Enter to Win Family 4-Pack Passes for Oakland County Waterparks {4 Winners!} ENDS 8/5/14

Oakland County Waterparks

I received my own passes from Oakland County Parks and Recreation to the waterparks for the purpose of this post.

Mother Nature’s thermostat has been cranked these past few days, which means one thing: WATER FUN. We are lucky to have tons of lakes, splash pads and more in this area, but two mega fun Oakland County Waterparks — Red Oaks Waterpark, {Madison Heights}, and Waterford Oaks Waterpark {Waterford}, stand out in my mind.

Learn more about the parks below and then enter to win 1 of 4 family 4-packs of passes to the park of your choosing!

FEATURES OF RED OAKS WATERPARK:

  • Soak Station, children’s water playground with 68 features, including water jets, curtains and slides, plus bubbler jets and a six-foot tipping bucket; must be 56″ or shorter and be accompanied by an adult.
  • Spray & Play, a water play area for toddlers, with 15 water jets and bubblers at zero depth.
  • The River Ride, a 990-foot long moving river {tubes provided}.
  • Triple Turn, a triple-flume waterslide
  • Terrific Tides wave-action pool.  The pool is heated.

Red Oaks Waterpark

ADMISSION RATES:

Weekends & Holidays: Regular Rate: $18 | Oakland County Resident Discount Rate: $13

Active Military/Seniors 62 and older: $2 discount off regular or resident full day admission rate

Weekday {Monday – Friday}: Regular Rate: $15 | Oakland County Resident Discount Rate: $10

Active Military/Seniors 62 and older: $2 discount off regular or resident full day admission rate 

Twilight Discount (after 4 p.m. Monday – Friday ONLY, excluding holidays): Regular Rate: $12 | Oakland County Resident Discount Rate: $7

Twilight discount cannot be combined with other discounts.  

**Children under 2 years old are free with a paid adult admission.**

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Bucketfilling from A to Z Book + Bucket Fillers Inc. Giveaway with Two Prize Packs {ENDS 8/8/14}

Bucket Fillers Inc. I received a copy of the book Bucketfilling from A to Z from Bucket Fillers, Inc. in exchange for the post below. All opinions expressed are my own.

I recently had the opportunity to check out the children’s book, Bucketfilling from A to Z, and again I am impressed at the latest children’s book from authors Carol McCloud and Caryn Butzke of Bucket Fillers, Inc., a Michigan-based company making strides to make children kinder.

If you aren’t familiar with the bucket filling concept, essentially it’s the idea that every person in the world has an invisible bucket with them and they can choose to fill it with positive words and action or be a “bucket dipper” and take away what’s inside with mean-spirited words or action.

What I adore about this concept is that is SO teachable to kids of various ages. Kinley is a few months shy of 4 years old and LOVES this concept. It really seems to help to get her to think about her actions more {especially when it comes to tormenting her sister}! I often can be found saying, “Don’t be a bucket dipper to your sister. Please fill her bucket and be helpful instead,” to her. Gotta love sibling rivalry! When baby arrives, I will definitely be asking my girls for help and look forward to telling them to help and in turn, fill my bucket ;)

Bucket Filling from A to Z Book
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Disney Planes Fire & Rescue Review #FireAndRescue

#FireAndRescueImage from Disney press materials

On Monday, I had the opportunity to attend a sneak peek of Disney’s latest movie — Planes: Fire & Rescue.

To be honest, I was excited for the excuse to go to the movies with my big kid {Kinley, age 3.5}, but not terribly excited about the movie. After all, I thought Planes was cute, but just OK for adults. {Read that review here.}

I may have even had some eye rolls at the beginning — it seemed to be strikingly similar to the first one and seemed to crash and burn right off the bat. Even Kinley was getting antsy in her seat, and she is usually a huge movie lover.

But, I am glad we stuck through it and Kinley relaxed thanks to a few suckers, because it got better. I enjoyed some of the adult humor sprinkled in, and absolutely LOVED the music!

SYNOPSIS FROM DISNEY

Planes: Fire & Rescue is a comedy-adventure about second chances, featuring a dynamic crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty {voice of Dane Cook} learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous team, including spirited super scooper Dipper {voice of Julie Bowen}, heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. Directed by Bobs Gannaway {“Secret of the Wings”}, “Planes: Fire & Rescue” hits theaters in 3D on July 18, 2014. This film is rated PG.

Planes- Fire & Rescue

Image from Disney press materials

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Our Experience at the Oakland County Fair

Oakland County Fair 2014

I received vouchers to the fair from Oakland County Parks and Rec in exchange for promoting. All opinions and experiences are my own.

As I count down my final days as a mother of two, I am squeezing in everything possible before I’m home with baby for a few weeks while we adjust to being a family of five.

