Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios Comes to Atlanta #Giveaway

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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  • 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

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“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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • “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

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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.

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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™.

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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

 

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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.

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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.

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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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 #Atlanta Concert: Owl City and Hot Chelle Rae on June 12 #GreatStarts

Atlanta readers come in! If you’re looking for something FUN and FREE for your teen to do this Summer – how about a FREE concert?! Yep. The Pop-Tarts Crazy Good Summer concert tour is popping up in Atlanta starring music sensations Owl City and Hot Chelle Rae on June 12 – and it is completely FREE! Teens ages 13 and older can visit the Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Facebook page to RSVP for a chance to score free tickets – first come, first served.

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Pop-Tarts is also partnering with Live Nation to offer teens the chance to win the following prizes all summer long. Even if teens can’t catch the concerts they still have a chance to win some awesome prizes:

  • Ultimate Access Pass – four tickets to any and all Live Nation concerts in 2014
  • Rock Flight – tickets, airfare and accommodations for four guests to a 2014Live Nation concert
  • Last minute concert tickets to local shows
  • Live Nation Concert Cash

Visit CrazyGoodSummer.com to get your free tickets!

 

This is part of a compensated campaign with Kellogg’s.  All opinions expressed are mine. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information.

Atlanta Holiday Activities 2012: Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights

If you live in the Metro Atlanta area or are within driving distance of Georgia – I highly recommend that you make a trip out to Callaway Gardens during the holidays for their annual Fantasy in Lights event. This is truly one of the best ways to experience holiday lights and celebrate the season – it was even named one of the “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights” by National Geographic Traveler. Fantasy in Lights features 8 million lights stretching more than five miles, creating 15 larger-than-life holiday scenes.

 

 

We visited last year and already have reservations set for this year as well. We LOVE it and expect that it will be a Jolly Family Tradition for years to come! Speaking of Jolly…Visitors experience the light and sound extravaganza on the “Jolly Trolley” or by driving through the lighted scenes in their personal vehicle. The “Jolly Trolley” is the way to go though! The sparkling, animated displays include Snowflake Valley, a winter wonderland filled with enormous snowflakes and thousands of white lights; Magical Christmas Garden with a 24-foot wreath entrance; and Santa’s Workshop, showcasing animated versions of Santa’s elves busy making toys for the big night. Two “don’t miss” scenes are on Robin Lake Beach and are both narrated: ’Twas the Night Before Christmas and The Nativity. Each lasts approximately 10 minutes. All of the scenes are BEAUTIFUL.

Once you’re done seeing the lights, you have to head to the Christmas Village, a 22,000-square-foot indoor, heated area. Guess who is there? Well, Santa of course! You are welcome to take your own pictures, which is a big savings compared to other places. There is also plenty of shopping to be done too – there are unique gifts, nostalgic toys, and a variety of Georgia artisans selling their goods. There are a couple of new activities in 2012 that we’re looking forward to!

 

 

New for 2012
Children can partner with an adult family member to join “Storytelling with Mrs. Claus,” where guests can listen to Christmas stories, decorate cupcakes and more, or “Build a Natural Birdfeeder,” with some of Santa’s elves. These activities are available on Saturdays at 3 p.m. from November 24 through December 23.

You can visit Callaway for the day and see the lights OR stay overnight, which is honestly the best choice! It is such an affordable stay! Packages start as low as $99* per night in the Mountain Creek Inn and include:

• Fantasy In Lights admission
• Accommodations
• Special Jolly Trolley loading area dedicated for overnight guests
• Admission to the world-class Gardens and its many attractions including the Day Butterfly Center, Sibley Horticultural Center, Callaway Discovery Center, live Birds of Prey Shows, seven miles of nature trails and our 10-mile Discovery Bicycle Trail.

Callaway Gardens®, is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus. To experience nature at its finest, call 1-800-CALLAWAY or visit www.callawaygardens.com.

*A discounted accommodations rate was provided. However, all opinions are my own.

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Last Thursday, Mike, Lucas and I headed to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for their first annual Garden Lights, Holiday Nights light display. Every light display we’ve ever visited is always seen by car or another type of vehicle, but at this light display; you walk through the gardens. There are almost 1 million lights (they are energy efficient bulbs, by the way) featuring whimsical and modern scenes.

 

 

 

Beautiful.

As you walk through the 30 acre gardens, you are treated to live carolers, fire pits with all the fixings for s’mores, hot cocoa, and more. We also stopped by the cafe and had chili and sandwiches.

