Sunday, February 22, 2015

Disney on Ice Ticket Giveaway

I don't know if your household is like mine, but we are up to our eyeballs in princess world! And even my boys love Frozen, Tangled and other Disney hits. So we're pretty excited around here about the upcoming Disney on Ice Presents Princesses + Heroes at CONSOL Energy Center! Each year, they put on a spectacular show and this year will be no exception. Especially with the addition of the oh-so-popular Frozen characters!

Your kids will love to see Ariel as she yearns to explore the world above the waves and Prince Eric as he breaks Ursula’s slithering spell to reclaim his one true love. See Price Phillip, in a race against time to rescue Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora, defeat the evil Maleficent as she transforms herself into a fire-breathing dragon! 

Discover a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin. Join Anna, Elsa and the hilarious snowman Olaf and discover how an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart.  And, watch in awe as the dreams of Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Rapunzel and Tiana all come true. High-flying jumps, daring acrobatics, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends are just a wish away!  

Disney on Ice will be playing 9 shows at CONSOL Energy Center!

Wednesday, March 4: 7:00PM
Thursday, March 5: 10:30AM / 7:00PM
Friday, March 6: 7:00PM
Saturday, March 7: 11:00AM / 3:00PM / 7:00PM
Sunday, March 8: 1:00PM / 5:00PM

Tickets are available online here, 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. 

I have 4 tickets to give away to one winner for the show time of your choice! Go here to enter:

Good Luck!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mad Science of Pittsburgh + $30 off summer camps

My 2 oldest kids have birthdays a week apart and we've always had a lot of fun with a themed double birthday party at our home. (You can view past parties here and here.) But this year, when Mad Science of Pittsburgh contacted me about their birthday party venue, I was very intrigued. It sounded like something unique and even (gasp!) educational, so we decided to check it out. I am so glad we did, it was a fantastic party venue! I loved that it was just our group there in the facility, it was quite a calm environment for a kid's party, and it was so engaging for the kids. 

What is Mad Science
Since 2009, Mad Science of Pittsburgh has been bringing science fun to the area. Thousands of children have experienced science through innovative after-school programs, preschool programs, in-class workshops, camps, birthday parties and special events. They deliver unique, hands-on science experiences for children that are as entertaining as they are educational.

Jared Wagner also offered his photography services for the party - it is a wonderful thing for someone else to be there to capture all the special moments! We are currently giving away a family photo shoot by Jared and CJ Wagner Photography, so head here to enter. 

The party started with about 30 minutes of free play at various science stations including kinetic sand, water features + other fun!

Then it was time to gather around the "Mad Scientist" and see some explosions! They saw bubble explosions with dry ice and some other concoctions with soda + mentos. The kids all sat in rapt attention!

Our wheelchair bound little buddy lets you know that the facility is completely handicap accessible with a ramp entrance as well as plenty of room to navigate a chair (thumbs up, MS!).

The party includes one special activity where the kids get to make either rubber balls or slime.

They provide pizza, lemonade and water for the birthday parties. You can bring your own sides and birthday treat.

AAAANNNNDDDDD, they have a cotton candy machine. :) 

So how can you be a part of Mad Science? Booking a birthday party is a wonderful option of course! You can also head to the Mad Science website to find preschool programs, special events and after-school programs near you.

Summer camps (ages 5-12) are just around the corner and we are so excited to offer a 20% promo code which means $30 off per child for any summer camp! They have 8 summer camps and space is limited so sign up now! Go here for camp details and to register. Use code MOMTOURAGE at check out for the 20% discount.

A few other options.....
  • Some local libraries have Mad Science workshops (usually best for 3-5 year olds), many of these are in the summer. Ask your local library if they are a part of this program or to consider being a part!
  • Ask your childcare center teacher or director to call Mad Science.  Each year, almost exclusively in the summer, they stop by for short workshops in about 20 different childcare centers.
  • Come in for a mommy and me session with a playgroup.  Come to the lab for playtime, a workshop, and to eat lunch together. They can also bring a workshop to a local church, community center or different venues. 

Thanks, Mad Science, for the wonderful learning opportunities you are providing for kids all around Pittsburgh. We are big supporters!

