Sunday, March 15, 2015

Giveaway: Jump Start Sports Camp

Last year my son had the opportunity to participate in his first summer day camp after we were introduced to Jump Start Sports. Being his first camp, he (and I!) were a little nervous. :) But then we met Coach Jen!

Jen Yuvan has worked with kids and sports for over a decade and she is fantastic! Jen is the Pittsburgh Area Manager for Jump Start Sports. She gets the kids motivated, encourages the nervous ones, and makes sure all the kids are actively involved.

Jump Start Sports will host summer camps all around the Pittsburgh area; including Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park, Irwin, Monroeville, Allison Park, Bridgeville, Brentwood, Munhall, Sewickley, Harrison City + more! Go here to see the options and to register.

Their sports camps are active and fun! You also have the option of half day or full day camps.

Children ages 4-12 are divided into “countries”, separated for age-appropriate instruction, and learn about a wide variety of Olympic sports including track and field, soccer, basketball, hockey, team handball, and more.

Children ages 4-12 "enroll" in the college of their choice and have a blast learning about and playing a wide variety of college sports, including basketball, soccer, hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, and more.  Campers make a school pennant and wear their school colors to demonstrate their school spirit throughout the week.  Children are separated by age for all competitive activities.

Jump Start Sports also offers a wide variety of sports leagues around the Pittsburgh area, including soccer, basketball, hockey, t-ball, and lacrosse. Go here to find out more about their sports leagues.


Jump Start Sports has generously offered to give one child either a free week of sports camp or one of their 6-week sports programs of tball, lacrosse, deck hockey or basketball. (Ages vary per camp and each sport.) Enter below:

We know there are lots of summer camp options. Jump Start offers a fun way for kids to stay active and learn new skills in sports!

This post sponsored by Jump Start Sports. However, all opinions remain my own. Photos used by permission of JSS.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Don't Miss: Summer Camp Expo, The Burgh's Best Bunny Bash & A Very Special Birthday Par-TEA with the Snow Queen!

Parents and families of all ages!  Don't miss these fantastic Macaroni Kid of Pittsburgh opportunities coming your way!

Macaroni Kid Summer Camp Expo 2015 - FREE 

What will you do with the kiddos this summer?  There are SO many great options! 

Pittsburgh's Only Summer Camp Expo held at Latitude 360 March 21, 2015.  11 AM- 2PM  Parents and families join us for a FREE day of family fun and take the time  to meet and greet with camp representatives from all over Pittsburgh and even Ohio!  

Music, dance, arts, science, childcare, rowing, sleep-away, sports, golf, language and MORE!  
VIP Bags to the first 200 families.  
Giveaways- Raffles-Activities- Meet the Princesses- Balloon Art- Face Painting! 

Why search a hundred websites?  Just come out and meet the camp reps in person and bring the kids for some fun! Register for FREE today at

Can't make the expo?  Check out the Macaroni Kid of Pittsburgh Summer Camp guide HERE. 

Pittsburgh's Best Bunny Bash!  
Join Latitude 360 and Macaroni Kid of Pittsburgh as we throw the biggest Bunny Bash in Pittsburgh!  March 28th, 2015  9AM- 11AM 

Enjoy breakfast, an "Egg-cellent Easter Egg Hunt", picture corner with Mr. Bunny, cookie decorating, a bunny craft and a "Bunny HOP" finale on the dance floor! 
For more details or to purchase tickets contact Latitude 360 at 412-693-5500.
Adults $19.99 Children $14.99 / This event WILL sell out so register today!  

A Very Special Birthday Par-Tea With Macaroni Kid & The Snow Queen!  
The Snow Queen cordially invites you to a very special Birthday Par-Tea for her Princess Sister at Latitude 360 Saturday,  April 25th, 2015.     
This event has limited seating and tickets will sell out fast.  Two event times are offered for your convenience!

Par-Tea 1  10:00 AM- 12:00 PM
Par-Tea 2   1:30 PM- 3:30 PM

Ticket Pricing: 
$25.00 ( + eventbrite processing fee)
Par-Tea Tickets Include:  
A custom party invitation sent to your child previous to the event.
Meet and greet with Pittsburgh's newest mascot characters:  The Snow Queen & her Princess Sister come to Pittsburgh!
Light refreshments and tea party "goodies" at your fancy table. 
Royal Par-Tea activities!  
* Tea Party Hat Making
*  Birthday Card Station
*  Glitter Snowflake Tattoos
*  Make & Take a Fancy Tea Cup Favor 
A take home party favor treat bag for each child from the Snow Queen's sister.
A custom "Thank You" card from the Princess sent to each child after the event. 
We'll also: 
Learn the Princess's favorite Royal dance! 
Sing Happy Birthday to the Princess & enjoy a royal cupcake! 
The Princess's friends are unable to attend however they left a very special birthday gift for the Princess!  We can't wait to open it with you! 
Tickets go on sale:  Saturday March 14th, 2014 at 9AM.  
Please visit for more info or to purchase tickets starting March 14th.   
All attendees MUST have a purchased ticket to join the Tea.  Adults and Children. 

