Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Back "Pack" to School w/Green Supplies Giveaway Event

 
 
Welcome to the Back "Pack" To School With Green Supplies Giveaway Event hosted by Green Apple Supply for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway!



As parents: Stephanie and Robert Tobor, founders of Green Green Apple Supply want the best for our kids. And as global citizens, they were faced with the responsibility to care for our planet, and each other. They began as an endeavor to feed our family natural, organic foods has grown into a much larger enterprise. Learning about potential dangers to children, and the planet, in cleaning supplies, household goods, office supplies…everywhere. The worsening state of our environment, climate change, and increasing levels of toxins showing up in children’s blood work combined to create a great passion for exposing our family to only the cleanest, most wholesome products.  When they had inquired as to why individuals were choosing traditional products rather than opting for eco-friendly versions, typically given one of two answers:

1. Green products are too expensive.
2. There are too many choices, and some are not effective.

This was the beginning of Green Apple Supply! By utilizing economies of scale, wholesale purchasing power, and personal product experience, their endeavor to make it easier for anyone to purchase Earth-friendly products. Keeping overhead low and this is a non-profit effort. Products are sold as close to cost as we can, while still keeping the lights on. Why? Because we think it’s the right thing to do.

Green Apple Supply is generously allowing me to give one reader a backpack filled with green supplies to start their back to school "green"!

Starting with a Bighorn Backpack - The rugged and durable Bighorn backpack has all the essential components for the modern individual, with the additional bonus of being made of RPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) water bottles. Recycle, reduce, reuse has never looked this good.

Made from recycled PET bottles!
Constructed of Repreve® RPET materials
420D polyester ripstop and 600D polyester
non-toxic dyes & materials and reflective piping
dual side pockets with ergo-padded shoulder straps
internal organizer pocket and moisture wicking mesh back
Sells for $32.50




And inside the backpack one winner will receive:

2 packs (12 i n each pack) of Graphite Pencils - $1.75 each
2 packs of Banana Paper (8.5" X 11")- $2.50 each 
Made from 80% post-consumer waste paper / 20% banana leaf fibers. Water-based inks.
Acid-free and bleach-free paper.
1 (2 qty) Glue Stick Blister Pack - $4.75 each
Almond Scented Glue Stick is non-toxic, non-solvent, and acid free. Best of all it smells like marzipan, an almond-based.
1 box of 64 Prang Soy Crayons - $3.50 each
Made from a unique soybean oil formulation. Our crayons are made from 100% renewable resources and do not include paraffin wax.
1 box of Ecolorgy Washable Markers (8 pack) - $2.75 each
Non-toxic washable markers made in the USA from 25% recycled plastic. Duplex tips draw thick or thin lines and if they start to dry out, rejuvenate them by dipping the tip in water.
20 pack of eraser pencil caps $1.25 each
1 Recycled Plastic Ruler - $1.00 each
1 Twin Pencil Sharpener - $1.75 each
Made from a minimum of 50% post-consumer polystyrene.
1 TerraCycle 3-ring Binder Pencil Case - Honest Kids- $2.50 each
Made from up-cycled Honest Kids drink pouches
Qty 2 2-Pocket Portfolio Folders - $.75 each
Fully biodegrade
1 Set ChicoBag- Snack Time re PETe, Set of 3 Colors - $11.50
Each Snack Time set includes three reusable snack and sandwich bags that feature a fold-over, hook-and-loop closure system that expands to fit a full-size sandwich, or folds over for smaller snack items. The bags feature a food-safe, water and stain resistant liner that makes for easy cleaning.
Water resistant natural cotton exterior & interior
Attached cooler bag is insulated with a BPA-free liner, so it’s safe for your kids
Adjustable, padded shoulder straps for extra comfort
Recycled plastic components, Hand wash, line dry
Easy, durable velcro closure for little hands
Zipper pocket in main pocket for change or keepsakes
Special name tag on inner flap
Non-toxic and lead-free, conforms to U.S. standards





Giveaway ends on August 22nd at 11:59 PM. Open to US residents only. Ages 18+.

Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter to win, daily entry available by tweeting!


Cedar Point - The World's Best Amusement Park



Cedar Point, located in Sandusky, Ohio, is the world's greatest amusement park.  With more than 15 roller coasters, one or more of which are always on a World's Best Roller Coaster, World's Tallest Roller Coaster, or Worlds Most Extreme Coasters list, it is definitely a thrill-lovers delight.  There is a stand-up roller coaster, The Mantis; a roller coaster that goes from zero to 120 MPH in less than four seconds, the Top Thrill Dragster; and my personal favorite (though I love them all), a roller coaster that runs on an elevator cable so you zoom to the peak of the 310-foot hill, instead of click-clacking your way to the top...The Millenium Force.

The Mantis


There are also four children's areas, three of which are extensive, Planet Snoopy, Camp Snoopy, and the one I grew up with, Kiddie Kingdom.  We (hubby, little man, and I) visited all of these yesterday, spending most of our time in two of them (while the older kids went roller coaster hopping). There are literally so many things to do in these sections that there is no way you could experience everything in a day.

Kiddie Kingdom

There are also family-oriented rides, like a trip around part of the park on the Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad, an authentic steam-powered train; Antique Cars; or the Sky Ride that travels over the midway and offers riders a fantastic view of the park, as well as many special midway floral gardens created specifically with the view of the riders in mind.

Because the park is located on a peninsula, there are also water activities such as Wave Runner rentals and Parasailing that take place, or one can take advantage of the water-view and/or beach via one of several property hotels (which also makes it really convenient to go in and out of the amusement park at will).


We travel to Cedar Point every year, and did even when we lived in South Florida.  Each year they add a spectacular new addition to the park.  This year we were delighted to find the new prehistoric-themed attraction of Dinosaurs Alive! featuring 50 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs.  It was $5.00 a ticket per person (in addition to the admission of the park), but it was interesting to walk through and read the history of the dinosaurs, as well as see the grand visuals.  There was also a whole lot of sound effect action going on in there, let me tell you. 


We try our hand at the games when the day is over (because we don't want to carry the prize(s) around all day if we win).  Hubby usually wins a basketball, and this year was no exception.

Adding to our perfect day was the weather.  There was not a drop of rain in the sky, and the temperature was a little warm mid-way through the day, but for the most part it was just right. All-in-all, the day was a huge success, and our toddler is already asking when we're going to go back.  Ahh, a kid after my own heart.  Thank you Cedar Point, for giving us another fabulous day to add to our summer, and to my readers who live in the vicinity, and even those who don't, if you've still got some free time scheduled on your summer calendar I highly urge you to give this park a visit. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Nexus 7 (Tablet) Giveaway. Coming Soon!!

 

The Nexus 7 Giveaway Event hosted by Mom Powered Media

Prize: Nexus 7 Tablet

Giveaway Start and End Dates: 8/16 – 9/6

Sign-Up Here – Bloggers Wanted

Let them know I sent you.  You don't want to miss out on this event, it's going to be a really fun one!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hers or His Power Wheels Jeep Event

Hers or His Power Wheels Jeep Event

Hosted by: Mom Blog Society

Co-hosts: Military Travel Mama, Embracing Beauty, Heavenly Savings, Mom Does Reviews,

Mommy Moments with Abby , Powered by Mom, Mom to Bed by 8, Meliaville, and Kat's Cafe

Event Giveaway Dates: July 30 - August 13

Prize: Fisher Price Power Wheels Jeep- His or Hers

Open: Worldwide

If a winner is selected from outside of the US, they will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate

Hers:

