Tag Archives: Fun

Fun (FOOD) Friday: Under the Sea

3 Oct

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I should be talking about Halloween and pumpkins but my girls can’t stop reminiscing about their summer trip to  Magic Kingdom.  The highlights of course, meeting the princesses.  A new attraction from our last visit a few years ago was Ariel’s Grotto.  It was simply amazing for them to go “Under the Sea” and meet their favorite Mermaid.  For dinner the next night, I decided to do something a little fun with their food.  I made a mermaid (or Ariel) themed dinner, not as beautiful as the “real” Ariel but it was fun and exciting for the girls.

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It was simple to make.  For the…

Head: I got ready made Turkey meatballs from whole foods and heated them up. I then cut eyes and a mouth

Hair: I made spaghetti with Vodka sauce.  I placed the spaghetti around the head so that it looked like hair.

Shells: I used two Driscoll’s Strawberries.

Tail: I sliced up kiwi and placed it on the plate to look like a tail.

Arms: I used two carrots.

Fish: I had S’More Goldfish and took the chocolate fish out and placed them on the plate for an “Under the Sea” look.

The next time I make our Mermaid meal, I will use cooked spinach for seaweed or broccoli for “under water” plant life.

 

Does your child love mermaids as much as my girls do?  Here a few activities you can do to continue your “Under the Sea” themed evening:

 

Happy Friday!

Disclaimer: All images, ideas and opinions expressedare my own.   I was not compensated for this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Family Fun On Board The Norwegian Getaway!

30 Jan

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Every once in a while, the girls will catch a cruise ship out of the corner of their eye while walking along the Hudson or they”ll catch a glimpse as one passing by our living room window.  They have so many questions about the ship passing by.  As I was walking by the Hudson River, partly covered in ice (pictured above), all I could think about was a vacation to a warm destination.  Although the girls have asked to go on a cruise as they watched ships pass by, I never thought about taking a cruise for our family vacation. Partly, because I never realized how much they have to offer for families but also because my husband has only heard negative media so wasn’t a huge fan of the idea.  When I got the invite from  The MOMS to spend the day on Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Getaway, I couldn’t say no. I was anxious to see the girls reactions when they saw a ship similar to the ones they would look at in the distance but I also wanted to see all the cruise ship has to offer.

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We watched as the Norwegian Breakaway sailed past our building last summer!

The Getaway recently sailed across the Atlantic from Germany,where it was built, to its temporary port of New York City. The Getaway transform into a Bud Light Hotel during the Super Bowl. After the Super Bowl, it will make its way to it’s new home in Miami, Florida.  Beginning in early February, the Norwegian Getaway will set sail all year-long from Miami to the Eastern Caribbean (yes, get me out of this freezing cold weather and take me to sunny beaches).  There are two itineraries to choose from:

  1. Embark in Miami, with stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Nassau, Bahamas, then Disembark Miami
  2. Embark in Miami, with stops in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Tortola, Nassau, Bahamas, then Disembark Miami

Getaway to Paradise

As we pulled up to Pier 88, for our outing with TheMOMS, my girls were mesmerized by the size of the ship. When your small, everything seems so much BIGGER, so I can only imagine what was going through their head. I heard “wow”, “oh boy”, “it’s soooo big”.  I was excited to see my girls reaction when they saw a ship up close and personal.  Throughout the day we got to experience a sample of activities, services, and amenities offered on board the Getaway.

NCLGetaway Dining

The Norwegian Getaway offers many dining options.  There are complimentary options which include three main dining rooms with brand new menus as well as O’Seehans Bar and Lounge which is open 24 hrs.   Finer dining is also available for a cover charge. Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant Ocean Blue is on the Getaway with a chance for a dining experience with him on select cruises!

