Michigan on his blog, but he also gave me permission to re-post the awesome information he pulled together here.

Fire departments use this week in particular to do a variety of public education displays at schools, fire stations, and businesses, to raise awareness of why fire safety is important and to showcase the equipment they use, answer questions, and let kids {big and small} play with some of their toys.

Additionally, most department open houses include some sort of demo {vehicle extrication, fire attack, rappelling, etc.}, a variety of emergency vehicles, freebies for the kids, etc. Some of the open houses may include some food, a helicopter, rides, and more. Check with your local fire department for details! Also, please note we will try to update this list as we find additional open houses.

Big List of Fire Department Open Houses in Michigan

Now, for the BIG list of upcoming open houses through October. Plan some local family fun today :D

OCTOBER 7
Milan, 45 Wabash, 6-9 p.m.
Saginaw, 801 Federal, beginning at 10 a.m.
Grandville, 3215 Wilson, 6-8 p.m.OCTOBER 8
Wayland, 160 W. Superior, 6-8 p.m.
Dalton Twp, 1650 E Riley Thompson, 6-8 p.m.
Forsyth Twp, 47 N Johnson Lake, 5-7 p.m.
Benton Twp, 4713 Hartel, 6-8 p.m.
Kalamazoo #2, 1207 Bryant, 6-8 p.m.

OCTOBER 9
Delta Twp, 811 N. Canal, 6-8:30 p.m.
Spring Lake Twp, 148th & Cleveland, 6-8 p.m.

OCTOBER 10
Farmington Hills, 31455 W. 11 Mile, 3-7 p.m.
Rochester Hills, Meijer’s 3175 S.Rochester 7-9 p.m.
Kalamazoo #45, 601 N. Park, 6-8 p.m.
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Fall Lawn Care Tips With Lush Lawn

Lush LawnThe post below is sponsored by Lush Lawn. Opinions expressed are my own.

There’s one thing these cooler temps mean: Time to wind down for the winter by pulling out the dead stuff and raking leaves off the lawn! Since taking care of the health of our lawn is not my favorite task, I am happy to have Lush Lawn help us out by prepping our lawn for cooler temps and nicer grass heading into 2015.

And let’s not even talk about the creepy crawly things starting to find their way indoors…ICK. Definitely not my favorite part of fall either. Thankfully, Lush Lawn can spray for those, too!

I received these tips from Lush Lawn to serve as a great reminder of what we all should be proactively be doing in the fall:

Fall Lawn Care Tips

1. FERTILIZE. Fertilizing in fall is great for the grass because the lower temperatures and increased rain cause the grass to thrive, and with that, the grass uses up a lot of nutrients, so replenishing those nutrients through fertilization is very important.

2. SEEDINGS. Doing seedings this time of year are great because of the weather conditions, too. Sometimes young grass is killed by intense summer heat when planted in the spring because it hasn’t had enough time to develop. If you seed in fall, you have fall and spring for the grass to grow and develop before summertime, so it tends to be stronger and more resilient.

3. SPRAY FOR BUGS. Right now is one of the most important times to spray for insects around your home and for bug proofing your home. As the temperatures dip, a lot of bugs will seek refuge in your home because it is much warmer than outside. This time of year in Michigan brings spiders indoors. Getting a good perimeter pest spray around the home will stop this problem.

4. CUT GRASS APPROPRIATELY. The last time you cut your grass in preparation for winter, it should be cut at 2 inches and not higher. Most the year, 3 to 4 inches length is great, but going into the dormant season, you want the grass to be cut shorter in order to reduce winter snow mold and other diseases that develop easier in long matted down grasses over the winter.

Lush Lawn is a family owned company based in Michigan that specializes in lawn care, pest control and tree services. They have offices in Brighton, Grand Blanc and Rochester Hills and offer services in those surrounding areas. Visit this link for a FREE quote and tell them I sent you!

How are your prepping your lawn for fall?

