Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios Comes to Atlanta #Giveaway

Disclosure2

unspecified-3

Cirque du Soleil has become an annual fixture in Atlanta. It’s by far our favorite circus, and with a new and creative show each year, I always look forward to seeing what new ways they have found to awe the audience. Just this past weekend, Mike and I went to opening night of Cirque du Soleil’s newest show – Kurios. It was fantasic and by far one of the most unique and family friendly Cirque du Soleil shows to date.

About Kurios:

Kurios takes you into the curio cabinet of a time traveling inventor. The audience is taken on a journey that defies time, space, and dimension as everything around you is transformed and your perspective is altered. Where your world is literally turned upside down and the impossible, becomes possible.

Kurios feels like it’s set in the 1800’s but in another world – if that makes any sense. It was most definitely…”Kurios”…in the best way possible. From the music to the set design to the costumes, everything about Kurios is whimsical, beautiful, and mesmerizing.

unspecified-3

Quite literally…every Kurios act was more awe-inspiring than the last. One of the first acts – the Russian Cradle Duo – featured a strongman turns into a human trapeze and flings a woman resembling a porcelain-faced doll in the air where she performs more and more intricate gravity-defying acrobatic tricks.

unspecified-7

Our favorite act of the night was the Acro Net act, which featured five performers on a jumping net. By assisting a main bouncer with their jumping force, they would get the main performer into the air – easily going 75+ feet or more into the air. Some bounces were as high as the rafter above. What is truly amazing is that the performers literally perform every second while in the air. It’s not just a jump – every moment is part of the performance. It was just breathtaking. I honestly felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest.

Which begs the question Mike and I repeated to each other over and over throughout the night…how do the performers even practice these acts? Sometimes it’s easy to forget not only how immensely talented there circus performers are, but also the risks they take.

unspecified-8

Every circus has to have a clown and the Cirque du Soleil “clowns” or comedic performances never disappoint! Our favorite comedic performance of the night included a woman picked from the audience. She was invited on a date into the “home” of the performer. He then proceeded to play the part of his pet bird and pet cat. His mannerisms as a cat were spot on and had the audience laughing out loud!

As you can tell, Mike and I loved the show. I was only sorry my son Lucas didn’t get to go (he’s 8), because he would have loved it. If you have the chance to check out the show in any of the cities Kurios will visit, I highly recommend that you see the show. To learn more about Kurios, find out tour dates, and purchase tickets please visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oprah’s Life You Want Tour – Atlanta Key Highlights

Thanks to Olay, I got the opportunity to live out a dream of mine this weekend – to see Oprah in person. I have been a longtime fan of hers. I watched almost every Oprah episode when her show was on the air. She has inspired me in so many wonderful ways over the years and honestly even shaped the type of parent that I am. She was in Atlanta for the Life You Want Tour so Angela (my dear friend and partner at Latina Mom Bloggers) flew to Atlanta from Miami and we decided to make it a girls’ weekend.

10626486_10152672068399583_1675285727763538376_n

To say that it was an inspiring weekend would truly be a major understatement. We heard from Oprah and her trailblazers team of Deepak Chopra, Elizabeth Gilbert, Rob Bell, and Iyanla Vanzant. While I am still digesting everything, below are a few of the quotes that both touched and inspired me.

Oprah Winfrey

Bw4XptEIAAAt9qw

  • You co-create your life with the energy of your intention. What’s your real intention? Your life is being shaped by your intentions.
  • You are what you believe.
  • There is no life without a spiritual life.
  • Whatever has happened TO YOU has happened FOR YOU.

Deepak Chopra

Bw2stWACcAACW32

“We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

 

Characteristics of Happy People:

  • Happy people see opportunities where others see problems.
  • Happy people see see life as a gift and live in gratitude.
  • Have purpose in life.

 

Elizabeth Gilbert

10600356_10152673348579583_775237140359371288_n

  • Hard truth about real transformation is that it is never easy, never painless. Change is scary and uncertain.
  • All motion brings the risk of injury, which is why we don’t move. We stay in lives that aren’t making us happy.
  • You must stop being who you are to become who you are meant to be.
  • Hero’s Journey – it’s the “most important story we have as human beings. The hero’s journey doesn’t begin until you begin it! BEGIN!
  • Are you planning on being the hero of your own story or are you going to let someone else step in and fill that role?

