Archives For Holiday

Disclosure: As an Affiliate Blogger for Busch Gardens Virginia through Mom Central I received an invitation to a Christmas Town Preview Event. Opinions are my own.

Christmas Town Busch Gardens

Well, I haven’t fully decided on our Thanksgiving menu for this year yet, but I am definitely in a much merrier mood after visiting Busch Gardens® Christmas Town™ for a Preview Event!

Nothing lifts my spirits more in Winter than gorgeous sparkling lights, hot cocoa, and beautiful Christmas music. We began our evening at the Christmas Town Lighting Ceremony with the O’Tannenbaum Tree in front of Das Festhaus. A collective roar of approval went through the crowd at the lighting of 8 million Christmas lights and I am so glad we were there.

Shortly after the tree lighting, it began to get dark and the park really took on a festive and magical appearance.

Christmas Town Lights

I honestly enjoyed the lighting throughout the park the most overall.

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My daughter was delighted with the refillable hot cocoa mugs, the rides and the fun of running around after dark in winter weather. While obviously not all the rides are open, many are and I loved seeing the England Skyride cars going across the sky rimmed with lights.

As I was cold (definitely dress warmly this year!), I ended up wandering through many of the shops. I got a beautiful mistletoe ornament in the England Christmas Towne Shoppe, and walked outside to find “snow” falling. Just beautiful. My kids were enjoying the firepit with peppermint hot chocolates.

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Personally, I thought the lights at the Polar Pathway in Italy were the most amazing.

Polar Pathway #ChristmasTown

I also loved the Peace on Earth theme reflected in so many lights in Italy.

Peace on Earth Lighting #ChristmasTown

 

We wandered around just enjoying all the lighting, heading towards Castle O’ Sullivan in Ireland for a Dinner at Santa’s Fireside Feast.While this was especially for my youngest, we all enjoyed the show and got to visit with Santa Claus, have cookies served by Mrs. Claus and watch the jolly elves. A fun experience overall.

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Meeting Mrs. Claus at Santa's Fireside Feast

After dinner, we discussed which show to see, with choices like the Scrooge No More, Miracles and Gloria. We peeked in at the Deck the Halls performance in Das Festhaus. At that point, my daughter learned there were live penguins over in the Ice Palace, so shows were put on hold and we continued our journey around the park.

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All too soon, it was closing time. As usual, we did not get to do everything available! I need to go back and see more of the live shows, which all sounded wonderful. As a southern girl, I just wish it would stay about 50 degrees for me, but nevertheless, I would go back. I think this is a fantastic holiday tradition for families and yet again, I found all the employees very kind, the park clean and the festivities and shows family friendly.

Take a look at the Christmas Town website to plan your trip, Christmas town runs through December 31, 2014. And yes, your kids will be tired out from having so much fun!

Sleepy after Christmas Town

As an aside, I’d also like to share that I got to try out Photokey. Photokey is a new program they are offering at the park. Using Photokey, you can visit places inside the park, take digital pictures that are then available online for you to access and print, even create gifts.

I had some trouble with my photokey, because of a problem with my password. I was really upset, but it was my error. Luckily, they figured out the issue and I was able to get some great shots. I love the idea of owning all my photos. We were able to get some beautiful photos of my daughter with Santa Claus and now I can turn these into ornaments for grandparents! I do recommend looking into the Photokey service.

Here are a few of my favorite spots with Photokey locations in the park:

  • Highland Stables (Scotland)
  • Christmas Carriage (Big Ben in England)
  • O Tannenbaum (Oktoberfest)
  • Polar Pictures (Polar Pathway in Italy)

Visit Christmas Town for Christmas Town details, and to watch for specials – I have seen a few already. I so want to go back with all my family! To see more pictures check out #ChristmasTown, or @BuschGardensVA on Twitter and Instagram. The official Facebook page is:www.facebook.com/buschgardens.

You can also download the Busch Gardens mobile app, it is available on the iTunes and Google Play store. Play a new scavenger hunt in the app, while you are enjoying Christmas Town:)

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Do you need some last minute help for your child’s wish list this year? If your children love Scooby-Doo, try going straight to the source and have your children visit the new Warner Bros. “Scooby Mystery Workshop” site where they can customize their own holiday gift list!

The site offers Scooby-Doo games, toys, costumes, and fun bedding kids can check off into their wish list to help Mom and Dad solve the holiday shopping mystery.

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Scooby Doo Mystery Workshop

Once their favorite Scooby-Doo items are selected, kids can print or email the list to a parent. The site also provides additional fun for your child, such as helping The Gang pick out gifts for each other through an interactive poll, competing to win fun prizes, or playing games with Scooby-Doo and Shaggy. Check out the Scooby-Doo Mystery Workshop site here.

 

 

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Scooby-Doo. I received a product sample to thank me for participating”

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Laissez les bons temps rouler ~ Celebrate Mardi Gras wherever you are! 48 hour giveaway!!