Styled after the Jeep Wrangler, this 6V battery-powered single-seat Jeep ride-on features fun Barbie styling. This vehicle features a realistic Jeep design with a rollbar.
Fisher-Price Power Wheels Barbie Jeep Battery-Powered Ride-On:
  • Age Range: 3 years and up
  • Goes up to 2.5 mph in forward and reverse
  • Wheels: plastic
  • Brakes: Power Lock Brake System
  • Battery requires 18 hours to charge
  • Battery charge lasts up to 40 minutes
  • Dimensions: 38"L x 26.375"W x 17.125"H
  • Maximum weight capacity: 50 lbs
  • Adult assembly required
  • Assemble in 20 minutes or less

His:

Styled after the Jeep Wrangler, this 6V single-seat Jeep has the Hot Wheels license. This vehicle features realistic Jeep design with rollbar.
Fisher-Price Power Wheels Hot Wheels Jeep 6-Volt Battery-Powered Ride-on:
  • Age Range: 3 years and up
  • Goes up to 2.5 mph in forward and reverse
  • Wheels: plastic
  • Brakes: Power Lock Brake System
  • Battery requires 18 hours to charge
  • Battery charge lasts up to 40 minutes
  • Dimensions: 38"L x 26.375"W x 17.125"H
  • Maximum weight capacity: 50 lbs
  • Adult assembly required
  • Assemble in 20 minutes or less
One lucky winner will get to pick his or hers Power Wheels Jeep!
Enter on the Easy Rafflecopter below!
Remember, you can't win if you don't enter.
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Mail4Rosey is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kids Aren’t Going to Wait to Grow Up


So many children around me just aren’t children anymore.  My god-daughter just had a baby…her first.  And while I love her because she’s wonderful and I love her mom, I missed her (and her brother’s, who is my god-son) entire childhood.  See, I knew her mom in school…met her in the 7th grade to be exact, and we were close.  So close that in our early 40’s (gasp) we still keep in touch by phone, e-mail, or in person when we can.  But at 16, I left the state and never went back.  1200 miles between us meant one or two visits a year, if we were lucky…not exactly a good way to get close to her really great kids.

And then there’s my husband’s nephews and niece.  We moved back up north (after I’d be in the south for pretty much 18 years), a little over seven years ago.  My husband’s nephews and niece were still kids then…still young enough to go pick up and take to Frankenmuth, or CedarPoint, or even have over for a sleep over.  But we didn’t… They live an hour away, and it just seemed there’d always be time ‘later.’  Oh, we saw them at Christmas and other holidays too, but that’s not the same thing as getting to spend some really good quality time with them.  Now the niece is a young woman with a toddler; the oldest nephew has his own place and is in college; and the younger nephew has graduated high school, has his own place, and is expecting a baby (well he’s not, but you know what I mean).

Another friend of mine has two children.  One whom I was close to when she was little because we were neighbors for a year or so, and one who I really didn’t get to see that much because distance again became a factor (we ended up living in different states).  The little girl I loved so much is now grown, and expecting her first baby (something in the water, folks, hah!). But the boy, the youngest, is still a kid.  He’s my daughter’s age in fact (just turned teen) and even though he’s in a different state, I’m not blowing this one.  His mom is taking a trip to my state, and she’s coming to visit us and then leave her son in my care for a few days.  Hurrah!  I actually get to enjoy time with him before he’s all grown up and has no interest in spending time with a boring old lady .  You can bet your shoes I’m going to enjoy every second that young man is here.

And the point of my story, in case you’re wondering what it is…is that kids don’t stay kids long.  They really don’t.  You’ve only got a short window of opportunity to be a part of their youth.  It’s a glorious opportunity and gift to be a part of a child’s life.  Don’t blow your chance.  If you have young ones in your life, and you’re thinking, “Man, I’ve got to spend some time with such and such,” or “I’d sure like to take such and such here or there,” don’t just let the thought be a fleeting one.  Take action.  Make those memories now.  Trust me, tomorrow might be too late. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

You'll Love the Trendy Zebra Pens (Review and Fabulous Giveaway)



One of the best part of back-to-school for me when I was a kid, was shopping for school supplies.  I still remember how exciting it was to pick out my pens, pencils, folders, and such.  Back then if you had a big box of crayons, you know the kind with the built-in pencil sharpener, you were instantly in the 'cool crowd.'

