Friday, August 30, 2013

GIVEAWAY for pre-sale pass - JBF Fall Consignment Sale

Want to outfit your kids in great brands? Looking for some new toys or baby gear for Le$$? You won’t want to miss the Just Between Friends Children’s & Maternity Consignment event!
The Just Between Friends Fall/Winter Children's & Maternity Consignment event kicks off for everyone on September 20th. There is an exclusive pre-sale for volunteers, consignors, first-time parents, foster parents, military families and teachers on Thursday, September 19th! 

JBF Pittsburgh Children's & Maternity Fall/Winter Sale 
Friday, Sept. 20 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; 
Saturday, Sept. 21 - 8am-4pm (NEW Merchandise!) 
Sunday, Sept. 22 - 8am-2pm (Many items 50% off). 
Where: RMU Island Sports Center in the Golf Dome, 7600 Grand Ave., Pittsburgh 15225 
Admission: $3 on Friday (under 18 is free - or print your FREE admission pass below for Friday). Admission is free Saturday & Sunday. 
You typically can find (depending on season):
  • strollers
  • nursery accessories
  • baby gear
  • baby clothing
  • children's clothing
  • maternity clothing
  • nursing accessories
  • baby carriers
  • hair bows
  • window coverings
  • backpacks
  • toys! toys! toys!
  • children's bedding sets
  • children's books
  • sports equipment
  • kids' dance gear
  • children's shoes
  • joggers
  • bouncey seats
  • puzzles
  • children's coats
  • children's sweaters
  • play yards
  • car & booster seats
  • family friendly DVDs
  • outside play gear
  • nursery furniture
  • children's games
  • diaper bags
  • swim wear & gear
  • educational toys
  • children's wall decor
  • and SO MUCH MORE!

Want to turn YOUR clutter into CA$H at the Fall Sale? It's not too late to sign up to sell any new and gently used items your family has outgrown at the JBF event. Consignors prepare and price their own items using an easy, online bar code system. They earn 60% of their sales or if they join the team and help out at the event, 70% of their sales. Anyone interested in consigning can sign up for the Pittsburgh event on the website.
Team members are an important part of the JBF event. JBF Team Members shop FIRST and earn 70% on their consigned items. Anyone is welcome to join the JBF team at the event. Register to join their team for a short 4-hour shift to guarantee early admission at the pre-sale event!
Pre-Sale (Thursday)
Due to the hectic nature of JBF presales, children are NOT allowed at these events. These times are just too busy to be able to ensure your child's safety.
Public Sales Event Day
     Children are welcome on public sale days, but PLEASE use good judgment when you bring them. These days are very busy and there are lots of goodies that are enticing to little ones. If possible, ask someone to watch your kids so you can enjoy your shopping experience and make the most of your time at the sale.
We have 3 passes to giveaway for the exclusive pre-sale on Thursday! THIS is the night to be there if you can and get first choice of all the items!
Go here to enter.
Contest open for entries until Friday, September 6th, 2013, 9am. Winners chosen at random. Winners have 24 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be selected.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Shoes for Dreams { i.e.foster kids }

When foster kids have come into our home (we've had 7 this year), we are lucky if they bring an outfit or two. Usually they arrive with just the clothing they are wearing, often pj's. The government does usually give you a stipend amount to purchase them clothing, but it certainly doesn't stretch very far! Especially if you want to get a mix of summer/winter clothing and basic shoes. And then sometimes kids go and grow on ya - I know you all know what that's like!
But I JUST bought that! :)
My friends Heather & Nannette (a foster mom & future foster mom) have put together a proposal through Neighborhood Wishlist called
Shoes for Dreams.
This grant would allow them to purchase & distribute specific athletic shoes for specific foster children currently in need and a few extra for children who will be taken in throughout the rest of the year. This grant would go a huge way in help fulfilling dreams of playing soccer, baseball, & football as well as dance in ballet & tap shoes.  
Shoes for Dreams needs your help! They will not get the $500 grant unless they have 500 votes in the next 21 days. So please! Take 2 seconds, go here, and vote for their grant to get approved!
To vote: you must be logged into facebook and "like" the PNC Bank page. You can vote up to 3 times, and you can also earn up to 3 more votes by sharing the Neighborhood Wishlist Program.
Thank you for your support in helping some dreams come true!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sale for Melissa & Doug Toys!