 Rob Bell

Bw3QInDCEAAk2oV

  • The issue isn’t whether you’re a spiritual being but whether your eyes are open to it?
  • People often ask – do you believe in miracles? More interesting question is … It’s all a miracle, isn’t it?
  • Despair is what happens when the thought enters your mind that tomorrow is going to be just like today. When despair comes knocking…stop, breathe and think …it’s all a miracle, isn’t it?
  • The life you want begins by embracing the life you have. The life you have is miraculous. The life you have matters.
  • Experience the divine presence in the everyday things. Stop using the every day plates. Use the fine china EVERY DAY. We only have today.
  • You want a big life. We all do. It begins with you returning to the first word that was said about you “You have received” For some reason, God has chosen you and given you a gift. You say THANK YOU. You were given YOU. Don’t lose out on the flesh and blood experience of THE GIFT.

 Iyanla Vanzant

Bw4EJjhCQAA47hU

  • “When you see crazy coming, cross the street!”
  • Tell the truth. If you don’t tell the truth people won’t know what you desire. Tell the truth in a way that inspires you, that empowers you.
  • When you live your life with integrity, you can be vulnerable. Living with Integrity – means that what you think, what you say, what you do, what you feel are all in alignment.
  • We want to blame life. Life does not play tricks on you. YOUR MIND does. Important to master your MIND. Life always tells you truth, your job is to recognize & accept it
  • Greatest teachers in life are relationships. Life wants you to clean up your relationships. You have to learn how to forgive.
  • Your life is in YOUR hands. Learn how to hold your OWN hand.

If you would like to attend the Oprah Life You Want Tour, she still has many stops left!

Tour Cities & Dates:

  • Auburn Hills, MI: September 12-13
  • Washington D.C.: September 19-20
  • Newark, NJ: September 26-27
  • Houston, TX: October 17-18
  • Miami, FL: October 24-25
  • Seattle, WA: November 7-8
  • San Jose, CA: November 14-15

As I mentioned above, Olay is one of the Oprah’s Life You Want Tour sponsors and they came with a beautiful message too! Olay’s “Your Best Beautiful” campaign asks women to share “their best beautiful moments and stories” with the hashtag #BestBeautiful. It’s about “putting your best face forward, the best possible version of yourself every day”. See the video below:

NEW by GODIVA! Trufflelata™ and Soft Serve

Disclosure 1

There’s nothing that says summer to me more than indulging in a yummy frozen treat. It’s one of our favorite things to do as a family during the warmer months. That’s why I was so excited when I heard about GODIVA’s newest tasty offerings – Trufflelata™ and Soft Serve! We headed out to our local GODIVA last week to sample both of these and OMG. YUM.

photo 5

The event was wonderful! The store was like walking into a chocolate heaven. They had every kind of chocolate treat you could think of. First we got to try some chocolate covered strawberries as everyone arrived. We got to meet and speak with Rachael – the District Manager over the Atlanta Market. She spoke to us about the various things we were going to sample, and then on came the first treat, Trufflelata™.

photo 1

 

The way the Trufflelata™ is made is actually very unique. It looks like a milkshake, but it’s not. There isn’t any milk in a Trufflelata™. It is actually made with truffles, chocolate powder, some have syrups added, and then water and ice. Trufflelata™ comes in six flavors: Chocolate Lava Cake, Salted Caramel, Strawberry Crème, Hazelnut Crunch, Milk Chocolate and Oreo® Cookie. The biggest problem? Choosing one!

After sampling all of them we “took a break” by making our own truffle lollipop, which we gave to Lucas. He loved it. Then after our break they brought out the soft serve treat.

Jolly Dad making Lucas a truffle treat

Jolly Dad making Lucas a truffle treat

 

photo 4

Leave it to GODIVA to take soft serve and elevate it several notches! Their new Soft Serve is omade from premium and authentic Belgian chocolate. It makes eating soft serve a whole new experience! GODIVA Soft Serve is available in three different flavors: Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate Vanilla Bean and Swirl, and can be enjoyed in a variety of premium Belgian waffle cones, each one dipped in either milk or dark chocolate.

photo 2

I can’t think of a more delicious way to make memories this summer than by enjoying the new GODIVA Trufflelata™ and Soft Serve! For additional information and to find a store near you, visit GODIVA online.

