We Got the FUNK

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Simple Holiday Hot Chocolate To-Go Gift

Disclosure:  I am partnering with Oriental Trading for this post.  No compensation was provided.  All opinions are my own. 

This week I walked into work and one of my sweet kiddos had a beautiful gift for me.  As a high school teacher, we rarely receive gifts of any sort.  For me a handwritten note or an email is so meaningful, however, it is always a joy to receive an unexpected surprise and that is just what I plan to do for my children's teachers this season!
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This year I want to share some holiday cheer with the entire staff at my children's school.  However, I have to stay on a budget and so I perused Oriental Trading's website and found just the right items to make a rocking and budget friendly holiday gift!

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Everyone loves a little hot chocolate, and when I came across these awesome peppermint spoons, snowman fluff marshmallows and the amazing buffalo plaid to-go cups, I knew exactly what I was going to do.  A little DIY hot chocolate to-go gift for all!  I snagged it all up and then I decided that I needed to make a printable tag to go with these! You can print your tags here

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Spreading a little warmth and love through some hot chocolate fun is just what everyone needs and can enjoy! I fully believe in showing extreme gratitude to our educators and the support staff.  Education is a hard job to be in, it is political, it is a mash up of a million different jobs and it can be very draining on a person.  On our worst days, we question our choices but remind ourselves of how much we love what we do.  On our best days we drink in the successes and tuck those memories away.  
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I know that as a teacher, receiving a gift like this would really make my day.  Something easy that I can make at work and enjoy as I am teaching or something that I can take home and make while I grade papers.  I really hope the educators and support staff in my children's life feel the same way!

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The hot chocolate to-go cup is easy to put together. Simply, just add a package of hot chocolate mix, snowman fluff marshmallows, a peppermint spoon and if you want a few pieces of chocolate too!  Then tie the gift tag and add the lid!  Super easy and cute too!

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This is a great gift for anyone in your life, and is so budget friendly.  Oriental Trading always has the best items from home decor, to party, to DIY and even awesome family game night items like Qwirkle (this tactical game is super fun and easy to play and a great addition to any holiday celebration)!  I cannot wait to spread the holiday cheer with the educators and support staff at my children's schools!

Grab the printable, place your order from Oriental Trading and spread that warmth and cheer!

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How to Create a Relaxing Spa Gift Bag with Glade® #GladeHolidayCheer [AD]

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GladeHolidayCheer #CollectiveBias

The holiday season is full of family, friends, gifts and often, anything but relaxation.  I wanted to change that this year and create a relaxing at home spa gift bag for the holiday season with Glade® Fragrances!
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The hustle and bustle of the season is so chaotic.  Between now and the end of the year, we do not have a weekend to relax, and just this past week we were at an event either for school, work or this blog every night until 8:00 PM.  Relaxing seems like a far off dream right now, however, it is a dream that I want to make a reality for my friends and family!  We are all busy, but self care is so crucial, so when the holiday scents from the makers of Glade® hit the shelves, I was inspired to help them relax and take care of themselves.

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I spotted the Glade® limited edition holiday fragrances at King Soopers on display.  I love the Glade® holiday scents because they bring that warmth into your home that is so comforting and relaxing.  They have the scents available any way you would like them; jar candles, wax melts, aerosols and PlugIns® air fresheners!  I am a candle girl, so I purchased two of my favorites.

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The Tree Lighting Wonder™ scent has a wonderful blend of fir needle, spruce and eucalyptus.  It is a refreshing scent that brings energy into the room.  I personally love this one and tend to purchase several of them to have lit year-round. I love the warmth it brings to my home and the relaxing feel I get from the beautiful aroma.

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My second favorite, that screams warm, homey feel is the Cozy Cider Sipping™ scent. This blend of apple with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon and a touch of berries is just what the soul ordered and I know my friends and family will love this one too!  With the jar candles in hand, I grabbed a few other items that definitely help me relax and went home to craft some beautiful gift bags and tags.

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I had to create a bold and gorgeous gift bag tag that I could attach to each of the bags that I am putting together.  For the gift bags, I purchased simple brown paper bags, curling ribbon, paper stuffing and then I made and printed these gift tags.  You can download and print these tags here.

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I printed the tags on white cardstock and punched a hole in the top of the card, then using the curling ribbon, I attached it to the handle of the gift bag.  Super simple but a great personal touch that lets the gift receiver know the intent of the gift!

