Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Lion King Roars into Atlanta

Dea Win from Pretty Girls Rock Dresses was kind enough to review The Lion King for Mamalicious Maria readers! She received complimentary tickets but her opinions are always her own. Thanks Dea!

Credit: Broadway in Atlanta
The Lion King is now playing at Atlanta's Fox Theatre!  It's a phenomenon of epic proportions.  I had the opportunity to witness the Tony Award winning stage play last week as it roared its way into Atlanta, leaving the audience speechless. The Lion King is a true experience.

It bring the African savanna to life with its spectacular costumes, puppets, and amazing performances.  The more than 40 member cast brought Disney's fantastic tale to life with spirited creations of giraffes, elephants, hyenas, lions, birds, and the starring characters.  Imagine the majesty of the Disney cartoon being in front of your face and all around you! Kids of all ages will enjoy the wonderful experience of Atlanta's Pride Rock at the Fabulous Fox Theater!

I had an amazing time enjoying the show with my family.  The show takes you on an emotional roller coaster that leaves you cheering, shaking your head, and hoping it will never end.  If you are in Atlanta (or even close by) you should definitely put The Lion King on your must-see list.  And bring the kids!  If they enjoy the movie, they will love the stage production.

Special thanks to Brave PR for the invitation to this show.  Secure your tickets today by visiting Broadway in Atlanta for details!  But hurry...the production is only here for 1 more week until April 27, 2014!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Win a house cleaning & spa gift certificate from @Nuuvoclean

Disclosure: I received a complimentary house cleaning in order to review their services.  As always, all opinions are my own and not swayed by the cleanliness that followed their visit.

Look at this spotless range!
The best feeling in the world is coming home to a clean house...that someone else cleaned.  Seriously, the bright shining countertops, the glowing wood floors, the dust-free end tables...it's heavenly.  My only issue with having a cleaning service clean my house is the harsh chemicals they often use, which can be hard on my kids and I who suffer from allergies and asthma. However, we just had our house cleaned by Nuuvo Clean, an eco-friendly Atlanta-based house cleaning service, and they took that issue away.

Nuuvo Clean prides itself on not being your "typical" cleaning service.  They make setting up an appointment (and paying for it) easily done online.  It took me under 1 minute to sign up and confirm my cleaning appointment.  They are also eco-friendly and are focused on leaving the smallest environmental footprint as possible.  They use new or sanitized supplies so germs aren't spread and the cleaners themselves are prudent, meticulous, and hard-working.  All members of the cleaning teams have passed the Nuuvo Clean comprehensive background check too.  Bottom line, they did a FANTASTIC job on my crumb-filled, sticky-fingerprint covered house.  They even go above and beyond by cleaning the microwave out and even cleaning the lint trap in the dryer! Plus, there wasn't the chemical smells left behind.

Live in the Atlanta-area and want to win a cleaning for yourself ($159/value) AND a $50 spa gift certificate at Blue Lotus Clinical Skincare in Alpharetta which offers skincare, threading, and waxing services?  What a PERFECT pre-Mother's Day gift for yourself!

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Check out these before and after photos of my powder room and my living room.  I wish you could smell how much better the "after" really was!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Five Life lessons Learned from Stand Up Paddleboarding

Disclosure: I received travel and accommodations to Daytona Beach to view their family-friendly offerings. All opinions are my own. Be sure to hop over to Examiner.com to read the series of articles highlighting the best family-orientated things to see, do, and eat in Daytona Beach.
I recently was treated to trip to Daytona Beach.  I went without my kids so I could concentrate and come back to tell you all the amazing things I found to experience in the rather quiet town five hours from Atlanta. I stayed a really hip luxury hotel, The Shores Resort and Spa, who served complimentary s'mores each night.(They know the way to my heart!)  I spent time marveling over the art at the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences, standing on hallowed ground at the Daytona International Speedway, and climbing the 203 steps to the top of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.  It was all very exciting and interesting, but the one thing that stood out the most from my trip was my Stand Up Paddleboarding tour with Three Brothers Boards.  

