Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Mom Con

Guess who you are going to find at The Mom Con? Well, this girl. I am honored to be included in this awesome event and I hope you, your friends, your sisters, and all the moms you know will be there as well!
The final speaker lineup is up on the site! We're talking happiness, holistic health, career, getting organized and much more on November 15th, with:

Rachel Martin of Finding Joy
Cooper Munroe of
Britt Reints of In Pursui...t of Happiness
Helen Hanna Casey of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services
Amanda Jordan of Jordan Family Chiropractic
Chaton Turner of Chaton's World
Stephanie Barnhart of Football Food & Motherhood
Kelly Hughes of Pgh Momtourage
Sandra Lane of Organization Lane, LLC
Read more about each of these women here.
So what is The Mom Con?
The Mom Con was born out of a simple concept: there are two sides to every mom.
Maybe you’re wondering:
  • Can I really achieve the goals I had for myself before I became a mother? Is it even possible?
  • Am I doing this whole motherhood thing right?
  • How do I balance my own needs with trying to be present to my kids?
  • Can I really run my own business and succeed? How do I do that?
None of us have all the answers. So the Mom Con was created.
Because a shared experience is a powerful thing. It creates community, which allows for the sharing of insights, for sparking ideas and for collaborat​ion. Social media can take us a long way toward building relationships with each other, but it will never replace the power of face-to-face contact. The Mom Con is a day to get inspired by our speakers, become empowered with new ideas, and get connected with each other in real life.
The Mom Con will be held at the Pittsburgh Marriott North, November 14-15, 2014.
Early bird registration is only available until August 15th , so go here to register TODAY!!
Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

P & G Gymnastics Championships: Ticket Giveaway!

Do you love watching Gymnastics during the Olympics? Are your kids budding gymnasts?
It's an exciting time for us, because the 2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships will be held in Pittsburgh for the first time!
August 21-24, the four-day competition, which serves as USA Gymnastics’ national championships, will be held at CONSOL Energy Center.
The U.S. Gymnastics Championships showcases the country’s best male and female gymnasts, as well as determines the U.S. champions and the U.S. national team for the junior and senior elite levels. The nationals also traditionally serve as part of the selection process for the U.S. Team for the World Championships.
2014 will be the first time the U.S. Championships have been held in Pennsylvania since 2001 and just the fourth since 1973.
Thursday, August 21
1:00 PM - Junior Women's - Day 1
7:30 PM - Senior Women's - Day 1
 Friday, August 22
1:00 PM - Junior Men's - Day 1
7:00 PM - Senior Men's - Day 1
Saturday, August 23
2:00 PM - Junior Women's - Final Day
7:30 PM - Senior Women's - Final Day
Sunday, August 24
1:00 PM - Senior Men's - Final Day
7:30 PM - Junior Men's - Final Day
You can purchase tickets online here. Also available 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.
These tickets are not easy to come by, but we are thrilled that we can provide 4 families with 4 tickets each to see the Senior Men compete on Friday, August 22, 7pm!
Go here to enter:
Simone Biles, 2013 World Champion, and Sam Mikulak, 2012 Olympian, won the men’s and women’s U.S. all-around titles, respectively, in 2013. The roster of former U.S. all-around champions is a veritable who’s who of gymnastics, including: women – Jordyn Wieber, Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson, Carly Patterson, Courtney Kupets, Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes, Kim Zmeskal and Mary Lou Retton; and men – John Orozco, Danell Leyva, Jonathan Horton, Paul Hamm, Blaine Wilson, John Roethlisberger, Mitch Gaylord, Peter Vidmar and Bart Conner. The U.S. Gymnastics Championships traces its history back to 1897 for the men and 1931 for the women.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Thomas Dance Studio