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I made a few of these bags, but each one has the same basic stuff in it.  Face masks, a Glade® jar candle, chocolates, soft socks, a gift card for coffee and bath bombs.  I might also put in some lotions, sugar scrub and some soft gloves too.  I haven't decided yet, but those would be great options!

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The bags are perfect, simple but full of love and encouragement to take a moment for yourself this season.  I am not going to lie, I might have made a bag for myself as well, because this mama also needs a nice evening of relaxing in a nice bath, surrounded with my Glade® holiday scented candles, pampering myself and clearing my mind of all the busyness of the holiday season.  This is exactly what I hope my friends and family do as well!

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Be on the lookout for Glade® Holiday Limited Edition Fragrances on display at your local Kroger store now!  These jar candles really do bring the magic into the season and will make a great gift for anyone on your list.  


Do you know someone who needs a little holiday relaxation?

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Monday, December 11, 2017

The Easiest Marble French Toast Loaf Cake Bake #ServingUpTheSeason [ad]

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ServingUpTheSeason #CollectiveBias

I am about to share with you, pure genius and some melt in your mouth type of love.  This weekend with all the hustle and bustle of the season, we needed breakfast and we needed something that was quick and easy.  I created a new family favorite and this easy Marble French Toast Loaf Cake Bake with Marie Callender's® and Reddi-Wip® is about to be a family favorite for you too!

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It all hit me while I was shopping at King Soopers the night before.  I was just walking down the ice cream aisle, when I noticed my favorite Marie Callender's Loaf Cakes were on sale...and I had a coupon!  I snagged those right up and then headed to the dairy section because this recipe needed a little Reddi-Wip to top it off.  Breakfast the next morning was going to be epic!

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I got up the next morning, and started prepping the french toast bake ingredients.  I needed the loaf cakes, some eggs, milk, Reddi-Wip and caramel sauce. I am a huge fan of the Marie Callender's Loaf cakes because they are made from scratch and have that amazing fresh-baked taste.  Its has that homemade taste, only better, because they are easy to make and easy to clean up! The double chocolate and the pound cake are amazing and they are perfect to use in this french toast recipe.

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These bakery inspired classics are made from scratch with delicious, wholesome ingredients and can go from the freezer, to the oven, to the table in 30 minutes.  They pair perfectly with Reddi-Wip, which is made with real cream and gives you that little bit of indulgence without the guilt since there is 15 calories per serving.  It was time to get my breakfast bake on and enjoy this amazing meal.

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As I am prepping the ingredients and taking photos, the kids rush into the kitchen.  Lately, we have been baking, cooking and overall learning to share the household responsibilities.  For me it is so important to teach my children how to cook, how to take responsibility in a home and how to be awesome people.  It is pretty easy for me to move over and share the kitchen with these two and they are getting to be rockstars around the house too!

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We sliced up the loaf cake, placed it in a greased casserole dish and then prepped our egg and milk mixture to pour on the loaf cake.  This breakfast is really a sweet morning treat, but is so tasty your family will be begging for more.  It is also an easy breakfast for your kids to help you make.  I literally, was able to stand back and take photos while the kids prepped the entire breakfast.

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Once the loaf cake bake was in the oven for about 30 minutes, I turned it to broil to add just a little toast to the cake.  It baked perfectly and was melt in your mouth amazing.  The best part was that I was able to set the french toast loaf cake bake in the oven and get the kids ready for the busy day ahead of us.  Once it was done, we sat down, topped it with Reddi-Wip and devoured this, and then clean up was a snap.

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I know you are dying to get your hands on this recipe, so make sure to print it out below.  Your family will thank you later.  Also with the holiday season upon us, this would make a great breakfast option and you cannot beat the current sale price with the coupons at King Soopers either!

print recipe
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Marble French Toast Loaf Cake Bake
This is a super easy breakfast casserole bake option with loaf cakes.
Ingredients
  • 1 Box Marie Callender's Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
  • 1 Box Marie Callender's Pound Cake Loaf Cake
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • To Taste Reddi-Wip
  • To Taste Caramel Topping
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 375º
2. Remove Marie Callender's Loaf Cakes from packaging and cut into 1 inch thick slices.
3. Alternately layer the loaf cake slices into a greased casserole dish.
4. Wisk eggs and milk together and pour over the loaf cakes.
5. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Then remove covering and broil for 3 minutes on high.
6. Remove from oven, top with Reddi-Wip and caramel sauce and serve!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 9x13 casserole dish

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I am headed back this afternoon to stock up on these Marie Callender's loaf cakes.  I have a new breakfast option and it will definitely be our holiday go to breakfast!  The kids loved it and loved helping me make it and the husband told me that I better hide the leftovers if I want a chance at them.

