Thursday, February 27, 2014

97 Design, Inc.

97 Design Inc. has also joined up as a great sponsor for our Momtourage Spring Project challenge (find out what that is here!
I have known Deb & Ginger since college and they are 2 fantastically creative mamas who are also as sweet as can be!
97 Design Inc. is the coolest resource to find custom recycled lumber products, fashion statements, and beautiful handmade fabric accessories for your home. 
Known for their cool rope scarves!
They have some pretty great baby stuff too! 
 Although their Etsy shop is currently on a break right now, make it a favorite and stay tuned for more great products coming soon!
 For our contest, you'll be entered to win a $25 gift card, simply by sharing #momtouragespringchallenge! So stay tuned, it all starts Saturday, March 1st!

Pick Your Plum

 Another great sponsor for our Momtourage Spring Project challenge (find out what that is here!) is Pick Your Plum! Pick Your Plum posts daily deals - but let me tell you, this is not your typical 'deal' site. They have the best products!! I have gotten jewelry, skirts, kids legging, party supplies + more from them and I have never been disappointed at all! Their prices are amazing. 
Because their inventory is constantly changing, these pics show a sampling of their variety of products.
 Check out their current stock here, but be sure to enter our Momtourage Spring Project Challenge for the chance to win a box stuffed full of goodies from them ($50 value!!)

Lily Noelle Jewelry + code for 40% off!

 The Momtourage Spring Project challenge (find out what that is here!) has begun and I am thrilled that Heidi from Lily Noelle Jewelry has come on as one of our prize sponsors! You'll have a chance to win a $50 gift card to Lily Noelle!
BUT, you don't have to do any house projects to be a part of this deal - she has offered 40% off necklaces + bracelets to any Momtourage followers! (Excludes the Heidi Collection & Little Fashionistas)
What's that I hear? Mother's Day is just around the corner? Oh yes, start making your list and strategically place it in front of your hubby. :) Your mom & MIL might even enjoy some of these pretties! 
Lily Noelle is an original line of jewelry meticulously crafted from semi-precious stones, sterling, crystal and vintage items.  The process of each design begins with Heidi personally selecting each stone while venturing to shows and auctions worldwide, and ends with heart-felt customer service .
And here's the really cool part....
Making A Difference
In 2006 and 2007, Heidi traveled to the Dominican Republic to help a group of women learn the art of jewelry making.  As a result, an organization was formed to provide at-risk women with education, training, and the skill-set necessary to earn an alternate income with dignity.  A portion of each jewelry sale benefits these women in the Dominican Republic.  By choosing Lily Noelle, you are providing humanitarian aid beyond the pleasure it brings to decorate your favorite styles.

Here's a gift that keeps on coming....
Join the exclusive Lily Noelle Earring of the Month Club! Receive a pair of stylish earrings mailed directly to you each month. Purchase a 3-month, 6-month, or 1-year membership and enjoy a special gift each month. Go here for more info.
 The coupon code does not include the Heidi Collection, but you still might want to browse through...some really fun pieces!
 And because she is a mom of little girls, she certainly hasn't forgotten about them. Check out her Little Fashionistas line - perfect Easter basket stuffers!
So who's ready for some shopping? 
Use code pghmom for 40% off!
(valid for 40% off necklaces and bracelets, excluding the Heidi Collection and Little Fashionistas.)
Code is valid through March 31. Free shipping and returns on orders over $100.
Follow Lily Noelle on facebook here

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Important survey for Allegheny County residents

 The Allegheny Department of Human Services recently contacted me about sharing this survey with you. I am not being compensated in any way, but I have a particular reason for wanting to share this with you.
We had a foster child who came to us at 23 months and could not communicate at a basic level. Did not speak any words and didn't understand simple commands such as "go get your shoes, sit in your chair", ect.... We later found out his mother had said she didn't believe in talking with children and that it was a waste of time. After a few short months with us, with no special therapy or help, he was speaking & understanding clearly for his age range. Only through what we consider normal family interactions. I almost cried one day when he said to me "Let's sit on my bed and read this book" - just amazing!
The Allegheny Department of Human Services (DHS) is conducting research to gain an understanding of Allegheny County, Pa., parents and caregivers’ perspectives on talking to their babies and young children, and to see whether or not they have the information and materials they need to increase the time they spend doing this. Talking to babies or young children appears to stimulate a lasting curiosity, which leads to the motivation for lifelong learning. Research has found that the greater the number of words children hear from their parents or caregivers before they turn 3 years old, the higher their IQ will be and the better they will do in school.
 Through this survey, DHS hopes to generate insights into the most effective ways of motivating Allegheny County parents and caregivers of children from birth to age 5 to talk with their babies or young children.
So please take a short minute and take this quick survey. Be honest. It will be a big help in advocating for kids all over our region!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Cheer and Gear

