Thursday, August 18, 2016

Join us at the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer

I was recently contacted and had a meeting with the Pittsburgh branch of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Although I was somewhat familiar with the amazing work of St. Jude, I did not know that they had an office here in Pittsburgh to make an impact in our region. I have friends who have both had to say goodbye to their young children or raise them with severe special needs, so this cause is very near to my heart. 


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats, and defeats childhood cancer. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood survival rate from 20 percent before opening in 1962 to more than 80 percent today. St. Jude freely shares its groundbreaking discoveries, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists can use that knowledge to save thousands more children globally, including here in Pittsburgh. As the hospital’s founder, Danny Thomas, once said, we won’t stop until we find a cure because “no child should die in the dawn of life”.


The Pittsburgh St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer will take place during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and will occur on the same day (Sept. 24) in 61 cities all across the country. The 5k family walk/run will bring together more than 1,000 members of our Pittsburgh community in celebrating the life-saving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Participants will enjoy free St. Jude “swag” from our spirit tent so that they can visibly show their support and will also have the opportunity to enjoy light food and drink at our hospitality tent. Notably, participants will be able to hear from a patient family during the program, which is set to begin at 9am.

Kids Zone will prove to be a highlight of the event, with featured tents including games with “Let’s Move Pittsburgh”, art with “Pinot’s Pallette”, cartoons with the “National Cartoonist Association”, tips and activities about healthy eating with “Pittsburgh Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics”. You must stop by our Pgh Momtourage tent and say "HI" as well! 


So here's the cool thing - you can walk with us on the Pgh Momtourage team! To join us in this effort, sign up with Team “Pgh Momtourage” by visiting the event website here www.fundraising.stjude.org/pittsburghwalkrun and clicking “register” and “join a team”. Registration is only $10 and FREE for kids five and under. Click here to be taken directly to the Pgh Momtourage page. 

WALK/RUN DETAILS

September 24

Herrs Island (Washington's Landing)
600 Waterfont Drive, Pittsburgh, PA

REGISTRATION: 7:30AM
RUN/WALK START: 9:30AM 

Maybe you can't walk with us, but would still like to help us in the fight against childhood cancer. Please consider going here to make a donation to help us reach our fundraising goal. Every donation helps!


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We hope to see you there as we join the fight to end childhood cancer!

This post sponsored by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. All opinions remain my own. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Eating with kids at Bravo Cucina


My family was recently invited to dine at Bravo Cucina to try out their new Farm to Table summer menu. I'll be honest, eating out at a sit down restaurant with four kids can give me real trepidation! What if the food takes forever to come? What if my kids start getting hangry?! :) But I didn't need to worry because, soon after our order was placed, out came a piece of dough for each of my kids to play, create and entertain themselves. It was truly brilliant! I've never seen them so occupied through our waiting time! 




Bravo also has a great kids menu with offerings such as lasagna, buttered noodles, ravioli pizza, grilled chicken, fresh fruit, veggies and more! 


Our food was delicious and everyone left the table full and satisfied!



Bravo makes both a fun family dinner out or a fantastic date night as well! 


Thank you, Bravo Cucina, for a delicious dinner and not being afraid to extend your invitation to a family of six! :) 

Although our dinner was provided in exchange for review, all opinions remain my own. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Giveaway for Sky Trails Adventure Rope Course

Ever since we were able to experience the new Sky Trails adventure ropes course at Pittsburgh Mills last year, my kids have been asking to go again! They loved this adventure and I loved how it pushed them to be brave and challenge themselves. 


Our youngest ones started on the Sky Tykes ropes course that is specifically for kids under 48" tall, geared towards children ages 2-7. It's a fun experience for them and allows them to work on their balance and using the harness.  The platforms are less than 3’ off the ground and they ask a chaperone to assist. 



The Sky Trail® adventure ropes course stands 32' tall with 2 levels of 30 elements. The elements are horizontally strung ropes and bridge activities like zig-zag beams, criss-cross angled rope ladders and cargo nets secured between steel poles. It's so much fun! It's built right next to the food court at the mall, so you have quite the interesting views from the top as well. 


 All ages and abilities can experience the Sky Trail® attraction. Participants are able to choose their path through the rope elements while going at their own pace with the ability to pass other participants at each platform. This course requires a 48" minimum height to participate alone however adventurers 42” or higher can participate with an adult.