We are getting ready for a Mardi Gras celebration at our house! I am doing a Zatarains House Party and cannot wait to share my famous shrimp Jambalaya and our Hurricanes with friends and family—

And for my readers for Mardi Gras, I get to share a giveaway of fantastic Zatarains boxed meals, spice blends and gravy mixes and a bunch of other tasty products I’m sure you will enjoy!!

In getting ready for my Fat Tuesday party, I have gotten some great ideas and had a lot of fun visiting the Zatarains Facebook Mardi Gras pages. You can get wonderful recipes, download big easy music, jazz up your profile picture and even watch Chef John Besh create fast, delicious recipes.

Did you know? A Big Easy Celebration: Perhaps contrary to popular belief, most of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations actually take place in the home, away from the revelry most commonly associated with the French Quarter. Centered around time-honored dishes that are both flavorful and easy to prepare, the food brings family and friends together.

Check out some of these ideas to hold a simple and fun Mardi Gras with your family!

  • Visit “Mardi Gras Central” at Facebook.com/Zatarains for Carnival recipes, music, live parade videos and to jazz up your profile pic! (Even get coupons!)
  • Host your own Mardi Gras party at home.
  • Extend the holiday with costumes, authentic desserts and the festive Carnival colors. How about some King Cake cupcakes??

Celebrate Mardi Gras Style with A Zatarains Giveaway!

For the mandatory entry, visit Join The Parade At Facebook.com/Zatarains

For additional entries, you can:

Win a Zatarains Mardi Gras Giveaway! http://bit.ly/hvuu1x #mardi gras

  • Follow Faith, Family and Fun on Facebook and share the giveaway
  • Add this giveaway to your giveaway linky or another giveaway site (+3)
  • Publicly Blog about this giveaway and give a link back (+3)

Leave separate comments for each entry method.

This is a quick 48 hour giveaway! I will choose a winner on Mardi Gras!! (3/8/11) Giveaway is for US only. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you in your comments.

Thanks to Zatarains who provided this giveaway!

We are excited that Christmas is almost here! My daughter, Emma, felt that everyone should know that you can Track Santa on Christmas Eve! So we are sharing this video:)

We have done this for several years and the kids always enjoy it! Thanks for reminding me, Lifehacker!

You can check out Lifehacker for more great details about ways to track Santa.

Also, check out Marine Corps Nomads for a sweet Polar Express Holiday Tradition!

Also, looking for YOUR perfect mix of Holiday music? I have fallen in love with Pandora radio.

While I am not posting much this season, I’ll be posting little bits of important things like how to track Santa, here and there:)

Merry Christmas to All!

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas! Enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom”! Please follow along through Christmas day as each post shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year. AND BEST OF ALL … there’s also a giveaway! Fill out the quick form at the link located at the bottom of this post to be entered to win a PEARL NECKLACE, BRACELET AND EARRINGS!  Pearls – a tangible reminder of God’s grace to us all.
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Gift List
by Tricia Goyer

I’ve been thinking lately how hard it must be for Oprah to Christmas shop. I mean if you were on her “gift list” wouldn’t you expect something really, really good? The woman gives away cars and trips to Australia on her television show for goodness sake! It seems by the end of Christmas Day her friends and family would look at the pile of presents and think, “Is that it?” I mean if you knew there was billions of dollars she could spend on you, would you ever feel satisfied?

Sometimes I think we approach God the same way. We look around at our home, our family, our job, our free time and we still aren’t satisfied. We wish our body looked better, our clothes were more in style, our husband was more considerate and our kids were more … well, like the perfect little people we picture in our mind. Our careers don’t excel as quickly as we think they should and people don’t give us the attention we feel we deserve. We’re tired and anxious and the to-do list seems to be tacked to our hearts for all the pain it causes.

Often, we look around and don’t speak the words out loud, but think them just the same. “Is that it?” I mean, You’re the God of the universe and You have all things in Your hands and under Your control. Couldn’t you provide a little more money to help those bills disappear or make me a bit more content with the man I’ve chosen to spend my life with? And I thought Oprah had it tough.

Is there ever a time when God doesn’t hear the murmurs? Again, not with our mouths but in our heart.

I’ve been guilty of this–of not being satisfied with the gifts I’ve been given. Yes, there will always be more to want, but today–at this moment–I’m satisfied. And I look to Him with a grateful heart and whisper, “Thank you, it is enough. More than enough.”

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About Tricia: Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-six books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer’s Conference in 2003. Tricia’s book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. For more information, please visit www.triciagoyer.com

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A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year’s Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is {FILL OUT THIS QUICK ENTRY FORM}.

The winner will be announced on the Pearl Girls Blog (http://margaretmcsweeney.blogspot.com) on New Years Day!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit www.pearlgirls.info

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED

Today, the promise of Easter is right around the corner as I open the windows, letting the warmth of the sunlight spill through the house.