GIVEAWAY

GODIVA wants YOU and your family to enjoy one of their new frozen treats so they are giving away a $25.00 GODIVA Gift Card to one lucky Jolly Mom reader! Just leave a comment below letting me know: What was your most memorable fling? Giveaway is open to U.S. entrants who are 18+ up and ends on 8/13 at 11:59pm ET. See Godiva Sweepstakes Official Rules.

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of GODIVA.

Spring Activity Ideas for Kids and Families

Disclosure2

Spring and fall are my favorite seasons of the year so I am super excited that the spring has officially arrived. After the super cold winter we had, I honestly thought it would never get here! It’s so nice to hear the birds chirping again and to see the Dogwood trees blooming in Georgia! To celebrate, I’ve put together a list of ten of our favorite spring-inspired activities for kids and families.

485819_10150853353797870_331576591_n

1. Go on a nature walk at the park. Name the flowers that you see blooming. Observe the animals. Feed the ducks.

2. Celebrate Earth Day of April 22nd. Teach your kids the importance of being kind to our environment.

3. Make rain in a jar. This is such a cool project that teaches kids the science of rain.

4. Fly a kite. This is the perfect time of the year to fly a kite. It’s so much fun for the whole family!

5. Go camping. This is by far one of our family’s favorite activities in the spring and fall. It is the perfect way to experience nature and bond as a family away from the tv, iPhones and video games.

6. Plant a garden or start small with these DIY Strawberry Planters.

7. Speaking of strawberries – go strawberry picking at a pick your own farm and then make your own jam.

8. Make an Egghead Planter. Kids love these!

9. Coffee Filter Butterflies are so fun for kids to make!

10. Make homemade popsicles. Healthy and delicious!

It’s important to keep your family healthy so that you can actually enjoy all of the fun spring and summer activities! But if your little ones get sick, it pays off to be prepared. One of our go-to medicines anytime either Lucas or Amelia get the sniffles is PediaCare® Gentle Vapors® Plug-In Unit.

Gentle Vapors Plug-In Unit.ashx

It fills the room with non-medicated vapor that helps soothe stuffed up noses and coughs. It contains a blend of aromatic ingredients, including menthol, eucalyptus, camphor, lavender and chamomile. It smells lovely and works for us every time. Love! For additional information, make sure to visit PediaCare.com and check out their blog, which has helpful articles like How To Treat Your Child’s Fever – lifesaver for a first time parent or any parent who needs a refresher!

Boston Market 35 Ways in 35 Days – Week 5 Update! #BostonMarket

Disclosure 1

As you guys know, my family and I have been trying out Boston Market’s “35 Ways in 35 Days” menu for the past five weeks. These are a selection of meals that have 550 calories or less. Keep in mind that they actually have over a hundred menu items that are 550 calories or less though!

Without further ado…here are the final twelve meals that we tried. And, yes! We tried all 35 meals! Someone has to do it, right?!

Boston Market Week 5

1. Turkey (Regular Portion) w/ Sweet Corn & Fresh Steam Vegetables: 400 Calories

2. Three Piece Dark (Skinless, 2 Drumsticks, 1 Thigh) w/ Fresh Steamed Vegetables & Green Beans: 450 Calories

3. Turkey (Regular Portion) w/ Garlic Dill New Potatoes, Fresh Steam Vegetables, & Cornbread: 540 Calories

4. Quarter White w/ Garlic Dill New Potatoes & Fresh Steamed Vegetables: 500 Calories

5. Quarter White (Skinless) w/ Sweat Corn & Green Beans: 430 Calories

6. Quarter White (Skinless) w/ Fresh Steamed Vegetables & Caesar Side Salad: 510 Calories

7. Turkey (Regular Portion) w/ Green Beans & Mashed Potatoes w/ Poultry Gravy: 540 Calories

8. Quarter White (Skinless) w/ Garlic Dill New Potatoes & Caesar Side Salad: 530 Calories

9. Quarter Dark w/ Fresh Steam Vegetables & Green Beans: 480 Calories

10. Turkey (Regular Portion) w/ Garlic Dill New Potatoes & Sweet Corn: 420 Calories

11. Quarter White w/ Sweet Corn & Green Beans: 530 Calories

12. Turkey (Large Portion) w/ Fresh Steam Vegetables & Green Beans: 450 Calories

Our Final Thoughts on Boston Market’s Low-Calorie Meals

OK, so after trying all of the 35 meals – our favorites are:

  • Turkey – their turkey is FABULOUS.
  • Garlic Dill Potatoes – these are delicious and the addition of the dill is spot on.
  • Mashed Potatoes – comfort food in a low-cal meal? Enough said.
  • Chicken – So good and feels homemade.
  • Green Beans – Fresh and delicious!

