Wall Decal Fun with Katie’s Vinyl Decor {+ Giveaway for $30 Credit! Ends 4/3}

I received my own wall decals exchange for my post. All opinions expressed are my own.

One of my favorite parts of blogging is learning about the amazing businesses out there…and meeting new people! I don’t want to brag, but I think I have the greatest readers ever ;) I was thrilled when a local gal named Katie reached out to me, and I’m excited to share about her great business today — Katie’s Vinyl Decor, which is based in Roseville, Michigan.

What started out as a hobby last spring has become a real business for Katie and her husband, Carl.  A piece of my heart smiles because Carl is a financial analyst and she is an accountant. {My husband is a CPA and I am truly impressed that both Katie and Carl have the creative side of their brain since I often tease my husband about missing that gene!}

Katie's Vinyl Decor Team

How cute are they?

As Katie told me, “We work with numbers all day and then during the evenings and weekends we get to do the fun creative work.” Love it! Somehow they also raise 3 boys, too. I’m impressed!

Katie’s Vinyl Decor offers wall decals, car decals, etched bakeware and custom clothing. I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to order — there were so many fun things. I love how decals can replace traditional artwork, which can get very expensive. These are a great alternative for filling up some wall space in a beautiful, personalized way. Here are a few of my favorite designs they have, but they have more than 100+ items available:

Katie's Vinyl Decor Examples

The decals are SO simple to install, too. Believe me, if I can do it while taking photos and caring for 3 needy little kids, you can too!

The process was super simple. Let me just say this is one more reason why a library card is the best card in your wallet! I used mine to get the decal to adhere to the wall. I should also note that while the backing is sticky, it’s super easy to move around until you get it in the perfect spot. I loved that I could see what it would look like before I made it stick for good.

Katie's Vinyl Wall Decor Image

Ta-Da! The final product. I love the look of it!

Wall Decal

[Read more…]

Our #PureMichigan Getaway to Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge {+ 2 Night Stay Giveaway! ENDS 3/28}

CRL logo outlined

Last weekend, I had the awesome privilege as a blogger to travel to my happy place — Northern Michigan, specifically to stay and review Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge, located in Alanson. While people looked at me like I had three eyes when I said I was heading to the Petoskey area during winter, I brushed it off knowing the awesomeness in store.

As we drove north, I literally got emotional taking in all the beauty of the snow, the beautiful white birch trees and millions of pines we passed along the way. I just felt a sigh of relief to getaway from all of life’s distraction — even for two nights.

After 3.5 hours in the car, we arrived at our destination. My 4-year-old asked if we were at the North Pole. I couldn’t blame her thinking, it felt like it!

Stafford's Crooked River Lodge

Walking into the lodge was everything we envisioned our Northern Michigan getaway to be: friendly faces, a chandelier made of antlers and a blazing fire inside and out, surrounded by welcoming adirondack chairs. I mean, couldn’t you relax and spend some time here?

Crooked River Lodge 2

Lucky for us, a cancellation meant we were upgraded to the River View Suite. Talk about the SUITE life. It was the most amazing place we’ve ever stayed. A full kitchen, a massive shower to fit our entire family, plenty of beds {sleeps 12!} and even a gorgeous balcony overlooking the river. I told my husband I could easily live here.

River View Suites - Stafford's Crooked River Lodge

I love that all the suites include a kitchen. This is crucial with small children!

[Read more…]

Cinderella 2015: Courage, Kindness and A Whole Lotta Sparkle

Cinderella

I attended a sneak peek of Cinderella. All opinions expressed are my own.

“So this is love, mhm mhmm mhm mhm” rang through my head while I watched the newest Disney film debuting in theaters today: Cinderella. While the song never actually appeared in the film {or much vocal music for that matter}, the classic story was brought to life in a stunning manner, from the England landscape to every detailed costume.

The film followed the Disney animated classic pretty tightly, but did have a few little surprises sprinkled throughout. The mice did not talk {I was SO relieved over this}, but they were pretty adorable and their personalities shown through — even fan favorite chubby Gus Gus.