*Photographs + party were given to me for review. I am happy to endorse both companies and all opinions remain my own. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Family Photo Shoot Giveaway

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting up with Jared Wagner as he photographed my kids birthday party. Jared is growing his photography business (CJ Wagner Photography) and takes beautiful photos. I am excited to pass along a special photo shoot to another family!

I sure love having a photographer at birthday parties so they can capture all the excitement of the day and special moments without me trying to remember to photograph everyone!

Jared has been so kind to offer up a generous photo shoot giveaway to one lucky family!

This giveaway will include:
Free Photo Session + $150 Print Credit ($300 total value!)
*Session can be used for Baby, Child, Family, or Engagement/Couple photos

A photo shoot includes:
Pre-Session Consultation
Shooting Time
Editing Time
Viewing Gallery
Print/Product Ordering Session

*Certificate Expires 6/15/15*

Jared says, 
I always try to get to know each client before a session through the Pre-Session Consultation. This part of the process also includes wardrobe consultation and recommendations as well as a questionnaire to go over details and learn about the character of each client. During shoots I like to have fun and set a relaxing atmosphere for clients. I am flexible - I like to shoot on location outdoors (live beside Grandview Park in Mt Washington - the best view of the city and a park all in one! Awesome for photos!) and I also like to do indoor/home shoots. I have studio equipment and can bring it to a clients home as well if needed. I am also patient and easy going, so I work well with children. I can do baby, children, family, engagement, bridal/wedding, and event photography (1st birthdays are great!) I also offer various print options and products (canvases, albums, framed prints, mounted photos, cards, etc) - all through a high quality print lab.

Check out the reviews on his Facebook/Thumbtack profile to see what his clients are saying! 

To be qualified to win, entrants must like the CJ Wagner Photography facebook page (we will check!), leave a blog post comment + follow the other entry questions. TY! Go here to enter:

Please note: Jared will travel within 35 minutes of Pittsburgh. If you live further away than that, you can arrange to meet him in Pittsburgh or pay a travel free based on distance. 

Photo sessions are such a fun way to capture memories - best wishes to all who enter! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hot photo deals from Shutterfly

Links below contain affiliate links, thank you for your support of the Pgh Momtourage!


If you are in need of some updated photos, photo books, calendars, or photo gifts, now is a great time to take advantage of some great promo deals from Shutterfly!

Shutterfly Free Stuff

Exclusive offers for ALL customers:

ALL customers receive 40% off everything with promo code 40FORU.
Go here to redeem. Offer good 2/11 - 2/17.

Receive free shipping on orders $39+ or more with promo code SHIP39. 

Use promo code CARD4U to get a free card and try out any style you want.

Shutterfly Free Stuff

NEW customer offers (if you've never ordered from Shutterfly): 

Receive a $15 discount off orders $60+ or more using promo code 150FF60. 
Go here to redeem. Offer good 2/11 - 2/18.
15OFF60: Offer expires February 18, 2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for $15 off one qualifying merchandise order $60 or more (after any other discounts and before taxes, shipping and handling) through Valid only for new Shutterfly customers (those who have never purchased from Shutterfly). Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. This particular offer code can only be redeemed once. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on prepaid plans, gift certificates, videograms, mailing services, prior purchases, orders placed for in-store pick up, purchases made on the Shutterfly iPhone, iPad and Android apps or Shutterfly Pro Galleries. Valid for the intended recipient only. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

NEW customers receive 50 free 4x6 prints with promo code 50FREE. 
Go here to redeem. Offer good 2/11 - 2/18.
50FREE: Offer expires February 18, 2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for 50 free 4x6 prints through Valid only for new Shutterfly customers (those who have never purchased from Shutterfly). Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on prepaid plans, gift certificates, videograms, cards sent using mailing services, prior purchases, orders placed for in-store pick up, purchases made on the Shutterfly iPhone, iPad and Android apps or Shutterfly Pro Galleries. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

ALL customers choose between 1 free magnet, 1 free mouse pad, or 1 free small luggage tag with promo code YOURCHOICE.
Go here to redeem. Offer good 2/15 - 2/16.
YOURCHOICE: Offer expires February 16, 2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for one free magnet, one mousepad or one small luggage tag through or our mobile-friendly site. Must select one of the three products. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on glass magnets, large luggage tags, other products, prepaid plans, prior purchases, orders placed for in-store pick up, purchases made on the Shutterfly iPhone, iPad and Android apps. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