Stay tuned to Macaroni Kid for more upcoming events and happenings.  Find & subscribe FREE to your favorite Macaroni Kid today and be the first to know!

This post sponsored by Macaroni Kid Pittsburgh.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Family Fun at Fifth Avenue Place

I was looking through past pictures of being downtown for St. Patrick's Day and was struck by our NO jacket attire! Do you think we'll be so lucky this year?

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the family and head Downtown for one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the U.S.!  Parade begins at 10:00 a.m.
The 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade will feature nearly 200 marching units, including bands, floats, several police, fire and emergency service agencies, along with many groups from Pittsburgh’s Irish and other ethnic communities. Parade begins at the intersection of Liberty and 11th Streets to Grant Street to the Boulevard of the Allies (turns right). Then it goes down Boulevard of the Allies to the Reviewing Stand at Stanwix Street and ends at Commonwealth Place.
Follow the Parade on Twitter

Saturday, March 14, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Following the Parade, bring the whole family to Fifth Avenue Place for family fun from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and show your love o’ the Irish with an afternoon of festive fun.
Enjoy face painting with their cheery leprechaun, crafts with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and be entertained with beautiful melodies by a strolling violinist. Your family will be sure to get into the Irish spirit at Fifth Avenue Place!
All events are FREE and open to the public.

This post sponsored by Fifth Avenue Place. All opinions remain my own.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Challenger Sports - British Soccer Camps

The roll out of summer camps has begun! Are you looking for something active and help develop new skills for your kids? Then check out Challenger Sports - British Soccer Camps!

British Soccer Camp is the most popular camp in North America - 150,000 campers! With an innovative curriculum that develops skills, speed and confidence in players ages 3-18, British Soccer Camps provide boys and girls with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international expert's right in the heart of their own community. In addition to teaching new skills and improving game performance, each British Soccer Camp provides lessons in character development, cultural education and is the most fun your child can have learning the sport they love!

Enroll your child in a British Soccer Camp today and receive a Free British Soccer Jersey - Sign up during Early Registration and they will immediately ship you a great looking British Soccer Jersey! PLUS - enter code FMG15 and they will include a bonus Challenger water bottle. Go here to enroll.

There are over 12 camps in the Pittsburgh area! You can find locations here.

This post sponsored by Challenger Sports and US Family Guide. All opinions remain my own.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Disney on Ice Ticket Giveaway

I don't know if your household is like mine, but we are up to our eyeballs in princess world! And even my boys love Frozen, Tangled and other Disney hits. So we're pretty excited around here about the upcoming Disney on Ice Presents Princesses + Heroes at CONSOL Energy Center! Each year, they put on a spectacular show and this year will be no exception. Especially with the addition of the oh-so-popular Frozen characters!

Your kids will love to see Ariel as she yearns to explore the world above the waves and Prince Eric as he breaks Ursula’s slithering spell to reclaim his one true love. See Price Phillip, in a race against time to rescue Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora, defeat the evil Maleficent as she transforms herself into a fire-breathing dragon! 

Discover a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin. Join Anna, Elsa and the hilarious snowman Olaf and discover how an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart.  And, watch in awe as the dreams of Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Rapunzel and Tiana all come true. High-flying jumps, daring acrobatics, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends are just a wish away!  

Disney on Ice will be playing 9 shows at CONSOL Energy Center!

Wednesday, March 4: 7:00PM
Thursday, March 5: 10:30AM / 7:00PM
Friday, March 6: 7:00PM
Saturday, March 7: 11:00AM / 3:00PM / 7:00PM
Sunday, March 8: 1:00PM / 5:00PM

Tickets are available online here, at the Dick's Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center, all Ticketmaster locations including select Giant Eagle locations, and Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at 1-800-745-3000. 

I have 4 tickets to give away to one winner for the show time of your choice! Go here to enter:

Good Luck!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mad Science of Pittsburgh + $30 off summer camps

My 2 oldest kids have birthdays a week apart and we've always had a lot of fun with a themed double birthday party at our home. (You can view past parties here and here.) But this year, when Mad Science of Pittsburgh contacted me about their birthday party venue, I was very intrigued. It sounded like something unique and even (gasp!) educational, so we decided to check it out. I am so glad we did, it was a fantastic party venue! I loved that it was just our group there in the facility, it was quite a calm environment for a kid's party, and it was so engaging for the kids. 

