The Mommyhood Life – Travel, Crafts, Food, and Florida Family Fun

Month: July 2017

8 Reasons to Visit Sea World Orlando Even if You Don’t Like Rollercoasters!

Disclosure: We received free passes to help facilitate this post.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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8 easons to Visit Sea World Orlando Even if You Don’t Like Rollercoasters

My oldest, who is the only one tall enough to ride most of Sea World’s roller coasters, hates high speed attractions.  Plus, my younger two are past the kiddie ride age, but not yet tall enough for the coasters, although they can’t wait!  Because of this, I wasn’t sure how our trip over would go because all I had seen up and down i4 were billboards for the tallest and fastest roller coasters.  However, our visit was AMAZING, Sea World ended up being my younger son Aidan’s “Favorite place in Orlando”.

SeaWorld has a lot of new roller coasters that look amazing, but there is so much fun to be had for families that aren’t into the thrill-seeking rides (or like me, can’t leave your children to jump on one).

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My Top Reasons to Visit Sea World Orlando

One Ocean Show:  This majestic killer whale show is located in the Shamu Stadium.  This is an incredible show and I am so happy we got the chance to experience it before the Orca shows are phased out.  This show had my younger son Aidan, walking away saying “I’m going to clean the beach when we go on the boat mommy” That’s an awesome message to be able to instill in an 8-year-old.  Plus, the killer whale is now his favorite animal.

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Dolphins:  There are several ways to see dolphins at Sea World Orlando.  There is a great Dolphin Cove, where you can see them swimming under the water.  This is one of my favorite places to hide from the rain!

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The Dolphin Days Show is my second favorite show and it’s a must see. 

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Another way to not only see they dolphins but to also get hands on with them is to purchase a Dolphin Encounter ticket for $15 a person.  During the Dolphin Encounter you are able to go into the roped off dolphin area with an instructor and touch the dolphins and learn some tricks. One suggestion I have for this animal encounter is, if you have an extra adult who doesn’t want to do the Dolphin Encounter or can do it at a later time, have them stand across from the dolphin area and take pictures.  You are not aloud to bring cameras up to the dolphin area, thus making you purchase photos from the professional photographers that are standing up there.  The photos were expensive and not the greatest quality.  If my husband was with me, I would have had him stay with the kids and went up to take my own pictures.

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Shark Encounter:  This is Anthony’s favorite exhibit.  You get to walk through one of the world’s largest underwater viewing tunnels, where you can see several types of large sharks.  Outside of the underwater shark area, is a shark touch tank which was incredible.  The kids and I learned so much about sharks during our visit!

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Stingray Lagoon:  This is another touch tank location that was a hit with my kids.  The stingrays were very friendly and came right up to the kids hands.  Sea World also sells stingray food so that you can feed them in the touch tank.  The food is reasonably priced a $5 for one tray and $20 for 5 trays.

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Antarctica Empire of the Penguin:  First we went on the fun ride which takes you through the icy world of Antarctica through the eyes of a penguin names Puck.  As we exited the ride we were immediately in the penguin habitat which was one of my favorite habitats of the day.  The penguins are close and listening to them talk is fun, but best of all when you walk down stairs you get to see them diving into the water, and they are very social with the kids who play near the glass viewing area.

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Shamu’s Happy Harbor:  This area offers a lot of water spraying activities and kiddie rides, but we didn’t want to get wet yet so my kids stuck to the huge play structure in the center that is so big and fun, kids of all ages were running, climbing, and sliding through it.  All the exhausted parents were sitting down around it, taking a break, I joined them.

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Wild Artic:  This area has a fun flight simulator that takes you on a helicopter ride through the landscapes of the frozen north.  The Habitat area of the Wild Artic features a Baluga Whale which is such a beautiful animal.  We had never seen a Baluga whale before and it was an amazing sight.

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Turtle Trek:  This is another awesome place to get stuck in a rain storm!  The first area is where you can view all the sea turtles underwater, and they are so fun to watch.  We sat down on the stairs and watched them swim for about 30 minutes.  Next we saw TurtleTrek®’s 3D 360° which allows you to see what it’s like to “be a turtle” while learning about the incredible journey these amazing animals face during their lives.

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We had an amazing day at Sea World Orlando!  It is definitely a must visit while in Orlando!

