Monday, June 30, 2014

Doodle Bugs Summer Camps + Discount Code

My kiddos (ages 5 & 3) had a chance to be a part of the Doodle Bugs summer camps this past week and they loved it! We have not done summer camps before and so until I toured this facility I was not sure I was going to be comfortable to send them. But everything is so well run, with such an excellent staff, that I immediately felt at ease with them attending camp there. And they had such a great time! Everything is well-structured and organized and they provide a written update at the end of the day so you know how they did. They get to do outside water time each day (weather permitting) and I love that they serve fresh fruit & veggies with their snacks & meals.
 I highly recommend Doodle Bugs Children's Center for their day camps, preschool or child care!


I recently had a chance to tour Doodle Bugs Children's Center in McCandless.What a beautiful, clean, & well-run facility they are operating!
They have a high-interest, child-friendly environment combined with an outstanding program to create the ideal early childhood experience. For more information on age-specific programs and other daily activities, select a link below to learn more:
Their indoor playground is a fantastic & fun option for cold or rainy days. They also have a fully-fenced outdoor play area that includes divided areas between the younger kids & older kids.
 Kids + sand = fun. :)
 Kids are provided breakfast, lunch & snacks and it includes fresh fruit & vegetables. They serve NO canned food! Their menus are clean & wholesome. The kids also help in the garden and they incorporate foods they grow into their menu when possible.
 They are fully-accredited and their classrooms are clean, appealing & spacious.
They use the Bravo! Early Childhood Curriculum® which is professionally designed for and used exclusively by Doodle Bugs. This innovative program combines theme-related, age-appropriate classroom experiences, amazing enrichment programs and our series of center events. Highlights of the Bravo! Early Childhood Curriculum include:        
 Even if you aren't in need of preschool or child care for your kids, they have some awesome summer camps to check it out!
July 7-11 / Art Mania
Kids will participate in sidewalk chalk & collage contests, Tie Die Day, Mural Madness + Sun Art Festival! Optional field trips include Katie's Clay Studio, Wendell August Forge, The Frick Center, Field Day at North Park & Perry Park Lanes. Plus, a full day of fun art-based activities!
July 14 - 18 / Let the Games Begin
Kids will participate in the World's Largest Yoga Session, Human Checkers, Beach Blanket, Color Run (!!), + Olympic Games. Optional field trips include Pittsburgh Passion Practice, Olympic Games at North Park, SportsWorks, Heinz Field Tour, North Park Nature Walk.
July 21-25 / Holiday Hullabaloo
Special holiday themed activities include an Un-birthday Party, Halloween Parade, Holiday Game Show, Easter Egg Hunt + Christmas in July. Optional field trips include picnic, Perry Park Lanes, Mini Golf, Splash Park, & Kids Kingdom.
July 28 - Aug 1 / Music Makers
Activities for the week include World's Largest Dance Party, Instrument Day, Sing-A-Long, Talent Show + School Age Musical. Field Trips include Heinz History Center, Brusters of Ingomar, Talent Show & Picnic, Pittsburgh Zoo, & Sewickley Splash Park.
August 4 - 8 / Science Spectacular
Activities will include Tinkering Day, Invention Convention, School Age Car Wash, Science Fair + Upcycling. Optional field trips include Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Picnic & Field Day, Science Center, Phipps Conservatory, + Fort Pitt Museum
August 11-15 / Taste of Doodlebugs
Activities will include Pizza Bake Off, Ice Cream Social, Creative Concoctions, + Bake Sale. Optional field trips include Pizza Hut, Lunch at Hard Rock CafĂ©, Brusters, Meadowcroft, + Perry Park Lanes.
August 18 - 22 / Amazing Adventures
Activities will include Dress Up Day: Super Heroes, Digging Dinosaurs, Space Mission + Camp Out. Optional field trips include Mini Golf, Dairy Farm Tour, Old Economy Village, Reilly's Summer Seat Farm, + Field Day.  
August 25 - 29 / Carnival Days
Activities will include Juggling Contest, Water Carnival, Circus Parade, + a Carnival. Optional field trips include Mini Golf, Picnic, Pirates Game, I-Hop, + Duquesne Incline Ride.
So many great activities & events they have planned for these summer camps!
AND we have a discount for you!
BLOG4 will give 10 percent off camp enrollment for any new Doodle Bugs! family not currently enrolled.
McCandless, Pennsylvania Day Care Center and Preschool
      8900 Duncan Avenue
(Duncan @ McKnight - McCandless Crossing)
McCandless, PA 15237