Since I’m feeling pretty good, I was excited to take my girls to the Oakland County Fair. We had a blast! I brought my mom and between the two of us, we’ve been to many county fairs and agreed — this is definitely one of the tops in the area. The fair grounds were beautiful and historic {the Ellis Barn is a classic if you’re a sucker for barn charm like me}, and everything was SO clean.

We started off our trip in a mini petting farm area, where we purchased a container of carrots for $1 so we could feed the animals. My girls went NUTS. They looooove animals {what kid doesn’t?} and thought feeding them was so fun! There were goats, a ram, a camel, tortoise, emu, alpaca and more to interact with. My girls loved the goats best since they loved attention and getting fed!

Oakland County Fair1

Personally, I loved this camel that had blue eyes and what appeared to be cataracts. He was loving the attention we were giving him!

Oakland County Fair2

How can you not love that face?
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Detroit Gold Cup 2014: Awesome Family Event {+Giveaway ENDS 7/8/14}

Detroit Gold Cup 2014

One of the things I miss most about my former job is working in the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. If you’ve never been, it’s up there with one of the coolest places to work because there is always something awesome happening along the beautiful riverfront, especially during summer. One majorly cool event that has happened on the riverfront for the past 98 years {!} is the APBA Gold Cup boat races, which are presented by the Detroit Yacht Club, a few miles upstream.

During my RenCen work time, I was lucky enough to watch the hydroplanes practice for the Gold Cup. Let me tell ya’ll: It’s pretty sweet and the perfect opportunity to spend a family day in Detroit.

What is the Gold Cup, you ask?

Essentially, it’s hydroplane boats racing at more than 200 mph on the riverfront. Take a peek at this video and see what I mean:

Awesome, right?!

This year’s Gold Cup will be held from July 11-13, 2014.>
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Oakland County Fair 2014 Information + Quick Giveaway {5 PASSES!} ENDS 7/3

Oakland County Fair 2014

Nothing says summer quite like a good ole fashion county fair! I’ve loved hitting up the county fair circuit since I was a little gal. I’ve always loved seeing the 4-H animals, getting a fresh squeezed lemonade, riding some carnival rides and checking out the special event happenings! I’m so happy to be able to continue the tradition with my little people because they already have a love for it, too!

The Oakland County Fair is happening next week, July 4 – 13 at Springfield Oaks County Park in Davisburg and sounds like an amazing time for families, or even as an excuse for a date night out! Check out the information below and make sure to enter to win one of five passes for FREE parking and entry. That saves a family $10, which means more moula for rides and food fun!

Oakland County Fair 2014 Happenings:

  • Grandstand events, contests, fair food, Big Rock Amusements Carnival, fireworks, free live concerts and the famous 50¢ bottomless glass of chocolate milk are fair favorites.
  • Daily activities include project displays in the historic Ellis Barn by the 4-H Club, open 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily; animal exhibits; a Safari Petting Zoo; horse shows; an antique tractor display and commercial exhibits.
  • New this year: The Children’s Pirate Island interactive event, where kids can play in a theatre show and dress up as pirates while helping create the story line.
  • The Miracle of Birth Barn gives fair goers the opportunity to witness the live births of pigs, calves and lambs; and baby chicks hatch from eggs.

Oakland County Fair 2014 Information

Goats are up there with my personal favorite animals to see at the fair!

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Imaginative Play With Just Pretend Kids {+ Tutu and Wings #Giveaway ENDS 7/9}

Just Pretend Kids

Disclosure: I received a Just Pretend Kids tutu and wings set in exchange for the post below. All opinions are my own.

Ever wonder what to get kids in the 3-5-year-old age range for their birthday or a holiday? Let me just tell you so you don’t have to waste a ton of time: DRESS-UP CLOTHES.

Seriously. I don’t know a single kid who doesn’t like dressing up and pretending to be something else!

We literally play dress-up every.single.day. I let Kinley dress herself, which usually means some wacky outfit. Unless it’s wildly inappropriate, I just go with. Usually they are topped off with some type of imaginative play element — a crown, a monster hat, a tutu — something.

Truth be told, sometimes it makes me crazy because occasionally I’d like to have a put together kid when we’re in public. But, I’ve learned that’s just not my her style and it’s not worth stripping her of her freedom of expression. Even Karina at just shy of 2, loves dress-up and picking out her her own clothes. Lord, help me.

I was beyond excited to learn about Just Pretend Kids, a company run by two grandparents who get it: Kids need to just pretend not just at Halloween, but year-round.

The company sells high-quality tutus, wands, wings, accessories and children costumes, which come in a variety of adorable styles. It was SO hard to narrow down my favorites, but here’s a sampling. Such cute stuff, and for all young ages and boys and girls!

Just Pretend Kids

All images from JustPretendKids.com

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My Detroit Tigers Pitching Experience With Hudsonville Ice Cream {+Giveaway!}

As many of you know, I recently had the opportunity to throw the first ceremonial pitch at the Detroit Tiger’s game last Friday on behalf of one of my favorite Michigan made brands, Hudsonville Ice Cream.