Today's students carry along smartphones with built-in GPS systems and fun apps, a far cry from my good old crayon days, but one thing that still hasn't changed, they still like shopping for school supplies, and they still want the stand-out items that are going to look cool.  Zebra Pens offers the Z-Grip Animal series that is sure to fit the bill. 



 
The Z-Grip Animals is Zebra Pen’s most fashionable pen, featuring animal prints for those who want to show their wild side. The Animals are a part of its #1 selling line, the Z-Grip which boasts ribbed rubber grip for writing balance and continuous comfort. And with their distinct look and fun Zebra, Cheetah and Tiger designs, there’s no way someone can claim they didn’t steal your pen. (ARV $3.75/5 pk).

Zebra Pen products can be found nationwide at Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and other office supply stores, discount chains, food and drug retailers, stationery stores and wholesale clubs. For more information on Zebra Pen products, programs and promotions, log onto www.zebrapen.com or visit its Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ZebraPenUS.

We received one multi-pack of the Z-Grip Animals and everyone in the house loved them.  They write smoothly, feel really good in your hand, look spectacular, and they have one of those great click tops to make sure you're only getting pen marks when and where you want them.  Lucky for you, one of my readers will also receive the same multi-pk. of Z-Grip Animals that our family received.  Please enter in the Rafflecopter Form Below (it may take a minute to load).  Thank you Zebra Pen!


You can find Zebra Pen on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube


I received one pack of pens for review purposes.  No other form of compensation was given.  The opinions were completely my own.  Offer good only in USA





Congrats Winner!



Congratulations to Jdine V. for winning the Carter's Watch the Wear $15.00 gift card giveaway!  The winner has been contacted by e-mail and has 48 hours to respond before another winner is drawn.  Thanks to all who entered, and thanks to Carter's WTW too!

Happy shopping Jdine V.!!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Picture Book Parody



 
Maybe it is because I love Goodnight Moon.

Or maybe it is because on the Fourth of July I witnessed the majority of my family members barely noticing a stunning fireworks display over their heads because their eyes were fixed on their various electronic devices.  Is Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or whatever, really that important?

Whatever the reason, when I passed Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd, yes, Ann Droyd (even the name of the  'author' makes me laugh), I had to pick it up.  I was not disappointed.  It is a picture book parody based on encouraging people to unplug and give it a rest.  It makes reference to all of the modern day electronic preferences, including the "LOL" phrase, and has a grandmother bunny who has had just enough.  My favorite page in the book is grandma taking away the iPad and the little bunny screaming, "Nooooooooooooooooooooo." 

The book was published by Penguin Group (USA), Inc. and it retails for just under $15.00.  If you happen across it, I would encourage you to give it a read.  It would also be a great gift idea for most any occasion.  My kids pretend not to like it (because the concept of unplugging is too awful to consider), but I have noticed that when it's time for bedtime stories, both my youngest teen and my toddler have chosen this book more than once.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars for light entertainment and a fun read.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

My husband was an all-star baseball player in high school...sadly his aim has been diminishing with age.  ;)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mouth Man Hoodies Giveaway



Mouth Man Hoodies is where you will find innovative hoodies with a cool factor of 10 (on a scale of 1-10; 10 being the coolest).  They are made of a light material, which makes them perfect for the cooler nights of summer when you live along (or are visiting) the coastline.  They are also perfect for chilly places like the movie theater, or grocery store.  When the cooler weather of Fall rolls around, I already know that we'll be using ours a lot!