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Letters To My Children: To My Daughter On Her 4th Birthday {Kinley}

Letters To My Children

My dearest Kinley,

I can’t believe I am writing a letter to my newly 4-year-old. When I held you for the first time, I could only imagine a time when I could have a conversation with you. Now that day is here, and let me tell you — you have a lot of {adorable} wisdom to share.

This past year has been filled with many moments of pure joy, excessive laughter, loads of questions, and of course — challenges.

Aside from the typical kid sassiness and potty woes, many of our challenges have revolved around our differing personalities. Being the type of person who jumps right into things, I often have to take a step back and think about what is best for YOU. You are not one to jump in — and I am slowly learning not to push it and force you into situations you are not comfortable with. I know I need to choose my battles wisely, but go a tad easier on me and understand that occasional discomfort and pushing boundaries is good for you. You are my first child; an experiment, and I don’t always know what I am doing. We need to help each other out and work together.

On that note, your first week of preschool wasn’t the smoothest. You were not thrilled that I was leaving you. A few weeks in, and now you really look forward to it. I am loving the mix of kids in your class — I know we picked the perfect school for you and I know you are happy there. We’ll see if next year holds another year of preschool or pre-K, but know I am so proud of you for being brave and conquering your anxiety. You are coming out of your shell in public, and it is SO cool to watch. I love it when you show others the fun personality I get to see at home.

Kinley Collage

One way you show me I am getting things right is through your faith. You never forget to pray at night and ask about God daily — both things that have forced me to look inside my faith, which I confess, wavers at times. Sometimes the questions you ask are simply explained with science {“How does God make it rain?”} but others are very introspective {“Why are some people born lucky, and some unlucky?” and “Why did God make people?”). If there is one thing I want you to know it’s to never stop asking questions. I may not always have an answer, but asking questions is the only way problems get solved. The more you know, the more intelligence you gain, and believe me — you can never have too much knowledge!
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Halloween at Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad + Giveaway {Ends 10/13}

CVHR-logo

One of the most talked about events this time of year here in Michigan is Halloween at Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad in Flint, Michigan. Personally, I am excited to visit for the first time this year with my entire family, so I was beyond thrilled when Tiffany of Daily Leisure asked some fellow bloggers to help her promote a giveaway.

I am ecstatic to visit because my girls are finally at perfect ages for it {4 and 2}, and Karina is OBSESSED with trains. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this event!

ABOUT THE EVENT:

During Halloween, Crossroads Village is filled with friendly witches, happy ghosts and more. Find your way through an amusing straw maze and an enchanted forest where trees have eyes. Watch an old-fashioned magic show and take a 40-minute ride on the famous Huckleberry Ghost Train Express. There are trick-or-treat stations throughout the Village with plenty of donuts and candy for everyone.

Halloween at Crossroads Village

A giant spider web over Crossroads Village | Image from Facebook

DATES/TIMES:

Weeknights Oct. 10, 17, 24, 29-31:   5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Weekends Oct. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

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Olga’s Kitchen Mediterranean Cruise Giveaway + Gift Card Contest {ENDS 10/13}

Olga's Kitchen

I received my own gift card in exchange for promoting the giveaway below. All opinions expressed are my own…and yes, I reallllly love Olga’s!

Anyone who grew-up or currently lives in metro Detroit knows a local restaurant chain that is sure to get folks talking: Olga’s Kitchen. Just typing that word makes my taste buds dance with cravings of their Snackers, an Orange Cream Cooler, and an Original Olga. So delicious.

I’m excited to let you all know I’ve partnered with the company to help share a giveaway they are working to promote: the Destination: Mediterranean, Olga’s Cruise Giveaway, through which one loyal customer and a guest will receive an all expense paid 7-day Mediterranean Cruise.

