Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Does your child know their phone number? {Review}

I don't know how it is at your house but,we LOVE Genevieve. My toddler fell in love with the music but also with her. He would yell, "Mommy, it's Jeremy, it's Jeremy!" every time she came on. We bought the two disc pack with the CD/DVD as soon as it was available, and there it stayed on rotation for the next three years. We're excited to hear about her new singles coming out!

Genevieve is releasing the first single "My Telephone Number Is" on April 22 from her upcoming solo album "Do you Know?" scheduled to be released June 3, 2014. The song is so cute and super catchy. I love how she encourages children to learn their phone number. The album focuses on teaching pre-school FUN-damentals in her funky, cool, kid-friendly style.

Pre-orders available on iTunes here:

Genevieve also has an app on iTunes called “Sing with Genevieve”.
To download iTunes app for FREE:

Album release date is June 3, 2014. If you pre-order the album (available for pre-orders in early May), you will receive instant access to the albums next single “Gotta Do My Business”. Which is a fun song to encourage your potty training child with a reggae beat.

Also, to keep up with all things Genevieve and Choo Choo Soul be sure to follow her here:

Twitter: @ChooChooGirl
Facebook: Facebook.com/GenevieveGoings
Instagram: Instagram.com/GenevieveGoings

 I am a participating Influencer at ENMN. I was sent a complimentary single of "My Telephone Number is" by Genevieve Goings to review as a influencer with Entertainment New Media Network.  My thoughts and opinions are always my own.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Birthday party at Sports Connection!

The boy was turning 8 and with that came instructions for his birthday party.  All boys, and fun boy stuff all day.  Easy enough, right?  Well, when you think birthday parties you immediately go to that entertaining mouse and/or one of those inflatable places.  Well, being 8 years old makes you practically a teenager and let's face it, they're TOO cool for most of the traditional birthday places.  We did a lot of research and came across Sports Connection, Jayden actually played soccer here 5 years ago, you can see that HERE.

Sports Connection is a one stop shop for fun, they literally have it ALL!  They have the inflatables, they have the arcade games, Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Rock Climbing Walls, Sports Courts and more!

Jayden wasn't asking for gifts this year, instead he asked for donations for the local children's hospital and we were blessed with so many great items to donate!  We skipped the party room and the cake and ice cream and met 14 of his closest friends for a couple hours of play. 

The first stop was Laser Tag, we got to play 3 rounds and yes, even the adults played!  We had a ball!

Then it was time for some arcade games.  Each boy received a $10 card to play with.  Each arcade game varies in price and instead of tokens they swipe their cards and it also loads their tickets that way too, SO NEAT!

Then we were off to the Bumper Cars, the boys said this was their second favorite part, with Laser Tag being of course first.  These aren't the bumper cars you and I remember, these hover craft looking bumper cars are WAY cooler.  They play fun music and once the song is up so is your turn.  These made all the parents laugh watching them spin around and around. 


Then, we got free reign of the basketball court.  Basketball is by far Jayden's favorite sport, so this was a must stop!

Another way to have fun at Sports Connection is to check out on of their Camps they are offering this Summer! There are half day summer camps for the younger crowd and full day camps for children 6 and up. They offer sports camps and fun camps, which allow them to explore the many attractions. The Summer Camps start June 2nd-August 22nd.

As you can see, these boys had a blast and really prove that Sports Connection really is your one stop shop for fun. Whether it's a birthday party or just an afternoon of fun with the family, there is something for everyone and you're sure to have a blast!

I have received free services in order to review Sports Connection birthday parties.  The opinions expressed here are my own, but I'm sure you'll agree!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Jayden's LEGO Slumber Party!

For the boys 8th birthday this year he was very set on what he wanted.  He wanted to spend the night at the local Drury Inn & Suites and have a sleepover party with a small group of friends.  We spent time earlier that day with a bigger group of friends at Sports Connection.  Details for that part of the party coming soon!