My 6yo was way less scared than I thought he would be!


And then there is the zip line! 


My 4yo wasn't tall enough to go by herself on the upper level, but I could go along with her. She was timid at first. but did great. Once she had her first zip line ride, she was definitely hooked!


  • We had such a great time at the Adventure Ropes Course, it's a great family activity!! And don't forget, Pittsburgh Mills has 2 fantastic play areas for kids as well. 

  • $7 for the smaller Sky Tykes
  • $14 for the Sky Trails & Zip Line. 

  • Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Sun: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • 590 Pittsburgh Mills Blvd, Tarentum, Pennsylvania 15084

  • GIVEAWAY:

  • Ready to try it with your family? I have 4 passes to giveaway! Enter below. *Please note that your personal info is not kept, stored or used to spam you in any way. It is simply for winner's notification!  




  • I was provided passes by Sky Trails for review. However, all opinions remain my own.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

We're ready to Hack the Summer in Pittsburgh!


Are you in full swing summer mode yet? We just returned from two weeks out of state, so I feel like our summer has just begun! Having 4 kids in close age range (7, 5, 5, 4) means I have to be very strategic about planning activities for us to do together that won't involve crazy conflict. :-/ We don't make a lot of specific plans too far in advance as I like for our summers to feel very carefree. But I love that summer is an opportunity for our family to explore together a multitude of fun areas all around Pittsburgh without the rush of schedules and other commitments. We try to soak up all the sun we can and spend as much time outdoors as possible! Before we left for our vacation, I gathered with a few in-the-know Pittsburgh mamas and we came up with a lot of great ideas for summer fun. 


The best part? Many of these won't cost you anything! We also experience many of these venues together at our twice-a-month Pgh Momtourage playdates. You can find our full schedule here. 
Check out some of our favorites listed below!


Here are a few other ideas from our mamas of summer family fun: 
  • Head to Moraine State Park to rent bikes, rent boats, hike the trails or swim at the Lake Arthur beach.
  • Three Rivers Regatta (North Shore, August 5-7) where your kids will love watching boat races, playing on the temporary beach, walking through the mist’ers  + much more.  You Gotta Regatta!
  • Beechwood Farms offers a beautiful natural playground, walking trails and room to explore. All free and open to the public!
  • Cranberry Township Community Waterpark has an affordable admission fee that includes a pool, waterslides, splash pad, mini beach + more!
  • The (free) outdoor gardens at Phipps Conservatory and Frick Park both offer beautiful settings surrounded by nature!  Schenley Plaza also offers a large, green space with plenty of room for kids to run and play. Take advantage of the carousal or head to Carnegie Library to cool off and spend time in their kid’s area.
  • Sewickley Night Mart & Squirrel Hill Night Mart (certain Friday evenings) both include vendors, food trucks & family fun.
  • Beat the heat with Free movies at Phoenix Theatres three times a week or  the $1 Summer Movie Clubhouse at Cinemark Settlers Ridge or McCandless Crossing!
  • CafĂ© Date 4 Kids in Brookline is one of our favorite indoor play areas and makes a great rainy day venue!  Includes a bounce house, ball pit, seesaw, monkey bars, climbing wall, jungle gym, enclosed baby area, snack bar + more.



If I have learned anything in motherhood, it's that FOOD must follow the crowd. I'm constantly packing lunches and snacks to take on the go. There is no fury like a HANGRY toddler, am I right? :) :) But sometimes you get caught with a need for food asap and that's why I am loving the new option from Chick-Fil-A to order from my phone and have our food ready when we get there!
I met up with my mama friends at Chick-Fil-A where they introduced us to their new CFA One app. This is truly revolutionary for any parent that has ever stood in a restaurant food line with kids running circles around their legs. 82 percent of parents would do almost anything to avoid long lines at fast food restaurants when you have your children in tow, so I guess I'm not alone! :)


What is Chick-fil-A One? Simply put, it’s a digital app that brings together mobile ordering, mobile payment, fun giveaways and even a way to place online catering orders. Chick-fil-A is a company known to put customers first. They developed this app based on customer feedback, so it was specifically designed to give guests an even more convenient and personalized experience in their restaurants.