Let me just say this: My Detroit Tigers pitching experience is definitely up there with one of the most memorable nights of my life.

Our time at Comerica Park started off with attending batting practice. It was pretty sweet to see how the pros do it! The guys stood around and chatted and joked with each other. Miguel Cabrera definitely had the biggest personality from what we could see!

Detroit Tiger's Batting Practice

Miggy on the left goofing off. While I watched practice, I learned that a woman is the groundskeepers for CoPa and one of the only females with MLB. Girl power! Pictured in the top corner: Myself with my husband, Jason, mom and daughter, Kinley.

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Run or Dye Jackson {+Giveaway} #RunOrDyeJackson

Run or Dye Jackson - Mrs. Weber's Neighborhood

Run or Dye, the world’s most colorful 5K, is headed to Armory Arts Village in Jackson on August 2, 2014.

Bring all your friends and run a color-blasted 5K, where you get showered in safe, eco-friendly, plant-based cornstarch dye every kilometer!  Then, enjoy the world-famous Dye Festival afterward, where you can Tie-Dye the Sky {and all your friends}!

Run or Dye Jackson is for absolutely EVERYONE, whether you’re a recovering couch potato or an avid marathon runner. You can walk, run, dance, or skip your way to the finish line. And Run or Dye is family-friendly — kids 6 and under participate for FREE and do not require registration. {I can’t wait to take my kids to one of these in a few years!!!}

Run or Dye is being produced in collaboration with this year’s How Bazaar event in downtown Jackson. After you Race the Rainbow, enjoy food, beer, and wine tasting, live music, and much more. Sounds like a fun time to me!

Register for Run or Dye Jackson here, and be sure to join the Facebook event here.

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100 Good Deeds: Bracelet for A Cause

When I heard about the 100 Good Deeds project, I knew I had to jump on board. Not only because I enjoy giving back and helping others, but because I knew it would inspire me to be a living example of how I’d like my kids to think — that our life is meant for serving others and not ourselves.

The initiative was started by Mary Fisher. If you’re not familiar, Mary is a Michigan native and the daughter of Marjorie Fisher and her husband, the late Max Fisher {My local readers may know him for Detroit’s Max. M. Fisher Music Center, which is the home for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.} Her Michigan roots made me even more excited to share this cool concept with you all!

Her latest work with the 100 Good Deeds movement gives women in Haiti, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and Johannesburg the opportunity to create not only beautiful jewelry but also a sustainable income for themselves. And so the 1GD bracelet was born.

The 100 Good Deeds bracelet is hand-braided from a fine nylon thread using a lucet tool. The cord is then strung with 100 glass beads and a single rubber ring. Each time you perform a good deed, you can move the rubber band one bead closer to the 1GD button. How cool is that?

Good Deed Project

The 1GD bracelet is available in an assortment of colors

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Maleficent: Another Disney Must-See

The other night I had the privilege of attending a sneak peek of Maleficent, Disney’s latest movie, which debuts in theaters today.

I took one of my best friends, Sarah, and we had a lovely time catching up and watching the flick.

I had a feeling this movie was going to be good. First, I love a good back story. Second, it has Angelina Jolie in it. She is an A-lister for a reason, and it’s safe to say she doesn’t take on mediocre roles. She takes on fantastic, larger-than-life roles, and I had no doubt she would fill the shoes of villain Maleficent beautifully. I was right. She rocked it.

For starters, it was in 3D, which I wasn’t expecting, but LOVED. The movie is absolutely breathtaking, from the scenery to the imagery of creatures that felt very Jim Henson meets Tim Burton. I loved every second. The opening scenes were some of my favorites, and the world in which Maleficent lives {The Moors}, was stunning and medieval feeling. I wanted to throw on a Renaissance period costume and jump on the screen and explore.
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Michigan Made: Little Diablo Salsa {+Giveaway}

Little Diablo Salsa Logo

The giveaway below is sponsored by Little Diablo Salsa. Complimentary products were exchanged for the purpose of the review. All opinions expressed are my own.

There is one thing that can absolutely ALWAYS be found in our pantry and fridge: SALSA. The hubby and I love it! We put it on all kinds of things from crock pot meals to eggs, tacos, and in cottage cheese for a low-calorie snack. We love trying different kinds — especially when they are locally made and we can pronounce every ingredient. Enter Little Diablo Salsa.

Little Diablo Salsa is literally made in my neighborhood here in Livingston County in Brighton, Michigan, and is 100% all natural. What does this mean? It’s vegan, gluten-free, chemical-free, no added sugars, low sodium, kosher certified and of course, DELICIOUS!

I loved this tidbit from the website: “Each jar of Little Diablo Salsa contains only fresh vegetables, seasonings and a little bit of magic.” Well, that magic certainly tastes good ;)
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