The sizing on these runs a bit long, and is a bit small width-wise.  My son who is in a size 4/5 right now, fits perfectly width-wise in the size 6 Mouth Man Hoodie.  The length, however, is a bit long for him, which we don't mind at all, but I wanted to make note of it for my readers.

My son in his super cool shark pose

When the hoodie is on, it looks like any other nice long-sleeved shirt.  But put your elbows together, and  watch out because THAT'S where the cool factor kicks in.  Mouth Man has a huge variety of mouth hoodies to choose from, including men/women and children's sizes.  There are too many great ones to list them all, but the resounding favorites in our house are the women's frog hoodie; the men's orca whale; and of course, the kid-sized shark hoodie that we reviewed.

video


If you're a blogger, and you're going to be offering a gift guide during the holiday season, this would be the PERFECT gift to put on there for kids because it's unique, useful, and the kids will love it.

I'm happy to announce that this innovative company has offered to give away a hoodie to one of my readers!!!  That's right, the person randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winner will get to choose the style and size they like best, and the company will have it shipped.  Simple as that!  Thank you Mouth Man Hoodies!!  I encourage you to check out Mouth Man on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and refer them to a friend!

If you are entering the contest, be sure to leave an e-mail address where I can contact you if you're the winner.

I was given a children's Mouth Man Hoodie for review.  I was not compensated in any other way.  The opinions stated are my own. 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that was a Wild Ride!

With winter long gone, and warm weather just about everywhere, summer allows us to do many things that we just can't do in the colder months.  Joy riding is one of those things.

Those who experience four seasons are glad when summer rolls around so they can break out their fast rides that just don't drive well in the winter... Everywhere you look there are Mustang GTs; Chevy Camaro's; and you won't go long without seeing a Harley Davidson or racing bike pass you by.  Speed aside, you might also see a lot of old cars, like the Studebaker, coming out to enjoy a ride in all their splendor and glory.

Summer rides are enjoyed on bicycles, tricycles, skateboards, and even mopeds.  If you're lucky enough to be in a great tourist spot, you might even get to enjoy rides on a Segway, a roller coaster (we love you Cedar Point!!), or a zipline.

Nature lovers can take out their horses; farmers are out driving their tractors, and husbands (at least in this house) are enjoying the outdoors on their trusty (and well loved) John Deere riding lawn mowers.

But elephants?   Yep, even the elephants are offering rides in the summer, and over the weekend that's just what we went to do.  Laura the Elephant is a beauty of a gal who has been in the US since 1982.  If you haven't heard the of term 'culling' it means to kill animals in masses to aid in their population control, and according to her official website, that was Laura's initial fate.  Fortunately for her, and us too, she, along with 129 other elephants, avoided that fate. 

Laura's trainer is a gentleman who is wonderful with the public, taking time to allow eager parents that little bit of extra time to take have the best photo ops. of their loved ones next to the elephant, and talking from time to time with members in the crowd.  This year and last they were at the local Hot Air Balloon Jubilee, and though we love the balloons and other events, we also look forward to our annual elephant ride.  My daughter summed it up nicely on the ride home, while going through the photos on her camera that she'd taken for the day:  "Who can imagine riding on an elephant?  It's like a once in a lifetime thing, and we have done it three times now.  What a wild ride!  Get it? Get it?!"  Yes dear, I got it.  LOL

A big shout out to Laura and her trainer for helping us make fun memories, and for taking the concept of summer riding to a whole new level of cool.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Win a Mac!



Here is a great chance to win your own NEW Apple MacBook Air.


Bloggers sign up from July 20 to September 15.


Event Dates from September 17 to October 17.


To post the announcement on your blog copy/paste the text in the form below.


Do not miss your chance - grab your place now!