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Be sure to stop by your local King Soopers and scoop up the fantastic deals and great savings on Marie Callender's and Reddi-Wip.  Click on the images to for the coupons and make sure to check out Marie Callender's and Reddi-Wip online for future savings!

Marie Callender's: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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The holiday's are just not the holiday's without a fantastic breakfast option. Make breakfast a little easier on yourself (and your pocketbook) and let your kids help bake up this marble french toast loaf cake.  It would also make an awesome dessert option.  You really cannot go wrong with this tasty treat!

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What is your go-to holiday breakfast option?

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

You NEED to See Disney On Ice Follow Your Heart. Here is Why!

Disclosure:  I was provided free tickets to Disney On Ice, but we are forever Disney fans here and would have purchased tickets anyway. 

The other night myself, my sister and our kids headed downtown for one of our absolute must do family traditions!  Disney On Ice is in town and we never miss a chance to see our favorite characters dance, sing and play out some of our favorite scenes right in front of us. 

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Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart is a fantastic mashup of some of the most memorable characters in Disney history and has something for everyone.  From a new feature of Riley and the emotions from Inside Out to the story of Finding Dory and even a little excerpt from Fantasia!  It was a fantastic sprinkling of everything we have grown up with and everything that continues to make Disney On Ice spectacular.

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My nephew is one and is just starting to really get into Disney.  He loves Mickey Mouse and as soon as the show started he sat straight up, pointing and trying to say "Hi" to Mickey.  The little Disney fan inside him is just starting to show, and you guys, it was pretty awesome to see his face completely enthralled in the magic of it all!

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The characters from Inside Out played a huge part in helping the audience to learn to follow their heart and help Riley through her trials and tribulations with ice hockey.  I just adore this movie and love the way that Disney On Ice brought the story to life.  However, I would have to say that my favorite part of the show was the Disney Princesses segment!

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They ease into this by highlighting each of the princesses strengths and then each of them gets a moment to shine.  This was a fantastic portion of the show, which actually had my sister along with the rest of the crowd on the edge of their seats as there was partner work and some amazing aerial performances.  Blades, ice, people dangling from ropes and sheets all while performing to music and spinning really fast!  WHEW!  It was amazing!

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My little one basically sat like this the entire show.  I could not get her to look away and she was singing as loud as she could when the various songs came on!  It was adorable and I love seeing the world of Disney through her eyes. 

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My son knew that Finding Dory was going to be part of the show and so he waited patiently the entire time to get his eyes on this awesome portion of the show.  We were not disappointed!  This was fantastic and the star of the show for us was the appearance of HANK!

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We love us some Hank and he was so fun to watch on the ice.  Disney On Ice Follow Your Heart was packed full of so many characters and storylines, from the Finding Dory to Toy Story and yes, of course a little bit of Frozen!  Disney On Ice literally makes it snow during Frozen and the pyrotechnics are pretty awesome too!  

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The show was a smashing success and we had a wonderful time.  We are always amazed by the different experiences that we see each time and the reactions that our kids have.  I fully expected the little one to proclaim for the 3rd time that Frozen was the best part, but nope, she loved the "flying princesses" and my son felt that Hank was the best ever!

Either way, the show has 4 more performances here in Denver and tickets are still available!  Grab yours today and make sure to use the Promo Code, HEART at checkout!  The showtimes for Denver are below and tickets start at just $15.00!  You do not want to miss this!

Saturday December 9th at 3:00PM & 7:00PM
Sunday December 10th at 1:00PM & 5:00PM

Are you a Disney On Ice fan too?

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Our First Month at Goldfish Swim School

Disclosure:  I am partnering with Goldfish Swim School.  All opinions are my own. 

I have shared a few snapshots of our experiences at Goldfish Swim School on my social media channels and EVERYONE is asking me about it.  It has been an amazing experience for our family and for the next few months, I plan to share all the ins and outs about Goldfish Swim School and our progress too! Today I thought I would give you a quick glimpse at the facility and some basic information about the school. 