I don’t know about you all, but I sure could use a getaway right about now. It has been several years now since I’ve gotten on a plane, and I am really itching to travel. Also, I am a quarter Greek, so this would mean I could visit the land of my ancestors, which would be amazing. This trip is for sure on my bucket list. {Also on my bucket list? Meeting Olga herself!}

It’s easy for you to enter too! The cruise giveaway, sponsored in-part by Pepsi, offers new and existing Olga’s Reward Points members the opportunity to win a free, all expense paid 7-day Mediterranean Cruise aboard Celebrity Cruises, with stops in the Greek Islands and Turkey, as well as a $500 cash card. Sounds awesome, right?

Olga's Greece Cruise

Seriously…Doesn’t this just look magical?

To enter the giveaway, participants can visit http://bit.ly/olgascontest and add their Olga’s Reward Points account number and information {there is a link on the Facebook app to show you how to find your number if you don’t have a card}.
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Freezing Time With Prints and Printsess +Giveaway for Local Readers! {ENDS 10/15}

Prints & Printsess

I was provided with a keepsake plaque and giveaway item from Prints and Printsess in exchange for this post. All opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

Knowing Miles is my last baby has me a bit sad. I know in my heart I am done with having children, but I just feel young and worry that there could be a chance later on down the road I may change my mind.

But since it takes two to tango, and my husband has no questions in his mind about being done {he’s logical like that}, he is my last baby. Because of this, I am trying to cherish every moment.

One way I was recently able to capture him at this very stage is by making a 3D plaque with his little hands and feet with local business Prints and Printsess. It meant the world to me to be able to freeze time, and I look forward to the future when we can compare his little hands to his toddler hands, boyhood hands, and beyond.

Owners Ricky and Ashley Raleigh knew they wanted to own a business, so they explored their options before settling on the ceramics concept. They have a studio at their home in downtown Howell, but also travel throughout southeast and mid-Michigan to attend events and make 3-D clay plaques for local families.

The Raleighs - Prints and Printsess

The Raleigh family…with baby #2 on the way! How cute are they?!

I had the opportunity to visit their studio, and it was such a great experience. They are such sweet people, and really know their stuff. Ashley showed me all of the types of creations they make and they were all incredible and unique. The entire time I just kept thinking what great gifts they would make for Christmas, birthdays, or welcoming a new baby.

THE PROCESS

After I arrived, I was able to choose my overall design {options are here}. I wanted a handprint and footprint, so I chose the 3-print 3D plaque.

Ricky rolled out the clay, and then we were ready for little man’s hand and foot. I let them hold him to do it — after all, they are the experts! They were great with him and knew all the tricks to getting the perfect hand and foot print. Even at just three weeks old, he took it like a champ.

Footprint with Prints and Printsess

From there, I was able pick out a border,  glaze color, the font I’d like, and coordinating stamps. They have everything from robots and rockets to princess crowns and every animal you can think of! They also have sayings, and holiday themed stamps {think Mother’s or Father’s Day, for example}. Since Miles’ room has an animal theme, I went with that.

Prints and Printsess Options

BIG List of Halloween Fun in Southeast Michigan 2014

October is one of the best months of the years…Beautiful leaves falling to the ground, hot apple cider, and of course dressing up to trick-or-treat. I had a great time putting this big list of Halloween fun in southeast Michigan this month, and can’t wait to attend some of the events. Please note most cities have their own downtown trick-or-treating events, so check out your city’s website…I couldn’t list them all ;)

BIG List of Halloween Fun in Southeast Michigan 2014

RE-PIN HERE

So, without further ado, a BIG list of Halloween and fall-inspired fun happening in October!

October 3-5 — Trenton Scarecrow Festival {Trenton} – A fall festival with fun for the entire family, complete with contests, prizes, games, arts & crafts, scarecrow building, a dog costume contest, live music, a carnival and more. FREE.

October 4 —  Ghoultide Gathering {Chelsea} – This looks like a really neat event! Three dozen artists will gather to sell unique style Halloween items such as paper-mache sculptures, paintings, art dolls, pottery, soft sculpture, ornaments, and wood carving. Admission is $5. Children 10 and under are free.