Stand Up Paddleboarding is a rather new sport that is a spin-off of surfing, except you stay standing on your board and use a paddle, like an oar, for balance and to propel yourself through the water.  It was  a fun yet intense workout, and an almost spiritual experience.  Learning to trust myself in the middle of the Inter-coastal waterway, with sharks literally not far away, left me filled with pride and awe. Who knew I would learn life lessons from a Stand Up Paddleboarding experience in Daytona Beach? But I did.

Five Life Lessons Learned from Stand Up Paddleboarding

  1. Plant your feet firmly.  The key to keeping your balance on the paddleboard is to stand assertively with your feet shoulder width apart, head up, shoulders back, and weight balanced.  This is how you should stand on solid ground, too. Never be afraid to stand tall, eyes focused on your goal.
  2. Don't stop rowing.  If you stop rowing, the current will carry you away from your goal, and it will also be easier to lose your balance.  So keep rowing! Keep making strides in the direction you want to go and you will get there...eventually.
  3. If you fall, get back up.  While many people are able to go Stand Up Paddleboarding without getting wet, that's not always the case.  Sometimes you will have a headwind, a stray current, or just lose your balance and you may fall. But that's OK.  Get back to your board and start again. Just like in life, the lesson doesn't end just because you fall down.
  4. Take command of your vessel.  Having confidence to maneuver the paddleboard, and stay balanced and afloat, is the most important skill to learn.  The current doesn't decide where you go, you do! The water doesn't say if you can stay steady or not, you do!  Whatever your vessel is in life...your job, your family, your hobbies...take command of it to make sure it gets you where you want to go.
  5. Remember to breathe. The one thing we all need to do every minute of our lives is often the one thing that we forget about when times get tough.  When you feel unbalanced...breathe.  When you are anxious about something...breathe.  When your legs are wobbly and your arms are tired and you don't think you can go another stroke...just breathe.  It will center you, steady you, and calm you.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

$50 giveaway to Kohl's + Check out the new Magic at Play Disney line

Disclosure: I received a gift card to shop the Magic at Play line at Kohl's and also to give one to a lucky reader.  All opinions are my own.
Whenever I bring the kids to a Disney theme park I like to dress them alike.  It's cute, yes, but it's also functional.  I can pick them out in the a crowd quickly and if I lose track of one (not that I ever do that of course) I don't have to think hard to remember what that kid was wearing.  So when Kohl's asked me to check out their new Disney line to gear up for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at Disneyland this week, I jumped at the chance.

I hit Kohl's with my giftcard and since the line was 30% off this week AND I had a $10 off $30+ purchase coupon, I got some great deals.  The line is super cute with a Mickey Mouse-focus for the boys and Minnie for the girls.  Most items are in the red, white and blue theme (perfect for Memorial Day and 4th of July) but there was a few pink items for girls thrown in.  These are high-quality items too and I know they will last, so that equals great value to me. I liked that the line didn't stop at 4T and went all the way up to XXL or 7X.  I actually bought shirts for all 4 kids!  

Want to check out this line for yourself?  Or buy anything else at Kohl's?  Enter the giveaway below to win $50 to spend however you want!

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Meet The Happy's #TheHappys #sponsored

Disclosure: I received free products in order to host the Cepia, LLC sponsored MommyParty with The Happys. The opinions expressed here are my own.
The Happys

My friends at MomSelect have introduced my kids and I to a variety of cool products and services and have helped me pass items on to readers and friends.  So, when they told me about the new toy, The Happys, I didn't know what to expect but figured it would be good.  And I was right!  The Happys are a new line of interactive puppies and kitten plush "pets". They play, make over 25 silly sounds, and they can even be trained.  Seriously.  They can play keep away or chase a special ball.  For someone like me who just can't handle a pet, The Happys are the next best thing!

I brought The Happys party kit I was sent to a playdate I was hosting for the Metro Atlanta Chapter of Mocha Moms Inc.  It was the 2nd day of Spring Break and we were meeting at a local outdoor shopping center that has a central park.  There were 11 kids "officially" at our playdate but The Happys created quite a stir and more kids kept coming over to run after The Happys.  They worked well outside (but better in a shaded area).  It was fun to see the kids run around after them as if they were real.  At my playdate, there were kids ranging in age from 1-8 years old and ALL of them played with The Happys. Not many toys can do that.