Apple MacBook Air Giveaway - Blogger Event

Another awesome event brought to you by Pregnancy Forum & Joys of Life for their wonderful members Apple Macbook Air Giveaway

 - Worldwide Blogger Sign Ups - July 20 to September 15. - Receive 1 FREE Link of choice either Facebook/Twitter, with announcement post or $5.00 without announcement. Additional links $1.00 each. Increase your page visits, purchase hosts slot. Hosts slots available for $10 (Facebook or Twitter). Will remove this option once I get my desired number of hosts - I am looking for 200 signups - which means you will be getting traffic from those 200 blogs and pages when you host a Facebook or Twitter.

Cash giveaways will get you a ton of followers! All the amount received will go towards the giveaway. Those who refers the most bloggers to signup the event will get their Blog Name with a link back to their blog for free on the giveaway post.

Paypal email: prettyinpinkmom@gmail.com - this email is only for payments, do not send any help or questions to this email. Send the payment as a gift.

Event Dates - September 17 to Oct 17. I will send html out on September 16.

Requirements: Publish an announcement post for the giveaway signup in order to get your Free links Once giveaway is live promote 3x times a day You must have a blog/website where you can publish the giveaway text and rafflecopter code to participate.

Sign up Here:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hot Air Jubilee


    

Each year a town not too far away from us has a Hot Air Jubilee celebration that we never miss.  There is a mass launching of balloons very early in the morning, late in the afternoon, and they have a balloon glow at night.  We make the trek out every year, at least two of the three days that they are in town, and we have a blast watching the hot air balloons inflate and rise into the sky.

They say that when you're in the air, you are moving with the airflow, so you can't feel any wind, which in turn gives you the sense that you are actually floating.  To me that sounds amazing, and while I'd love to take a flight, I'm not too awful keen on the kiddos doing it, and so each year I refrain.  That's okay though... as much as I'd like to take a balloon ride, I enjoy sitting with the kids and watching the show even more.

I'll post a few pictures for you to enjoy.  Aren't they just stunning and gorgeous?


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ode to Boredom

Kids like to be in motion.  Even if they're bored, they'll find a way to incorporate some kind of action into it.  A prime example...my second oldest at the park.  He's a gem to indulge us in coming along, but if we're there too long he does get bored. Inevitably he'll take to acrobatics using the park scenery as his gym mat.  I've never gotten him on film, but this summer his sister did...twice (good job with the camera work, Sis).  His antics always serve to amuse.




And then there's the two youngest...while sitting at home a couple of evenings ago,  the teen declared, as is not unusual, that she was b-o-r-e-d.  That's okay, I'm not against the kids being bored.  It means everything's okay, they're safe, and life is just fine.  :)  It also means that 9 out of 10 times they're going to come up with something creative to do.  On this particular night, my daughter decided to throw me a surprise party in the basement.  She recruited her little brother and they made signs, decorations, and an activity list of fun things to do...top on the list, jumping of course (what could be more fun than jumping, right?).  A lot of work and secrecy went into that party, so it was very endearing.  You know the scene:

"What are you kids doing?"

"OH... nothing, nothing at all, Mom!"

 And then the eventual, "Close your eyes...come with us, okay, don't look yet... Surprise!"

The pictures that resulted from our jumping event (I'll spare you the ones of this old lady jumping around with them) were quite amusing, and in a flash...there was zero mention or thought of the dreaded "B" word.  Instead there were two kiddos laughing to beat the band, and an older brother unsuccessfully trying to hush them, which of course made them laugh harder.  Yet one more night of fun credited to boredom.



Excuse the little guy being in only his underwear...for some reason they thought that would make the pictures even funnier, and it did. 



Friday, July 20, 2012

The Navy Pier in Chicago: Totally Worth the Hype




Shopping at Navy Pier in Chicago


There is no doubt about it, Chicago is a fun city.  It can also be a very expensive city.  Last year, on a whim, the kids and I decided to take the four hour trip from Michigan to the windy city, to visit Navy Pier.  It's one of those tourist-type attractions that you live close enough to that you take it for granted, so even though we've lived here five years now, we'd never checked it out in person.

