The Great Nature Project

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, the National Geographic Society is calling on people to go outside and explore nature as part of the Great Nature Project, an unprecedented attempt to capture and appreciate Earth’s biodiversity.

During the week of Sept. 21 to 29, 2013, Great Nature Project participants are asked to take photos of any plants or animals in their own backyards and then upload them to various social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram and Flickr, using the hashtag #GreatNature. All of the photos from around the world will be aggregated on greatnatureproject.org, which launches July 2013.

Nat Geo Kids is also attempting to set a Guinness World Record for the largest online photo album of animals by collecting more than 100,000 animal images. Any image of an animal also tagged with the hashtag #animal will help to break the record.

The Great Nature Project is an easy way to get parents and kids to spend time together outside of the house, exploring the world around them!

Even though our website won’t launch until July, you can still sign up to participate now at greatnatureproject.org.

A Fun Family Getaway *Ticket Giveaway*

castaway bay resort 9

I guess last year’s warm winter spoiled us a little.  This winter’s cold weather and snow has us all ready to go a little banana’s.  My eight year old son told me the other day that “school is taking over my life” and we needed a break!  He was so right.  It was perfect timing because I had just been given the chance to visit Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark Resort in Sandusky, Ohio and see what it was all about.

castaway bay resort 1

We had never been there and we all thought it made a GREAT mini-getaway.  Since it’s only about 140 miles from the Detroit area it isn’t a huge time commitment. We left on a Friday afternoon (a snow day at school) and were there in a couple of hours.  CastawayBay would be perfect for spring break of a mid-winter break.

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The WaterPark was great.  The only problem my son had now was what to do first? I think his favorite attractions were the raft ride (Rendezvous Run) and the wave pool (Castaway Bay Wave Pool).   There were so many things to do, from twisty tubes, to plunges, to getting drenched under the giant bucket of water.  There were attractions for all ages.   There were also plenty of lifeguards on duty at all times.

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It’s also worth mentioning that the temperature at the park was balmy – no shivering here!

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If you choose to stay dry there are plenty of chairs around the park.  There is also snack shack and a couple of other restaurants at the hotel (including a TGI Friday’s).

 

There was also an arcade (Crabbie’s Quarter Deck Arcade) and a Sauna for adults.

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Our hotel room was nice and spotless for when we needed to catch up on our sleep after riding the waves.

 

Thanks to the generosity of CastawayBay we are able to offer a prize pack of 4 day passes to CastawayBay!   You can also check out The Castaway Bay Website for some limited winter specials starting at $129 (use promo code WEB).  To enter the Giveaway please click the link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  I received a free night’s stay to facilitate this review.  All opinions, views and photo’s are honest and my own.

 

 

Free Entrance Days into National Parks for 2013

NationalPark

Planning some family outdoor adventures in the near future?  Mark your calendars for “Free Entrance” days coming to a National Park near you and throughout 2013:

  • January 21: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • April 22-26:National Park Week
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 28: National Public Lands Day
  • November 9-11: Veterans Day Weekend

This even includes: “Entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees.”  For more information on free entrance into National Parks visit: nps.gov.

If it looks like you will not be able to physically visit any National Parks on these free entrance days, but would like to celebrate with your kids, the National Park Service website has online resources for kids and families to get educated.  You can come play and learn in your National Parks through online exploration:

  • Solve a puzzle
  • Save a sand dune
  • Discover the National Park Service Mission in a “clever” quilt.

and much more.

The nice thing about the website is not only is it free right along with the designated park days, but online adventures are free year round.  Will you support the National Parks and celebrate on these “Free Entrance” days?  If so, which one?  Look forward to reading about your upcoming adventures.

Source: National Park Service

Image courtesy of papaija2008 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Snack & Give Back this Holiday Season with KIND

We’ve found the perfect gift for your “Mom-on-the-go” friends. Wait, that would be ALL of your mom friends, right, because what mom isn’t on the go 24/7?

The new campaign from KIND Healthy Snacks encourages you to give back through healthy snacking. Sounds like a win-win to us!

KIND Healthy Snacks partnered with healthy-living do-gooders, Arianna Huffington, Bobbi Brown, and Grace Potter to create limited edition, custom designed and personally-curated KIND cubes. Each limited edition KIND cube comes loaded with 20 KIND Healthy Snack bars (“delicious, all natural foods made from ingredients you can see & pronounce®”), and are available for $42.95 on www.SnackAndGiveBack.co

We love make-up artist Bobbi Brown and that her Eat Pretty Powerful Cube was designed to “…empower women to embrace and enhance their unique beauty, not only through the makeup they wear, but also the ways they choose to live, eat and give back.”.

The Bobbi Brown Eat Pretty Powerful Cube features Bobbi’s four favorite flavors – Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Cashew & Ginger Spice, Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, and Madagascar Vanilla Almond – perfect for moms who want to grab a quick, healthy snack to stay fueled up throughout a busy day. We sampled all of them (delicious!), but noticed the Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan and Madagascar Vanilla Almond disappeared the fastest!