Sponsored post by Fifth Avenue Place ~ bringing you all the info for holiday fun in Downtown Pittsburgh!  All opinions remain my own.
More info and the Fifth Avenue Place calendar can be found here.
Follow them on Twitter 


St. Patrick's Day can be a fun holiday for the whole family! Give your kids the giggles when you all dress in green for the day, serve green food (here are some fun ideas), and of course, head downtown for the big parade! (Oh, I'm hoping for a warm day!)  

 Are you wondering what you are going to wear and how you are going to accessorize this St. Patrick's Day?  Look no further than Fifth Avenue Place in Downtown Pittsburgh!

  Stop by Laurie's Hallmark for both men's and women's Life is Good t-shirts.  Accessorize with a comfortable pair of fuzzy green socks, beads, and a luck o' the Irish hat!
Coming in from out of town?  WelcomePittsburgh has this year’s Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014 t-shirts!  Pick up yours today before they are sold out! 

St. Patrick's Day Family Fun at Fifth Avenue Place 
Saturday, March 15 ~ 11am - 2pm

This St. Patrick's Day, Fifth Avenue Place is your Downtown destination!  Following the St. Patrick's Day parade, bring the whole family to Fifth Avenue Place.  Show your Irish spirit with live music by Steven Vance, create "Shamrock Badges and Ice Paintings" with the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, face painting with a cheery leprechaun, and bean bag toss!
All events are FREE and open to the public. All other info is here. 
For more information about the St. Patrick's Day Parade, visit their website.

We're ready for some green fun!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Parenting Expo Pittsburgh ticket giveaway

This content has been compensated as part of a promotion for the Pittsburgh Parenting Expo. However, all opinions remain my own. #parentingexpo

For the first time, the Parenting Expo is coming to Pittsburgh! This is a great family event that will be filled with lots of helpful information + fun activities for kids!

  Monroeville Convention Center

Saturday, March 8th, 2014 / 10am - 6pm

Sunday, March 9th, 2014 / 10am - 5pm

Here's some of the great things happening at the Expo:
  • Get expert advice / informative workshops

  • Check out the latest products and services

  • Save hundreds of dollars in coupons

  • Stop in & win- hundreds of prizes + giveaways

  • Free family fun events + activities

  • Stroll through easy access (stroller friendly) aisles

There will be a variety of kids activities, including face painting, a puppet ventriloquist, jugglers, Radio Disney + more! 
Adult eTickets are $8/person when purchased online before March 5, 2014. At the door, tickets are $10/person. Children under 14 are FREE - no ticket required.
BUT if you want to be sure you get the best deal on tickets, a group of us local bloggers have a special code just for our readers (YOU!!)
Use promo code BLUEPITPM for getting  your tickets for only 7 bucks! Purchase tickets here. 
{ Be sure to click on this link when ordering on the ticket page > > Yes, I have a Blue Promotional Code! }
This code is only good through March 5th and then all tickets will be $10!

Admission includes: 
  • Exhibits
  • All events + activities
  • All workshops + programs
  • Eligibility for prizes + giveaways 
Dr. Deborah Gilboa, a local physician, blogger at Ask Dr. G. and official spokeperson of the Expo. 