How Chick-fil-A One is helpful for families:
  • Order and pay in advance, meaning you can skip the line at the register, speeding up the process of waiting at the counter or drive-thru.
  • Customize your order so each person gets exactly what they want.
  • Bypassing the line at Chick-fil-A is an awesome perk, especially if you visit during peak lunch and dinner times!
  • A new way of saying “thank you” to guests with free food offers, based on their preferences and previous orders. When you order or purchase through Chick-fil-A One, you get closer to your next free offering and can track your progress in the app.
  • It makes families’ dining experiences at Chick-fil-A easy and convenient – and there are some built in surprises as well!
  • A-List, Kids Club and other ways that guests interact with your local Chick-fil-A will also be a part of Chick-fil-A One.
  •  Membership is open to anyone over the age of 13.

So don't delay! Download Chick-fil-A One via iTunes or Google Play, or simply by tweeting #CFAOne with the horizontal cow emoji to receive a prompt to download the app from Twitter directly to their mobile device.
Share how you use Chick-fil-A One! Use the hasthags #CFAPgh and #CFAOne to spread the word about this incredible mobile experience.


Thanks to Chick Fil A and The Motherhood for sponsoring this post and to Brown Mamas & Sugar Aunts for all working together for these Pittsburgh Summer Hacks! All opinions remain my own. 

#CFAPgh
#CFAOne

Friday, June 17, 2016

Honoring Dads this Father's Day (super giveaway!)

Dads are so important in the lives of kids and there are so many amazing dads out there that are encouraging their kid's hearts by the love, care and time they give to their children's lives. So this Father's Day, I wanted to have the chance to give a couple of dads some extra moments of fun with their family. I have partnered up with three local Pittsburgh venues that my family loves and I hope your family will love doing these activities together as well!



Three fantastic Pittsburgh venues for family fun are offering these prizes:




If you haven't had a chance to cruise aboard the GCF, you are missing out on a special Pittsburgh experience! Riding on the boat on the river through our beautiful city is the best way to travel. You might learn some fun facts about Pittsburgh that you never realized and you'll definitely take in some gorgeous views. 


And what could make the cruise any better? Well, fantastic food, of course! GCF is offering 4 tickets to one lucky winner for their Chicken & Ribs Dinner Cruise
This cruise happens every Tuesday & Thursday from June - August! Boards at 6pm, sails from 7-9pm. 

Menu:
  • Hickory Smoked Barbecued Pork Ribs
  • Whole Chicken Leg with Peach BBQ Glaze
  • Quartered Red Skin Potatoes with Parsley
  • Buttered Corn on the Cobb
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Slow Roasted Baked Beans with Sweet Sausage
  • Creamy Cole Slaw
  • Chocolate Mocha & Apple Spiced Cake
  • Fresh Dinner Rolls & Corn Muffins with Butter
  • Hot Coffee & Tea Service 

This summer they will also be offering a wine tasting dinner, kid-friendly Pirate dinner, picnic luncheon, and a family favorite, the Good Ship Lollipop Cruise + many more!

And don't miss.....kids ride for $1 on sightseeing cruises over holiday weekends this summer! 



Everyone knows that sports in Pittsburgh is a really big deal. (Hello, Stanley Cup Champions!!) One of our newest & most affordable Pittsburgh sports is the Riverhounds Soccer team. In the beautiful river setting of Station Square, you and your family can enjoy a night of family fun with the world's most popular sport.  

There are only 10 games left in the home season for this summer, so head here to purchase tickets!




This past fall, my family had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Monroeville. If you have ever wanted to find an activity to burn energy for your kids and burn calories for yourself, this is is! At Sky Zone you can bound on the trampolines, play basketball or dodgeball, jump into the foam pit or take a fitness class. It's a great venue to do as a family! 


Sky Zone provides you with Sky Socks for jumping and they separate jumpers by age and size. They highly recommend you reserve your time slot online ahead of time to avoid sell outs. They are closed on Mondays. Go here for more info about Sky Zone!

___________________________________________
  
Three dads will each win one of the following prizes!

For your first entry, leave a blog post comment on what you love about being a dad or what you appreciate most about your dad or the dad of your kiddos. 

Head to link to enter to win!


I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day celebrating the dads in your life! Thank you to Gateway Clipper Fleet, Riverhounds Soccer and Sky Zone Monroeville for providing these fun family opportunities in Pittsburgh.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Giveaway for British Soccer Camp (Pittsburgh region)


Last year, my son decided he wanted to try soccer. I just happened to be contacted by British Soccer Camps, through Challenger Sports, which gave us the perfect opportunity for him to try out the sport in which he was showing interest. The camp was fantastic! They bring in a whole crew of soccer players, both guys and girls, who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic in teaching the kids new skills.