A portion of sales from these cubes will help KIND fund a new KIND Kitchen at the Broome Street Academy, a public charter high school that prepares New York City’s most vulnerable young people to graduate with Regents diplomas.

Arianna Huffington and Grace Potter’s KIND cubes benefit the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Alzheimer’s Association, respectively.

Treat yourself and the favorite moms in your life to a gift of healthy snacks that not only are good for you, but do good too!
A Good Buy: KIND Healthy Snacks Snack & Give Back cubes

An App that Cleans Your Fridge

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the frantic cleaning up has begun aimed at tidying the house before the parade of guests arrives.  For many of us, the fridge serves as a gallery of artwork, photos, and souvenir magnets. Unfortunately, the art is obscured by contact lists.  I know that this was definitely my fridge.  Paper clutter on the fridge is not only unsightly, it can become a headache with overwhelming results.    Fortunately, there is something that can help. Ringya!

Wow, a new free mobile app that does our holiday cleaning for us…by clearing our refrigerators and bulletin boards from contact lists and putting them where they belong…on our smartphones!! And since you’re probably getting together with family this Thanksgiving, the app can help you stay connected after everyone’s gone back home.  Awesome, right?   Though it can’t mop, dust, and do laundry, it can eliminate that fridge paper clutter permanently if you let it.  Now that’s brilliant!

 

Let’s start with the clean-up. How many of you have your kids’ class lists tacked to your fridge? How about their sports or other extra-curricular rosters?  Anyone a PTA member or class parent? Are those lists hanging on your fridge or bulletin board or shoved into a drawer somewhere when they should be on your phone?

With Ringya, you simply snap a photo of any contact list from within the app and Ringya transforms it into a smart digital “Ring” right on your phone. It’s effortless and practical. The next time you’re running late for pick-up and need a fellow parent to help you, the whole class list will be on your phone. When it starts raining 10 minutes before a soccer game, you’ll be able to group text the team re: the changed venue.  If you’re a class parent, you can reach other parents with ease. And with Ringya, your contacts stay current.  Wow, just think!

Say you upload your office directory and a few weeks later there’s a new hire or someone’s info changes. When the info is updated in Ringya, the entire group gets the new information so you stay current.

As for the family get together, Ringya is a great way for everyone to stay in touch. One family member uploads everyone’s contacts and shares the Ring (list) with the group.  Everyone can easily stay in touch and coordinate future family get togethers (holiday gatherings, reunions, etc.) I don’t know about you, but I have my immediate family in my phone, but have to scrounge around for contact info of extended relatives. A family Ring means everyone’s on my phone in an organized easy-to-find manner.  It’s truly amazing how far technology has come, don’t you think?

Happy Thanksgiving!

For more info about Ringya, watch the video by clicking here:

Click here to download Ringya from the Appstore

Read more on Ringya’s website by clicking here.

Images courtesy of Ringya

 

Chuck E. Cheese’s Goes Gluten-Free

Yes, that’s right! Chuck E. Cheese’s now offers a gluten-free menu option.  Did you know that the month of November is Gluten-free diet awareness month?  According to the Wall Street Journal, “1 out of 15 children in the United States” have some sort of food allergy.”  The statistic alone is disheartening as it seems to be on an incline.

Because so many children throughout the United States are suffering from diet restrictions, like wheat products, Chuck E. Cheese’s has launched its new gluten-free pizza and even cupcake options on all store locations menus to accommodate guests with these special dietary needs.

Apparently, Chuck E. Cheese’s received positive feedback during their gluten-free pizza and cupcake pilot test that took place just this last spring.  They have now moved ahead on this journey toward offering these gluten-free products to stores and to families all across the country.  Families and children can now enjoy a menu catered to their gluten-free diets.  This is great news! Double kudos to Chuck E. Cheese’s for making this decision on behalf of families and nutrition.

How exactly was this decision achieved and how did the products come about?  Chuck E. Cheese’s worked with two partners to develop this process.  Thanks to Conte’s Pasta and Fabe’s All Natural Bakery for helping make this possible.  The gluten-free pizza arrives at Chuck E. Cheese’s in pre-sealed packaging straight from New Jersey.  It is a certified gluten-free facility.  The chocolate fudge cupcakes are also pre-sealed in a single-serving package straight from this respected bakery.  For full story, click here.

Families and children all across the country with gluten-free diets, can now enjoy this popular family-friendly food chain to the fullest.   I know a few families that chose to avoid Chuck E. Cheese’s altogether or even turn down birthday party invitations due to their allergies.  Now, they don’t have to and I can see the smiles begin to form even now.  Spread the word to your friends about this new gluten-free menu option.

Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza fans can now follow updates about the family entertainment center’s new gluten-free pizza and cupcake by visiting Chuck E. Cheese’s Gluten-Free Facebook Application.

Watch video on the new menu options nationwide: http://youtu.be/1LiXszmhRLQ

Are you happy about Chuck E. Cheese’s new menu option?  We would love to hear from you.

 

Image: Wikimedia Commons-Try to Love Again

Source: Pitch Engine

 

Holiday Fun at the Ice Age Ice Palace

The Ice Age Ice Palace at the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets Mall is now open!

