Monday, May 30, 2016

Painting Birthday Party

My daughter recently celebrated her 9th birthday! She really loves art and painting so we decided to throw her a painting birthday party! We rented out a party room at a local pizza restaurant and hired a children's art teacher to teach the children how to paint this adorable tie die heart canvas portrait. 

The girls were really into it and had a lot of fun

Here's my daughter's tie die heart---it turned out so cute!

All of the girls did a great job and the tie die hearts look awesome!

Time for pizza and cupcakes!

The birthday girl

 Overall, I would highly recommend hosting a painting birthday party. We had a lot of fun and the children were able to take their tie die heart canvas portrait home. The teacher brought hair dryers and the girls dried the paintings. If you don't want to have to pay a party host, just purchase your own canvases at Michael's craft store and purchase paints. You could easily walk children through painting their own portrait or let them get creative and paint whatever they would like.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

I'm Visiting Kings Dominion Soon

I am super excited to visit Kings Dominion this weekend! My children had a blast there a few weeks ago at the Spring Bloom Festival. Planet Snoopy is my kids favorite area of the park, they could spend hours there! Planet Snoopy has 18 fun filled kid friendly rides including Joe Cool Driving School, the Great Pumpkin Coaster, the Woodstock Express (my kids favorite roller coaster!), Snoopy's Junction, Lucy's Tugboat and Boo Blasters on Boo Hill. My kids are still talking about how much fun they had on our last visit to Kings Dominion! They can't wait to return soon!

Kings Dominion has so many great attractions for the whole family including:
• Planet Snoopy – over 14 acres of Peanuts themed fun – from rides and shows, to meeting your favorite Peanuts character
• Soak City – recently expanded and renovated, including a children’s play area for kids of all ages
• The all-new Delirium – new in 2016, this thrill ride will allow thrill seekers of all ages to fly through the air as they experience gravity-defying hang time

To learn more about Kings Dominion visit their website at and be sure to follow them on social media at: 

Instagram: kingsdominionva
Twitter: @Kingsdominion

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in conjunction with Blog Meets Brand, and I have been compensated for my participation. All opinions are my own.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Aulani Or A Disney Cruise? Which Is A Better Value

There are many things to consider when planning a vacation. For my family of 5 the biggest factor for choosing a destination for our vacation is the cost. Did you know that the average family only takes one vacation per year? After doing some research I discovered that the average family spends 5 to 10% of their earned yearly income on their vacation. For example, if a family earns $40,000 in a year then their vacation budget should be between $2,000 to $4,000.

For our vacation next summer I am debating between Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawaii or a Disney Cruise for my family of 5. There are so many factors to consider when planning a vacation: cost, space of the room(s), food, activities, etc. Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawaii will require my family of 5 to purchase plane tickets which is an additional expense. Also, food is not included as it is on a Disney Cruise. These are all additional fee's that add up quickly.

I feel like the best value for your money is a Disney Cruise. However, some would argue that even though food is included on a cruise, the staterooms are lacking in space especially for a family of 5. This is something to take into consideration. Do you want to spend your vacation cramped in a 300 sq foot stateroom with your children sleeping just a few feet away? For me, the answer is NO! Haha.

I priced out a 7 night Caribbean Disney Cruise for a family of 5 in a family stateroom with verandah and the total price was just under $10,000! I also priced out Aulani Resort DVC one bedroom unit for a family of 5 for 7 nights and the cost is much less than Disney Cruise at just $3,626! But once you add in airfare for 5 people it makes the total vacation price $9,000. Plus you have to consider the cost of groceries (there will be a kitchen so you can save money by cooking meals) and you have to consider the cost of a rental vehicle. Basically, in my opinion, for a larger family such as mine a Disney Cruise is priced similarly to Aulani Resort (once you add airfare).

All in all it is about the same price to vacation at Disney's Aulani Resort or a Disney Cruise! Which would you choose?

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Kings Dominion Spring Bloom Festival Review

We recently attended Kings Dominion and absolutely loved it! We really enjoyed the Spring Bloom food booths located directly below the Eiffel Tower. There are four different countries represented at the Spring Bloom festival: Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. The International Food Faire kiosks are open starting at 11:00 am on Saturdays and Sundays and close one hour before the park closes. 

Switzerland Food Booth:

Be sure to pick up a complimentary booklet that you can have stamped at each of the food booths

The swiss macaroni and cheese with bacon and smoked gouda was delicious! This was my favorite! 

The swiss waffle is delicious! It is topped with fresh glazed strawberries and whipped cream and chocolate sauce. This is a must try!

Irish Food Booth:
The Irish Banger pictured below was my husbands favorite dish! He loved the sausage, mashed potatoes and onions. 

The Irish Coffee and Chocolate dessert was fabulous! Be sure to try this! My children said this was their favorite! It is a trifle crumbled chocolate cake with chocolate whipped cream and coffee.