Lily James was excellent in the role of Cinderella. She was so sugary sweet with her perfect teeth and cool hair, I couldn’t help but fall in love with her myself! The evil stepmother – Cate Blanchett – also rocked the role and her cold hard stares had me shaking in my boots. I was hoping for a tad more depth to Helena Bonham Carter’s role as the Fairy Godmother and narrator, but the brilliant costuming and CGI during her scene made up for it.

The film was visually beautiful and brought some new sparkle to this classic love story. Like literal sparkle…The glass slippers were amazing in Swarovski crystal. Swarovski also provided more than 7 million crystals that were used in costumes and 100 tiaras for the ball scene. “Sparkly” is pretty much the perfect word to describe this film. The film’s scenery also made me want to travel to the countryside of England. Simply gorgeous. [Read more…]

Stair Barrier Review: Attractive and Functional Baby Gate

The Stair Barrier

I received a Stair Barrier in exchange for my thoughts on the product. Affiliate links are included below.

When my friend Metro Detroit Mommy posted information about Stair Barrier awhile back, I fell in love and knew I had to check this product out for myself with a growing infant and stairs with banisters. I had never seen such a cool barrier to help keep babies {or toddlers! or doggies!} off the stairs. Attractive and functionality together? Sign me up!

First, some background: For the past month or so, I’ve been trying my best to get Miles, my 7-month-old, on a schedule…I *need* to count on at least an hour of work during the day as a work-at-home-mom. Unfortunately, he only holds up his end of the nap bargain once every few days. When he does have a decent nap, he often gets woken up by his big sisters running by his room {despite a noise machine and fan} or so I can take the big kid to preschool in the afternoon. Suffice to say, on the days he actually goes down and we are home, I need him to sleep as long as possible, which means my girls need to stay downstairs and far away from his room.

Stair Barrier - Close Up

Stair Barrier to the rescue!

We have used different gates in the past, but two things bothered me: Making holes in the wall and the way they look. Seriously — Eye.Sore. Yes, I have toys scattered throughout the house, but something about a bulky wooden gate right when you walked in my front door really irks me. I want people to feel welcome when they enter, not put off by our crazy {yet kid-friendly} home.

Girls Opening the Stair Barrier

Can you tell my girls like mail?! They were so excited to check it out! [Read more…]

CHUGGINGTON LIVE In Detroit April 12 {+ Giveaway ENDS 3/24}

Chuggington Live in Detroit April 12, 2015

The North American premiere tour of CHUGGINGTON LIVE! The Great Rescue Adventure, produced by Life Like Touring and Ludorum, rolls into the Fox Theatre in Detroit on April 12 with performances at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.; locally presented by AT&T. The live-action, musical children’s show, based on the popular TV series, gives young fans and their families the opportunity to experience the train-tastic adventures of the Chuggington trainees, Wilson, Brewster and Koko. How cute does this show look?!

TICKETS

Tickets {$20.50, $29.50, $38.50 and $58.50 for VIP}  are on sale now and can be purchased at OlympiaEntertainment.com, The Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices, Hockeytown Authentics in Troy {without service charge} at all Ticketmaster locations and Ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. Discounts are available on select seats for groups of 10 or more by calling 313-471-3099. The VIP ticket offers the best seats in the house and a Chuggington Live! goody bag. The goody bag includes: a postergram, 2’x3’ imprinted play mat, cardboard sheet of die-cut trains, sheet of temporary tattoos, paint-with-water coloring page and stickers all contained in a poly bag. These contents are subject to change.

VISIT HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS –> www.olympiaentertainment.com/events/detail/chuggington-live-the-great-rescue-adventure [Read more…]

KIND Snacks in Metro Detroit for Random Acts of Kindness Day 2/17 {+Giveaway}

The post below is sponsored by KIND Snacks. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Mrs. Weber’s Neighborhood possible. All opinions expressed are my own.

Random Acts of Kindness Day - KIND Snacks

As a blogger, I have a list of brands I would love to work with one day. Lucky for me, sometimes they reach out to me with information I know you all will love and it’s a big win all-around.