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Location:

SeaWorld
7007 Sea World Drive
Orlando, FL 32821

Admission Cost:

Admission prices start at $79.99 a person plus tax when purchased online.
The cost goes up to $99.99 plus tax at the ticket desk.

Get Social with Sea World and Learn More!
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Complete Guide to the Crayola Experience in Orlando!

Disclosure: We received free passes to help facilitate this post.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Complete Guide to the Crayola Experience in Orlando!

Complete Guide to the Crayola Experience

We spend a lot of time in Orlando and it is amazing hmany things there are to do beyond the theme parks, that many visitors don’t think about.  The Crayola Experience is one of these unique activities that is worth checking out when you’re in Orlando!

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How Much Time Will It Take:

The Crayola Experience takes about 3-4 hours to complete if you plan to visit all the attractions inside and let the kids truly enjoy this colorful wonderland. 
My kids spent hours learning and creating while visiting all the Unique exhibits, with their favorites being the Be A Star area, Wrap It Up Section, and Rockin’ Paper.

When You Arrive:

After going through the ticket desk each visitor will receive a plastic bag to hold all your creations and 2 tokens.  The tokens can be used at the Wrap It Up section to make a crayon and in the Modeling Madness section to get a packet of Crayola Model Madness out of the vending machine.  After receiving your bags, you will go upstairs where all the exhibits are.

The Exhibits:

Wrap It Up:  you can personalize a Crayola crayon label and wrap it around your new crayon.

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Crayola Factory:  A live theatre show that teaches you how crayons are made featuring crayon friends Scarlet & Turk

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Art Alive:  Create digital works of art and let them come to life.

Toddler Town: a fun play area just for the little ones to let off some energy.

Modeling Madness:  Sculpt colorful creations using Crayola Model Magic.

Be A Star:  A photobooth that makes coloring page with you in them.

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Doodle in the Dark:  Color on large backlit doodle boards with vibrant neon colors in a dark room.

Colossal Caddy:  Sit and color with a caddy that holds thousands of crayons.

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Scribble Square:  Color the square’s streets and walls with chalk.

Color Magic: You get to see your coloring page come alive!  Virtually control what you just colored in a background of your choosing.

Color Playground:  A fun play area where kids can wiggle off their energy in a huge crayon structure.

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Drip Art:  Melt and drip crayon wax onto your paper as it spins to create a swirly-whirly masterpiece.

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Melt & Mold:  Lets you melt a crayon into a ring, shark, car or seahorse souvenir 

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Rainbow Rain:  An interactive experience where you magically catch melting digital wax with your body and hands.

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Meltdown:  Use melted wax to paint!

Paint Palette:  Make a painted masterpiece and then visit the larger-than-life drying oven to ensure your masterpiece is ready to take home.

You Design:  You can color and scan a car or fashion design, then show it off on a large screen.

Rockin’ Paper:  Watch as you’re the paper creation you colored rocks to the music.

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Food and Stuff:

There are a couple places to eat lunch or grab a snack inside the Crayola Experience.  I ordered a pretzel while the kids were playing in the Color Playground and it was reasonably priced.
Crayola Experience is in The Florida Mall, so if you’re looking for more food options, there is an endless variety within this gigantic mall.

The Crayola Experience has Party Rooms, so this would be a great place to have a memorable birthday party!

Save some time for the gift shop!  I’m usually not a huge gift shop shopper, but at the Crayola Experience store you can pick a tin for between $16.99 – $21.99 and fill it with crayons or markers.  For the size of the tins, I think this is a reasonable price, plus it is so much fun picking your favorite colors from the crayon wall!

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Location:

Located within The Florida Mall, makes The Crayola Factory easy to get to and adds to the fun that can be had.

Crayola Experience
8001 South Orange Blossom Trail 
Orlando, Florida 32809 

When to Visit:
Open daily, 10:00am-8:00pm

Cost of Admission:
General Admission: $19.99 plus tax per person
Kids under 2 are Free
Annual Pass: $29.99 plus tax per person

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How to Save at The Pump with Shell and The Fuel Rewards® Program

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Shell, in which I was compensated. All opinions are my own.

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How to Save at The Pump with Shell and the Fuel Rewards® Program

Summer is upon us and for my family that means road trips! As a family of 5 who loves to travel, we spend a lot of time driving because it is the most cost-effective way for us to be able to get out and explore. Whether we are traveling all the way up to Boston to visit family, or finding a fun place here in Florida to spend the weekend, we enjoy being on the go. This also means we go through a lot of gas, so I am always on the lookout for the best way to save at the pump.