October 4 — Autumn Magic at Independence Oaks {Clarkston} — From 2–4 p.m., bring the family for some sweet, colorful autumn magic. Press apples into cider, enjoy a fall snack and craft a leaf- print T-shirt. Experience the magic of nature in the fall with a naturalist-led walk, song and activities in beautiful Independence Oaks County Park. Bring a light colored T-shirt for printing. $5/person.

October 4-5 — Fall Festival at Kensington Metropark {Milford} – Enjoy a fun-filled weekend of activities for the whole family. Tour the farm and view demonstrations, entertainment by Rosco the Clown, and more. Also, take a hayride to and from the pumpkin patch to pick your perfect pumpkin. Many activities are free with park entry.

October 4-26 — Upland Hills Farm Harvest Festival {Oxford} – The Upland Hills Farm Fall Harvest Festival takes place every Saturday and Sunday in October from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy cider and donuts, visit the animals, milk a cow, watch a farm demonstration, be amazed at Baffling Bill’s Magic Show, enjoy a hayride in the woods, walk the storybook trail, pick a pumpkin, or take a pony ride! Admission to the farm is $9 per person. Children 24 months and under are free. {Admission includes magic show, farm show, hayride, storybook trail, visiting the animals, and milk a cow.}

October 4,11, 26 — Fall at the Farm at Northfolk Outback {Webberville} – Games, horseback rides, petting zoo, kids train, pumpkin decorating and more. $12/person, age 2 and under are free. Book ahead of time, as these weekends fill up quick!

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Coming Soon to Auburn Hills: SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium

SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium

I am a SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium Parent Ambassador and will be receiving an exclusive first look at events leading up to the attraction’s grand opening early next year and complimentary tickets. All opinions expressed are my own.

I have posted a few times on my Facebook page about the SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium coming to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills in spring 2015 and have gotten a HUGE response from my followers. I mean, I don’t blame you — our family is super excited too!

Yesterday there was a groundbreaking ceremony, complete with a kid reporter and local dignitaries, and some fab announcements were made.

SEA LIFE Aquarium Groundbreaking

Local kids helped with the groundbreaking

I was also able to see some renderings of what the space is going to look like…and it’s going to be so rad for Michigan families. Take a peek:

SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium Renderings

Looks fabulous, right?

Here’s more on what’s to come from press materials:

SEA LIFE is the world’s largest aquarium brand, with more than 40 attractions worldwide. The company is focused on offering amazing, breathtaking and educational experiences that wow guests and inspire them to take an active role in conversation so these amazing creatures and their environments are preserved for generations to come.

In addition to weaving conservation information and tips throughout our exhibits, SEA LIFE takes an active role in conservation through its Breed Rescue Protect initiative. Additionally, they run breeding programs to help sustain endangered species, rescue hundreds of sick and injured creatures and nurse them back to health to return them to the wild, and actively campaign to protect individual species and marine environments from exploitation or destruction.

You’ll find more information about these initiatives in the new 35,000-square-foot aquarium, along with more than 5,000 amazing creatures from our world’s oceans, including sharks, stingray, seahorses, fish and much, much more. There also will be creatures from our very own Great Lakes and other Michigan waterways. Through SEA LIFE’s one-of-a-kind, engaging exhibits, such as a 180-degree underwater tunnel and interactive touchpools, guests will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to come nose to nose with these creatures and learn about them and their environments.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So exciting, right?! I’m looking forward to reporting updates in the future as more is announced…Stay tuned! :D

In the meantime, be sure to follow SEA LIFE Michigan’s websiteTwitter, Facebook and Instagram for more updates.

All images in this post are courtesy of SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium.

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Letters To My Children – The First Weeks {Miles}

Letters To My Children

My Dear Miles,

Oh my sweet, sweet baby. I can’t believe how fast these first six+ weeks have gone! You are growing like a little flower and changing on a daily basis, and I am enjoying your babyhood so much. Someone once told me there was just something special about your third baby, and I totally get it now.