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We have tried several other swim lesson options.  Through our local recreation centers, private lessons, me teaching them and nothing has worked.  Neither of my kids could swim and the youngest had no fear and was a danger near water.  When I checked out Goldfish Swim School online their perpetual lesson model was very interesting to me. I also loved how flexible they were and how easy it was to choose our day and time that we were available for lessons.  Scheduling was a breeze and we were so excited for lessons.

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We arrived for our first lessons and the building was easy to find, parking was simple and when we walked into the building it was welcoming, bright and had every amenity you could imagine.

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The changing rooms were large enough that I could change both my kids with ease and space.  There were plenty of rooms, hooks and a bench in each changing room.  The floor was not slippery and the building was nice and warm. 

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In the parent waiting area there is a space for your kids that are not in lessons to color and play along with tons of toys too.  The parent waiting area is awesome as well.  Not only is there the play area for your children, but there are plenty of seats to watch the lessons as they happen behind the glass windows. 

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The pool is heated to 90º C and is split into lanes that are easily labeled for your children to find their teacher with little help from mom and dad.  At the beginning of lessons, the children line up at the door to go in and check in with the head guard for their lessons, then they jump right into the pool with their instructor and start lessons immediately.  Each class is no bigger than 4 children and is tailored to your child's needs.

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Each lane also has all the tools the instructor needs to teach that weeks skills and to reinforce the previous lessons as well.  The instructor moves the child through the lessons at their own pace.  For example, both my kids started out in the beginning Glider 1 group that will help them become more comfortable and safe in water, however, my son is progressing much faster than our daughter and he will be moving up one or two levels soon.  In his class he just works on the skills for those other levels while my daughter is still working on her back float and water safety.  Each kids has their needs met and is not being held back, which I LOVE! 

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My kids both walked in comfortable in water.  In fact they love to go to the pool, however, neither of them could tread water, neither were great about putting their faces in water, neither could do a back float and forget propelling themselves in the water, it wasn't happening.  In just three lessons, my son can swim from the wall the the platform and he can turn over and do a back float mid swim!  My daughter is able to do her back float and is very comfortable putting her face in the water.  HUGE progress for our kids. The biggest thing for us though is that they are having fun.  They look forward to lessons each week and are excited to learn and practice.  This was never the case with other lessons and it makes my heart happy to see how much they are loving these lessons and Goldfish Swim School.

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Lessons last 30 minutes.  Near the end of each lesson, parents are invited to the pool edge to watch their child show off one of their newly acquired skills and to check in with the instructor on progress.  Students can also test out of their current classes and earn ribbons for various skills that they have mastered!  We are ready to earn our first ribbons this week!  After lessons finish, kids go to the open showers where they can wash their hair and bodies with provided soap and then dry off and head to the changing rooms.

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Once changed, the kids can go to the blowdrying station and dry their hair while mom and dad spin out their swim suits in the provided machines.  Seriously, they have thought of everything.  Even providing diapers and other necessities for the babies and each week there is a little Goldfish surprise the kids can take with them after their lesson. 

Goldfish Swim School is a fantastic business that is centered around kids and whose lessons actually work.  I cannot wait to report back next month with our progress and share even more tips and awesome things about Goldfish!  You can learn more about their classes, their values and the fantastic programs they offer by checking out their website.  You should definitely enroll your kids now, because as the word continues to get out about Goldfishes they will fill up and you DO NOT want to miss out on some extremely amazing swim lessons!


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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

5 Gifts on My List this Year!

Disclosure: I was provided with a free sample.  All opinions are my own. 

In 20 days Christmas will be here and I am so giddy about it!  I love the holiday season, I love everything about it.  Just like most, I like giving gifts, watching the reactions of the people receiving them and enjoying time with my family.  However, I also love to be on the receiving end, which is why I am sharing 5 gifts on my list this year!

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I am one of those hard to buy for people.  I like the finer things in life and I love to make memories.  My husband has always had a hard time purchasing gifts for me, so I decided to help him out, I would put together a list of things that I would truly love for both this Christmas and those to come!

1. Vacation:

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Image Credit: Courtesy of Google

I live for vacations, for time with family, for relaxation and for seeing the world.  The top of my Christmas list is a vacation.  We are currently looking at Jamaica as an option for next summer, but we would need to put the deposit down on any vacation ASAP, so if my family wanted to surprise me with a little deposit payment on a future trip, this would be awesome!