My kids had a blast at Planet Snoopy! They really enjoyed all of the rides but their favorite was the Woodstock Express! They also loved the Boo Blasters on Boo Hill ride. Joe Cool's Driving School was really cute and they had a lot of fun driving cars. It looks so real complete with little stop signs and road markings!

Joe Cool's Driving School was so cute!

Upcoming events at Kings Dominion include Memorial Weekend Salute (5/28-5/30), Star Spangled Celebration (7/2-7/4), KidsFest (7/16-7/24), BBQ and Brewfest (8/6-8/21), and Great Pumpkin Festival (9/19-10/30).

Be sure to follow Kings Dominion on social media:
Instagram: @kingsdominionva
Twitter: @kingsdominionva

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in conjunction with Blog Meets Brand, and I have been compensated for my participation. All opinions are my own.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

New Disney Cruise Line Itineraries Just Released For 2017 To Alaska

In 2017, Disney Cruise Line will sail on new itineraries and to new ports, including first-time visits to new destinations in Alaska and Europe. That summer, Disney Cruise Line also returns to Norway, the British Isles, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the Bahamas. To learn more visit Disney's blog

Bookings open to the public April 14, 2016.
New Alaska itinerary: Icy Strait Point and Hubbard Glacier
New Europe destinations: Amsterdam and Stonehenge
New Disney Fantasy itineraries: Southern Caribbean
More Castaway Cay: Summer itineraries include 2 stops to Castaway Cay
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book your next "Magical" vacation, please contact Magical Moments Vacations by Nancy Mattingly

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kings Dominion Spring Bloom Festival

I am super excited to attend Kings Dominions Spring Bloom Festival next Saturday April 16th! I have been visiting Kings Dominion ever since I was in high school and I can not wait to take my children for the first time! 

The fun is growing at Kings Dominion as flowers, food & family fun take over in a month-long celebration that spells fun for the whole family! 

It’s all about delicious food as Chef Paul takes us on a culinary trip around the world. During King Dominion’s month-long Spring Bloom festival, you’ll enjoy international inspired delicacies using fresh, local ingredients while listening to toe-tapping live entertainment. Other offerings at this festival include free family-friendly concerts, unique food offerings, and hands-on children’s activities—meaning there’s something for everyone in your family to enjoy.

Spring Bloom takes place Saturdays and Sundays from April 16th through May 15th.

Did you know that Kings Dominion is located just forty five minutes from Richmond, VA? And Kings Dominion is located less than two hours away from Washington, D.C. Kings Dominion has many attractions for children of all ages including a Dinosaur exhibit with life size dinosaurs! My 6 year old son is super excited to check this out. He loves dinosaurs. My 8 year old daughter is excited to ride my all time favorite childhood rollercoaster---the Anaconda! 

You can purchase tickets online at

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Monday, April 4, 2016

2016 Winter Green Scene Mom Awards + Giveaway

We are very excited to announce the 2016 Winter Green Scene Mom Awards, celebrating Eco-friendly product design and creative innovation. The Winter GSM Award Winners include many products designed to meet a unique need for families with kids and encourage sustainable lifestyles. Enter to win a collection of prizes sponsored by these awesome brands! 

1. Diaper Caddy + Sippy Cup. Award Details
2. ciao! baby portable high chair. Award Details
3. PouchBuddy food pouch feeding attachment. Award Details
4. Darlyng & Co. Yummy Mitt. Award Details
5. Milkies Milk Trays + Softies Nursing Pads + Milkies Nipple Balm. Award Details
6. Genesis 950 Cleaner - 1 gallon. Award Details
7. Liliputi Buckle Carrier. Award Details
8. Little Dundi Recycled Paperboard Clothes Hangers - 2 sets. Award Details
9. Sudsy Dough Moldable Soap + Cozy Blanket Pouch + Ocean Discovery Box by Revelae Kids. Award Details
10. MAM Baby Brush Set + Cooler Teether. Award Details
11. Silkberry Baby Organic Footed Sleeper - Silver Cloud Owl. Award Details
12. Choice of 1 Zippy OneZ, Zipadee-Zip, Flying Squirrel, or Trendy Teether by Sleeping Baby Inc. Award Details
13. Zipzicle Ice Pop Sleeves - 2 sets of 4. Award Details
14. Wristy Buddy Octopus teething wristband. Award Details
Winter Awards Giveaway Mommy Scene

Enter to win these fabulous prizes!

This giveaway is hosted by Mommy Scene and the sponsoring brands and is open to US entries. One winner will be chosen and displayed on the giveaway widget after the giveaway ends on April 29th, 2016. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand.

Other 2016 Winter Green Scene Mom Award Winners

Buttons Cloth Diapers - Award Details
Coco & Kiwi Sydney Diaper Bag & Training Pants - Award Details
Crane smartDROP Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier & Travel Humidifier - Award Details
Winter Green Scene Mom Awards Mommy Scene
Enchanted Slumber All-In-One Organic Sleeper - Award Details
Wicks Beauty Baby Butter - Award Details
Woolino 4 Season Sleep Sack - Award Details
Woombie Air-Wrap & Organic Swaddle - Award Details

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