Are you looking for a new & exciting activity for your child with life-long benefits? Thomas Dance Studio is a dance studio offering the following techniques:  ballet, hip-hop, gymnastics, pointe, lyrical, tap, modern and jazz.  Their specialized program consists of classes for all levels, ages 2-18, at two locations in Bridgeville and Oakdale.  Since 1967 they have been "growing dancers" and providing the highest quality professional instruction. 
Many of our readers will be interested to know they offer a specialized preschool program!
Two, three, four, and five year olds are all separated into their own classes, focusing on their particular age and developmental needs. Technique will be covered in ballet and gymnastics for all ages, and also in tap for threes, fours, and fives. They work at keeping class interesting by utilizing fun music, props, and equipment. They sing and dance to songs that children already know and love, and begin learning to perform for one another. In addition to dance and gymnastics technique, they also work on social and emotional goals. The program is designed to offer children opportunities to learn a routine, as they encourage them with positive reinforcement to learn and understand the routine, resulting in their own sense of pride and personal accomplishment. These steps will enhance their self-esteem and provide them with a positive attitude for attempting new or challenging experiences. Simple tasks like entering a room alone, placing their very own dance bag in its proper place, helping with the change of shoes, and waiting turns will help develop skills to last a lifetime. They offer 38 years of dance education, combined with child development background, to provide a fun and educational class for your child!
  Thomas Dance Studio is passionate about dance and inspiring dancers! Our mission is to enrich the lives of our students through the art of dance by providing the highest quality professional instruction. As a leader in the industry, we take great pride in providing an innovative and exciting dance program taught with positivity and encouragement. We are a vibrant arts community dedicated to professionalism and excellence in our classes, faculty, administration and performances. Regardless of a dancer’s age or experience, our faculty looks forward to sharing in the joys that an encouraging and challenging dance education can provide and helping each dancer develop a sense of pride and confidence. Our talented and experienced Faculty are committed to fostering an environment where children will flourish and grow into amazing young adults...all through the passion of dance! From the youngest beginners to those pursuing dreams of a professional dance career, our dancers come to us from all over Pittsburgh, Ohio and West Virginia; all ages and skill levels are welcome! Thomas Dance Studio has been dedicated to giving that little “something extra” to create truly extraordinary results since 1967. On behalf of all of us at Thomas Dance Studio, we sincerely hope you choose to make dancing a part of your life. 
Thomas Dance South
111 Washington Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15017
Thomas Dance West
7053 Steubenville Pike
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15071
Contact them to learn more about enrolling your child in one of their many programs!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

In Review: Sandcastle Water Park

We were recently invited to hang out at Sandcastle Water Park - what a fun & unique place it is in our city! I love the way it is built along the river and you can see some of the beauty of our city while feeling like you're on vacation. Each attraction is supervised by lifeguards.
Where else can you enjoy a wave pool with the excitement of a train passing over ahead?
(Life jackets are required & provided for all kids under 48")
My kids loved Wet Willie's Water Works which provides kids with ropes, valves, & handles to control geysers, fountains, & sprays.
The Tad Pool is also great for little ones, with zero entry, 2 feet depth throughout and several fun slides.
The Lazy River is another fun way to enjoy the water with your kids!
We even managed to find a good patch of sand. I'm honestly not sure if it's supposed to be an official sandbox, but my kids enjoyed it.
But, if you need a little more excitement in your life, they've got you covered there too! :)
 The mushroom pool (on the right) is another zero depth entry pool.
We have a promo code to share with you!
 Use MOMBLOG14 to get $5 off of the $31.99 Regular Admission price via Sandcastle’s online site (expires 9/1/14). Go to, and input the code in the top right corner.
Do you have friends or family coming in to Pittsburgh this summer? Be sure to pass along our discount code and encourage them to include it in their plans! 
Thanks, Sandcastle, for being another awesome family venue in Pittsburgh!
Follow Sandcastle on social media for all the latest updates!
Twitter: @SandcastlePGH
Instagram: @SandcastleWP

Friday, July 11, 2014

In Review: Idlewild & Soak Zone

We recently had the chance to head to Idlewild and Soak Zone. This is the best park, especially for kids 10 & under, so it is not a surprise that it's been voted the Best Children's Park in the World for the past 4 years! It's a bit of a drive from Pittsburgh, but definitely worth it.
This was the first time we were able to walk through Story Book Forest. We loved our walk through favorite stories & fairy tales!