One of those dream brands on my list is KIND Snacks. I adore them and here’s why: They make delicious products with ingredients I can pronounce and they care about social causes. Their KIND name has a deeper meaning — they are actually a kind company!

I was ecstatic to hear that their team will be visiting metro Detroit on Tuesday, Feb. 17 to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day, and will be doing good deeds and passing out bars at some of my favorite organizations.

To celebrate, they will be doing kind acts for 24 hours around the area. Here’s the listing of where they will be. Be on the lookout for some goodies near you!

24 KIND Acts:

  • 8-10 a.m. Give away winter hats and gloves to people waiting in line for the bus, as well as pay for bus fares for commuters at Rosa Parks Transit Station in Detroit
  • 10-11:30 a.m. Buy coffee for everyone in line at Starbucks in Royal Oak and Birmingham and Biggby Coffee in Berkley and Ferndale
  • 11:30 a.m. Drop off KIND bars to the Department of Public Works for the snow plow drivers in Royal Oak
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Brush snow off of cars in parking lots in Royal Oak. Put a KIND bar or note under the wiper.
  • 12-1:30 p.m. Hand out hand warmers to people in Campus Martius during lunch
  • 1:45 p.m. Bring Flowers and balloons to the Detroit Children’s Hospital
  • 2:15 p.m. Drop off KIND bars to the Soup Kitchen at the Muslim Center of Detroit
  • 2:30 p.m. Drop off KIND bars to Detroit Fire Department
  • 2:45 p.m. Make a donation of gently used clothing from the KIND team to Goodwill
  • 3 p.m. Drop off dog and cat toys to the Michigan Humane Society
  • 3:30 p.m. Drop off dodge balls and nerf balls to the Boys and Girls Club in Royal Oak
  • 4 p.m. Drop off personal toiletries to the South Oakland Woman’s Shelter in Lathrup Village
  • 5 p.m. Drop off flowers to the American House Senior Center in Hazel Park               ~~~~~~~~ {other ideas}
  • Leave a huge tip at lunch with a kind note
  • Put away grocery carts at random retail location
  • Give a KIND bar/flower to a bus driver
  • Leave KIND sticky note on the dressing room mirror at a clothing store
  • Tell the manager of the waiter or barista that served you what an awesome job they did
  • Pick up the tab for a random table at lunch
  • Put inspiring notes on car windows
  • Hold open the door for people coming into coffee shop/grocery store
  • Tweet an inspiring message to everyone you know {make sure to add the hashtag #KINDawesome too!}
  • Thank the cross walk attendants for helping keep our kids safe
  • Leave some change in the laundry mat coin wash machine

Looking for more ideas? Check out this post of 26 ideas from my archives. I’m looking forward to performing some acts myself and encourage you all to chip in, too!

GIVEAWAY

The folks at KIND snacks have been kind enough to offer up a KIND cube {shown below}, which contains 20 of the Nuts & Spices flavor varieties. Must be a U.S. resident to win. Contest ends on 2/28/15 at midnight. Best of luck!

KIND Snacks

KIND Cube {Nuts & Spices Variety Pack}

What good deeds will you perform on Random Acts of Kindness Day?

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Family Fun at Castaway Bay in Sandusky, Ohio {+ Tips, Discount Code and Giveaway!}

Castaway Bay

I received a complimentary stay at Castaway Bay in exchange for promoting the property. All opinions expressed are my own.

Last week, as I made a mental note of packing plenty of snacks and swim diapers, I read something that struck a chord. It was from The Huffington Post and was an article highlighting things empty nesters want parents of little kids to know. One of the nuggets of wisdom said: “When they are little you feel they will be that way forever! Therefore, take as many family vacations together as possible. They make lasting memories of real quality time spent together. Once they go to college and have their own responsibilities, it just gets more complicated.”

I love traveling. But with kids? It’s tough and not always affordable. So instead of boarding a plane and spending a ton of money, we headed south 2½ hours to Castaway Bay in Sandusky, Ohio, for a little night away. And that empty nester was right — we made amazing memories.