2. Sunglasses

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I cannot leave my house without sunglasses.  Normally I purchase the dollar store cheapie, but honestly, I needed something better.  Between my eyesight starting to fade and the lack of quality glasses, driving was starting to become an issue.  So one of my early Christmas gifts was a pair of quality sunglasses. 

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I love these glasses and got them at Visionworks.  I do not have my prescription in them just yet, but I plan to do that soon.  Visionworks has some amazing, high quality sunglasses that you can purchase as is or put prescription sunglass lenses in.  What is awesome about this is that we used our vision benefits sooo the cost to us was nothing (free is a great gift)!  Make sure that you use those insurance benefits too before you lose them!  This is an awesome gift people.

3. Family Photos

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Photo Credit: Mx4 Lifestyle Photography
Growing up we took a total of 4 family photos, of those only one was done with a photographer.  Others were just snapshots of our family.  I am a memory keeper and I need to have photos of my family and my memories.  This is why this blog is here.  One of my yearly Christmas gifts is our family photos, which my husband always lets me style and go all out on.  For me it is so fun and really fuels my spirit.  This is a glimpse into this years photos, I will post more next week!

4. A Housekeeper

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I work two jobs, my husband works the opposite shift.  Life is crazy, and all I want is a housekeeper to come in twice a month to deep clean my house.  I cannot function in a a messy house and honestly it would really help my mental health for a housekeeper to come in and take care of the nitty gritty that I just am getting behind on.  This would be an awesome gift that keeps giving!

5.  Salon Services

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I loooooove getting my nails done.  Honestly, I just love being pampered.  Massages, nails, shopping, these are my mental health lifelines.  Just a little outward self care, does a ton for my positive mentality.  A gift certificate or a few for some of those awesome salon services is something I would really love.

I am ready for the holidays to hit and excited to see the reactions on my family members faces when they see all the magic and gifts we have drummed up for them.  I am hopeful for a couple of the items on my list and thankful for the ones that I have already received.  This season, look at what your loved ones are interested in, what fuels their spirit and what would mean a lot to them, and get that as a gift.  Those are the best gifts!

What is one thing on your list?

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Santa's Flight Academy Walkthrough Fun

Disclosure: We were provided with a free photo package in exchange for spreading the word about Santa's Flight Academy. All opinions are my own. 

Over Thanksgiving break we had the opportunity to check out Santa's Flight Academy at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center and boy did we have a great time.

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We attended Santa's Flight Academy last year as well and it is by far one of our favorite Santa visits.  The interactive aspect to this Santa experience is top notch and so wonderfully executed.  When we arrived at the Cherry Creek Mall, we parked on the 2nd level and my kids walked toward the flight academy from the upper level.  Their faces lit up when they saw the giant sleigh full of toys and the training academy!  We rushed down the elevator to start checking it all out.

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Santa's Flight Academy begins with your child making their own badges to use throughout the entire experience.  What is awesome is that if you have previously completed this in years past, your information is stored and you can just print a new pass or take a new photo and print a new pass. 

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Once you have checked in, it is time to get fitted for your flight suit!  This is super cute for the kids.  A quick measurement of the height, shoe size and hand size and then the kids move to their awesome flight suit fitting!  They are able to get in front of the screen and see how well their suit fits and dance around to really test it out!



After the flight suit is fitted, we move into loading the gifts and planning Santa's flight pattern!  The kids love this part because they can play with the knobs and buttons on the sleigh and feel like they are really doing work!

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From there we have to power the sleigh with shouts of glee.  My son shouted so loudly that people turned to stare.  It was quite alarming.  The peanut however, only made a tiny peep and we giggled at the difference between the two of them.

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After checking our progress through the flight academy, it was time to check in with the big guy himself!  This is my favorite Santa to visit as a parent because once the kids scan their badges, their name is sent to the monitor next to Santa and he welcomes them by using their names.  Totally magical and awesome.

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The kids spent a good chunk of time with Santa and then finished off their visit with a great photo.  I was so happy with how this experience went and will definitely be returning next year!

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If you are interested in checking out Santa's Flight Academy, you can check out the details here, pre-make your badge and take a peek at some more of the details and photo packages that you can purchase!  It really is a magical experience!

Have you taken your kids to see Santa yet?

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