Do you love Melissa & Doug toys? We're big fans around here, they are some of my kiddos favorites! Get them now on sale at One King's Lane - stock up for Christmas & birthdays!
A trusted name in child's play, Melissa & Doug is synonymous with thoughtful, interactive, high-quality toys, beloved by parents and kids alike. This selection includes a wide range for toddlers and older kids, from colorful pull-alongs to crafts and puzzles, all made to keep little hands busy and brains engaged.
*This sale goes live on Friday, 8/23, at 11am*
+ more great toys as well!
Sale ends 8/26.
And if this is your first time ordering from One King's Lane, sign up here for $15 off your first order!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

To preschool or not to preschool: that is the question

This content has been compensated as part of an Early Childhood Education promotion for Pittsburgh Public Schools. However, all opinions remain my own. #ppsafterschool
I will admit, I am in a (seeming) rare group of people that has been hesitant to jump into the preschool world.
I share the following to note why our decision was difficult, not to push mommy wars of "my child can do this....." I hope you understand. :)  
My oldest knew all his letters & sounds at 18 months and has always loved to learn. So by casual interactions, we learned. Now at age 4, he can write all his letters, read a clock, read small words, trace, cut, color in the lines, do simple math and all sorts of fun things! He has tons of social opportunities through church, friends, neighbors, playdates, and multiple other functions. So we had to we need to send him to preschool? We finally decided yes. We know he would be able to have some new opportunities to learn in a fun environment. We found a school with 3 day/half day preschool and think that will be a good fit for our family. He is so excited and I know he is going to love having so many fun opportunities to learn new things!

The Pittsburgh Public Schools Early Childhood Education Department provides children, ages birth to five, with a comprehensive, educational program designed to reinforce and respond to the unique strengths and needs of the individual child. Supportive learning environments are fostered to stimulate a child's social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth. Community partnerships are cultivated to build a core network of support services and resources for children and families. We equip children with the necessary educational skills and social tools to provide a seamless transition to kindergarten and beyond. Most Early Childhood Programs are available at no cost to Pittsburgh residents in various neighborhoods across the City.
3 primary goals at Pittsburgh Public Schools:
  • To accelerate student achievement
  • To eliminate racial disparities in achievement; and
  • To become a District of first choice.
 Some advantages for sending your child to preschool:
  • Be ready for K5 at the same level as all the other kids who have attended preschool
  • Give them a learning advantage
  • Learning in a new way 
  • Becoming more independent
So maybe you're still on the we send them? at 3? at 4? It's a big decision, but preschool has a lot of great benefits! Check out many great options through Pittsburgh Public School Early Childhood Education!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

In Review: Idlewild and Soak Zone

This post was sponsored by Idlewild & Soak Zone and U.S. Family Guide, but all opinions are my own.
We've lived in Pittsburgh 4 years and have always heard how much fun Idlewild & Soak Zone is, but this was the first time we made the trek (it's about an hour & a half for us). Once we arrived, we were not disappointed! My kiddos (4 & 2) just loved it. Mommy & daddy had a pretty great time too.
If want your kiddos want to burn off some serious energy, this is the place to go! This may not be the technical term. :)
Otherwise known as JUMPIN' JUNGLE.
 My kids were happily riding some of the bigger rides, but I thought we might be missing something. I also thought we might have traumatized my 2yo by the roller coaster (above). :) Although she's a trooper and it was my son's favorite ride of the day! But then we discovered Raccoon Lagoon which has all the rides perfect for the little ones. Raccoon Lagoon is one of the largest Kiddie Lands in the United States!
 Some happy kiddos & their hero right here!
 Taking a tour on Mr. Roger's Trolley, we visited all the friends in The Neighborhood. Although I may not be able to get Hug-n-Song out of my head. :) Come along, come along....