We got a two room suite at Drury Inn, which provided plenty of room for the boys and us grown ups to hang out.  We were really impressed with the staff, they were so friendly and hospitable.  Drury Inn offers something they call the Kick Back, which is offered between 5:30-7:30 and they provide a full meal to all their guests.  You can use it as just a snack to tide you over or a full dinner, and with all the boys this was an awesome perk to have them fed before we went upstairs to our room.  The boys were able to then go swimming in their outdoor/indoor pool for an hour before we settled down. 

With the sleepover we decided to make it a favorite things theme.  The boy listed his favorite things and we planned our party around that.  The decor theme was LEGO's, because let's face it, it may be the only thing he thinks about these days.

The backdrop is made of sqaure paper plates that we bought at Party City for under $3, we drew a few LEGO minifigure favorites on them with a black sharpie.  The boys got a kick out of those.  We got the tablecloth and primary colored banner from the Dollar Tree.

The yellow buckets were .99 at Party City, and they looked like little minifigure heads so we couldn't pass them up!  We drew the faces and the boys name on them as well.  We got three candy dishes at Party City and the colorful scoops were such a cute add on!  The Popcorn came from the hotel lobby, Drury Inn has a Popcorn Machine that runs all day so you can always have a little snack! 

We went with a candy bar because I NEVER, I mean EVER, let this boy have this much candy, let alone candy with all these artificial dyes, but for the sole purpose of fun we went all out. 

 The boys were able to grab their buckets, fill it how they wanted, grab a couple juice boxes and take a seat and watch eachother play video games and then settle down and watched Kickin' It on Disney XD.  We got the boys matching Spiderman PJ's to highlight his love of all things superhero.  The boys played Wii on the 36inch flat screen TV in our 2 bedroom Suite, they played LEGO Harry Potter, LEGO Batman and Disney Infinity.  We also gave each boy a Dragon sheild/cross bow from his favorite movie:  How to Train Your Dragon. 

Jayden asked his guests at his birthday party to bring donations for the local children's hospital in exchange for a gift for himself.  So during the evening at the hotel we let him open one present every hour from us.  He had no idea he was getting gifts from us, so that was a real treat to see how excited he was.

The boys were really well behaved and all were asleep by midnight.  We woke up around 8:30 the next morning and packed up all of our things and got dressed so we could head down for breakfast.  Another great perk from Drury Inn.  This wasn't just some cereal and milk, it was a spread of create-your-own waffles, cereal, sausage, eggs, hashbrowns, biscuits and gravy, the works!  They also had coffee available 24-7 which we loved!  The boys parents then picked them up one by one at the pool as we took one more dip before we left.  Such a fun time, and we do believe we will be doing it again next year! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fresh Express 30 Day Salad Swap {Review}

With wedding bells ringing in my near future I have been kicking my health conscience into overdrive!  I have all new boards on Pinterest with healthy recipes, clean eating and exercises.  I am down 7 lbs since the beginning of March, so something's working!

When I was asked to review Fresh Express Salads, I was more than excited.  Then I read all about their 30 day salad swap challenge and was ready to take it on full force and had to see if my family would join me!  So we decided to swap it with a meal per day, or try and add it as a side instead of something greasy and unhealthy.

There really wasn't a product I didn't like, they do more than just lettuce salads, they offer cooking & juicing greens, spinach, and awesome kits that include everything you need for a delicious salad for the family.  My favorite was the Fresh Express Baby Spinach with some Raspberry Walnut Dressing, while my boys prefer the Fresh Express Veggie Spring Mix with loads of lettuce, carrots, cabbage and radishes. 

To get started on your own 30 day challenge, visit www.30daysaladswap.com and sign up today!  You will receive instant access to the Salad Swap app- compatible with any computer, tablet or smart phone you may have.  Once you've downloaded the app you have a complete, at-your-fingertips guide to eating better and feeling better!