 Jumpin' Jungle is a great place to burn some energy as you climb the Net Climb, Cross the Swinging Bridge, head down Bigfoot's Mudslide, do the Tunnel Crawl, or climb the Tree House.  
 If your kids are a little older, there are more than 15 fast-paced rides in Olde Ildewild & Hootin' Holler' to give them a thrill!
We spent most of our time in Raccoon Lagoon which has so many great rides for little ones. When we've been there during the week, there have been little or no lines!

But that's not all...there is still Soak Zone to enjoy!
  • Captain Kidd's Adventure Galley - Features six waterslides and dozens of interactive spray 

  • Little Squirts - children's pool and water fun area

  • Wave Pool

  • Lazy River

  • Slides, Plunges, & Racing Slides for the more adventurous!

AND we've got a deal code for you!!
Go to and use promo code IDLEBLOG14. (code can be added 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
Don't miss these special upcoming events:
Princesses in the ParkJuly 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.
Get up-to-date park info by following them here:
Twitter: @IdlewildPark
Instagram: @IdlewildPark

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ashley Mikula - Family Photography

Within the last year I have met one of the sweetest fellow mommy bloggers, Ashley Mikula, who blogs over at Momma On A Mission. We've done some #pghmombloggers events and we really enjoyed having our families hang out during our weekend in Columbus, OH. Her youngest son was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis in 2012, and she helps spread awareness and connection with JA families. She has recently decided to re-ignite her passion for children & family photography and we were thrilled to be a test subject. :) She uses come of the sweetest little props and even makes items to help make pictures that much more adorable. (Huck Finn fishing props, anyone?!)
We headed to Round Hill Farm (which might be one of my favorite places to take family pictures) a picturesque background indeed! 

 My youngest loves are 3 & 5

 The best daddy/daughter capture
 My first love....9 married years & counting
 dear daughter has a different face to showcase for every pic!
 Adorable headgear made by Ashley
We keep it crazy
 With 2 of our precious 'bonus' kids
Thank you, Ashley, for capturing these memories for our family!
Ashley would be a great photographer to capture your special moments! You can contact her here.
And if you haven't been there yet, Round Hill Farm is an awesome family destination! You can join the Momtourage there on July 16th - details here.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

#SandcastleSummer + Deal Code

Last summer was our first chance to check out Sandcastle and we discovered it is definitely another Pittsburgh gem and awesome family summer destination! 
Our kids were 2 & 4 at the time, so we were curious to see if the park would be fun for their age - they definitely had a great time! 
We tried out the Tad Pool where the entire pool is 2 feet and includes 2 slides & lots of wading room!
They also have Wet Willie's Water Works, a children's playground where kids control 20,000 gallons of water by pulling ropes, twisting valves, & turning handles to unleash geysers, fountains & sprays! (Supervised by lifeguards.)
The Mushroom Pool starts out at 0 feet entry, so little ones can enjoy going in to the depth they are comfortable. 
This year we're looking forward to trying out the Lazy River!
If your kids are a little older, they will enjoy the excitement of the Mon Tsunami! The Mon Tsunami is a 20,000 square foot Wave Pool generating ocean-like waves, and can even send diamond waves criss-crossing the 300,000 gallon pool. Depths range from zero to six feet.
For kids & adults ready to take on some real thrills, they have the options of Blue Tubaluba, Boardwalk Blasters, Cliffhangers, Dragon's Den, Lightening Express, Thunder Run & Tubes Tower!
It is a beautiful park set alongside the river. 
Photo courtesy of Sandcastle
We have a promo code! 
Use MOMBLOG14 to get $5 off of the $31.99 Regular Admission price via Sandcastle’s online site (expires 9/1/14). Go to, and input the code in the top right corner.
Do you have friends or family coming in to Pittsburgh this summer? Be sure to pass along our discount code and encourage them to include it in their plans! 
Photo courtesy of Sandcastle
Follow Sandcastle on social media for all the latest updates!
Twitter: @SandcastlePGH
Instagram: @SandcastleWP
Here are some special events going on at Sandcastle this Summer:

Family Fun Fridays hosted by Radio Disney

Family Fun Fridays hosted by Radio Disney
Radio Disney will be on site for “Fun Family Fridays” at the promotional tent every Friday from 1-3pm for family fun including games, contests, prizes, & dance parties. 