Our Final Thoughts on Boston Market

We never actually ate at the restaurant. Instead we brought the meals home to eat. However, the restaurant itself was always welcoming and customer service was great!

BostonMarket13

 

BostonMarket14

 

BostonMarket15

While we wouldn’t normally eat at any restaurant this many times over a period of five weeks, this has been a wonderful experience for us. I love that we’ve found Boston Market for many reasons, including…

1. We’re busy (what family isn’t!) and are always on the hunt for convenience meals that are healthy.
2. We like homemade meals and Boston Market is warm, comforting and tastes homemade!
3. We (Mike and I) are on a quest to lose weight and the fact that these meals are 550 calories or less has been awesome. Both Mike and I have each lost over 10 pounds in the past month!

Make sure to follow Boston Market on Facebook and visit BostonMarket.com for additional meal ideas, nutritional information, and print the “35 Ways in 35 Days” calendar.

Boston Market 35 Ways in 35 Days – Week 2 Update! #BostonMarket

Disclosure 1

As you guys know, we’re on a mission to try all 35 ways – or meal combinations under 550 calories – at Boston Market over the next several weeks. So far? We have tried eleven meals. Eleven delicious, satisfying meals. Eleven quick, convenient, perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t want or have time to cook dinner. The best part is that this is food that you can feel great about feeding your family! We’ve been loving it!

photo-3

I love that Boston Market rotisserie chickens are sourced locally and then slow roasted. Plus, they put chickens on the rotisserie every hour so that they are ALWAYS fresh. I especially love that Boston Market has made a real commitment to helping people meet their health and nutrition goals. Check it out!

  • Boston Market offers more than 100 combinations of meals 550 calories or less.
  • Boston Market is a member of KIDS LIVEWELL – KIDS LIVEWELL choices emphasize lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy and meet stringent nutritional criteria.
  • In October 2010, as part of an overall initiative to provide healthier options for guests, Boston Market began a rollout of several enhancements, including reducing sodium in Boston Market’s signature rotisserie chicken by 20 percent and in their poultry gravy by 50 percent.
  • In 2012, they removed salt shakers from the tables in all their locations, which marked another important initiative: they committed to reducing sodium levels in all of our signature items by 20 percent.
  • An interactive Nutrition Calculator allows guests to custom-build Boston Market meals online and obtain their nutritional values.
  • An Allergen Menu feature helps guests with dietary restrictions (such as gluten intolerance) identify the menu items they can eat.

Without further ado, here are the meals that we tried this week!

Meal #8: Quarter White Chicken, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy & Fresh Steamed Vegetables: 550 Calories

Meal 8b

Meal #9: Turkey Breast with Steamed Vegetables & Garlic Dill New Potatoes Market Bowl: 380 Calories

Meal 9

Meal #10: Turkey with Sweet Corn and Garlic Dill New Potatoes: 500 Calories

Meal 10

Meal #11: Mediterranean Salad with Rotisserie Chicken: 550 Calories

Meal 12

All of the meals that we had this week were good, but my personal favorite were the two turkey meals. O-M-G. Seriously, the turkey breast at Boston Market is so beyond good. It is moist and flavorful and…I just wanted to keep eating more of it LOL! I may or may not have stolen turkey from Mike’s plate! This was the first time that we tried their fresh steamed veggies and they were perfectly cooked. You know how steamed veggies at restaurants are usually soggy and tasteless? Not so at Boston Market. These were perfect!

Tune in next week as we continue trying the “35 Ways in 35 Days” meal options! In the meantime, follow Boston Market on Facebook and make sure to visit BostonMarket.com for additional meal ideas, nutritional information, and you can even print the “35 Ways in 35 Days” calendar.

 

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes to Benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

The Rockettes are coming to Atlanta for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and for one night only (November 12 at 7:30pm) – the proceeds will go to help Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta! This will be a must-see holiday event for the whole family!