Be sure to follow Fresh Express on Facebook, they post great tips like the one above to help keep you motivated!   Want to try Fresh Express for yourself?  Go and print out a coupon to try their salads for yourself, here

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The boy turns 8! {Personal}

Wow, 8 years old.  I can't even say it out loud, it doesn't seem real.  Every year goes faster than the last. 

This year's favorites:

Food: Mommy's Chicken and Dumplings
Sport: Basketball
TV Show(s): Once Upon a Time and Shark Tank
Best Friend(s): Ryan, Samuel, Jacob H, Kenan and Kalon
Teacher: Miss Seamster (hasn't changed since last year)
Song: ANY Beatles song
Singer: Paul McCartney
Book(s): "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck"
Toy(s): LEGOs
Movie(s): LEGO Movie, I am Sam, Saving Mr. Banks and Frozen
When he grows up he wants to be: "A world changer, just like Walt Disney"
As I went through pictures over the last year I realized how many great memories were made.

This year you:
  • probably read close to 100 books, no joke.  
  • grew in your faith with God.  I've never seen a child so devoted. 
  • tested straight into the AIG program at school. 
  • volunteered 50 hours of your time to help others (we love your generous heart)
  • learned how to master the front flip on the trampoline
  • visited:  Myrtle Beach, Wilmington, Boone, Spencer, Blowing Rock, Asheville and Grandfather Mountain
  • played baseball and basketball
  • lost: two fur babies, Kona and Haley
  • discovered The Beatles and have a deep rooted passion for them and their music
  • researched Walt Disney and in that research discovered someone to look up to

Yes, there were temper tantrums, attitudes, tears and more in between but those are the highlights. You amaze us every single day and remind us how lucky we are to be your parents.  We can't wait to see what the next year will bring!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Saving Mr. Banks {Coupon}

If you haven't seen Saving Mr. Banks, put on your list of must sees!  We had the chance to see Saving Mr. Banks at an advanced screening this year and it quickly became a family favorite!  We're so excited that it will be out on DVD starting tomorrow! 

I'm always a fan of a deal, even on things I don't mind spending full price on.  Disney Movie Rewards is offering a $5 off coupon for Saving Mr. Banks on Blu-Ray.  Valid now through 03/22/14


*Image from Disney Movie Rewards website*

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Beat the heat this summer with $1 movies!

It's back!!  This is one thing we look forward to every year.  As much as we love Summer, some days we love to beat the heat and stay in the AC and enjoy a movie favorite for $1!

The 2014 Summer Movie Express runs for 9 weeks with select titles playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer. Start time is 10 am, and I always suggest getting there a little early because Summer Camps like to show up for these and the theatres fill up fast!  These are great for younger kids too, because if they have a total meltdown half way thru the movie, you're only out $2! 

They start in Charlotte and Huntersville June 17th, but please see your local theatre for program start date. Admission to these films during the Summer Movie Express is only $1 and a portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.

Showing by week:

1 Hotel Transylvania PG
1 The Smurfs 2 PG 
2 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 PG
2 The Pirates: Band of Misfits PG
3 Arthur Christmas PG 
3 Despicable Me 2 PG
4 Lego PG
4 Free Birds PG
5 Adventures of TinTin PG
5 Rise of the Guardians PG
6 Kung Fu Panda 2 PG
6 Madagascar 3 PG 
7 The Croods PG 
7 Epic PG 
8 Turbo PG
8 Walking with Dinosaurs PG
9 Mr. Peabody & Sherman PG
9 Rio 2 PG

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Candy Free Easter Basket Ideas!

My son stays clear of food dyes, so finding a candy he can have is already a battle.  So when it comes to making him an Easter basket we try to get a little more creative and think outside of the yellow peep box!

1. The true story of Easter is a book we read every single year, so starting that tradition is always something I suggest.  The First Easter is a great one, it's geared towards the 5 and up crowd but there are plenty of ones out there for toddlers too!

2.  I also love fun and interactive books!   Usborne has quite a few but for the younger crowd they love this Easter sticker book!  And under $7, great deal!