 

WHAT:  A spectacular holiday Ice Age Ice Palace where you can enjoy a 30-foot ice dome with falling snow, a light show and new this year, the beloved prehistoric herd for Ice Age: Continental Drift  (which is debuting on Blu-ray™ and DVD Dec. 11).

 

WHEN:

November 8, 2012 – December 24, 2012, visit the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets website for Ice Palace specific set hours and other holiday information.

 

WHERE:

Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, in District 7 adjacent to AMC Theatres.

 

Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Good Neighbor Holiday Campaign

With the holidays quickly approaching, it is the perfect time of year for giving and helping families in need this season.  Did you know that “1 in 5 face hunger in Metro Detroit?”  Very disheartening, but you can help someone reduce hunger whether it’s through donations or volunteer work.

There is currently a program where you can provide 5 meals for neighbors in need.  The Good Neighbor Holiday Campaign, presented by Art Van Furniture, is inviting families to donate just $1 for this cause.  Are you a Detroit Pistons fan?  If you donate $125 or more for the Good Neighbor Holiday Campaign, you can earn 2 tickets to a Detroit Pistons game.  Supplies are limited so hurry and make your donation.  Even though this is a great incentive to help someone else, there are so many families that are hungry or are going hungry.  Will you help this season?

You can sign up to donate for this cause through the Forgotten Harvest website by clicking here.  Whatever amount you can contribute is greatly appreciated.

If you would also be interested in volunteer work through Forgotten Harvest, click here.

 

Source: Forgotten Harvest

Image: Free Digital Photos

Life Simplified Twitter Party, You’re Invited!

If you are a mommy, most likely you are always searching out ways to “simplify” your life.  It’s definitely not unheard of since life can become so hectic, am I right?  I think I heard some groans or some “O Yeahs” behind that…haha!  This can definitely be the truth when trying to juggle personal to-do lists along with your children’s lists.  It’s a definite challenge.

If you remember, in a previous post I did a review on a new iPhone app, Ringya.  Feel free to read up on that if you haven’t had a chance or simply as a refresher. (Click here)

Interested in swapping tips and tricks with other moms and possibly winning some awesome prizes? I know you just can’t resist, so come to the party!  Twitter party that is on Thursday, November 8, 2012 @ 9:00 p.m. EST.

What are some things you can expect to discuss?

  • Product Time Savers
  • Tackling Mom Challenges
  • Sharing whom or what saves our day

There will be three $50 gift cards for Amazon.com for party participants, so stay for the whole hour!  You don’t want to miss out on the fun.

Party Details for Life Simplified Twitter Party

When: Thursday, November 8, 9-10 pm EST (8-9 pm CT; 7-8 pm MT; and 6-7 pm PT)

Who: Hosts: Melissa Brodsky, Rock and Drool @rockdrool; Kelly Whalen, Centsible Life,@centsiblelife, and truly yours, Lindsey Clair, Detroit Mommies, @detroitmommies.  Moderated by @Ringymobile.

How can you join the “life simplified” Twitter party?  Follow the hashtag #ringya.  Are you a Twitter party expert?   Feel free to link to their tweetgrid by joining the party here.

If you would be interested in winning an awesome prize at the Twitter party, just leave your Twitter handle on Rinya’s Facebook page and tweet in response to at least one question.  Ringya will @message winners where they then must follow @Kveller in order to receive their prize.

Interested in inviting some fellow mom friends?  Here are some suggested tweets and links you can use thanks to Ringya:

  • I’m going to the #Ringya Life Simplified Twitter party on 11/8 at 9pm ET. Join me! http://goo.gl/1zPOB
  • Let’s talk time savers, busy mom tips, and what saves our day at the #Ringya Twitter Party 11/9 at 9pm ET. http://goo.gl/1zPOB
  • Swap tips re simplifying life and managing daily juggle at Ringya Twitter party on 11/9 at 9pm ET. http://goo.gl/1zPOB

Hope you can join me at the Twitter party!

 

Source: Ringya

Image courtesy of Ringya

 

Small Business Workshops in Metro Detroit

If you are passionate about small businesses within your city, you don’t want to miss the Carhartt event this weekend.  Carhartt is inviting “some of the most passionate experts behind small businesses.”  Each expert will be conducting workshops you most definitely do not want to miss.

The upcoming workshops will be taught by handpicked influential members of our society such as Chazz Miller from the Public Art Workz’s and Mike Score of Hantz Farms.

Whether you are a small business owner looking to become a greater influence or an entrepreneur looking for some stellar knowledge from top experts in particular fields, this event may be beneficial to you and is definitely worth attending.

Here are more details about the Carhartt event:

Carhartt Event

Saturday, September 29th

9:00 a.m to 3:30 p.m.

@Historic Eastern Market

Sign up at www.skillshare.com/carhartt  to secure your spot!  Additional workshops are scheduled for October 27th and November 17th.

For more information, contact carharttworkshop@carhartt.com

 

Image courtesy of Girlilla Marketing