316391_10152788250245648_155479523_n

About the Radio City Christmas Spectacular:

This timeless holiday tradition offers something for everyone: the Rockettes will perform five new numbers as well as cherished favorites like the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers and the Living Nativity, all while showcasing their signature eye-high kicks and new costumes and sets. Bring the whole family!

12 Days Hi Res.JPG

Tickets to this special performance are available exclusively on the Children’s website. Also being offered are priceless behind-the-scenes experiences, such as a dance class taught by the Rockettes. This event is made possible by CHOA’s generous sponsor, Delta Air Lines. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.choa.org/rockettes.

Benefitting CHOA logo.jpg

Show Date and Time:
Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center

Atlanta Must-Do Event! Yellow Daisy Festival

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, I know just the thing! The Yellow Daisy Festival is in town from September 5th through September 8th and it is the perfect event for the whole family!

4

About the Yellow Daisy Festival:

Voted one of the top three arts & crafts shows in the nation by Sunshine Artist Magazine, a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event and winner of multiple awards by the Southeast Festival and Events Association.

More than 400 artists and crafters from 38 States and two countries display their works for your appreciation and purchase. Daily live entertainment, Children’s Corner activities, and crafter demonstrations throughout the event as well as fabulous festival foods.

Schedule

Thursday, September 5: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday, September 6: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, September 7: 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 8: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Vehicle entry to Stone Mountain Park is $10.00 (cash only) for a one-day permit during the festival or $35.00 for an annual parking pass.

One of our annual traditions is attending the Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park. We go every year and LOVE it. We have bought so many beautiful handcrafted things at the Yellow Daisy Festival – everything from personalized Christmas ornaments to gorgeous furniture. Plus, the food. Oh my – there are food trucks and so many tasty treats to try. The kids always have a blast too! There are lots of activities for kids – even a petting zoo. The Yellow Daisy Festival is something that we look forward to every year! If you have never been and live in Atlanta or in the Southeast – it really is a must-do event!

FREE Summer Activity for Kids: Kids Bowl Free!

I’m always looking for fun and affordable activities that we can do as a family, which is why I LOVE the annual Kids Bowl Free Summer program!

kidsbowlfree_logo

Kids Bowl Free (kidsbowlfree.com) is an amazing brand designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer. Families can get two free games for up to six children per day, and family packs for the whole summer start at $24.95.

The family pass is an unbelievable deal for just $24.95 per family. Again the family pass is good for up to 4 adult family members (Mom, Dad, Older Siblings, Grandma, Grandpa or an Adult Babysitter) to bowl 2 games of bowling every day during the promotion all summer long along with the children that have registered in your family.

Kids Bowl Free has big news this year – you no longer need to print out coupons ahead of time! If you have a smartphone or tablet with an internet connection, all you need to do is open up your KBF account on the device and the bowling center can redeem your coupons electronically.

For more info, check out KidsBowlFree.com!

Atlanta Summer Activity for Kids: Experience the United States in One Day! #WEEBLES Coast to Coast Exhibit

If you’re looking for a fun and educational activity to do with your kids this Summer in Atlanta, you have to check out the Weebles Coast to Coast Exhibit. You can find it at Children’s Museum of Atlanta from now until September 8th.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 10.02.22 AM

Exhibit Overview:
Pack your bags for an exciting journey across the United States in WEEBLES Coast to Coast, a fun, educational traveling exhibit developed by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in collaboration with Hasbro. Touched with humor, and loaded with more than 70 hands-on activities, the exhibit invites children to explore the geography, history and uniqueness of the 50 United States – and Washington, D.C., too!

We visited the Children’s Museum of Atlanta this past weekend to check out the Weebles Exhibit and it was so much fun! Basically, each state has a hands on display that kids can explore. For example, children can join a pit crew at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana (see Lucas’ picture below), mush a sled dog team in Alaska, try for a field goal at the National Football Hall of Fame in Ohio, and count down on New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square. It is really cool – even for the parents!

935704_10151599321482870_1742006667_n

Check out Weebles Coast to Coast

For additional information, please visit ChildrensMuseumAtlanta.org.

*Complimentary tickets to the museum were provided. However, all opinions are my own. Please see this site’s Terms of Use for additional information.