Our day on board began with a three-course meal in the Illusionarium.  The starter was prosciutto with mozzarella, tomato, balsamic vinaigrette, and gourmet young mesclun greens.  The main course was a surf and turf with jumbo coconut shrimp, roasted beef tenderloin, double baked potato, broccoli and a demi-glaze sauce.   The dessert included a trilogy of sweets: red velvet cupcake with vanilla cream cheese frosting, vanilla crème caramel with wild berries, and a flourless chocolate cake with praline crème. The children had a separate menu that included macaroni and cheese or chicken tenders with a banana cup cake for dessert.  Not only was the food delicious but the service and staff onboard was phenomenal. I was very impressed with our waitress, Donie.  She was very accomodating when my youngest couldn’t decide what she wanted so she brought her both, mac and cheese and chicken nuggets.  Before we even looked at the menu she asked about any food allergies. As a mom of a daughter, with a peanut/ tree nut allergy, I can’t tell you how appreciative I was. It’s rare a waitress or waiter at a restaurant asks, I’ve always had to tell them about my daughters allergy.

Entertainment1

During our experience on board we got a little sample of the entertainment on board. All the performances we saw took place in the Illusionarium however there are separate theaters onboard when on vacation. My girls were in awe of the performances by the Burn the Floor dance group.  They also loved watching Legally Blonde the Musical and seeing their favorite characters (Dora, Diego, SpongeBob SquarePants & Patrick Star) during a performance by Nick Junior.  The magic show was unbelievable. They were amazed to see a table float through the air. It was an incredible experience just watching the shortened, condensed version so I can only imagine what they would think of the full shows.

NCL endless possibilities

The recreational activities for kids and families are endless.  There is a Nickelodeon Jr theme aqua zone for kids to splash around.  In the aqua park there are 2 pools, 4 hot tubs, and 5 water slides.  The Free Fall water slide is one of the fastest at sea and one of two drop slides that floor comes out from underneath you and drops you down the slide in 6 seconds.   The sports complex features a miniature golf course, a basketball court, a rock climbing wall, a bungee trampoline and a ropes course.  At the end of the ropes course, those brave enough can walk an 8 foot plank off the side of the ship with a photo opportunity at the end.  Other activities include an arcade, pool parties and opportunities to meet Dora, Diego, SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star.

splash

Splash Academy provides complimentary drop-off activities for ages 3-12  onboard the ship from 9:00 am – 10:30 pm, closing during meal times.  Once on board you can get the full schedule of activities and classes offered.  Each themed activity is two hours.  Themes and activities change daily.  Whether it’s free-style play, a Turtle’s Luau Party or super sports, your child will make new friends and have tons of fun.  While my husband and I were on a tour of the ship, both of my girls spent some time in Splash Academy.  They came out with art projects, balloons, and a huge smile on their face from all the fun they were having.  The supervisors were extremely friendly and engaging with the children.  Each child was assigned a number upon entering.  To pick up your child, parents we required to return the corresponding number.  Because of food allergies, Splash Academy is free of food.  A late-night zone with fun activities like fort making and Nintendo Wii action is available from 10:30 pm until 1:30 am at a reasonable rate ($6 for the first child and $4 for siblings).

DateDayorNight

After you drop the kids off at Splash Academy, don’t feel guilty their having fun, you can head to the spa for a dip in the thermal pool or for a relaxing massage.  There are also many adult only areas to enjoy a beverage, a bite to eat, or soak up a few uninterrupted rays!  While on international waters you can also take an hour (or more) for duty-free shopping or chancing your luck in the largest casino at sea!  At night, you can visit the dueling piano bar, Howel At The Moon or cool off after a day of fun in the sun for a unique experience in the SVEDKA and Inniskillin Ice Bar.  While onboard, don’t miss The Grammy Experience.  The first headliner will be Nestor Torres.  I could go on forever with the entertainment, bars, and activities you can take part in if you need a date day or night while on vacation.

staterooms

While we were onboard we got to peek into a few staterooms.  For families, there are suites with pull-out sofas, adjoining rooms, or rooms with two single beds and 1 or 2 pull down beds above.  The Haven Suite is incredible, my daughters couldn’t get over the closet and the spa bathtub filled with roses. Budget friendly options are available as well!

