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

Florida Discovery Guide

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.

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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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Let’s Join Walmart to Fight Hunger and Spark Change!

This post is brought to you by Walmart’s Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

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According to the USDA 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger.  As a mother the idea of food insecurity frightens and saddens me.  When 42 million people, including 13 million children are hungry in our country, we’re doing something wrong!

Luckily Walmart has committed to providing meal to people in need.  As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is in a unique position where they can engage with both suppliers and more than 140 million customers to help make a positive impact on the fight against hunger. 

During the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” Campaign which runs from April 17 through May 15th, Walmart is aiming to reach a total donation of $3 million for Feeding America.

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Feeding Tampa Bay

People say we live in paradise, we are surrounded by the beautiful beaches, pristine ocean waters, with the sun shining almost every day.  However, if you look deeper there is a large hunger issue, and according to Jayci Peters at Feeding Tampa Bay, “in Tampa Bay, almost 70% of the population is not even aware there is a food insecurity issue.”  That’s a scary thought!  Being relatively new to Florida, I am always humbled by the kindness of the people in Tampa Bay, but when we’re unaware of such a heartbreaking issue, it’s hard to help.

So, if you didn’t know hunger was in our backyard, you do now and Feeding Tampa Bay needs your help!

“ The one valuable asset that every person in our community has and can share is the gift of their time.  Come in and volunteer.  Most all food relief happens because volunteers supply the labor.  This is, after all, how food banking started to begin with.” – Jayci

Feeding Tampa Bay is a vital charity in our area, they offer several programs that improve the lives of our neighbors.  Including My Mobile Market which is a pop-up style grocery store that offers low-cost items.  They also work with back-to-work programs to help workers find good paying positions with the food bank.  Also, they work with different intern programs to provide training.  These are all in addition to their food distribution programs such as mobile food pantries.

These programs are making our community a stronger place and feeding our neighbors in need.  Now it’s up to us to give our time to Feeding Tampa Bay and engage with Walmart to “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” And remember;

“It’s not a character issue.  It’s your neighbor, your child’s teacher, the local firefighter or retired veterans who are needing help.  It’s those who’ve worked hard, leaned in but can’t make their financial ends meet.” -Jayci

How You Can Help

Online Acts of Support with Social Media:  Every time you show support online, Walmart will donate the equivalent of 10 meals to Feeding America on behalf of member food banks, up to $1.5 million.  You’re on social media, make it help your community.

Facebook – Create original content that uses #FightHunger; like, share and/or react positively to campaign content; click on Walmart-provided campaign content.
Instagram – create or share content using the campaign hashtag #FightHunger; like or share Walmart-generated campaign content.
Snapchat – Use Walmart provided Fight Hunger. Spark Change. filters nationwide on April 21.
Twitter – Create original content that uses #FightHunger; like, share and/or make a campaign tweet a favorite; retweet a message featuring the campaign hashtag #FightHunger; click on Walmart-provided campaign content.

Purchase Participating Products at Walmart: For each participating product purchased in Walmart stores, the supplier will donate the equivalent of one meal on behalf of a Feeding America member food bank, up to applicable limits.
 Additionally, for every Discover card transaction made at U.S. Walmart stores and Walmart.com during the campaign period, Discover will donate the equivalent of one meal to Feeding America and its network of member food banks, up to $1 million.


Donate: Donate to a Feeding America food bank at the register during checkout.

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  These are all simple ways that everyone of us can make a big impact to Fight Hunger in Tampa Bay.  No one, especially a child, should be going to bed tonight hungry, so let “Fight Hunger, Spark Change“!

The $100 Margarita at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

 Thanks to The Network Niche, today’s post is sponsored by Fleming’s Steak House & Wine Bar.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

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Are you ready for Cinco de Mayo?  I have the perfect way to celebrate.  With the delicious $100 margarita at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar!  

I was invited to an amazing event last night to try this unique drink and it was incredible.  Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar took a drink that is usually thought of as a pool side drink and brought it to another level!  

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However, the $100 Margarita is only available for a short time, from May 4-6, so get your friends together, get a babysitter, and head out for the perfect night out!

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The $100 Margarita includes Tequila Herradura Seleccion Suprema and Grand Marnier Contenaire premium liquor and is served in Baccarat’s designed Diamant Highball.

When purchasing this on a one of a kind experience, you also get to take your glass home in an iconic red box.  This is a yummy way to indulging way to elevate your Cinco de Mayo celebration!   

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Are you ready for Cinco de Mayo?
Visit Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar to take your Cinco de Mayo to a new level!

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Fitlife Foods in Tampa is Delivering Powerfully Good Meals!

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Occasionally, I learn about a company that I immediately fall in love with.  Being new to Florida, I’ve been missing some on my Boston go-to businesses.  So, the search has been on since we moved to find all those day to day places that you become loyal to over time.  

I was invited to a media tasting at a Fitlife Foods in Tampa last week, which is a company that I had hadn’t heard of prior to this tasting.  The company is based in the Central Florida area and provides healthy meal options that are premade daily from scratch using delicious fresh ingredients.

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The media tasting was my first time visiting a Fitlife Foods store but within minutes of walking into the store, I was hooked!  As a busy mom, I am always looking for healthy and quick meal options for those crazy weeknights.  As a blogger, I am frequently on the go and eating breakfast or lunch out of my car, I never knew that such a healthy and yummy option was available.

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During the event, I had the privilege of meeting chef Andrew Ruga, and I can hand down honestly say, he has amazing skills!  We tried several dishes, from breakfast plates to dessert, and every item that was put in front of me was delicious.  However, the meals weren’t just delicious, a lot of chefs can create a yummy plate of food, what made these meals awesome was that I didn’t have to think twice about what I was putting in my mouth.  Every meal is made with fresh and healthy ingredients which are listed along with the nutritional information on each meals packaging.

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We tried Quinoa Hash, Tampa Bay BBQ Beef with Mac N’ Cheese, Simply Grilled Salmon, Carrot Cake, and so much more.  I left with my belly full and very happy.  My favorite was a tie between the chicken tortellini and the BBQ beef.  I also can’t wait to bring home the Mac ‘n Cheese for my daughter, who asks for this meal for dinner every night.  Fitlife Foods Mac ‘n Cheese is made without the heavy cream and with lots of hidden vegetables, I can kiss the mom guilt of serving bright orange macaroni to my kids goodbye.

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One aspect of Fitlife Foods that has me really excited is Project U.  A complimentary service that sets you up with a health and wellness advisor, who will take your BMI, weight, height and discuss your goals.  Whether you are trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight, your health and wellness advisor will help you set up a plan that works for you.  

I plan to take advantage of this free service soon!  I learned last week that I have PCOS and one of the most important aspects of me overcoming the symptoms of this disease is to monitor what I put in my body and how I’m taking care of myself. This company crossed my path at the perfect time and showed me how easy it is to get a healthy meal with lots of vegetables and protein on my kitchen table. 

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 The option to run into a store and have a healthy meal ready in 2 minutes sounds amazing, but Fitlife Foods just upped their game even higher with delivery!  In certain locations, you can order 8-12 meals or 20-24 meals delivered, along with the purchase of a cooler that holds 12 meals and Fitlife Foods delivers made-from-scratch meals right to you.  Now choosing to eat healthy can’t be any easier.

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 The food was delicious, the staff was incredibly friendly, and the entire concept of this business has me ready to be a frequent customer.

 

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