I had no idea what I was getting into, I just hoped it would be fun.  And it was!  What made it even better, was that it was not expensive.  Yes, we paid quite a bit to park the car in the adjacent garage, we paid for dinner while we there...and we got a souvenir for grandma, but it was still very decently priced (and it's free to enter).   We had a whole afternoon and evening of fun, and none of us really wanted to come back home quite yet, when it was time to go.

Nestled alongside the beautiful Lake Michigan, the waterfront view put us in a good mood from the get-go.  There were small boats, sail boats, and even a yacht or two moving alongside us as we walked from the parking garage to the pier.

Inside there were rides for the smaller children, and a fifteen-story tall Ferris wheel for everyone to enjoy.  If you've never seen a Ferris wheel that big, I'm here to tell you that it was pretty extraordinary.  My kids and I all enjoy roller coasters, the bigger the better, but my daughter and I always steer clear of Ferris wheels.  Why?  I don't know...they just make us a tad bit nervous.  This one, however, was too extraordinary to miss, so we climbed aboard (toddler secured cheerfully beside us), and watched the dramatic Chicago skyland unfold before us in the night.




Afterwards we walked the pier, strolled through the Smith Museum of Stained Windows,  listened to live entertainment, and saw an awesome fireworks show...all free of charge.  For those looking for even more things to do, or who are going to make the pier a two-or-more-day trip, there is the Chicago Children's Museum that is three-floors of hands-on fun; shopping aplenty; an IMAX theater; and right now the richly acclaimed Cirque Shanghai (a contest for two free tickets can be found here) is playing at the pier.  There are also various chartered rides that can be taken on cruise ships, including those that serve dinner; or a bona fide pirate's tale adventure can be had on Tall Ship Windy, Chicago's 148-foot four masted gaff topsail schooner.


Smith Museum of Stained Windows


I was hoping to make a trip back there this year, but we have too much going on, so I think we're going to miss it this summer.  For anyone in the area though, looking for a reasonably-priced outing that is full of family fun, I highly recommend a trip to Chicago's Navy Pier:  It's totally worth the hype!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's Time for a Throwdown!!

Hubby on the right and our awesome host on the left.


My husband's good friend and his family just purchased a lake house in Michigan.  Considering we don't get to see them near enough (they live on the West coast), we were thrilled!  To celebrate hubby's friend invited us over for a Bobby Flay - type THROWDOWN!  If you've never seen or heard of the Throwdown! with Bobby Flay show, it's a Food Network series where professional chef, Bobby Flay goes from town to town, challenging people who are notoriously good at making a specific item.  It's a fun show, and easily one of my husband's favorites.

My husband doesn't cook much, but there are two things he likes to make, one of which has given him notoriety and fame within our circle of family and friends:  lasagna.  Our friend is from a very large family, and his parents own a lake house two doors down from the one he purchased, all of the children (now grown) and their families, have complete access to the house too (I know, nice, right?).  For us, that meant access to a big audience. 

So...the guys went to work in the kitchen, with hubby making his traditional type of lasagna dish, and his friend getting poetically creative with a sausage and chicken variety.  A call was made to the family down the way, and quite a few came over for the sampling.  No one was told who made which, and then there was a required vote.  Both lasagnas received rave reviews, but hubby won by a vote of 7/1 (his immediate family, and ours did not vote because we knew who made what). Fortunately for everyone in the house, we all won because we got to sample two really great types of lasagna!!  Thank you to the K-Family for hosting us, and hurrah to hubby for a blue ribbon win! 


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Extreme Amazon Giveaway Aug. 3 - 17






Welcome to the Extreme Amazon Giveaway! 
Mail4Rosey has joined up with other awesome blogs to bring our wonderful readers the chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card! There are lots of entries to choose from - you can do one or do them all to increase your chances of winning the big prize. 

Giveaway ends August 17th at 11:59 PM EST. Good luck!