The Daffodils are popping up here and there… And… I have an Easter Bouquet to share!!

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The "Ring In Spring" Bouquet

What a fun, joyful thing it is to get flowers…

And what a pleasure it was when I got my “Ring In Spring” delivery from Teleflora! The bouquet is a delightful array of  brightly colored tulips in a delicate hand-painted vase. Beautiful, fresh blooms ~

These would definitely be a welcome addition to any Easter Celebration. Mine were cheerfully hand delivered by our local florist, The Wishing Well.

Oh, I was so pleased.

On top of that, Teleflora was so lovely to work with. Such a simple way to order fresh flowers. You choose your arrangement and then your flowers are hand-arranged and delivered by a Teleflora florist in your area–so no boxes, personally arranged and fresh…

They have flowers and baskets and centerpieces…and I found their gift guides to be really helpful. If you go through the website and gift guides and still cannot choose…you can even fill out a form and a Teleflora florist will arrange something special in your price range.

Teleflora has graciously offered to give an Easter Bouquet away to one of my readers!!

The required entry: Go to the Flowers for Easter Teleflora website and then comment on which Easter bouquet you like best!

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For additional entries you can: (please leave a comment for each method of entry)

I need to do a quick turnaround on this! I will draw a winner Monday night, 3/29.

Thanks to Teleflora for providing the Ring In Spring Bouquet for my review. No monetary compensation was received and I have given my unbiased opinion.



Hi guys! I have to admit, I am hopelessly behind in everything this week. I have tons to share–so, hopefully I’ll be posting a bunch soon. Coming up:

Please show your support of this awareness campaign for Epilepsy by copying and pasting the following into your Facebook:

The World is turning PURPLE today!!! •:*¨☆¨*:•Today is PURPLE DAY •:*¨☆¨*:• Wear Purple today to help create awareness for epilepsy, around the world. Learn more about how it affects those who have to live with epilepsy daily. http://www.purpleday.org/

Next…

An Easter Celebration! I think this is really my favorite holiday and I cannot wait to get some stuff posted about this. I have some great companies sponsoring giveaways for us. I’ll let you in on a few–there are more:)

How about a fantastic Easter bouquet from Teleflora? Or a gorgeous necklace from Alexa’s Angels? I will do some quick turnaround giveaways, so keep your eye on Faith, Family and Fun!

Also, you can check in on Faith, Family and fun on Facebook, here. I am often too lazy to do a big post about all the deals and goodies my friends share…but I will do so on Facebook:))

Have a fantastic friday and God Bless!

Rainbow Brite 3 (2)

Hi to everyone:) Yesterday, we had our big visit with our pediatric neurologist. We have a plan for how to handle Em’s epilepsy with medication for the moment..a MRI will also get done soon.. Please say a prayer that this medication works!

I have a new respect for moms with kids with special needs–what a different, intense lifestyle. Anyway, I still need to process all this for myself, but I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent their prayers and well wishes. I needed that!

We slept in until 9 am this morning!!

I also have a few giveaways I need to draw winners for–I will post those tomorrow. Thanks for hanging on.

Some upcoming giveaways? Well, yes:) I have a Rainbow Brite Doll giveaway I should post tomorrow. I was kind of sad to see Rainbow Brite is not her impish, chubby self, but as evidenced by the photo above, my girl thinks the new Rainbow Brite is just great.

I have a few others as well.  A couple of reviews…

And,some school today–just a two hour delay, which I almost slept through:) So homeschool, public school, cleaning and cooking, dealing with all the new medical stuff with Em…all this may go on today

Typing it up really helps me. But, really…that sounds awful–Nevermind.

This afternoon, I will school a little and get some MARDI GRAS going on around here tonight!!

monopoly_logoIf you are looking for some good, easy recipes and other ideas on ways to celebrate Mardi Gras around your house, go to the Zatarains Mardi Gras website.

I am doing a House Party for Mardi Gras with Zatarains. I received an awesome party pack–inside were masks, Zatarains mixes, beads, doubloons, cajun music ideas…even Zatarains rootbeer extract. You may remember we had a trial run Mardi Gras last Tuesday while we were snowed in:) That was fun and I have learned how to make a pretty killer Jambalaya! Any excuse for a party is nice with a house full of teens–tonight I’ll do Virgin Hurricanes in cool glasses, I hope.

PS: On their site, you can print out masks, get recipes for Carnival Jambalaya, and learn how to make Homemade rootbeer floats. (we did those–very easy.)

For a lot of these foods, they have mixes, so you can grab stuff at the grocery store and surprise your family tonight!

I also got a bunch of .50 coupons off  Zatarains mixes (they don’t say you cannot double, so you could get some deals w/these) so if anyone wants a few, just shoot me a comment.