Needless to say, he loved the camp! He managed to fall in love with soccer and England all in the same week, haha!  This year, he can't wait for soccer camp again!


There are several options of camps for a variety of ages. 

First Kicks: ages 3-4
Mini Soccer: ages 5-6
Half Day Camp: ages 6-10
Full Day Camp: ages 6-10


Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps will host 20 different camps in the Pittsburgh region this summer! Go here to find a convenient location for you. Sign up here for Pittsburgh camps. 


Shaler Soccer Club will also be hosting a special needs soccer camp! And BIG NEWS.....

MONDAY 08/08/16, WEDNESDAY 08/10/16 AND FRIDAY 08/12/16 ONLY . 
The first 55 campers to register will attend for FREE due to the generosity of Shaler Soccer Club, the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh among other community donors. To find out if you are one of the 55 campers please contact Brian Dourlain atbrian@shalersoccerclub.com or 724 407 3567. 



If you register soon, your child will also receive a free soccer jersey and soccer ball! My son has been practicing with his all year long. 


Another fun aspect of British Soccer Camps is that you have the option to host some of the visiting coaches during the week. They really do come from the UK, so they will need a place to stay during their week in our city. It's a fun way to expose your kids to cultures that may be a little different than ours. And don't forget those great accents! We had the pleasure of having Max and Sam stay with us for a week and my kids still talk about the fun they had with them. You will receive a stipend to cover extra expenses. 




GIVEAWAY:

British Sports Camp has generously offered to give away a free week of camp to one lucky child! Winner will be able to choose one week of camp happening in either July or August. Enter at link below.



This post sponsored by Challenger Sports, British Sports Camp. All opinions remain my own as I don't endorse venues that I don't love!

Summer 16 in Pittsburgh

I feel it. Sunshine, smiles, unscheduled time......SUMMER must be here. We are soaking it up! I am so happy for a break from regular alarm clocks (if you don't count my kids, of course!), school schedules and cold days cooped up inside. We are ready to enjoy Pittsburgh summer to the max!!


We have SO MANY amazing opportunities for summer fun in Pittsburgh. The hard decision is which activities do we choose? This summer, I've partnered with the Summer 16 Campaign which is providing a website dedicated to helping your kids stay active and find learning activities, events and even youth employment opportunities.

My kids are ready to help me choose some summer fun from pghsummer16.com!


Our Summer 16 team includes Mayor William Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, United Way's Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time and other organizations to promote Summer 16 Dream! Explore! Do!

Summer 16 Dream! Explore! Do! provides thousands of local children, grades K-12, with fun, learning activities. The goal of Summer 16 is to engage at least 16,000 youth throughout the city and county in meaningful summer learning opportunities. The Summer 16 website includes a checklist for parents, an activities calendar and a centralized repository of summer programs to ensure that all children have a safe, healthy and productive summer. The website also enables parents and youth of all ages to request information on no cost and fee-based activities in the region this summer.


One of our family's favorite free summer activities is being involved in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Summer Reading Contest. I'm always amazed at the amount of free books (and even free Pirates tickets) my kids have been able to earn through reading. Join us in helping CLP reach their goal to have 90,000 books logged by Pittsburgh readers this summer!



Some other resources that might be helpful to your family, depending on the ages of your kids, include:
• Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (3RWIB), the City of Pittsburgh, and Allegheny County Learn and Earn Initiative: http://www.trwib.org/learnandearn/
• Citiparks programming: http://pittsburghpa.gov/citiparks/
• Youth Express: http://youthexpress.org/


What are your favorite activities planned for this summer?

Let us know how you’re spending the summer by participating in the Summer 16 Selfie Promotion! Snap a selfie and share it on social media (#PghSummer16).

If you're on Twitter, come join us on Friday, June 17, 12:30-1:30pm, for the #PghSummer16 Twitter Party. You'll find out more about events and activities for your family that happening this summer.



HAPPY SUMMER!

I’ve teamed up with Summer 16 to help ensure all Allegheny County children have a safe, healthy and productive summer. Although I am receiving some form of compensation, all opinions remain my own. #PghSummer16

The Summer 16 campaign is generously supported by PNC.