Monday, March 31, 2014

Stars on Ice

Meryl Davis and Charlie White returned from the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, with the United States’ first ice dancing gold medal in history. Stars on Ice, featuring Davis and White along with their bronze medal winning teammates from the inaugural Olympic figure skating team event, will visit Pittsburgh on April 25 for a 7:30 PM performance at CONSOL Energy Center. 
 The country’s premier figure skating production, Stars on Ice, in a partnership with U.S. Figure Skating, is proud to announce that for the first time ever, the U.S. Olympic figure skating team will headline the annual nationwide tour. Bringing the spirit and passion of the Olympics back to home ice, the entire bronze medal winning U.S. Figure Skating team will highlight a truly spectacular and star-studded cast. In addition to Gold medalists Davis and White, two-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner, 2014 U.S. champion Gracie Gold, four-time and reigning U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott, 2014 U.S. silver medalist Jason Brown, and two-time reigning U.S. pair champions Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir comprise the bronze medal team that will join the Stars on Ice 2014 Tour.
The Stars on Ice 2014 Tour cast will also include two-time U.S. ice dancing silver medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates, 2011 U.S. Champion Ryan Bradley and 2010 Olympian and 2014 U.S. Bronze medalist Mirai Nagasu. Several special guests will also make appearances throughout the tour.
Stars on Ice continues to be a pioneer in figure skating by offering fans the rare opportunity to witness some of America’s most creative and cherished champions performing together in both individual and ensemble routines. Founded and produced by Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton, Stars on Ice is one of the premier family entertainment events in the U.S., and the only figure skating tour in America, bringing you the greatest performances and competitors from the 2014 Winter Games. This year’s Stars on Ice production has joined forces with U.S. Figure Skating, moving its traditional tour dates to the spring in order to showcase the World’s best figure skaters at the top of their form and to offer special opportunities for fans across the country to celebrate the accomplishments of these historic skaters. 
 Tickets for the 2014 Stars on Ice Tour in Pittsburgh are on sale now! Special on-ice seating is available upon request. Tickets start at $25 and are available via,, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center, all Ticketmaster outlets, and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. Please visit for the most up to date information, as well as exciting show announcements. Stars on Ice is pleased to announce Macy’s, KOSE, and airweave as Associate Sponsors of the 2014 Tour.

We have a code for 25% off all tickets!
The code will be 25% off all P2, P3 & P4 (all tickets but on-ice). 
Use code 25OFF at checkout.
This code is currently active and will be good through & including the day of the show. 
Keep this in mind when ordering tickets...
When you buy 1 adult at full price, you can get 2 kids tickets at a discounted price. The 25% discount won't apply to the already discounted kid's tickets. So another option would be that, purchase 1 adult at full price, 2 kids at the kids price, and then the other adult at 25% off. 

About Stars on Ice 
Founded in 1986 by skating icon Scott Hamilton, the Stars on Ice tour has performed more than 1,000 shows over the last three decades. Past tour performers include Olympic Gold Medalists Kristi Yamaguchi, Katarina Witt, Scott Hamilton and Torvill & Dean. The Tour has won three Emmy Awards, one ACE Cable Award (Best Sports Special), and is recognized as the finest ice production in the world. Stars on Ice is produced by IMG, the world’s premier Sports, Entertainment and Media Company. For more information about the tour, visit Keep in touch with Stars on Ice on Facebook: and on Twitter: @starsonice,

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Free Baseball Clinic

I don't know about you all, but baseball season is one our family's favorite things of warmer weather! My son is looking forward to his 2nd year of baseball (we love the family-friendly Elliott West-End Athletic Association). 
 If you have kiddos 8-12 years old that are interested in baseball, than you will want to check out the
Ryan Douglass Field of Dreams Baseball Clinic! There is NO pre-registration required. See full info here.
Ryan's clinics are for 8-12 year old children and consists of hitting, pitching, fielding, and base running instructions. These clinics are held at various athletic associations around the Pittsburgh area and are FREE of charge.
  Clinic #1 will take place on Saturday, April 12, 10 a.m. at Herschel Field. 
Clinic #2 is scheduled for Saturday, April 12, 3 p.m. at Herb Field. 
Visit North Hills Athletic Association for directions.

Ryan Douglass was a 13th round pick by the Kansas City Royals in the Major League Baseball draft in 1997. With the Royals Organization, Ryan made it up to Double AA Wichita Wranglers, while being called to several split squad games in spring training with the Major League Team. Ryan became a free agent in 2004 and signed with the Montreal Expos for a one-year deal. He played for the Harrisburg Senators, the Double AA team for the Expos. Ryan's last year playing professionally was in 2005 with the Washington Wild Things in the Frontier League. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ticket Giveaway for Kid-A-Palooza!

