Our Mighty Adventure to Adventure Aquarium

Sporting Mighty Mike tattoos from Adventure Aquarium

Recently, the kids and I were invited to Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ with a group of bloggers for a complimentary early morning visit featuring Mighty Mike. Nope, get your mind out of the gutter, not that Mike… MIGHTY Mike, as in, America’s BIGGEST alligator ambassador. Weighing in at about 800 pounds and measuring almost 14 feet, this guy is a site to behold.
Can you imagine what the person who discovered him thought?!?

Mighty Mike Alligator at Adventure Aquarium

The kids had fun “measuring up” to Mighty Mike.

Kids Measuring Up to Mighty Mike at Adventure Aquarium

And were treated to a  personal photo op with him!

In addition to getting to meet Mike, we were also able to explore the other exhibits offered at the aquarium. There is so much to see at this place and plenty of opportunities for hands-on experiences. We were able to touch sharks, stingrays AND starfish just to name some of the fun.

Touching a Shark at Adventure Aquarium

All this exploring and “doing” leads to my favorite part of the whole place… the spot in front of the giant aquarium where you can just relax and watch the fish swim by.

Adventure Aquarium

I could seriously sit here all day…

That reminds me… another nice thing about Adventure Aquarium is the fact that there is plenty of space to spread out and places to sit.

Critter Courtyard at Adventure Aquarium

There are also some really nice touches like hand washing stations and even a room for nursing mothers.

Adventure Aquarium Nursing Room

To be honest, my family has been to the aquarium in the past but not recently, at least not in the last seven years or so. It’s one of those places I mentally checked off as “done” in my book of things to do. This visit has me convinced that I was so wrong in thinking that way. There is just so much to take in and they seem to be constantly updating and expanding exhibits. It was also really fun to see the kids explore things at a more mature level.

Stingray at Adventure Aquarium

In fact, they were the ones who gave me a mini-lesson on symbiotic relationships when I remarked about this fish we observed swimming right above a stingray. We will definitely not wait seven years to return this time!

If you haven’t been to Adventure Aquarium, I highly recommend you check it out! And even if you have, make sure you don’t wait too long to return. Just to make things a little easier, Adventure Aquarium has a four pack of tickets for one lucky blog reader. Want a chance to win? Here it is…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh and just so Dennis didn’t feel totally left out of the adventure we brought home a Mighty Mike tattoo for him and then proceeded to have some fun with it. Yeah, we’re pretty silly…

Disclosure: I received a complimentary product for the purposes of this giveaway however thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own. No monetary compensation was provided for this post.

A.C. Moore and Alex’s Lemonade Stand | Summer Fun Wednesdays Kick-Off

Summer is officially here and with it comes the yearly challenge of making sure the kids have something to do. Although I have my crew signed up for a couple of weeks of camp there’s still the dilemma of what to do with them all the other days that they’ll be home. Ideally, I try to find inexpensive or free activities to entertain them. In the past, we’ve done activities at places such as the library, mall and movie theater. It’s amazing what resources are out there once you start to look.

Imagine how excited I was when I was at A.C. Moore for a Girls Night Out and found out about their Summer Fun Wednesday Make & Takes. Every Wednesday, starting June 26th, you can stop by A.C. Moore from 1-3 for a FREE in-store craft activity-just another excuse for me to spend more time at one of my favorite stores!

A.C. Moore is kicking off their Summer Fun Wednesdays with a focus on an all-time summer favorite- lemonade stands. But not just any lemonade stand, Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Alex’s Lemonade Stand is a foundation whose focus is:

  • To raise money and awareness of childhood cancer causes, primarily research into new treatments and cures.
  • To encourage and empower others, especially children, to raise money for childhood cancer by holding their own Alex’s Lemonade Stands.

I was even MORE excited when I found out I was going to get a chance to share a preview of the first project with all of you here on my blog. It’s a fun one, let me tell you.

Summer Fun Wednesdays at A.C. Moore

 

This Wednesday, June 26th, shoppers can purchase a $1 tote bag which kids can then decorate using Simply Spray® to create a special citrus design for free while learning more about holding their own lemonade stands in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and pediatric cancer research. All monies raised through the sale directly benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Here’s a peak at the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Simply Spray Citrus-Y Tote that will be featured at A.C. Moore this Wedneday…

 

All three kids LOVED getting to work with the Simply Spray®. It was like handing them a little can of spray paint and seriously, who doesn’t like spray paint?!? Best part is, if you take them to the Make & Take, you don’t have to gather any supplies or clean up afterwards… summer fun doesn’t get much easier than this and all while supporting a wonderful cause, Alex’s Lemonade Stand!

 

A.C. Moore Summer Fun Wednesdays Sneak Peak

 

Mark your calendars for these upcoming Summer Fun Wednesdays which run through August 14th:

June 26- Simply Spray® Canvas Bag project

July 3- Orb Factory Sticky Mosaics®  Bling Stickers

July 10- Crayola® Model Magic Owls

July 17- Schur-Tech Duck Tape Duckling™ Frames

July 24- Karmin International™ Design a Puzzle

July 31- Melissa & Doug Scratch Art® Tube

August 7-  Fashion Angels® Tapeffiti™

August 14- Polyform® Eraser Clay Sweet Treats

 

You can find more Alex’s Lemonade Stand themed projects over at the A.C. Moore blog by clicking here.