You may have seen the recent news about the recent outbreak of a virus leaving 600 passengers onboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise.   When you hear news like that you may be skeptical of jumping aboard, I know my husband was in the past. We were discussing the news and my husband, the skeptic, pointed out how extremely impressed he was with Norwegians proactive efforts to make sure cleanliness and hygiene were a priority aboard the Getaway.  There were hand sanitizing stations almost everywhere you turned. In the bathrooms there were signs reminding guests to wash hands and use a paper towel to open the door.  The sink, soap dispenser, and trash can had sensors so you didn’t have to touch anything.  The trash can had a reminder note on top letting you know not to touch.

Explore

There is so much to do and explore.  By the end of our day on board the Getaway, I had to drag my girls off the ship. They were ready to move onto the beautiful ship, permanently.  My oldest said “This is a beau-ti-ful ship! Mommy, can we move here?”  When I told her that a cruise ship is for vacations and not for living she said “Can we go on vacation NOW?” My husband even changed his mind about taking a cruise and is ready to book for an exciting and entertaining adventure for all at sea.

Can’t make it to the port of Miami, the Getaway’s sister ship Breakaway embarks from NYC and sails to Bermuda!

Watching the Norwegian Breakaway sail by!

Watching the Norwegian Breakaway sail by!

Thank you to The MOMS and Norwegian Cruise Line for an awesome day for my family.  For more information visis www.ncl.com, follow on Instagram: NorwegianCruiseLine , on twitter: @cruisenorwegian and be sure to like Norwegian Cruise Line on Facebook!
Follow the Getaway’s journey at #UltimateGetaway.

To learn more about The MOMS visit http://themoms.com

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I received a day on board the Norwegian Getaway and complimentary services and meals as part of the Family Media Day with The MOMS.

Win It Wednesday: Tickets to the @mommybites Ultimate Moms Night Out #giveaway

20 Nov

The Mommybites Ultimate Moms’ Night Out here again.  Grab your mom, a friend or all of your friends and  join Mommybites for the Ultimate Moms’ Night Out at the New Yorker Hotel on December 10.

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The Agenda for the night:

5:30 – 6:00 p.m: Registration
6:00 – 7:00 p.m: Comedy Show – (get ready to laugh your butt off!)
7:00 – 9:30 p.m: Shop, eat, meet, mingle, prizes and more during this dedicated vendor time!

The Ultimate Moms’ Night Out is a fun filled evening and a great way to shop for the Holidays!  Tickets start at $25 and everyone leaves with an amazing gift bag. Register by clicking the image above. Hope to see you there!

Want to know what to expect? Read highlights from the last Ultimate Night out at the Mommybites Summit!

Two lucky readers also have the chance to win a pair of tickets!

To Win:

Giveaway begins today and ends December 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm.  Please leave a comment for every entry!  Good luck!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of tickets to the event.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information about Mommybites can be found here!

 

Fun Friday with Ukloo

4 Oct

20131003-225939.jpgMy daughter is finally adjusting to school. Now that she is settled in she is anxious to learn. One of her goals for the year is to learn to read.
Recently, we tried Ukloo, a treasure hunt game to help children ages 4 and up learn to read! To play, leave clue cards out to help your child find the surprise card (treasure) at the end. My daughter knows she will always find her first clue on the dining room table. There are three levels to choose from. Starting with level 1 and only a few clue cards is best for early readers.  The child reads each clue, with a picture helper to aid them if they don’t know a word.  When they learn the game and become more comfortable reading, add more clue cards and move up a level.  I accidentally put a level 3 out, it took awhile but she was able to find the next clue. Be sure to leave the picture helper somewhere your child can easily find it.   The first few times I left it next to the first clue. You can also leave it on the refrigerator when you aren’t playing for your child to look at as a refresher!  Several blank clue cards and surprise cards are included for you to personalize them for your child.