The Giant Eagle Kid-A-Palooza 2014 is this Saturday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center! 
Saturday, March 29, 2014
I have taken my kids the last several years and it is a really fun festival for the entire family! There are tons of activities, rides, inflatables, stage shows, exhibits, yummy & healthy food samples,+ more! Everything is covered in the price of admission.

See the OCTONAUTS Live on Stage! 
Showtimes:  11:00am, 1:00pm & 3:00pm
  • Giant Eagle's Healthy Eating & Nutrition
  • Magee Princess Pavilion
  • Indoor Rides compliments of Clearview Federal Credit Union
  • Children's Hospital Cartoon Camp with Character Meet & Greets
  • Fiesta Fun with Moe's Southwest Grille
  • Sports Zone Drills & Clinics featuring the 93.7 Fan Lounge
  • Creative Corner & Kids Workshop
  • Interactive Educational displays &  Insect Discovery
  • "Daddy's Nightmare" Monster Truck

 Meet Phil Bourque and Iceburgh appearing with Giant Eagle at 2:00pm.
 AND a cool piece that has been added this year - you can donate diapers in support of the Penguins Diaper Drive! Donations support the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank. Visit
Tickets are $10 (adults 12 & over), $6 for ages 3-11, 2 & under are free. You can purchase at the door or avoid lines and order online here
We have 20 tickets to giveaway - 5 families will each win 4 tickets! 
Your tickets will be held at the Will Call window beginning at 10am on the day of the festival. Please have ID with you. 
Go here to enter......
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 15, 2014

International Children's Festival Coming in May

I was recently invited to attend a preview of what the EQT Pittsburgh International Children's Festival is going to be this year. 
MAY 14-16, 2014
Let me tell you, it's going to be good! BIG change for this year: it's moving DOWNTOWN! It will be in the Cultural District and I think this is an exciting change. You will even have the chance to pre-pay for parking in a downtown garage to ensure your place and I'll be sharing other parking tips/options as it gets closer. 
Here is a general overview to get you prepared and planning. There are many free events, but tickets are on sale for performances now!
At the heart of the festival, you will discover amazing theater for young audiences!
In addition to theater, the Festival activities include:
  • 30+ FREE hands-on educational and cultural activities
  • A FREE outdoor community stage
  • Roving artists
  • Festival food
Groups are coming from all over the world to share their artistry, here are some of the events to anticipate:

  • Animals by El Retablo

An array of animals come to life, made of recycled materials & everyday objects.

  • Hands Up by Lejo

A cast of thousands in one pair of hands.

  • Invisi'BALL by Nadine Animato Theater Dance Company

An exhibit of soccer like you've never seen before!

  • Little Steps

The story of a small child in a big world.

  • Pinocchio 

My son & I got to see a preview of this show at the Byham this winter and it is really sweet and well done. Suggested for kids ages 5-10.

  • Temujin the Storyteller / Tales of Folklore & Fantasy

We got to hear Temujin tell a story and it is so good! Kids will definitely love his unique & gifted presentation.

Do you remember Exxopolis? This year will be a similar exhibit called Miracoco, can't wait! 
This colossal, inflatable structure uses natural light to create a world immersed in vibrant hues of color. Visitors experience a sense of wonder and tranquility while exploring its mesmerizing domes and tunnels.
Tickets for all events on sale here

Other exciting activities to watch for:

  • Pop-up LilyPad Park at Festival Central
  • Frog Stop Cultural District Scavenger Hunt
  • A giant sandbox
Frogs have become a big part of the festival! And the always funny, Mr. McFeely, will be there as well. 
During our preview, I was chatting with this sweet lady about the festival, only to find out that she is the amazing Maranne Welch, founder of the EQT Pittsburgh International Children's Festival. We certainly owe a big thank you to her!

So mark your calendars, it's going to be a great family weekend!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

This post sponsored by The Motherhood, in cooperation with United Way of Allegheny County & partnership with The Fred Rogers Company and WQED.
Are you a good neighbor?
Do you have good neighbors?
Our family loves to take neighborhood walks and it is rare to find people hanging out on their front porches anymore - I miss that! But for many families evenings now mean sports or music practice, homework, the draw of TV and a million other things....everyone is really, really busy. Taking time to shovel a neighbor's driveway, or rake an elderly neighbor's yard, sending over a loaf of fresh bread, dropping off a crockpot of soup when a neighbor is sick, or just simply stopping to chat helps build great neighbors & neighborhoods.
We all know the BEST neighbor of all, and that was Pittsburgh's beloved Mr. Rogers. And in honor of his March birthday, some very special FREE events are happening that you don't want to miss!