I hope you’ll check out this awesome program A.C. Moore is offering this summer. Make sure you leave a comment and let me know if you plan on going so I can keep an eye out for you when I’m there!

 

**This is a sponsored post written on behalf of A.C. Moore for which I was sent product and information to share and was compensated for my time to write this post. All opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Wish I Could Turn Back Time & Use Invisalign Teen

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Last Saturday I was invited along with a group of bloggers to learn more about Invisalign Teen. Being a mom to four kids who seem to have inherited my small jaw and crowded teeth, two of which who have not started orthodontic treatment yet, I was eager to hear what options existed outside of traditional braces. Of course, I had heard of Invisalign before but never truly took the time to learn the details. I didn’t even realize that Invisalign now offers treatment to teens as well as adults.  Well, this just may be a game changer and as Cher would say, “If I could turn back time.”

Invisalign uses a series of clear removable aligners made of lightweight plastic that sit directly over the teeth.

Invisalign vs. braces to achieve straight teeth

Invisalign vs traditional braces

 

I’ve experienced traditional braces myself as well as with my oldest daughter and currently with my son so I think I can officially say that it’s NOT fun. Teen years are hard enough without walking around with a mouthful of metal; just one more thing to be teased and self-conscious about. I can still remember incidents where my braces were the catalyst for unrelenting taunts. I don’t think my daughter had the same experience in that regard but she did have to worry about how her braces would look for special occasions and photos. How awesome is it that you don’t have to worry about any of that with Invisalign?!? No metal and the aligners can be easily removed when needed!

With my sons in particular, there are other reasons that Invisalign appeals to me. They are at the age that internal motivation for personal hygiene is lacking a bit so brushing hair, showering and even wearing deodorant are viewed as chores for them. I’m pretty sure they don’t brush their teeth completely without having to navigate around and between metal adorned teeth so I always worry about how thorough teeth are getting cleaned with braces in place. The idea that Invisalign is removable is very appealing in that aspect.  There is also a compliance indicator so you can make sure it’s being worn enough.

These things alone make Invisalign priceless. Well, almost priceless. The one thing I had heard about Invisalign before was that it was expensive. Turns out, in most cases, it is comparable to the cost of a regular set of braces. Not cheap in any regard but nice to know that cost doesn’t have to be the deciding factor.

We got to hear many other benefits of Invisalign as well such as, no need for traditional impressions, shorter appointments, and fewer office visits but these are the ones that resonated with me enough to consider this as an option for my other two children. Heck, I’m even dreaming about using Invisalign to fix my lower teeth that shifted after my wisdom teeth came in. If I can’t turn back time I can at least try to realign it, right?

Have you or someone you’ve known used Invisalign? And if so, what was their experience?

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Spring Break at Springton Manor Farm

Spring break is here and with it comes the added responsibility of entertaining the kids. Of course, they would be content to sit in front of their video games all day live in that bizarre world called Minecraft (don’t even get me started). And as tempting as that is some days, I really do love getting out and doing things as a family.

Luckily, we live in an area that is overflowing with fun things to do, many of those which don’t take much planning. Thursday we had a spur of the moment trip to one of those places- Springton Manor Farm. Springton Manor is part of the Chester County Park System and is a great local resource for both fun and education. One of our favorite parts of Springton Manor is the farm and that’s what drew us to the park that day. Recently there were 9 duroc pigs born and lambs as well so it was the perfect time to visit.

Here’s a peek at some of the animals…

baby lamb

 

 

baby lamb

 

 

duroc piglets

 

 

barn cat

 

 

There’s also some history to learn about…

 

train schedule

 

I should also mention that there were FOURTEEN children in all for this excursion. Not all mine of course, I rounded up some other neighborhood moms to venture out with us! Good news is, there is PLENTY of room for spreading out yet not too much going on that you lose track of little ones.

As many times as we’ve been to this place, the children enjoy it every time. I highly recommend taking a trip here if you haven’t already and if you have been here, maybe a return trip is in order.

**Spring is a great time to visit. The baby animals are only here for a short stay but there are other animals that are here year round.

 

Our Family’s Top 5 Best Family Board Games

board games, family, fun,

After a particularly stressful week, Saturday night we decided to “un-plug” as a family and instead play a board game- no movies, no video games, no mobile devices. There’s just something in the simplicity of doing something that doesn’t involve electricity that really brings the family together. {The Amish may be on to something}.

After debating which board game we wanted to play and miraculously deciding on one we all agreed on, I realized we have quite a few family favorites. Here are our family’s picks for top 5 best family board games:

family, fun, board games, best

 

[easyazon-image align="none" asin="B00112CHCK" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HHBli%2Bh7L._SL160_.jpg" width="142"]

[easyazon-image align="none" asin="B003LL8XMM" locale="us" height="140" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510RVxdgMdL._SL160_.jpg" width="160"]

[easyazon-image align="none" asin="B00349MPQQ" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61vCVWfAhQL._SL160_.jpg" width="154"]

[easyazon-image align="none" asin="B00000JKWY" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VJI4sKMDL._SL160_.jpg" width="120"]

[easyazon-image align="none" asin="B002JSM3KQ" locale="us" height="145" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Kj0SXZrXL._SL160_.jpg" width="160"]

 

We don’t do this as often as we should but every time we do it makes me thankful for the simple things in life like this.

 

board games, family, fun, favorite

 

I would love to hear any of your favorite games to play with the family… I am always looking for new ones to add to our collection!