Megan Kellogg

6 Weeks – 12 Years
Monday through Friday, 6:30am-6:30pm

Sunday, June 29, 2014

#IdlewildFamilyFun + Deal Code

I had always been told that Idlewild and SoakZone was the perfect park for little ones. Last summer was my family's first chance to visit and we found out everyone was SO right! There was so much for them to do & enjoy at ages 2 & 4. 
Whether you walk through the magical Storybook Forest.....
burn energy at Jumpin' Jungle.....
take a trolley ride through Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.....
watch your kids gleefully enjoy tons of kiddie rides in Raccoon Lagoon.....
see Thomas the Train pop out of his station.....
or cool off in the awesome SoakZone, complete with Little Squirts pool & waterplay area.....
this is a place of family fun that you want to put on your "must-do" list this summer! 

AND we've got a deal code for you!!
Go to and use promo code IDLEBLOG14. (code can be imputed in the top right corner) Promo code is good for one of the following savings:
 Save $12 with a 7 day advance purchase online
 Save $11 with a 4-6 day advance purchase online
 Save $7 with a 0-3 day advance purchase online

Fun events happening at the park in July:

Fourth of July Fireworks / July 4

Enjoy the Holiday with family and friends at Idlewild & SoakZone and stay for the FIREWORKS display at 10:00 p.m. (Weather Permitting)

Marvel Super-hero Week / July 7-11

Four of the greatest Marvel Superheros of all time will “swing” into Idlewild July 7 – 11.  Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and everyone’s favorite web-slinger, Spider-man will meet and greet park Guests daily at the Hillside Theater Stage.  Stop by local Eat ‘N Park restaurants to pick up a “super savings” coupon worth $6.00 off the Regular FunDay Admission at the gate. (One coupon good for the entire family per vehicle.  Discount cannot be combined with any other offer).

Princesses in the Park / July 14 – 18

Favorite Princesses – Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty, and Rapunzel - will be on hand to meet members of your own royal family.  Guests can get autographs and take photos with the Princesses from noon – 6pm daily, July 14 – 18 at the Hillside Theater. **You can also help other families of the kingdom who are in need by bringing a canned food item to receive a $6.00 discount off of the Regular $38.99 plus tax FunDay Admission at the gate. (One can per person. Discount cannot be combined with any other offer).

Mike the Knight / July 21 - 25
Your child can meet and take a photo with Mike the Knight, from the popular children's televi¬sion series only at Idlewild & SoakZone, July 21 - 25. You can "Do It Right" with Mike the Knight by donating a canned food item to benefit the local Salvation Army Food Bank to receive $6.00 off the Regular FunDay Pass. One can per person. Cannot be combined with other discount offers.

Other Discount Days:

Giant Eagle Carload Days / August 11 – 15, 18 – 20

Bring from 3 to 8 people to Idlewild in whatever vehicle you drive, and get everyone in for $99.99 when you present a coupon available at participating Giant Eagle locations.(Must redeem coupon at entrance gate for discount). SAVE AN ADDITIONAL $4.00 per car when you present your Giant Eagle Advantage Card with your coupon.