You have been a dream and are insanely laid back. I keep telling people I’m not sure if it’s because I have baby experience now, or if you just are good-natured, but something tells me it’s a combo. You sleep anywhere and everywhere and even sleep with the chaos of your sisters running around you. Thank goodness, because we are constantly on-the-go and you seem perfectly happy with that. I’ll even go out on a limb and say it: Transitioning to a third child has been much easier than going from one to two. I mean, look at all the love radiating from you kids! Adorable.

Siblings Collage

I can get you to smile in about 5 seconds, so you are living up to your “Smiles” nickname. You just love when your daddy, sisters and I talk to you, and you’re already trying to talk back to us. We love hearing your little coos and seeing you pump your little legs with excitement. Believe me when I say you are SO very loved! In fact, my biggest challenge is keeping your sisters from picking you up daily. They just adore you.
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Cuddling Up With Huggies Little Snugglers #MC #Sponsored

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies and Target. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

After almost FOUR years straight of changing diapers {!!!}, I’ll say this: All diapers are not created equal. Some leak, some give rashes, some feel cheap and others are super soft. Also, each brand works differently for different kids. I’ve tried brands that worked great for Kinley, but gave Karina a rash. Now, with a little boy, I’m finding other challenges in the diaper chaining department.

We recently had the opportunity to try out Huggies Little Snugglers — with my newest addition, and I have to say, I am impressed! In fact, these may be my new favorites for the first weeks of baby’s life.

Huggies Little Snugglers at Target

Shopping for Huggies Little Snugglers at one of my favorite places ever — Target! These are also available at Target.com. They were easy to spot on the end cap at my store. 

First, they fit perfectly, which says a lot because Miles is pretty close to 14 pounds at just 6 weeks old. I love how the curves fit around his thighs, and the tabs seem stronger than some brands, which is so crucial in the first weeks when you’re changing a newborn with little frog legs! Additionally, the GentleAbsorb Liner seems to help keep pee and poo away from his skin really well. We’ve had zero issues with diaper rash, and I think this may be why since my guy seems to have sensitive skin in other areas.

In the early weeks of changing a baby, it’s soooo needed to have the little wetness indicator to show if baby wet. Otherwise, I would have no clue since sometimes they go such a little amount, but will cry from the discomfort of sitting in it. I mean, wouldn’t you? Huggies to the rescue!

Huggies Little Snugglers

See how it turns green when baby has wet? Otherwise, it’s just yellow. How awesome is that!?

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Crockpot Applesauce Recipe {With Michigan Apples!}

Michigan Apples

It’s apple season here in Michigan, and I couldn’t be happier. Move over everything pumpkin spice, this has been the year for all things apple! After a rough apple crop last year, I’m so happy to see apples a-plenty growing in abundance here and helping all of our wonderful orchards and cider mills stay in business.

Our favorite local orchard to go to for picking apples is Spicer Orchards in Fenton, Michigan {about 15 minutes south of Flint}. Not only is in scenic, but there is TONS to do for kiddos {playground, huge sandbox, corn barn, tractors, etc.}, which makes it a big draw for us. We make sure to go several times throughout the season for outdoor fun, fresh donuts, apple cider and apple picking.

Spicer Orchards

A few weeks back, we  trekked out for apples. I love apple picking because it’s easy to do with small kids in tow because it’s relatively quick. Also, I like being able to choose what size apples we grab — the small ones are perfect for kids so they don’t waste! On this day, we picked a peck, which was $11 for the bag. To me, that’s pretty reasonable since we were able to squeeze a ton of apples into our bag. We picked mostly Gala apples, one of my favorites, along with some Mollies Delicious.

Check out this infographic full of all things apple in Michigan, courtesy of the Michigan Apples Committee. I love the stats in here!

Infographic Revised Sept 2014

Michigan sure rocks apples, huh? Woot.

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