The bridge between Raccoon Lagoon & Soak Zone.
 We were there on an overcast day, but the sun came out and it warmed up enough to try Soak Zone. I had some very happy kiddos! Though a lot of the park is geared towards elementary age or younger, Soak Zone is a place where teens & older can get some thrills as well! Attractions such as Rafter's Run, Serpentine Slides, Float Away Bay (lazy river), Wowabunga Family Wave Pool & more will keep any age entertained!
And for the younger ones? They'll be in their own happy place with the amazing Captain Kidd's Adventure Galley (featuring six waterslides and dozens of interactive spray features) & Little Squirts (children's pool and water fun area).
What a cool contraption, right?!
And what better way to end the day......
They had me at vanilla bean & fresh cut strawberries.
The biggest bummer? We didn't have time to do everything we wanted to do or go back and repeat some of the kid's favorites. We didn't make it to Story Book Forest which I've heard is a great attraction. I guess we'll have to go back. :)  I would definitely suggest a 2 day visit if you can!
We were slightly surprised that there was no signage along our way and google maps takes you to the employee parking lot, but the guy in the booth was happy to point us back to the highway and down the road another mile.
The employees were all very friendly and I would highly recommend this as a great family destination!
Save $8 per admission with this coupon here!
Idlewild & SoakZone has received the coveted Golden Ticket Award for Best Children's Park. Introduced in 1998, the Golden Tickets are the most prized awards in the industry and are awarded based on a poll of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans worldwide in a survey conducted by Amusement Today.
Voted Best Kids' Park in the World by Amusement Today (2010, 2011, 2012 Reader Surveys)
Voted Best Park for Families by National Amusement Park Historical Association (2011 & 2013 Member Surveys)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Celebrating #4

The Pgh Momtourage turned 4 this August!
My initial thought.....hey, let's throw a party!
And let's invite local small businesses to be a part of our event.
And let's see if we can get an amazing location.
And let's see if a Food Truck wants to come.
And let's get some amazing family entertainers.
And let's have a great night!
And so we did.
Kelly saying hey to lots of new & old friends!
And you could also enter to win gift cards to The Clay Café (A fantastic paint-your-own-pottery studio). A great party/playdate destination!
Happy Harry the Clown started out our evening with a show with lots of laughs. Happy Harry’s entertainment is good, clean fun and a great addition to any gathering! He would be an extra bonus for your next event, contact HH here.
His line for balloon art rarely was empty!
Next on our list of great entertainers was the always hilarious Pittsburgh Magician Al Mazing!
Very funny, the kids (& adults) love him!
Al is a magician in Pittsburgh that specializes in entertaining kids and family audiences. His magic shows are perfect for birthday, schools, weddings, fundraisers, festivals, preschools, or any fun filled family event.
A great crowd!
  So happy to have the BRGR Food Truck come with yummy burgers & shakes! And what a great view they had, huh?!
BRGR also has 2 great restaurants, one in the heart of the Eastside of Pittsburgh and one in Cranberry. Check them out for their amazing burgers & shakes!
The West End Overlook is a hidden gem!
 Local church in the West End, Three Rivers Grace Church, was there with candy, water, & books to give away!
Carnegie West End library had a genius idea to bring a sand pool, complete with dinosaurs. It was a big hit! CLP - West End has tons of family programs for kids, teens, & adults.
Children's Librarian, Jamie Collett, ended our evening with her ukulele, tambourines, + a goodnight story time.  
 Faces by Christina was on hand doing some great face art!
Christina is available for Fairs, Conventions, Birthday Parties, Bar-Mitzvahs, or any other fun events! Only the finest quality, theatrical, water-based paints and brushes are used.
Here's a sneak peak at some of the great local businesses that joined us! They all generously gave away prize packages at the end of the evening!
We were so excited to hear that Klavon's is re-opening in the Strip District! They were on hand with some of their amazing ice cream & homemade fudge - delish!
Klavon's is an authentic antique 1920's Ice Cream Parlor located in the Strip District of Pittsburgh- 2801 Penn Avenue. Re-opening under new ownership, but the same awesome historic feel.
Anne Lee is a talented local artist & author. She has written an excellent children's book When You Are Camping (great summer resource for kids!) She also does beautifully hand painted cards & pictures. Check her out here to see more of her creative work!
The talented gals from Simple Celebrations!
Simple Celebrations is an event planning service that takes all of the work out of organizing your happy occasion. Whether you need an all-inclusive event or just custom designed favors, our goal is to create a unique celebration tailored to your needs. You choose your theme, set your budget, and leave the rest to us! From delivered décor that you set up on your own, to having us there to put it all together, Simple Celebrations will help you to host an event to remember.
Bumble n Bug has fun, unique gifts for babies & moms!
They specialize in hand crafted baby products that are fun, whimsical and downright adorable.
E2 Toys to Try is a fantastic local indoor play space + toy store. They were on hand with glitter tattoos, games, crafts & prizes! The Momtourage is a big fan of holding playdates there!
E2 Toys to Try is Pittsburgh's premier toy store and indoor playground. You can shop, play and party in our clean, friendly and safe environment. Ask us about birthday parties, gift registries, complementary gift wrapping and free local delivery!
PartyLite brought quality candles & beautiful accessories!
Contact Shannon to book your next party OR Make EXTRA MONEY and have FUN doing it. PartyLite is designed to fit your lifestyle. Whether it's a few hours a week or a full-time gig, the choice is yours.
Monkey Kisses BOWtique brought adorable girly accessories!
Check out her Big Bows for cute babies!
Jenny Jones from Silpada Jewelry was there (with a cute little sidekick!)
Whether you're looking to purchase gorgeous Sterling Silver Jewelry, host a Party or join my team, Silpada has something for everyone! Contact Jenny for more info.
Newly opened in Pittsburgh's North Side.
Offering breakfast, lunch and unique sweet-treats in a relaxed environment with natural wood decor, retro Pittsburgh photos on the walls and humorous/witty blurbs to tickle your funny bone. Grab a cup of locally roasted coffee, or one of our signature Chateau herbal tea blends, while chatting up one of our friendly Chateauristas.  Try a Apple Pecan Salad...Ham, Bacon and Maple Mayo Panini...Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Slaw Wrap...or one of their many delicious sweet treats! Pittsburgh Born and Fed!
Created To Play has a complete Etsy store with everything for your party needs! With favors, party supplies, photo props, cards & much, much more. Custom creations also available. Check her shop for your next wedding or baby shower, or party of any kind!
Grace in Abundance brought the most beautiful & colorful assortment of wares!
Sweet items for little ones out of beautiful fabrics that I love:
skirts, dresses, headbands, quilts,
receiving blankets, bibs, burp cloths,
onesies, applique gifts and more.
Pamper Parties Pittsburgh offered free nail art for the evening and gave us a great overview of their Indulgence line of Bath, Body, and Skin Care Products made from all natural edible ingredients!
 Pamper Parties Pittsburgh is a unique mobile spa party business dedicated to providing a personalized, FUN, and professional spa experience in the comfort of your own home, office, hall, church, backyard, or anywhere else you see fit!
 Face-Painting Designs by Dana braved rush hour traffic and was able to arrive half way through our event - we were so glad she could be there! She offered free face art and had some very happy customers!  
Thankful to the over 200 guests that came out to join us, thankful to everyone who jumped on board to make this happen, and thankful for perfect weather for a fantastic night!
Happy 4 to us!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ticket Giveaway CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game

