We Got the FUNK

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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The Most Incredible Mint Chocolate Brownie Box Cookies with American Girl®

Disclosure:  I am partnering with American Girl®.  All opinions are my own. 

This post excites me like no other.  Maybe because I am on a sugar high, but more likely because I just had the best time with my girl and created something so tasty that I know it will officially be part of our holiday baking traditions.  It all started with a little American Girl® inspiration and turned into something phenomenal!
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A little over a year ago, our little girl got her first American Girl® WellieWishers™ doll Camille and then followed that up with Willa.  Our daughter and her dolls are best friends and she loves to play with them.  I was perusing the American Girl® holiday catalog and looking for some gift ideas for her, when I came across some seriously cute outfits, and accessories that I could not pass up.

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The elf outfit, milk and cookies set and the apron set just had to come home with us to kick off our fun baking traditions.  I knew my little girl would be in love with these little surprises and it took everything I had to save them for our special mommy and me baking time this weekend.  When it was finally time to give her the clothing and accessories for her WellieWishers™ she was super excited and ran upstairs to put on her Willa clothes so they could match!

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It was just about the cutest thing I had seen!  I told her that the Camille and Willa wanted to bake some cookies and asked if she wanted to help and she immediately jumped right in, put on her apron and got to work.  Let's talk about this apron.  It is the best apron ever, no tying, Velcro's on easily and machine washable.  It is a dream for a little helper like mine!  This little lady loves to be in the kitchen with me.  In fact, she helps me cook dinner nearly every single night and is always willing to help rinse off dishes and load the dishwasher too.  Let's hope this keeps up!

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I wanted to make something very simple but tasty!  Cake mix cookies are a favorite of mine, but I thought that we would try our hand at brownie box cookies and add a little holiday flair with some yummy mint chips too!

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We got to work adding the brownie box mix, oil, eggs and mint chips together and mixing.  Honestly, I really just held the bowl and helped with the hand-held mixer.  The little one did all the work.  I did however, have to pick out some of those pesky egg shells because cracking eggs is an aggressive chore 😁!

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We had one minor hiccup, but I just went with it.  I turned around to grab the measuring cup and as I did that, little miss dumped the entire bag of mint chips into the brownie mixture.  Oh well, a little extra mint never hurt anyone, I suppose.  

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We scooped the cookies onto our baking sheet and quickly baked them and oh my goodness were these the best cookies I have eaten in a long time.  The ooey gooey chewiness of a brownie with those crisp edges, but in a cookie form with that mint chocolate flavor.  Whoa, just whoa, so good!

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These are easily my new favorite cookie.  I though the pumpkin cheesecake blondie bars I made last year were amazing.  This is a new level of good.  I have to hid these from the husband and the kids.  My son thought they were so good he had to share them with our Elf on the Shelf so Santa knew what to expect.  They are that good.  I know you want the recipe, so feel free to print it off below!

print recipe

Mint Chocolate Brownie Box Cookies
The most incredible mint chocolate brownie box cookies you will EVER eat
Ingredients
  • 1 box Fudge Brownie Mix
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Mint Chips
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 375º
2. In a mixing bowl, place the brownie mix, eggs and vegetable oil together. Use a hand mixer to blend.
3. Fold in the mint chips with a spoon or spatula.
4. On a greased cookie sheet, spoon out the cookies evenly.
5. Bake for 10-13 minutes.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 16-20 cookies

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I would have likely stuck with our same ol' cookie recipes had I not been a little inspired to mix it up and try something different thanks to American Girl®.  My daughter and I had a great time with her dolls making these scrumptious cookies and I know that we will continue to rock this tradition.

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After all, Santa is expecting something tasty!

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Get a GREAT discount on the Portable North Pole! Our Family's Favorite!

Disclosure: I received the PNP for free, just for sharing this message.  

Each year as the holidays approach, my kids and I eagerly prepare for all the festivities. Since my son was little we have implored the Portable North Pole and loved the video messages, games and interactive aspects to this fun app.  Now you can snag the app at a great discounted price.  Get the detail below!

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Make Christmas Magic with Portable North Pole Portable North Pole 2017 (PNP) lets you make Christmas even more magical by sending personalized video messages and calls from Santa from the enchanted North Pole to children young and old. Watch them be amazed as they see Santa in his home, the magical reindeer, and the hustle and bustle of the elves as they prepare for Christmas Eve. As the top free mobile Santa app with more than 160 million videos viewed, PNP is a cherished, modern holiday tradition for families worldwide. In just moments, create an adorable video from Santa that you and your child will remember forever. Simply visit the PNP website or download the mobile app on iOS or Android.

PNP offers a free video for every child with a new option to purchase a single premium video ($4.99) or upgrade to a premium package, including the Video Pass ($9.99) or Magic Pass ($13.99). Both packages provide six enchanting video storylines to choose from, with each offering five or more minutes of footage to watch, from exploring Santa's workshop to the amazing gift-wrapping machine, as well as the Reaction Recorder (available on mobile app only). In addition, you can create an unlimited number of videos, and receive a special "Santa's Coming" video to watch on Christmas Eve. Plus, the Magic Pass includes HD video downloads and five weekly bedtime videos read by Santa leading up to the big day.

Save 20% and Make Christmas magic With Portable North Pole! 



Use Promo Code: PNP7Family



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Ferdinand Comes to theaters THIS MONTH! Win Tickets for Denver Here!!!

Disclosure: We are receiving screening tickets to promote the movie.

In just 15 days, Ferdinand hits theaters and from what we have seen in the previews, this movie is going to be a fun loving, heart warming hit!  I know that our family is ready to catch the screening of the movie next week, and you can win tickets to join us too!

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You and your family are invited to an advance screening of 20th Century Fox's ador-a-BULL new film FERDINAND!  For your chance to win an admit-four pass to the screening on December 9th, follow the link below and enter all questions in full.  Winners will be notified by December 6th with full details. #Ferdinand opens everywhere December 15th, 2017


Good Luck and I hope to see you there!

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