What is Mad Science
Since 2009, Mad Science of Pittsburgh has been bringing science fun to the area. Thousands of children have experienced science through innovative after-school programs, preschool programs, in-class workshops, camps, birthday parties and special events. They deliver unique, hands-on science experiences for children that are as entertaining as they are educational.

Jared Wagner also offered his photography services for the party - it is a wonderful thing for someone else to be there to capture all the special moments! We are currently giving away a family photo shoot by Jared and CJ Wagner Photography, so head here to enter. 

The party started with about 30 minutes of free play at various science stations including kinetic sand, water features + other fun!

Then it was time to gather around the "Mad Scientist" and see some explosions! They saw bubble explosions with dry ice and some other concoctions with soda + mentos. The kids all sat in rapt attention!

Our wheelchair bound little buddy lets you know that the facility is completely handicap accessible with a ramp entrance as well as plenty of room to navigate a chair (thumbs up, MS!).

The party includes one special activity where the kids get to make either rubber balls or slime.

They provide pizza, lemonade and water for the birthday parties. You can bring your own sides and birthday treat.

AAAANNNNDDDDD, they have a cotton candy machine. :) 

So how can you be a part of Mad Science? Booking a birthday party is a wonderful option of course! You can also head to the Mad Science website to find preschool programs, special events and after-school programs near you.

Summer camps (ages 5-12) are just around the corner and we are so excited to offer a 20% promo code which means $30 off per child for any summer camp! They have 8 summer camps and space is limited so sign up now! Go here for camp details and to register. Use code MOMTOURAGE at check out for the 20% discount.

A few other options.....
  • Some local libraries have Mad Science workshops (usually best for 3-5 year olds), many of these are in the summer. Ask your local library if they are a part of this program or to consider being a part!
  • Ask your childcare center teacher or director to call Mad Science.  Each year, almost exclusively in the summer, they stop by for short workshops in about 20 different childcare centers.
  • Come in for a mommy and me session with a playgroup.  Come to the lab for playtime, a workshop, and to eat lunch together. They can also bring a workshop to a local church, community center or different venues. 

Thanks, Mad Science, for the wonderful learning opportunities you are providing for kids all around Pittsburgh. We are big supporters!

*Photographs + party were given to me for review. I am happy to endorse both companies and all opinions remain my own. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Family Photo Shoot Giveaway

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting up with Jared Wagner as he photographed my kids birthday party. Jared is growing his photography business (CJ Wagner Photography) and takes beautiful photos. I am excited to pass along a special photo shoot to another family!

I sure love having a photographer at birthday parties so they can capture all the excitement of the day and special moments without me trying to remember to photograph everyone!

Jared has been so kind to offer up a generous photo shoot giveaway to one lucky family!

This giveaway will include:
Free Photo Session + $150 Print Credit ($300 total value!)
*Session can be used for Baby, Child, Family, or Engagement/Couple photos

A photo shoot includes:
Pre-Session Consultation
Shooting Time
Editing Time
Viewing Gallery
Print/Product Ordering Session

*Certificate Expires 6/15/15*

Jared says, 
I always try to get to know each client before a session through the Pre-Session Consultation. This part of the process also includes wardrobe consultation and recommendations as well as a questionnaire to go over details and learn about the character of each client. During shoots I like to have fun and set a relaxing atmosphere for clients. I am flexible - I like to shoot on location outdoors (live beside Grandview Park in Mt Washington - the best view of the city and a park all in one! Awesome for photos!) and I also like to do indoor/home shoots. I have studio equipment and can bring it to a clients home as well if needed. I am also patient and easy going, so I work well with children. I can do baby, children, family, engagement, bridal/wedding, and event photography (1st birthdays are great!) I also offer various print options and products (canvases, albums, framed prints, mounted photos, cards, etc) - all through a high quality print lab.

Check out the reviews on his Facebook/Thumbtack profile to see what his clients are saying! 

To be qualified to win, entrants must like the CJ Wagner Photography facebook page (we will check!), leave a blog post comment + follow the other entry questions. TY! Go here to enter:

Please note: Jared will travel within 35 minutes of Pittsburgh. If you live further away than that, you can arrange to meet him in Pittsburgh or pay a travel free based on distance. 

Photo sessions are such a fun way to capture memories - best wishes to all who enter!