Anniversary Celebration

July 1st-25th
Sandcastle is celebrating 25 years! There will be 25 days of celebrating where every day Sandcastle will offer an in park special entertainment, games, or join your favorite Pittsburgh radio station who will be on site helping us celebrate the 25th Anniversary! . Sandcastle will offer an in park special, special event or entertainment, or contest each day. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Walking With Dinosaurs Ticket Giveaway!

Dinosaurs once again roam the earth when the spectacular production, WALKING WITH DINOSAURS THE ARENA SPECTACULAR, based on the award-winning BBC Television Series, returns to North America this summer!
Performing at CONSOL Energy Center
  • Wed, July 30, 2014 7:00 PM
  • Thu, July 31, 2014 7:00 PM
  • Fri, August 1, 2014 7:00 PM
  • Sat, August 2, 2014 11:00 AM
  • Sat, August 2, 2014 3:00 PM
  • Sat, August 2, 2014 7:00 PM
  • Sun, August 3, 2014 1:00 PM
  • Sun, August 3, 2014 5:00 PM
Tickets are on sale now at, by calling 800-745-3000 or at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center

Critics have called this show ‘awesome’, ‘spectacular’ and ‘breathtaking’ and it will stop in Pittsburgh from July 30 – August 30, 2014.  This updated production will showcase changes to the dinosaurs based on the latest scientific research including the likely feathering of some species. Worldwide, more than eight million people have seen this show in 243 cities and over 2,000 performances.
The show depicts the dinosaurs with almost cinematic realism. WALKING WITH DINOSAURS THE ARENA SPECTACULAR has scenes of the interactions between dinosaurs, how carnivorous dinosaurs evolved to walk on two legs, and how the herbivores fended off their more agile predators. Ten species are represented from the entire reign of the dinosaurs. The show includes the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the terror of the ancient terrain, as well as the Plateosaurus and Liliensternus from the Triassic period, the Stegosaurus and Allosaurus from the Jurassic period and Torosaurus and Utahraptor from the awesome Cretaceous period.  The largest of them, the Brachiosaurus is 36 feet tall, and 56 feet from nose to tail.  It took a team of 50 – including engineers, fabricators, skin makers, artists and painters, and animatronic experts – a year to build the production.
The history of the world is played out with the splitting of the earth’s continents, and the transition from the arid desert of the Triassic period is given over to the lush green prairies and forces of the later Jurassic.  Oceans form, volcanoes erupt, a forest catches fire -- all leading to the impact of the massive comet, which struck the earth, and forced the extinction of the dinosaurs.
The show originated in Australia, where after years of planning, WALKING WITH DINOSAURS THE ARENA SPECTACULAR came to life at Sydney’s Acer Arena in January 2007. 

I have 20 tickets to giveaway so 5 families will each win 4 tickets to see Walking With Dinosaurs!

(invalid or incomplete info will disqualify your entry - TY!

Go here to enter:

Giveaway ends July 15th. Tickets will be mailed to the winners. I was provided tickets for my family in exchange for promotion. 

Organic & Natural goods for $2!