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Shell has been my go-to gas station for as long as I can remember because they have such convenient locations for me. There was a Shell gas station close to my parents’ house growing up, close to my first job, close to my house when I moved out on my own, and now that I have moved across the country, there is still a location less than a block away. When I learned about the *Fuel Rewards® program at Shell it was a no brainer for me to sign up, when a company you are already loyal to, gives you a great way to save money, you do it!

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So, I was thrilled to have the recent opportunity to team up with Shell on a 5-part series throughout the next 6 months to bring you, my readers, travel and money saving tips while showing you all the awesome ways you can save with Shell and the Fuel Rewards® loyalty program’s “Instant Gold Status”.

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Instant Gold Status

Shell has launched an amazing campaign, giving Fuel Rewards® program members Instant Gold Status free through December 2017 and rewarding them with automatic savings of 5 cents a gallon on every fill-up (up to 20 gallons per fill up). If you are not a Fuel Rewards® program member, now is the perfect time to sign up!

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How to Earn Rewards with the Fuel Rewards® program

On top of the amazing 5 cents a gallon savings you receive from the “Instant Gold Status”, you can stack your Fuel Rewards® savings with rewards from the shopping, dining, and traveling you are already doing, by linking your credit card to your Fuel Rewards® account. I was shocked at the number of brands that participate in this program, which makes earning Fuel Rewards savings incredibly simple.

I earn Fuel Rewards savings at the restaurants my family normally dines at, the store I usually by our groceries at, and even the hotels we stay at while traveling. This program has become a huge part of my budget plan both when I’m traveling and during everyday life.

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We have three more road trips planned over the next several months, one to Orlando, another to the Space Coast of Florida, and we will be traveling up to South Carolina over the holidays. I hope you will follow us to learn all our budget travel trips, and make sure you become #InstantGold before your next fill up.

*Restrictions apply. To qualify for the Gold/Silver Status offers, you must be a Fuel Rewards® member and swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID when you fuel at a participating Shell station. With Gold Status, you will receive 5¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings on every fill-up. The 5¢/gal reward for Gold Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. If you are an existing Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status from 6/5/2017 through 12/31/17, the “Existing Member Introductory Period”. If you are a new Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status for the initial month you join through the last day of the month, 6 full calendar months later, the “New Member Introductory Period”. The last 3 months of the Existing Member Introductory Period or the New Member Introductory Period (collectively the “Introductory Period”) is the “Qualification Period”. You will retain your Gold Status during the Qualification Period, but you must make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to qualify for Gold Status for the next 3 months, the “Benefit Period”. During the Benefit Period, you must continue to make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to maintain your Gold Status for the next 3-month Benefit Period. A qualifying fuel purchase is any fuel purchase at a participating Shell station in which you swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID and fill up with at least 5-gallons of any grade of fuel. For example, if you are a new Fuel Rewards® member and register on 6/15/2017, you will receive Gold Status through the New Member Introductory Period (i.e., 12/31/2017). You will need to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the Qualification Period (i.e., 10/1/2017 and 12/31/2017) to maintain Gold Status during the Benefit Period (i.e., from 1/1/2018 to

3/31/2018). Thereafter, if you continue to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the successive 3 consecutive month Benefit Periods, you will retain your Gold Status. If you do not maintain your Gold Status, you will receive Silver Status. With Silver Status, you will receive 3¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings. The 3¢/gal reward for Silver Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. Redeem Fuel Rewards® savings with your Fuel Rewards® card or Alt ID at participating Shell stations. Fuel Rewards® savings are limited to 20 gallons of fuel per purchase, per vehicle, or fraud limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your financial card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower. Fuel Rewards® savings must be redeemed in a single transaction. Once you begin to dispense fuel using your Fuel Rewards® savings, you must dispense to the 20-gallon limit or you forfeit any remaining discounted gallons of fuel. For example, if you only pump fifteen (15) gallons of fuel, you would abandon the remaining five (5) gallons of discounted fuel. If you have a rewards balance greater than the current per-gallon price of fuel, the price will roll down to the maximum capability of the fuel equipment, and your remaining rewards will be saved for a future fuel purchase. Dispenser may require a price of up to 10.9¢/gal. It may not be possible to combine multiple discounts and/or rewards in a single transaction. For purchases of $75 or more, please go inside to pay. Unbranded diesel and alternative fuels may not be eligible. The Fuel Rewards® program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Not valid where prohibited by law. Please see fuelrewards.com for complete Fuel Rewards® program details and Terms and Conditions. Other restrictions may apply. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. To learn more, visit fuelrewards.com/gold or call (888) 603-0473.