The Happys are available nationwide at Toys R' Us and other retail stores. Cost: $19.95.  Each pet requires 2 AAA batteries.  I was supplied with batteries from Rayovac which have lasted so much longer than the cheap ones I usually buy.  As a treat, MomsSelect also sent me some bags of Werther's Original Caramel Popcorn to share.  It was so good though that I really didn't want to share.  Really.

A beautiful Spring play date was had thanks to The Happys.  I know there are a lot of new toys out there on the market but I recommend checking out The Happys.  It's a toy your kid will actually play with. Yay!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A behind-the-scenes look at the @GeorgiaAquarium

Disclosure: My family and I were given a complimentary behind-the-scenes tour and admission to the Georgia Aquarium in order to tell readers about our experience.  All opinions are my own.

My family and I love the Georgia Aquarium.  It is an educational experience as well as am interactive and entertaining one as well. My kids are always amazed at the Oceans Voyager wall of fish.  They loved the new Deepo's Chatroom and even asked the 3-D "fish" a question.  And of course they can't leave the Aquarium without seeing the AT&T Dolphin Tales show.  They now even love touching the fish in the hands-on experience.  But before last week they had never seen the behind-the-scenes side of the Georgia Aquarium.  And now we all have a new respect, and perspective, on this fun Atlanta attraction. 

We enjoyed the view at the top of the world's largest exhibit (Ocean Voyager, presented by Home Depot), and observed the world's largest fish, the whale shark, as it swims literately just a few feet away. We learned firsthand what it takes to support and run the largest exhibit in the world while viewing the incredible Ocean Voyager filtration system. And we even got to see the veterinary clinic and commissary where the Georgia Aquarium workers care for their animals and prepare their food. And the cute little African penguins in the Correll Center Animal Care Suite were a hit with my crew. 

 I was surprised at how my kids (aged 7, 5, 4 and almost 2) were paying rapt attention to the tour guide. They even asked some very thoughtful questions! My kids are a little on the young side for a typical behind-the-scenes tour though so be sure to ask about age requirements for the different tours if you are interested in taking your family.  And in case you were wondering, I took all 4 kids on this tour by myself because my husband was out of town.  It is possible to bring a gaggle of kids to the Aquarium!  Here are some tips to keep in mind if you do want to book a behind-the-scenes tour at the Georgia Aquarium.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Behind-the-Scenes Tours at the Georgia Aquarium
  • Behind-the-scenes tours start at $15/person (over the regular price of admission)
  • The tour guide will arrive 10 minutes before the tour start time. All tours leave on time. Guests arriving up to 10 minutes late will be escorted to join the rest of the tour already in progress. No refunds will be issued for missing part or all of a tour.
  • All tours can be booked by individuals or by a group.
  • No high heels allowed on the tour.
  • Tours will not exceed 15 people.
  • Payment in full required at the time of booking. Booking can be made by calling the Georgia Aquarium call center at 404-581-4444 or at the ticket window. Find information here.
  • There are no refunds for no-shows.
  • Date changes must be made at least 24 hours before the scheduled time of the tour.
  • All tours are subject to change due to medical procedures or other unforeseen circumstances. 
  • No food or drink is allowed on the tour.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Win a Caillou Talking Doll! #cailoudoll

Do you have a child who can't get enough of the PBS show, Caillou? You know who I'm talking about.  It's the theme song that will stay in your head all day. "I'm just a kid who's four but each day I grow some more. I'm Caillou...". Now your child can get their fill of Caillou wihout turning on the TV.  The Caillou Talking Doll was just released in stores April 1.  

Caillou is an award-winning educational television programming for kids.  It has consistently ranked in the top 10 TV series for preschoolers since it debuted in 2000.  The Caillou Talking Doll lets children continue the fun they have with the TV with a whole new level of interaction.  The doll offers ten educational interactions mean to spark children's creativity, including two easy French words to learn and say.  (I hope they are "oui maman".) The Caillou Talking Doll will have a fresh new look for this world renowned character, with bright new school gear including a removable backpack and hat. Caillou apparel, books, home video and other merchandise are also sold online and in mass and specialty retail stores nationwide

The Caillou Talking Doll will retail for $34.95 but you don't have to wait to get one.  Just enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a brand new Cailou Talking Doll for yourself!

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