Get up-to-date park info by following them here:
Twitter: @IdlewildPark
Instagram: @IdlewildPark

We can't wait to head back to Idlewild & SoakZone this summer - I hope your family can as well!
My family was provided tickets by Idlewild & SoakZone in exchange for promotion.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

National ASK Day + Free Admission at Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

Nobody likes to ask awkward questions. But when it comes to our kid's safety, I think we all agree that it's ALWAYS worth it. I was asked to be a part of the promotional campaign for National Ask Day and Asking Saves Kids. What is that? It's being willing to ask this question when your child is at someone's house, "Is there an unlocked gun in the house?" This is not an anti-gun campaign or promotion in any way, it is simply a SAFETY campaign for children everywhere. Asking Saves Kids has created a pledge that you can sign online and commit to asking this question. Sign the pledge here. 

ASK Day is being celebrated in Allegheny County on Saturday, June 21st - the first official day of summer (YAY!). The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh is offering FREE admission all day for the first day of summer and ASK will be there!
 ASK will be at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s SPLASH! Kickoff to Summer Community Free Day event this Saturday from 12:30-3:00. Stop by if you’re in the area, take the Pledge to ASK, and get a free ice cream! 
Also included in this free day:
  • Make aquatic creatures in MAKESHOP
  • Enjoy performances by Colonel Eagleburger's Highstepping Goodtime Band and the Pittsburgh Banjo Club
  • Run through sprinklers and lounge in kiddie pools
  • Enjoy bike powered lemonade smoothies with Zero Fossil
  • Eat fruit popsicles made by Healcrest Farms
  • And much more!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In Review: We Went. We Saw. We Experienced Columbus!

You all might remember the recent Roar + Explore Getaway Package that we gave away. was so kind to share the same package with my family and other Pittsburgh mommy bloggers. Although this getaway was sponsored by #Columbus, I assure you, we had such a wonderful time that this hearty endorsement is fully my own!!
There were a few that couldn't make it this weekend, but let me tell you we had SO much fun hanging out together with our blogger friends and families!
Momma on a Mission, Pgh Momtourage, The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog, 'lil Burghers, & Champagne to Crayons (her little one got a little overdone, and she had to leave before our group pic!)
. Although the number of Pittsburgh mommy bloggers is growing all the time, this past year, many have us have begun to work together on different projects and it's become a great community of friends. We love supporting each others endeavors!
We got to stay at the amazing Drury Hotels. Traveling families should definitely check them out! They have an awesome hot breakfast, drinks & popcorn in the afternoon, and a free kickback dinner from 5:30-7! The only downside to our stay was that it happened to be next to the Convention Center that was hosting a haunted convention (who knew these existed?!) And more than one of our kids got pretty freaked out by the creatures inhabiting our hotel in the evening. :)  
 But overall it was great. My kids happen to think that hotel beds are made for jumping. :) You can swim underneath the partition to go from the indoor to the outdoor pool. Also has a great hot tub!
Our first night started with a walk through the city as we headed to the #columbusartsfestival. Columbus is a beautiful city, much like Pittsburgh being situated along the river. We loved their swinging benches along the riverwalk!
We had lots of fun at the Arts Festival Kid Tent, although, I proudly admit, Pittsburgh Arts Festival has so many great things for kids! You can see what is going on THIS week here.  
 A little bit of Pittsburgh filtered in by their Andy Warhol-inspired display of food collected. This was a fun & creative way to hold a great food drive! We met the Art Shark and my kids enjoyed some treats in their rare VIP status. :)
We were so glad that @expCols was available the whole weekend on twitter and gave us some great tips, including using the Cbus! The Cbus is free all around downtown and was great for saving some little legs from as much walking!
The next day we were ready to take on the Columbus Zoo & Zoombezi Waterpark! Because of our limited time frame, we had to do both in one day, but if you are going and can break them into 2 separate days you won't be quite as rushed. They are both HUGE & awesome venues! We had a shortened version of the zoo and definitely didn't see everything.
The zoo has so many things to do, has several playgrounds throughout, and even a boat ride through Dinosaur Island (we didn't make it there). Buy one of their souvenir cups for $10 and it's free refills all day! This is probably the cheapest way to keep your entire family hydrated, although unfortunately, you are limited to soda or lemonade.
 The Heart Of Africa is a new exhibit this year and not only includes animals you might see on a safari, but a replica African village and a lot of Africa flavor! We enjoyed listening to an African music group and eating at the local restaurant that serves some delicious food (better & healthier than typical park food!)
 We even got up close & personal with the giraffes at feeding time! I was impressed with how much space the animals had to roam in the African exhibit.
 Giant turtles! And watching the grizzly bear swim. The aquarium  has a fun hands on space.
 Carousel rides are $1!
 And then there's Zoombezi kids LOVED it! Baboon Lagoon is new this year and is geared mostly toward elementary/middle-school age. Lots of fun water features! Tiny Tides is geared towards babies/toddlers with the whole pool being 12-14 inches deep. It also includes multiple marine animals that have slides inside and there are fountains and spraying animals as well. There's also a separate area that is a little deeper and is best for about ages 4-7. There are plenty of big rides & slides for older kids/teens/ they definitely have every age group covered!
 The whale is about to eat my daughter! No, wait, he just spit up my son. :)