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shell. The opinions and text are all mine.

Un-Slump Your Summer Lunch Routine!

This post is brought to you by StarKist and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own. 

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We are half way through summer break, which means my family has hit a lunch slump!  During the school year, the kids not only have breakfast at school, they also typically buy lunches there or bring sandwiches and purchase extras from the snack line.  During the summer, I must go from planning one meal a day to three plus snacks.

My grocery bill triples, the kids complain about “this again”, while my time is consumed with making meals.

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StarKist Tuna and Salmon Pouches

Luckily, I was invited to learn more about StarKist Tuna and Salmon Pouches at Blogher last month. 
I grew up seeing StarKist Charlie in commercials and my mom always having cans of Starkist Tuna in the cabinets for Tuna sandwiches.  However, I had no idea how much of a variety Starkist offers and how many meal ideas there are using not only their original tuna but their delicious Tuna Creations.   that have opened my meal time options wide up my meal time variety, while saving me time on meal prep.

I received a couple pouches of the Tuna Creations Pouches at Blogher to try, and they have been in my shopping cart every week since.

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They are Quick and Easy!

Each pouch is a single serving and requires no can opener or draining.  Just tear it open and your good to go.  This may sound silly but there have been afternoons when I purposely didn’t use the tuna fish in the cabinet because I didn’t want to deal with draining the can and the fish smell because my dishes weren’t done.  No judgement please.

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They are Nutritious!

Featuring at least 13 grams of lean protein and less than 110 calories per pouch, these are the perfect snack option to keep you going.

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They are Versatile:

I am on the go constantly, so you will likely find a pouch and a plastic fork in my pocketbook for an instant snack anywhere.  The flavor options are great on their own, but I also add them to my salads and pastas, top our chicken breasts with different flavor creations, make sandwiches with them, top veggies with it, and so much more.

My favorite way of serving the StarKist Tuna Creations is to open a few pouches of the Thai Chili Style Pouches and spread it into a nice bowl and pair it with crackers for a party appetizer.  No one knows all I did was tear open a pouch and served.

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They Taste Great!

StarKist Tuna and Salmon Pouches are Available in 21 varieties, including 13 deliciously seasoned Tuna & Salmon Creations, tuna & salmon in water or oil, as well as low sodium options.  The meal options are limitless and with such a vast variety you never get bored when using them as a healthy snack option!

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Want to learn more about the great flavor options StarKist offers?  Visit http://starkist.com/,

Make sure you get social with StarKist Charlie!
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Girls Trip is the Must-See Movie of the Summer!

While at the recent BlogHer Conference, I had the amazing opportunity to attend an advanced screening of the movie Girls Trip.  This was one of the highlights of my entire time at BlogHer – I haven’t laughed so hard in a really long time!  Within the first few minutes of the movie the comedy began and this movie had an entire room of women in hysterics for over 2 hours.

Girls Trip

Rated R

In theaters July 21 

When four lifelong friends—Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish—travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

It was amazing seeing Queen Latifah back on the big screen as she is one of my favorite actresses and can always bring a movie to life.     

While the movie is over-the-top in some respects, it has characters that most women can relate to.  I often feel like Jada Pinkett Smith’s character Lisa, who is a busy mom who appears to have lost her ability to let loose until her besties pull it out of her.  I wish I had a friend like Tiffany Haddish’s character Dina who played a fiercely loyal friend who was the source of most of the comedy.  Regina Hall’s character, Ryan, is forced to find herself; while Queen Latifah’s Sasha has her loyalty tested.  These women’s stories are so relatable that it makes this movie tug your emotions in different directions while still keeping you laughing.

I honestly can’t say enough good things about this movie, it left me missing my old girl friends, wanting to take a Girls Trip without the kids, and needing a wardrobe change from laughing so hard.

Get tickets now!

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