On March 22, 2014, four YMCA locations across the Pittsburgh area will host a variety of fun, free, family-friendly activities to give children the opportunity to practice being neighborly. Daniel Tiger of the PBS series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood will make his first Pittsburgh appearance as part of the event!

“’Be My Neighbor Day’ builds on the indomitable legacy of Fred Rogers, who for more than 40 years taught kindness, generosity and respect to thousands of children and families,” said William Isler, president, The Fred Rogers Company. “Like our new series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, this event embodies the values Fred stood for and carries his timeless message to a new generation of children.”
Inspired by an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, “Be My Neighbor Day” encourages neighbors to come together to help one another. Families will learn about acts of kindness, work together on craft projects to benefit their local communities, participate in YMCA Healthy Kids activities, and have the opportunity to meet Daniel Tiger.  
Additionally, in honor of Rogers’ favorite attire, families are encouraged to bring a new or gently worn sweater to the event. Sweater donations will be distributed to needy families throughout the region.
March 22, 2014 (times vary by location)
Visit for more information and to register at one of four locations: Baierl Family YMCA (Sewickley), Western Area YMCA (Coraopolis), Penn Hills YMCA, or Thelma Lovett YMCA (Centre Avenue).  There is no cost to attend.

Tips for Being Neighborly

To help encourage neighborliness with your little ones at home, here are some tips inspired by the “Neighbor Day” episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood that will help show your children that doing something nice for their neighbors can be a rewarding experience that makes them feel good about themselves!  
  • Volunteer!:  Check out your local food bank, library or neighborhood park for opportunities for your family to contribute, whether it is going through your house with your preschooler and donating extra canned goods or old books  or helping plant brand-new trees!
  • Play outside and meet new people!:  Bring your young children for a fun visit at the neighborhood playground, so they can make new friends and interact with old friends, too!
  • Ask to help!:  When your family sees someone who might need a hand, offer it!  Work together with an elderly neighbor who needs extra assistance in their yard or even have your preschooler help take care of a friend’s pet while they’re away on an end-of-summer trip.  You can also just talk with your child about times when you helped someone in need.
  • Smile and say, hello!:  Sometimes the littlest things makes the biggest difference!  When you are walking through your own neighborhood with your kids, greet passing neighbors with a friendly smile and a “hello” – you might just brighten someone’s day!
  • Make Coupons for Giving: Help your child create homemade paper coupons for kind and helpful acts, like “a hug,” “help with household chores” or “reading a book to a younger sibling.”


Don't forget that Thursday, March 20th is Mister Rogers Day and includes
FREE admission at The Children's Museum of PittsburghEnjoy a visit from everyone's favorite speedy delivery man, Mr. McFeely at 11:00 am.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Shrine Circus Giveaway

The Shrine Circus returns to CONSOL Energy Center 
April 4-6
 Celebrating its 65th anniversary!  
Tickets on sale now!
 This year’s Circus will be a fun-filled extravaganza featuring the following:
The Human Fuse – he sets himself on fire and is shot out of a giant crossbow!! (As seen on The Late Show with David Letterman) There will be a comedy trampoline act; daredevils will ride motorcycles, bears will ride motorcycles, and a six-man troupe on BMX bikes. This year’s circus performers also will include elephants, tigers, bears – and – house cats. And “Hump day” will have a new meaning, when a painted camel act performs for the first time. Long-time favorite, Grandma the Clown returns. 

Affordable family fun! Opening Night – all tickets $15 (excluding VIP).
·         Giant Eagle Family Fun Pack – 4 tickets for $68 includes $20 of concession value – good for all shows!
Purchase tickets at the Box Office or at

 Shriner’s are the largest philanthropic fraternal organization in the United States.  Pittsburgh has more Shriner’s than any city in North America.  The Shrine Circus is the largest fundraising event for the Shriner’s of Pittsburgh, which helps them support the 22 Shriner’s Hospitals for Children across North America.  The Shriner’s Hospitals for Children offers free care for children, and are considered the premier sites for orthopedic care and treatment for burns, and recently began specialized care for cleft palate repair.  The Shriner's Hospitals for Children have treated over 850,000 patients, and have a daily operating cost of over $2.3 million dollars every day! 
FIVE lucky winners will each win a family 4-packs of tickets! 
(Winners will pick up their tickets at will-call.)
 Go here to enter:

Contest open for entries through Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at midnight. Winners have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

College Nannies + Tutors | South Hills Pittsburgh

College Nannies + Tutors | South Hills Pittsburgh recently contacted me about offering their services for free for one of our playdates! I was definitely in. So we have an upcoming "Mom's Morning Break" planned where they will be watching over our kiddos in one play area and the moms will get to hang out in a separate area all to themselves!  See those details here

College Nannies + Tutors | South Hills Pittsburgh: Serving Bethel Park, Canonsburg, Mt. Lebanon, Scott Township, Upper St. Clair, Washington and surrounding areas.

College Nannies + Tutors | South Hills Pittsburgh has been Building Stronger Families® in South Hills, PA and surrounding communities since 2010. Locally owned and operated, we are part of your community, here to serve your family. Whether your family needs the quality care that comes from one of our role model nannies or the one-on-one attention from one of our College Tutors, we are committed to helping you with a customized solution to your specific needs. 

They have a lot of great options if you are looking for reliable childcare including On-Call Nannies, Part-Time Nannies, Full-Time Nannies, Summer Nannies, After-School Nannies, & Parent's Night out.  

They also offer a full range of Customized Tutoring and College Prep Services including College Test Prep, Study Skills, Homework Help, Math, Science, and Reading & Writing.

But here is extra exciting news for Momtourage followers:  while they normally have a $149 initial enrollment fee for those interested in on-call babysitting, they are waiving that fee for the first TEN families that sign up and mention they heard about them through the Pgh Momtourage! So,  now is the time to sign up! We all get in the bind where we need a sitter and can't find one. Having one a phone call away is so good.

Contact them here:

Phone: (412) 346-1444
And come join us for Mom's Morning Break and get the chance to experience them for yourselves!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Pittsburgh Moms Gettin' Fit & Healthy: Leigh Anne Cowger

 This series is intended to be an encouragement to all moms, whether you have battled weight gain all your life or simply find staying fit & healthy a much more difficult challenge as a busy mom. We can learn from each other and, most of all, be a cheer leader to those in this journey! You can read the introduction to the series here. 
Embody Natural Health will be sending Leigh Anne a free smoothie coupon from their Juice Cafe! 
And so we begin with Leigh Anne's story, in her own words.....
Hi, I'm not sure how "great" my story is, but I have always been a bigger person all my life. Here is where I started.....
 I was in athletics but still not the "skinny one". I gained 70 lbs while pregnant (my son will be 4 in May). It took me a little over a year to get the motivation to begin but I am continuing my journey. Weight watchers is the only thing that works for me. I still have my struggles, I am still trying to get about 15 lbs off to get to my goal (which is also the lightest I will ever be/maintain in my 34 years of life).

In the past 2 years I have also got an interest in races. I started off with 5k's but as of today I ran in a marathon relay, 3 half marathons (training for my 4th now) and hope to at some point complete a full marathon. I still don't like to run just for fun; but once I get signed up for a race that is the motivation I need. I also am trying to get into other things to keep it interesting; classes, weight training...anything, especially if I can include my friends!

So I don't have a completed story; and I am still working to find a balance. It seems you get a good routine down, then your child gets into the next phase of life to throw it into craziness again. So I know with my history/family background it will be a tough battle and I don't have the motivation everyday; but overall I am going in the right direction and will continue to work and do what I can to reach my goal and maintain for myself but also for my family. I know there are a lot of great stories out there and I can't wait to read from other moms to see I am not alone and get the "motivation" on the days I can't give it to myself.
Leigh Anne Cowger
I say, Way to go Leigh Ann! Keep up the motivation and the great work!

{Look for more stories in the coming months.}

Monday, March 3, 2014

' Ban Those Winter Blues' Giveaway!

Yep, we all feel it. It's been one loooooooooong winter. 
So, who needs a little pick-me-up....say......
Anyone? :)
 When Cadillac Ranch contacted me about offering this fantastic giveaway package, I was quick to say yes, knowing it might be the perfect gift for one of YOU!
Here's the prize package:
A $50 gift certificate to Cadillac Ranch (Settler's Ridge/Robinson)
a bottle of Apothic Red Wine
2 Cinemark Movie passes 
(a Cinemark theater is also located at Settler's Ridge)
Sounds amazing, right?!
If you're lucky enough to be there on a warm-ish night, they have the best outdoor seating + fire pits.