Don't miss any upcoming info! Follow the Parenting Expo on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest
And to be SURE you don't miss out on this great event & resource we have 10 tickets to giveaway! FIVE winners will each win 2 tickets. Bring your hubby or take a friend. But hey, at $7 you could do both!  You will receive your bar-coded tickets via email within 7 days of winner being announced.
Go here to enter -
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest closes for entries on Tuesday, February 25. Five winners have 24 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Momtourage Moms Gettin' Fit & Healthy: Introduction

*Please note that I am not a medical professional, it is not my intention to offer any medical advice. This series is intended for encouragement to moms in this journey. These opinions remain my own and I encourage anyone to seek the advice of their physician if they are pursuing a serious weight loss plan. 
 After my household went from two to five kids overnight (we're foster parents) I found my lovely work-out routine (pushing my 2 kids in a double stroller) fly out the window. All 5 just wouldn't fit. :) So then came the challenge of trying to fit in workouts....when? When you're a mom with multiple young children, you really just battle tiredness a lot. So getting in workouts can be really challenging - good thing playing tag with your kiddos counts! (wink.) I have always been an athlete and involved in sports my whole life. I haven't battled weight gain in a huge way. But I also am used to feeling fit and certainly see extra lbs. easily creeping on as each decade goes by. I know that this is a big challenge for most moms to find ways to stay fit and healthy. So on the Pgh Momtourage facebook page recently, I asked if there were moms out there who have either a) been able to lose a lot of weight or b) would like some motivation in their quest to fit & healthy. I am chosing to focus this series on being fit + healthy and not strictly weight loss. We all know that a healthy weight looks different for everyone - it might be size 6, it might be size 12, it might be something else! I fully believe that being active & eating healthy go hand-in-hand, it's almost impossible to do one without the other. I had several moms who immediately responded either sharing the great accomplishments they've made in this area or asking for encouragement as they begin this journey. So over the next few months, I will be sharing the stories of several Pittsburgh moms. I hope we can all be a good cheering squad for them and offer lots of encouragement! We can all be inspired by each other. It takes a lot to share your story. To say I was this. Or I looked like this at my heaviest. I really applaud these women for putting their story out there and they hope it will be an encouragement to others in the journey. 
Let's give ideas for staying fit. Share recipes for healthy eating. And, as we anticipate our long-awaited Spring (it will come! it will come!), work together to be Momtourage Moms: Fit & Healthy. 
Look for their stories coming soon. If you are interested in having your story featured, please email me at

Friday, February 14, 2014

FREE Entertainment all weekend at Wildwood Highlands

Wildwood Highland's President's Day Winter Blast!
This weekend Wildwood Highland's is pulling out all the stops and offering 3 days of non-stop entertainment and fun. In addition to their regular attractions & amenities, they have scheduled FREE entertainment 'round the clock for everyone to enjoy. Here's the schedule: 
  • Brian the Balloon Guy
  • Family Bingo
  • Tom Kelly and his Party Snakes. Will they excite you? Gross you out? Or scare your pants off? FIND OUT!
  • Entertainment by Pgh Digital DJ'S - they will even take requests!

  • Al Mazing - one of the best kid's entertainers around - you don't want to miss!
  • At 5:30 he's be strolling with his 6 FOOT Ostrich Puppet - a site to behold. 
  • Al Mazing's Legendary Magic Show

Monday (Washington's birthday)
  • Outdoor BBQ at the snow tubing hill - hot dogs, burgers, drinks + more. 
  • Bob the Juggler will be performing for the 1-3pm and 3-5pm snow tubing sessions. Ice. Cold. Juggling!

  • Ice Creations!  Pittsburgh's Ice Carving Son, Richard Bubin, will be performing a patriotic fire + ice carving show. You'll want to see this!

Snow tubing will be offered at their regular rates all weekend long. 
Sat-11-1, 1-3, 3-5, 6-8, 8-10
Sun-11-1, 1-3, 3-5, 6-8, 8-10
Mon-11-1, 1-3, 3-5, 6-9