I love finding great snacks and all natural products for my family. Abe's Market, the online marketplace of organic and natural goods, has been a great place to find awesome products. They have just launched a great new sampling program that lets consumers buy full-size product samples for just $2 each, with free shipping! The way it works is that every day, Abe's Market cracks open cases of their favorite products such as Quinn Popcorn, KIND granola, even vegan smoked jerky. Consumers can pick up to three samples every day, and shipping is free! 
“We are thrilled to provide a solution that will make natural simple,” says Richard Demb co-founder and CEO. “We have partnered with many of our favorite brands, big and small, to make it easier than ever to try their products. We all understand that trying something new is sometimes a risk — maybe it won’t taste good, maybe my kids never touch it — at its core we are removing that risk and opening up new, better, options.”
Once people receive and try their products, Abe’s Market will ask for feedback and their experiences, to better improve their selections, and help Abe’s Market sellers discover what consumers are looking for in all-natural and organic products.
Are you gluten-free? They've got your covered. :) 
Barnana - a dehydrated banana snack comprising all of the nutrients of a banana (high potassium!) with the convenience of on-the-go snacking. The organic, non-GMO and gluten-free line includes original, coconut, chocolate and peanut butter flavors.
Fruit.0 - A super portable, compact fruit pouch containing, well, just fruit. The 100% organic crushed fruit contains no additional ingredients or sugars and is vegan, non-GMO and free of nuts, fat, gluten and artificial ingredients.
Birch Benders Micro Pancakery - Making pancakes has never been easier. Certified organic and non-GMO Birch Benders include all the wholesome ingredients in the package and you only need to add water, shake and cook. The line offers gluten-free options and delicious flavors like cinnamon and banana buckwheat.
Hooray Puree - A perfect way to get your veggies on the go. Hooray Puree picks their organic vegetables at the peak of ripeness and purees them into gluten-free snack packs without adding any preservatives, dyes or acids. So when you're not near the store, you can always have fresh sweet potatoes, spinach and butternut squash on hand.
Primal Spirit Foods: Love jerky but don't eat meat? These meatless jerky strips, in six flavors like mesquite lime, teriyaki and Thai peanut, quash that craving when you need protein. The low-fat, non-GMO vegan treats comprise soy seitan and shiitake mushrooms and are certified kosher.
Powbab: Get a daily dose of delicious 100% antioxidants and boost your immunity with vitamins A, C and E from this superfood through tasty acai and pomegranate chews, moisturizing oil or powder you can mix into a drink. The fiber-packed vegan treat contains no gluten, dairy, soy or nuts.
Health Warrior: Boost your run or workout (or even when you need a pick me up in the middle of the day) with chia-packed, flavorful energy bars. The non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, high-fiber bars with omega-3s comprise tasty flavors including chocolate peanut butter, coconut, coffee and banana nut.
KIND: Load up on healthy and tasty gluten-free snack bars, granola, healthy grains bars and more. KIND products are GMO free, protein packed, high fiber, dairy free and all natural. Toss a couple in your bag, your desk or in your gym locker and grab it whenever you need a little extra energy with great taste. (Note: The KIND clusters in this promo are GF)
Quinn Popcorn: Quinn reinvented microwave popcorn and made it healthy. Comprising organic, non-GMO, vegan ingredients in a chemical-free bag, Quinn makes movie time — or anytime — more delicious with flavors including Vermont maple and sea salt, hickory smoked cheddar, parmesan and rosemary and just plain sea salt.
Rip Van Wafel: Coffee time just got more delicious! Just unwrap, place over steaming coffee (or tea!) wait a few minutes and enjoy an all-natural, high fructose corn syrup-free caramel- or cocoa-filled, crunchy Dutch treat!
Urban Accents: You've never had more fun or an easier time cooking, baking or grilling than when using Urban Accents dry glazes, rubs, flapjack mixes, seasonings, veggie roasters and more. The gourmet food line produces non-GMO, all-natural and gluten-free products.
World Peas: This green pea snack makes it easy for you to forget high-fat greasy chips. With exotic flavors like Sicilian tomato, Santa Barbara Ranch, Hungarian garlic and Nagano wasabi, World Peas delights without gluten, dairy or high fructose corn syrup.
I Heart Keenwah: Love quinoa but don't like when it spills in your bag when you try to take it on the go? I Heart Keenwah, with its delicious gluten-free, high-fiber crunchy clusters of almond, chocolate, peanut butter and cranberry, is a perfect snack to take anywhere with you.

Check out this great deal on their full-size samples!