Shutterfly Free Stuff

Monday, February 9, 2015

Burgh Baby Diaper Drive

It is very difficult to see when the smallest and most innocent among our society do not have the basic necessities to keep them healthy and safe. If you follow my blog, then there is a good chance you are a parent and have experienced first hand the financial challenges that can come with children. One of the biggest expenses for babies and young children is diapers. The cost of a child in diapers is around $100/month and the reality is that there are many, many families who simply cannot always afford the amount of diapers they need for their child. This February, the Burgh Baby Diaper Drive has been created to ensure that we do everything we can to help little ones here in Pittsburgh! 

Did you know we have a Diaper Bank here in Pittsburgh? Read more about its conception and how it works here. 

Currently, one in three Pittsburgh mothers struggle to provide their babies with a basic necessity—diapers. Each day, these moms must choose between diapers, which cost up to $100 per month per baby, or other essentials, such as food. This is called diaper need, and there is little help or government assistance for it. Therefore, many mothers are forced to keep their children in soiled diapers, exposing them to health risks or preventing them from attending daycare. This is a huge concern in Pittsburgh, which has the nation's sixth highest poverty rate for African-American children.

My friend and fellow blogger, Heather Hopson, is working in partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank (WPDB) and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank who will be able to get these diapers to the families who need them the most. The WPDB partners with non-profit organizations and supplies them with free diapers to distribute to low-income or poverty level families.

The goal is to bring in 50,000 diapers in this drive which will help a lot of little ones! 

If you are Interested in helping in this drive, you can drop off packages or boxes of diapers of any size at several local churches, including the Smithfield United Church of Christ in Downtown Pittsburgh, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Wilkinsburg and Shiloh Community Missionary Baptist Church in Homewood. A full listing of donation sites is available here with more locations being added! Larger sizes (3, 4, 5) are most needed. Pull-ups are also being accepted. You can also make easy, online donations that are tax-deductible here.

Please consider adding an extra box of diapers to your cart next time you are shopping and help us ensure that  families can have the resources they need to keep their little ones healthy and safe!

The Burgh Baby Diaper Drive is accepting donations through February 28.


Getty images used by permission with

Monday, February 2, 2015

Ticket Giveaway for Monster Jam

Monster Jam will be rolling into CONSOL Energy Center for a fun and loud show! My son loves the fun and excitement of Monster Jam. The event will feature the return of Grave Digger, Storm Damage, Backdraft and Instigator. And coming to Pittsburgh for the first time are Backwards Bob, FOX Sports 1 Cleatus, Doomsday and Hurricane Force. (Subject to change without notice.)

Monster Jam will be performing at CONSOL Energy Center on:
  • Friday, February 13 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 14 – 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. *11am Party in the Pits (2pm event ticket and Pit Pass required for entry)
  • Sunday, February 15 – 2:00 p.m. *11am Party in the Pits (2pm event ticket and Pit Pass required for entry)

Feld Motor Sports® tickets for Monster Jam®, the world’s premier Monster Jam truck series coming to CONSOL Energy Center February 13-15, are now on sale. Monster Jam events are affordably priced for the whole family with seats starting at $25 for adults and just $12 for kids. Tickets are available at the CONSOL Energy Center box office, all Ticketmaster retail outlets, online at or charge by Phone at 800-745-3000.

Approximately 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide, Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, Monster Jam trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Monster Jam trucks can fly up to125 to 130 feet (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 35 feet in the air.

The Party in the Pits on February 14 and 15 at 11:00 a.m. give fans the opportunity to get a view of the trucks up close and meet the drivers of the massive Monster Jam trucks. Pitt Passes are $10 and are only available to ticketholders of the Monster Jam event immediately following the Party in the Pits.
For more information on the Monster Jam, log onto To follow Monster Jam on Facebook at Twitter, log on to and

*Please note that this is a very loud show. Ear plugs/noise canceling headphones are highly recommended for kids!

BTW, if you are heading to The Outer Banks, NC during the summer,  you might want to plan a pit stop at Grave Digger's home, Digger's Dungeon. See the Monster Truck up close, ride kids jeeps, enjoy a petting zoo, bounce house + more!