Our adventure started out in our van packed with plenty of snacks, DVDs and blankies. We had a smooth ride down with clear roads and sun shining.

Once we arrived, we checked in and wasted very little time in our room before heading to the water park.

Castaway Bay 1

The beautiful entry at Castaway Bay sets the tropical getaway vibe

Since it had been months since we had gone swimming, it was perfect to just hang out in the toddler pool area so the girls could adjust to the water and I could dip baby boy’s toes in.

Castaway Bay 3

In no time though, the girls were ready to check out the wave pool and the Lookout Lagoon Family Funhouse. They absolutely loved playing in the wave pool!

Castaway Bay 4

[Read more…]

Sesame Street Live’s “Make A New Friend” Now LIVE in Detroit Through 2/16/15 {Review + Tips!}

Sesame Street Live Sign

I received complimentary tickets to Sesame Street Live in exchange for promoting the show. All opinions expressed are my own.

The team behind Sesame Street Live has done it again — they have created a show that not only brings out the beautiful joy of childhood wonder, but they’ve added some stuff for us adults, too.

Each year I patiently await the arrival of Sesame Street Live at The Fox Theatre in Detroit. It has been a tradition of ours since my oldest was born and it has yet to disappoint. I was extra excited to take my 2-year-old this year since I figured she may get into it quite a bit. I was right — she went nuts when Elmo made an appearance and danced and clapped like crazy during many of the scenes.

Sesame Street Live - ABCs

The show incorporates letters and numbers, in true Sesame Street fashion

SHOW DESCRIPTION

No matter where you’re from or where you’ve been, everyone is special – so join in! 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. Join the fun and make a memory with your friends and family!

Sesame Street Live - Cookie

Chamki sharing Biskuts from India with Cookie Monster

Each performance is 90 minutes of singing, dancing and audience participation, including a 15-minute intermission. The perfect length for very young children! [Read more…]

Castaway Play: Indoor Fun in Southeast Michigan {+ Giveaway ENDS 1/30}

Castaway PlayI received free admission to Castaway Play in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

I’m hearing it in all the mom circles: Those of us with little ones are starting to get stir crazy. So what to do when temps are dipping, and your kid has endless energy?

Enter Castaway Play, dubbed a Family Entertainment Destination. And, entertaining it is!

Castaway Play is a short distance off the M-59 exit {from I-96}, right up the road from the Tanger Outlets in Howell, Mich. {Also, across from the Livingston Antique Outlet — one of my favorite places to visit when I can shop solo!}

We visited last Sunday after stewing over where we wanted to go for some time. We needed out of the house – period – and the kids needed to burn some energy. Castaway Play was exactly what we needed.

The location has been in Howell for quite some time, but there were awesome improvements we saw versus the last time we visited. We arrived right when they opened {which is 11 a.m. on Sundays} and were greeted by the friendly staff. We signed a waiver, and off we went to explore and play.

Castaway Play Entry

There were lots of tables where we could place our things, so we claimed a space of our own with no troubles. My kids immediately got the biggest grins on their faces and started climbing into all the structures.

Castaway Play StructureThe thing I noticed first? Big, comfy leather couches surrounding the perimeter — perfect for parents to relax while the kiddos play. These were amazing as a nursing mama! So nice to be super comfortable while feeding my baby.

Michigan's Largest Play Structure - Castaway Play

Michigan’s largest indoor structure, complete with 5 levels of soft play!

[Read more…]

SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium Grand Opening January 29 + Family Fun Giveaway {ENDS 1/24} #SEALIFEMI

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 and complimentary tickets. All opinions expressed are my own.

Really exciting news, ya’ll: the SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium grand opening is opening January 29, 2015 at noon, and I have the scoop on the latest activity.

On Thursday, the 35,000-square-foot aquarium in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, Mich., welcomed one Nurse shark, three Blacknose sharks and two Bonnethead sharks to their new home, along with the enthusiastic winners of the Young Environmentalist contest—aged 8 to 12—standing by to cheer them on.