Congrats to Valerie, Jenny, Gretchen, Kim & Dan who all won 4 tickets!
Tickets still available for purchase - info below. 
The CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game is coming to Pittsburgh!

Thursday, September 26, 7pm
CONSOL Energy Center
The second annual game will feature 40 of the top American-born prospects who will be eligible for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft facing off in a display of top hockey talent from across the country. Players will be chosen by USA Hockey, in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting, with the final rosters expected to be announced in August.
"Pittsburgh is a city filled with passionate hockey fans and we're extremely pleased to work with USA Hockey in bringing the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game to the CONSOL Energy Center this fall," said David Morehouse, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Penguins. "It will be a unique opportunity for our fans to see the future American stars of the NHL -
some which will undoubtedly play in Pittsburgh - all on the same sheet of ice."

Tickets are on sale now at the Dick's Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center, all Ticketmaster locations, and Ticketmaster charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.
Tickets are $20 for reserved seating and $10 for General Admission. Very affordable for the whole family!
Former Pittsburgh Penguins Mark Johnson (Madison, Wis.) and Joe Mullen (New York, N.Y.) will be the head coaches for the second annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game Sept. 26 in Pittsburgh, Pa. Both Johnson and Mullen are members of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame and Lester Patrick Trophy recipients for their outstanding service to hockey in the United States. Johnson represented the U.S. at 12 major international tournaments, including the "Miracle on Ice" squad at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. Mullen skated for Team USA at the 1979 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship and three Canada Cups (1984, 1987, 1991).

FIVE lucky winners will each win a family 4-pack of tickets for the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game is coming to Pittsburgh!
Go here to enter.
Contest open for entries until Monday, September 9th, 2013, 9pm. Winners chosen at random. Winners have 24 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be selected.