 My kids also love the lazy river!
For our last day, we headed to German Village! This is a quaint & historic section which is worth checking out. (The Cbus takes you there for free from Downtown!)
This was the only day that the weather was questionable, and yes, we did get caught in a downpour on our walk! But we were with our friends from Momma on a Mission and somehow we didn't mind. :)
We HAD to check out The Book Loft. 32 rooms of books (including a children's room) and quite the amazing place!
 And lastly, we headed to COSI, the #1 Science Center in the country. (Yes, we packed in a lot and my kids were troopers!) COSI is HUGE. We definitely didn't get to see everything in that space either.
 One of my favorite exhibits was inventions throughout the 20th Century. It was fun to see all the throw backs - things that really weren't that long ago!

 We took a brief sit break and watched the Science of Fireworks. Interesting & fun! BOOM!
 The checker game is outside and this pic was taken 2 stories up, it's quite the life-size version!
Little Kidspace was pretty incredible for babies/toddlers/preschool age.
This little girl was holding a baby in one had and loading the dishwasher in the other. My daughter was busily preparing dinner at the counter. I think they've both seen their mommies do these things!

We also had tickets for Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, but we'll have to use those next time! Thank you, Experience Columbus, for showing us all the awesome reasons to make Columbus a fun destination!
Thanks to my sweet blogger friends and their families for a wonderful weekend getaway!
And our blogger friend, Heather (from Diary Of A First Time Mom), is currently giving away this package! Go here to enter to win!
Or you can purchase the Roar + Explore package here!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Free Store + Donation Drive

I was recently able to stop by The Free Store 15104 in Braddock and see the amazing way this is helping so many! The Free Store was created by Gisele Fetterman, wife of Braddock Mayor John Fetterman. Together they are working in an amazing way to bring life & vitality to a part of our city that had lost 90% of its population, homes & businesses. They've been involved in bringing organic gardens to Braddock and have many creative projects and visions for moving their community forward. They are a couple that gets things done in the best way - with love, kindness, & generosity!
The Free Store operates out of a colorful shipping container on a donated piece of land. The shipping container is located at 420 Braddock Ave, Braddock PA 15104.  The shop is currently open from 1-2:30 on Tuesdays/Thursdays and by appointment.  They are also open many Saturday mornings, but the hours may vary based on volunteers available. They operate fully by a wonderful group of faithful volunteers who help with the day-to-day process. Go here to find out how to be a volunteer!
Donations are happily accepted! They are most readily stocked with clothing, shoes, toys, books & some household items. But they are also take bigger donations if there is a need - just call before you would drop a large item off.  They have several businesses that have donated surplus, including Costco & Osh Kosh B'Gosh. Even recently, they accepted hundreds of boxes of new clothes from Gymboree & Crazy 8! Anyone is welcome to "shop" there, they just ask that you take only what you need + pay it forward! The environment of the store is warm, friendly, & happy!
They also have a neighbor shipping container that is the Red Lantern Bike Shop. This venue is operated by Brian Sink and it receives donated broken and unused bikes. The bikes are then refurbished and redistributed back into the community. Please donate bikes to this awesome organization when you have ones that your family no longer needs! I was even able to get bike helmets for my 2 foster children which allows them to love & enjoy family bike rides! 
Red Lantern is typically open on Saturday mornings, but based on volunteer availability, you may sometimes find them open throughout the week.