3. Movies!  My son loves Veggietales and we love getting him a new one on DVD for his Easter basket every year!

4. A new toothbrush.  Stay with me here, I know you're thinking, what kid is going to want a toothbrush.  Umm, last I checked the EB is besties with the Tooth Fairy, so after eating any sweets that day they will want them to brush their sugar bugs away!

5.  You can't go wrong with a stuffed animal.  How about an adorable Peter Rabbit?

Other great basket fillers, or even plastic egg fillers:

*money (we get gold dollars from the post office and he loves getting gold coins from the EB!)
*hot wheels
*nail polish
*sidewalk chalk
*silly string
*video games
*doll clothes
*temporary tattoos
*personalized items

Find a local Egg Hunt, have fun with family and enjoy your Easter!  If you have any candy free ideas we would love to hear them! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Harlem Globetrotters coming to Charlotte! {Giveaway}

Our little man got to go to his very first Harlem Globetrotters game last year and has been counting down the days ever since!  He loves basketball and his season just ended.  He's a lucky boy, they come right around his birthday and right after basketball season is over.  This year they will be in Charlotte, NC March 22nd at 1pm at Time Warner Cable Arena!

The world famous Harlem Globetrotters will take fan interaction to a new level when the 2014 “Fans Rule” World Tour comes to Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte on Saturday, March 22, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. Online voting is now open at harlemglobetrotters.com/rule, where all fans can choose which new game-changing rules they want to see in their hometown.

The Globetrotters were the first organization in sports and entertainment to let fans vote on rules when the team introduced the concept last year. Since the fan response was so overwhelming, the team is doing it again – but with a major twist.

The 2014 online ballot includes three never-before-seen revolutionary rules:

· Hot Hand Jersey – Both teams will have a “Hot Hand Jersey” they can pass among each other. The player who is wearing this jersey will receive double points on made baskets.

· Make or Miss – The quarter begins with only two players on the court for each team. When a team scores, a teammate may enter the game. When they miss, the player missing the shot must leave the court, leaving his or her teammates shorthanded.

· Trick Shot Challenge – Via three challenge flags per team, each coach can challenge the other team to make a trick shot. If the team makes the trick shot, they earn five points. If they miss, the other team receives five points.

Not only will we be taking our boy, we will also be giving away 4 tickets to one lucky reader!!

Please follow ALL the steps on the Rafflecopter form to be considered as a winner.  Giveaway ends on March 13th at midnight and winners will be notified via email. Once we choose a winner we will give you 24 hrs to respond and then we will go to who's next in line.  

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to show ANY Disney Side!

Thinking of planning your own Disney Side party? Let me share how we did it, and feel free to share your own!

It was a beautiful day and we decided to join our friends at a local park and show our Disney Side. We had a wide open Disney party. We had boys and girls, so we went from Minnie & Mickey to Marvel Avengers! There wasn't any Disney Side that we didn't uncover! We enjoyed fun games, prizes, music, food, crafts and even a fun Disney Side photobooth!

We had yummy Disney themed food and snacks:

*Domino's Pizza

* Honest Kids Organic Juice

*Kellogg's Monsters University Snacks: Rice Crispy Treats, Fruit Snacks, and Cheez-it

*Nabisco Honey Maid Marvel Avengers Chocolate Graham snacks

*Crunch Pak Flavorz Disney Sliced Apples (these were a HUGE hit!)


We played:

*Name that Disney song

*Disney Trivia

*Disney Theme Park Bingo

The kiddos had such a blast with the photobooth items. They were able to be princess', pirates, Mickey, Toy Story favorites, and any of the Avengers. As you can see, Hulk was quite popular! Even among our princess'!

Our EPIC Disney Side group photo:

Huge thanks to my friend and fellow blogger, Kerry with Mommy's Got It All for helping me setup and shooting some pics for me!

I have received free products in order to host the Disney Side @ Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own, but I'm sure you'll agree!
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