 

 

But Lucas’ favorite part of the night was the toy train model. It was awesome!

 

 

 

Destined to become an in-town holiday tradition, Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, open nightly from November 19 through January 7. For more information, please visit AtlantaBotanicalGarden.org.


The featured product{s} in this post were provided to me free of charge by the manufacturer or pr company representing the company.  All opinions expressed are mine. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information. 

Celebrate the Holidays at The Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta

If you’re in Atlanta and are looking for the perfect way to celebrate the holidays, please visit The Woodruff Arts Center. They have a really fun holiday lineup filled with a variety of events in the coming weeks. For instance, how about gathering up the family and heading to Table 1280 (Woodruff’s Restaurant) for a swanky Breakfast with Santa?

Not only will you have a delicious meal filled with cheese blintzes, blueberry pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, pastries, and more (check out the menu)

…but you will also get a picture with Santa himself.

Santa and Mrs. Claus even visit every table during breakfast for even more photo opps…

There are also crafts and goodie bags for the kids. Lots of fun!

Table 1280 is also hosting High Tea, Cookie and Cupcake Decorating, Gingerbread House Decorating, Holiday Brunch and more this holiday season!

After a yummy breakfast, how about seeing a family movie? The Woodruff Arts Center is offering free screenings of fun, family movies this holiday season. Movies include Happy Feet, A Christmas Carol, The Dog Who Saved Christmas, MGM Cartoon Christmas and more. You can see the full schedule HERE.

After the movie, you and the kids can do crafts. We made these beautiful holiday cards!

Then, head to the Visions of Santa Exhibit and look at all the artwork while the young kids listen to a fun holiday story told by one of Atlanta’s premier storytellers…

And, for the ultimate in holiday family events–stay for A Christmas Carol. Oh my goodness, A Christmas Carol at the Alliance Theater is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. It is an impeccable performance. The acting is superb. The singing is phenomenal. Mike, Lucas, and I LOVED it!

About A Christmas Carol
Back for its 22nd smash year, the most heartwarming story of the entire season comes to life with Ebenezer Scrooge’s discovery of the true meaning of Christmas over the course of one fateful evening. Journey through the beloved Dickens tale meeting favorite characters along the way like the generous Mr. Fezziwig, the selfless and beautiful Belle and the adorable Tiny Tim. And with a new-this-season surprise – all we can tell you is you might want to warm up your singing voice before you arrive.

Written by Charles Dickens
Adapted by David H. Bell
Directed by Rosemary Newcott

For more information about holiday events at The Woodruff Arts Center, please visit woodruffcenter.org.


Thank you to The Woodruff Arts Center for providing my family and I complimentary access to all of the above holiday events. We had a fabulous time! Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information. 

Celebrate the Holidays with Priscilla, the #PinkPig–an Atlanta Tradition!

If you’re an Atlanta native, you have undoubtebly heard of Priscilla, The Pink Pig. It is a 50+ year old Atlanta holiday tradition that should be experienced by all Atlanta children (and parents).

What is the Pink Pig you ask?

Priscilla – the original Pink Pig – began asa.m.norail along the ceiling of the downtown Atlanta Rich’s store, giving children the experience of “flying over” the toy department. Later, another pig – Percival – was added and they became known as the Pink Pig monorail twins. Years later, the monorail was relocated to the roof of the department store and the monorail twins took passengers on rooftop rides viewing downtown Atlanta and encircling the Great Tree.

In 2003, Priscilla, the Pink Pig, was re-introduced to a new generation of Atlantans. Since then, she has been back on track beneath a 170-foot, 1950’s retro-themed Pink Pig Tent at Macy’s Lenox Square Mall on the upper-level parking deck. Atlanta’s most “pink-tacular” ride travels along train tracks to carry children and their families through a life-sized storybook that includes the original Pink Pig and other holiday friends.

True to tradition, a portion of the proceeds from each ride will benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. To date, Macy’s has donated more than $400,000 to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Last week, a group of Atlanta bloggers, our kids, and I all went to ride the beloved Pink Pig. This was my first time at the Pink Pig so Mike, Lucas, and I were excited!

The kids had a great time, of course! Thankfully, we were able to ride the train a couple of times because the kids did not want to get off LOL.

It’s a quick ride, but the good thing is that it is affordable. Each ride costs $3 and repeat rides have a special discounted price: 2 rides for $5.50, 3 rides for $7.50. Rides will continue through Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012.

To learn more about the Pink Pig, click HERE.



I was compensated for coordinating this holiday blogger event at the Pink Pig. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information.