My friend, Nadine, from The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog, has organized the first EVER "Free Store 15104" Donation Drive!
 June 21st from 2-5pm 
The Summer Music and Marketplace Series will be going on featuring great music (3-7pm), the I Made It! Market! (2-7pm), and the Farm to Table Pittsburgh Farmer's Market.
They will gladly accept your gently used clothing (baby, maternity, and adult), accessories, linens, baby gear, toys, kitchen accessories and other small items. Go here to RSVP and see any other details.
I have no doubt that the community of Pittsburgh is going to continue to support this endeavor of people giving back into the community. Be a part of that effort and donate to FREE STORE 15104!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

GIVEAWAY: 4 Art Classes for two

This giveaway is sponsored by Assemble. Assemble is an open physical space in an Urban Neighborhood in Pittsburgh. We unite artists, technologists, and makers with our neighbors of all demographics. Assemble provides a platform for experiential learning, opening creative processes and building confidence through making. Assemble envisions a diverse community that creates, connects, and learns through the experience of art and technology.
We have a cool giveaway for a chance to win a set of 4 classes for Complimenting Pittsburgh Art Class for two people!
Maybe you've always wondered how you would do in a painting class, but didn't want to pay for classes. Maybe you love being artistic and here is a great chance to pursue your creative side! It would make a set of fun dates for you & your spouse - even if you're both not artistic, you could still make it fun together! Or you can grab your mom, sister or bestie and enjoy a little girl time. Either way, this is a cool & unique opportunity to explore your creative side!
Learn to paint scenes of Pittsburgh with local artist Ryan Ian McCormick. This  course teaches students how to use just two colors (complimentary colors) to create vibrant scenes of The Steel City. The "complimentary color technique" was invented by McCormick. He created this approach due to his colorblindness and inability to see "in-between colors." So, come out and learn this new, and unique way to paint landscapes of Pittsburgh!
You can either bring a photo of a scene you would like to create, or there will be photos of Pittsburgh on hand to work from.
You don't have to have any experience to participate, just a willingness to have fun during the creative process. The class is geared toward adults and teenagers.
This is the package for all four classes( June 15/ July 20/ August 3 and 17). Please note: this giveaway is beginning after one class has already been completed on June 1st, but they said it would not affect those taking the following 4 classes.
The class starts promptly at 11 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. One hour before the class starts (10 a.m.) there will be a workshop/ open studio to work on paintings from previous classes. 
There will be an open studio on July 6th at Assemble from 10 a.m to 2 p.m., free to anyone taking the class. Also, there will be a reception on August 24th ( 4 to 6 p.m.) at Assemble where anyone who participated in the class will be able to display their work.
Each class will concentrate on a different color combination, a different scene of Pittsburgh and aspects of composition and technique.
Included in the price of the five class are brushes and acrylic paint to use, professional instruction, and a 14" x 18" canvas to take home each class. There will also be some light snacks and tea on hand. You are also welcome to bring snacks and drinks if you wish.
To enter to win this set of 4 classes for two, go here:
If you have questions contact Ryan McCormick at
You can also buy individual classes here:
Have questions about Complimenting Pittsburgh Art Class (Five Classes!)? Contact Assemble