And I have 4 tickets to give away to the opening night, February 13, 7:30 p.m. at CONSOL!

Go here to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Feld Motor Sports®
Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is the world leader in specialized arena and stadium-based motor sports entertainment. Feld Motor Sports productions include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross and Nuclear Cowboyz®. Feld Motor Sports is a division of Feld Entertainment, the world’s largest producer of live family entertainment. For more information on Feld Entertainment, visit

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Why is everyone giving my kids sugar??

I do believe that we could change the name of Holidays to Candydays and they'd basically be the same! Between Valentine's Day, Halloween and Christmas, it seems we have a never ending flow of treats cascading into our home year round. 4th of July, please don't lose your claim on watermelon. :)

*This post is not intended to be judgmental in any way towards those who may choose different foods to feed their kids. I'm not here to fuel the mommy wars!! As I view it firsthand, I simply want to bring awareness to what foods we are giving out to children in general. 

We don't eat a perfect diet. My kids eat their share of treats & goodies. But since the moment I became pregnant for the first time, I have become much more aware of what I am putting into my or my kid's bodies.  The items I work the most to keep out of our diet are high fructose corn syrup, artificial food dyes, msg & nitrates. (Thank you, Trader Joe's & Aldi's for making this possible on my budget.) This is just a guideline we use for our family to help make better food choices. I am not a medical professional and am not here to say these ingredients will make your  kids do or act in a certain way. But from my research, I've come to the conclusion that they are vastly bad for our bodies and unnecessary for good food, so why mess with it?! You can read why here, herehere, & here. If we're going to eat a treat, I'd prefer it's made with real sugar and/or natural food dyes. Should be pretty simple, right? But as my kids have gotten older and participate in more events & activities, it seems like candy is being shoved at them from all directions.
We've been to libraries, hardware stores, church, school, doctor offices, banks, thrift stores and more where my kids are offered candy. Before you judge me about being the mean mom and one little piece won't hurt them, let me just share that the issue is not one little piece. The problem is that it's offered EVERYWHERE. I want to say to any teacher, director, leader, employer, organizer out there....before you stock up on the candy to pass out, please reconsider! Handing out candy or sugar treats to someone else's child should not be a right that anyone takes for granted. Kids love stickers! Choose stickers!! If you really, really want to do suckers, then please consider these as a better option. Pencils, pretzel rods, rubber balls.....check out Oriental Trading. They have an amazing assortments of kids items for cheap!

My husband and I were at a catered dinner where we had a lovely menu of chicken marsala, vegetables, & fruit. The kids of all the parents were given pizza and cookies. Something seems wrong with this picture! My son recently came home from a birthday party and told us he had 2 cups of coke. My husband and I looked at him and in unison said "real coke?!!" Wow, I just wasn't expecting that to even be an option at a 6 year old party. Besides the pizza, ice cream & cake, needless to say, he was not feeling well! However, it was a great learning experience for him to see what a difference he feels in his body and I'm glad he has really become more aware of it. 

As foster parents, we have to watch our foster kids go to visits with their birth family and get fed junk food and candy and then have upset tummies for the next 48 hours. My foster son recently had to miss Sesame Street Live because it was after a visit where he had been fed junk food that made him sick. It is terrible to watch and feels so senseless! I watched this pattern go on for months until we were able to get the courts involved in what they were being fed. Since then, they are no longer sick after their visits. It makes such a difference. 

While I don't make a big deal of food choices being offered when it is out of my control, I feel the pressure because of my preference on whole foods. It's not's not what is being's not what everyone else is eating...... Someone even told my son, "we need to ask your mom because she is very particular". (Oh, not cool!) If we as moms don't raise our concerns and BE concerned about the many horrible food choices that are all around us, who will? 
Our bodies feel better when we are eating well and we want our kids to feel well. The less sugar we eat, the less we crave it. Obesity is so prevalent in America and if we don't teach our children not to crave sugar constantly, the problem is only going to get worse. Treats in moderation? Absolutely. But please don't expect for parents to feel excited next time you wave a sucker in front of a child's face and then "ask" the parents if they can have it.

*Although this post mentions some companies and products by name, it is not sponsored by any of them and all opinions are my own.