They also generously offered dinner to my hubby & I, and let me tell you, this place is YUM! 
Cadillac Ranch is an eclectic mix of great food, great service, and a fun and entertaining experience. Features a made-from-scratch menu with a wide variety of steaks, burgers, seafood, pasta, salads and outstanding flatbreads.
It's also a great place to catch big games!
 Although I don't personally like alcohol, they offered me a virgin strawberry margarita which was delish! And their chips.....oh. 
House made chips covered with garlic cream sauce, bleu cheese and balsamic? Not saying it's diet food, but worth the extra time on the treadmill, if you know what I mean. :)
 While we were too full to take advantage of this menu, it certainly looked great. Cookies are fresh made when you order!
Go here to enter for one fantastic DATE NIGHT! 
Leaving a blog post comment is mandatory to win! Click on the first arrow for instructions! 

Contest open for entries through Monday, March 10, 2014, at midnight. Winner has 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. 

We always love to hear back from our winners and here is what our winner had to say:
We had a great time and a wonderful meal... our total bill was over $75 and although we expected to pay the difference, the manager wrote the entire meal off. Everything went perfect, they greeted us at the door, had our table and prize ready, the manager came to our table multiple times to make sure everything was just so... it was very easy. They knew as soon as we walked in what we were talking about when I mentioned winning the package. It couldn't have been any better.
Thank you for a lovely evening out... child free, probably our last before the new baby comes the end of April.
Thank you so much!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

#MomtourageSpringChallenge 2014 begins!

Spring Cleaning Challenge #2 has commenced!
Here's the challenge: pick a place in your home that either a) needs a major re-do or b) just some serious re-organizing. We will have 2 separate categories, so don't feel if you do a "smaller" project that you won't have chances of winning - you WILL!
Da Rules:
  • Contest will be open for entries March 1st - 31st.
  • Projects can be completed anytime between January 1st - March 31st, 2014. (So yes, you can enter projects that were done anytime after 1/1/14!)
  • You can submit up to 2 separate projects (double your chances to win!)
  • You will have the opportunity to win fantastic prizes/gift cards from some amazing businesses!
  • Share your photos on your own facebook page and add hashtag #momtouragespringchallenge.
  • Take before & after pics and be sure to label (picmonkey is an easy site to create collages & add text.)
Here's a couple of submissions from last year to inspire you!


SO...what do we win, you ask?
We have 3 cool companies that have some great gifts ready for our winners. I am so thrilled to have several mom-owned businesses team up for this challenge!
First of all, you don't even have to lift a cleaning finger to get an entry to win! All you have to do is SHARE our contest - on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter and you can be entered to win a $25 gift card from 97 Design, Inc. Simply enter using Rafflecopter to show that you shared about our challenge and you could win!
*At the bottom of this post are easy share buttons for facebook, twitter, pinterest + more. 
 97 Design Inc. is an awesome resource to find custom recycled lumber products, fashion statements, and beautiful handmade fabric accessories for your home. Go here to find out more about 97 Design, Inc.!
 And the prizes up for grabs for each category winner of our contest will be......
A $50 gift card from Lily Noelle Jewelry!
Lily Noelle is an original line of jewelry meticulously crafted from semi-precious stones, sterling, crystal and vintage items. Heidi has also helped to provide at-risk women with education, training, and the skill-set necessary to earn an alternate income with dignity in the Dominican Republic. 
But that's not all - Heidi has offered 40% off discount code for Momtourage followers - go here to see details. Easter & Mother's Day are just around the corner!

 A $50 gift basket from Pick Your Plum!
Pick Your Plum is my favorite deal site with the best products & awesome quality! They will send you a box of goodies that you are going to love. The fun of unpacking that surprise mystery box will be so worth that time you spent working for it! Go here to see more about Pick Your Plum.
(All pics of these companies show a small sampling of their variety & ever-changing products!)
So that's our contest in a not-so-short nutshell. :) I hope everyone will have some fun motivation to do some spring cleaning & re-organizing! I'm sure we all have a space in our home that could use a little makeover. And why not win awesome prizes in the process? Get thinkin' & plannin', get ready to be challenged & WIN!
Use this form to enter to win - whether you shared our contest or are ready to submit your completed projects. *Please note, pictures of completed projects will need to be emailed to with subject line Spring Challenge. 
Not all categories are mandatory to enter and you can share any day you want to and come back for more entries!
 Contest will be open for entries March 1st-31st. All pictures entered will be compiled and judged by an unbiased panel of 3 judges. Winners will be announced in April. 

Good Luck and Happy Project-ing!