SEA LIFE Michigan Sharks3

The creatures arrived in a transport truck, and after some testing and preparation, were rushed inside via stretchers by trained aquarists. The sharks were then placed into a small, connected acclimation tank before swimming off into the main ocean tank. A crew continuously checked water parameters at regular intervals, looking at ammonia levels, oxygen, temperature and pH, and curator Lucy Handel was there to help as well.

Many of the other creatures, including Moray eels, seahorses and stingray, have already been delivered to the aquarium, with the remaining inhabitants arriving within the next week, allowing them time to settle in before the attraction opens.

SEA LIFE MIchigan Sharks2

SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium will feature 22 tanks in highly themed, engaging exhibits, including a 180-degree ocean tunnel and interactive touchpools. SEA LIFE’s conservation messaging will be included throughout, inspiring guests to take an active role in protecting the world’s oceans and sea creatures. [Read more…]

Get Whiter Teeth in 2015 with a SmileBrilliant Teeth Whitening System {+Giveaway!}

The post below is sponsored by SmileBrilliant. I received a kit for review. All opinions expressed are my own {and my husbands}!

Win A SmileBrilliant Teeth Whitening System

We all have our goals for 2015, right? One of mine is to eat less processed foods and shake this post-baby jiggle once and for all. Also, I’d like to incorporate more self-care such as relaxing baths on occasion. It’s the little things that can make a big difference in our lives.

Additionally, my husband and I are trying to get healthier with better food choices and more exercise. I begged him to start running with me a few years ago, and not only did he complete a half marathon within a year’s timeframe, but he’s on track to do another one this spring. Nothing sexier than a man who takes care of himself!

So when I received the opportunity from SmileBrilliant to review their teeth whitening system, I let him have a shot at it. I’ve whitened my teeth in the past, so was curious to see about his experience.

SmileBrilliant Kit

SmileBrilliant makes it SO simple, and best of all — affordable! It’s the exact process I went through at the dentist, but a fraction of the cost {$119.95 versus the $500 I spent}.

The process begins by creating a custom fitted tray — all from the comfort of your own home. My husband followed the exact directions and thought it was a very simple process.

He took an impression of his teeth and then sent it back to the company in an envelope they provided. A week later, his whitening trays arrived. Easy peasy! I was amazed at how quick it was. Sure beats carving out time to go to the dentist!

SmileBrilliant Impressions

From there, he was able to whiten his teeth and follow it up with the desensitizing paste. He wore the trays for about 30 minutes at a time, several times, until he achieved the shade he wanted. Since his teeth were coffee-stained, it took a few times, but he still has whitening gel leftover, so maintenance moving forward should be relatively easy. He wore them about 8-10 times {unfortunately not right in a row as suggested since things kept popping up}, until he received the perfect shade. [Read more…]

Michigan Product for Families: The Green Glove Dryer {+ Giveaway ENDS 12/22}

The Green Glove Dryer Giveaway
The post below is sponsored by the Green Glove Dryer. All opinion expressed are my own.

Every once in awhile a product catches my eye as something I never knew I needed until I saw it. One such product is The Green Glove Dryer, made by a Michigan mom who was searching for a greener way to dry her boy’s winter gear after playing in the snow.

Mompreneur Karen Smoots invented the Green Glove Dryer out of necessity after feeling like drying her kid’s gloves was an endless task.  After years of attempting to dry them in the dryer or over a heat register trying to prop them up, or turn them inside out {only to wake up the next morning and they had fallen over} was frustrating to say the least.

The dryer is a non-electric glove or mitten drying solution that is placed directly over a floor register or leaned against a baseboard register. When your heat turns on, it captures it and forces it up to top of the mitten, drying it from the inside out. The dryer does not use any electricity other than your furnace running, which would be doing so already. This saves homeowners money on energy costs by not having to utilize a dryer and allows you to leave your home or go to sleep at night without the fear of any fire hazards. Best of all, you will wake up or return with dry, warm gloves or mittens.
 The Green Glove Dryer

The Green Glove Dryer in action. Works perfect, even for drying little boots!

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