It’s been fun watching my daughter as she finds her surprises.  Changing up the surprises kept her wanting to play more. We have made it part of our daily routine, giving her more exposure to the sight words.  I have clues set up every afternoon when she returns from school.  I do “bigger/ better” surprises on Friday.  Surprise Ideas include:

  • Sweet treats: Lollipop, cookie, piece of candy
  • Money
  • Extra iPad time
  • A new book
  • Special Time with Mommy and/or Daddy
  • Fill out a surprise card for a “Fun Friday” movie or outing
  • PJ Party with a friend

Ukloo makes reading funds, builds self-confidence, encourages independence, promotes sight-reading (visual word recognition), offers basics of sentence structure and introduces research skills.  A great gift for birthdays, Holidays and for teachers (to include in their classrooms).  To buy click here.  Coming soon: Ukloo 2 for ages 7+ and the Ukloo Reading Adventure App.

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I received a sample of Ukloo for the purpose of this review but did not alter my opinions.

Fun Friday with Reverse Charades (Review and Giveaway)

30 Aug

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Over the summer we played a lot of games.  Our favorite game was Reverse Charades: Junior Edition.  We received a sample not long ago and have had a blast playing as a family.  The game includes a box of words to act out, a timer, and a “Rules of Play” card.

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How to Play:

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My girls are 3 and 5, so they are a little young for the game but my husband and I paired up with them to help out.  We selected words that would be easy for the kids to act out.  Some of their favorite words to act out are sick, ice cream cone, leapfrog, chew, ring pop and leapfrog. The girls had difficulty keeping quiet and mouthing words, which you lose points for.  At first they were upset when they lost points but then when someone forgot the rule they would laugh.  The highlight was watching my husband and I act out words.  I must admit, there were some difficult words to act out that we had to pass on.  Reverse Charades has made our summer nights and “Fun Fridays” very entertaining.

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Once the girls head back-to-school, their bed time is early except for the weekends!  Fridays we have family fun or they invite friends over for PJ parties but bed times are put aside for “Fun Friday”.  Friday fun usually consists of movies or games.  Reverse Charades makes a great gift for birthdays or holidays.  It is fun for adults and is the perfect game to play at PJ parties, sleepovers, play dates, or with family.  It’s a game that will certainly fill a room with laughter.

Can you guess her word?

Can you guess her word? 😉

Reverse Charades is available these four editions; Original, Junior, French and Dutch for $23.99.   Expansion word packs are available for $9.99 which include the Hollywood Edition, the Canadian Edition, the Sports Edition, the Holiday Edition, and the Girls’ Night In Edition.  In addition to being an awesome game, when you buy Reverse Charades, a portion of the price supports efforts to bring laughter to kids and their families at Children’s Hospitals. Reverse Charade is available at Barnes & Noble, Hallmark, Learning Express and Amazon or find other retailers to buy near you.

Check out Reverse Charades on YouTube to see how much fun you can have with the game!

GIVEAWAY: 
Click the link to ENTER to WIN a Reverse Charades Junior Edition game for a Fun Friday with friends and family.  Giveaway ends on 9/13/2013 @11:59 pm EST!

Disclaimer: I received a sample of Reverse Charades for the purpose of this review and a sample for the giveaway.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Any information in italics came from the Reverse Charades website.

Kids Food Festival: March 2nd & 3rd

22 Feb
Image from Kids Food Festival

Image from Kids Food Festival

Image from Kids Food Festival

Image from Kids Food Festival

One of my daughter’s favorite events last year was the New York Kids Food Festival at Citi Pond at Bryant Park (see post).  The Kids Food Festival has partnered with Cooking Light and the James Beard Foundation to help fight childhood obesity.  The event engages children in fun activities such as a food plate scavenger hunt, cooking sessions, performances and a chance to get up close with some of your favorite characters in hopes to teach families and children how to make balanced choices with food.  Build your own pizza or make spiced gluten-free waffle sticks in one of the cooking sessions.  Tickets are required for each session.  Free events will include a meet and greet with Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba as well as performances from The Dirty Sock Funtime Band and Super Sprotz.  Click here for a complete list of events, times and dates.

Washington D.C. friends, family and followers, keep checking the Kids Food Festival website for an event near you!