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

An exciting Olympic party

I am lucky to have my kiddos birthday one week apart and so far we've been able to enjoy a fun double birthday party each year - fingers crossed that continues to be cool!
Heather Williams (Has Williams Photography) is a local Pittsburgh photographer who specializes in photographing kid's birthday parties. What a genius idea!! 'Cuz a mom sure doesn't have much time to snap the pictures she would love when there's a mass of kiddos running around!  When she offered to photograph our party, I definitely jumped at the chance. I highly recommend you consider her as well!
These kids were turning 5 & 3 and they sure love a fun party!
 Their February birthdays fell just as the Sochi Olympics were beginning and so it was a no-brainer for this year's theme! My kids are totally into the Olympics and this was such a fun & easy theme to carry out (we had moved into our home 3 weeks prior to party date, so easy was a high priority here!) We decided to go with a regular red, white + blue theme, even though I know the official Olympic colors are slightly different. For the kids, USA was all that mattered. All of our guests were kind enough to join in our color theme which made for some fun pics. 
Even if you don't have a birthday to celebrate, this can easily be used as a fun gathering during Olympic season!
We started with some serious competition. Because these were at stake.
The sack races were intense!
In my recent interview with Olympian, Shawn Johnson, she suggested hopscotch - definitely a fun choice!
 The bean bag toss became a slight hazard for the one holding the bucket, (ME!). Luckily, no moms were harmed in the completion of this game.
 Basketball was probably the hardest challenge and those boys sure waited patiently for their turn!
We had a pretty good cheering squad too.
They sure were excited to win their medals!
Just look at that row of Olympic champions!
Simple Celebrations contributed to our fun party atmosphere as well!
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, their goal is to create a unique celebration tailored to your needs. Simply let them know what you are celebrating and they will help create a theme and handmade details that your guests will be thrilled to experience. Check them out for so many fun party ideas + an Etsy shop possibly coming soon!
We loved the fun red, white + blue details that Simple Celebrations provided!
 They loved their "Olympic Torch Popcorn" (Trader Joe's Cheese puffs in ice cream cones)
We did red velvet mini cupcakes + white frosting + blue sprinkles and red, white + blue sugar cookies shaped into an American flag.(WAY less mess than cake for kiddos!)
My goal was to try to serve a complete menu that was without Red Dye #40. I don't know if I came through perfectly, but it definitely made me do a double take on all the ingredients I was serving. We used a natural juice for drinks and Whole Foods came through with natural sprinkles!
The big moment!
Favors from the wonderful resource that is Oriental Trading Company!
 And we say, watch out world - she's 3!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Disney on Ice ticket giveaway!

Disney on Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic in a
One-of-a-Kind Skating Spectacular 
 More Than 60 Disney Characters, Including the Stars of Disney/Pixar’s
Finding Nemo, come to CONSOL Energy Center March 5-9
Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and their friends from Disney’s Mulan, The Lion King and Pinocchio, and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Toy Story, take to the ice for a grand celebration in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic. Produced by Feld Entertainment, this fanfare production features more than 60 unforgettable Disney stars that span the decades, a sing-along score of award-winning Disney music, stunning choreography, elaborate sets and beautiful costumes.
With over ten movies and more than 60 Disney characters featured, Feld Entertainment’s Disney On Ice presents 100 Years of Magic has a story for every generation and is coming to Pittsburgh’s CONSOL Energy Center March 5 through March 9. 
With Mickey and Minnie leading the fun, audiences enjoy breathtaking production numbers choreographed by Emmy Award®-winner Sarah Kawahara. Kawahara previously worked with Michelle Kwan and choreographed the skating segment for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics.
 A century of classic and new Disney stars are taking to the ice to share memories, laughs and excitement in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic. The magnificent celebration is coming to CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh March 5-9 for a total of nine performances. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, January 15.
This magical moment in entertainment history combines Disney’s unforgettable stories and enthralling characters that have entertained families all over the world. The captivating production features the largest cast ever of lovable Disney stars on ice – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket, Stitch, Nemo and the Incredibles – and exciting moments from Disney’s Mulan and The Lion King.Audiences will not want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime ice spectacular that features beautifully choreographed figure skating to Academy Award®-winning songs “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Under the Sea,” “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and many more. Dazzling sets, memorable characters, beautiful costumes and exciting special effects will transport audiences through decades of beloved Disney stories.
Show Performance Schedule:
Wednesday, March 5 - 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 6 - 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Friday, March - 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 8 - 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 9 - 1 and 5 p.m.
To discover more about Disney On Ice, log on to, or visit us on Facebook and YouTube.
Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 70 countries on six continents and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Nuclear Cowboyz®, and Marvel Universe Live. For more information, please visit Members of the media are encouraged to visit the Online Media Guide 

We have 4 tickets vouchers to giveaway! You will be mailed these vouchers to be exchanged at the Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center. Vouchers can ONLY be used for the Wednesday or Thursday shows.
Wednesday, March 5: 7pm or Thursday, March 6: 10:30 am and 7 pm.
Go here to enter:

Winner chosen at random. Winner has 24 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be selected. Contest open for entries until Thursday, February 13th, 2014, midnight.