Friday, July 27, 2012

Citius, altius, fortius!! Let the games begin....

Makenzie playing tennis on
the green @ Atlantic Station

I am not sure that there is anyone as excited about the 2012 Olympic Games as much as I am! I have always been an avid fan of the events and the pageantry for as long as I can remember. The 2008 Olympics is actually more near and dear to my heart because the athletic events actually kept me "company" during my second stint of bed rest during my pregnancy with my youngest child, Payton. So fast forward 4 years later, I am excited as ever! I did want to have a party to celebrate the opening of night but my husband leaves out of town for business the following day for a week. I'll find another reason the throw a party, I'm sure...

Payton holding up her Team USA flag.
 Now, there were a few thing I did to get myself as well as my girls ready for the festivities. First, we spent an afternoon at Atlantic Station to participate in the Team USA displays and interactive games during the BB&T Atlanta Open Tennis Tournament. That was a lot of fun even considering the heat. My girls, by nature, are very competitive and athletic. After completing the interactive games as a reward, we were given Team USA towels and miniature Team USA flags. 

Next, we visited to the Atlanta History Center to see some of the mementos and artifacts from the 1996 Olympics hosted here in Atlanta. The girls really enjoyed this museum exhibit because they could touch and interact to their heart's content as well as use some the equipment in the Olympics Sports Lab on the second floor.

Interactive exhibit @ The Atlanta History Center.

On your mark, get set... GO!

The last and finally activity was to get my hands on the Sports Illustrated and Time Magazines so that I could learn a little more about some of the new faces I plan to cheer on over the next three weeks. I really enjoyed reading about Gabby Douglas, the new fresh face for Womens' gymnastics. What an amazing story on here rise to the top in such a short amount of time!

Well, that is all for now. As you read this, just know that my popcorn has been popped, my favorite cup is full and I am sitting right in front of the TV enjoying the Olympic Games. I hope you do the same!!


@ The Atlanta History Center

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Emperor and the Nightingale

During my usual finger swype through the Daily Deals on Half Off Depot, I came across a steal of a deal for tickets to a musical production of The Emperor and the Nightingale. This happens to be one of Makenzie's favorite books by Hans Christian Andersen. Once I saw the price of $5 per ticket, I couldn't complete the transaction fast enough. Why spend more, when I don't have to!!!

Makenzie and Payton posing
 with the Nightingale and the Emperor.
The production runs now through August 3, 2012 at the Georgia Shakespeare Theatre on the campus of Oglethrope University. I enjoyed the musical and it was extremely family-friendly as well as very interactive. My kids sat quietly through the entire production in awe of the sounds, lights and the costumes. I like to expose my girls to lots of different settings and activities, so that they have a chance to appreciate the Arts starting at an early age. This early exposure also gives them a chance to learn how to act appropriately in various settings. Kids are blank slates (carte blanc) and they HAVE to learn something, so I might as well teach them the best that I can while I still have their attention.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Start your engines!!

My weekends during the summer time are usually filled with birthday parties, cookouts and an occasional trip to the beach to Savannah to visit my brother. Well, last weekend I thought I would have a moment to rest my feet on a lazy Sunday afternoon... That didn't happen!

Instead, I ended up burning rubber on the track at Andretti Indoor Karting (sans kids, of course). Talk about adrenaline rush! On first sight of the building I wasn't sure of what was in store for me behind those doors. I thought it would be the standard run of the mill go-karts that you find at an outdoor festival or carnival. These badboys were no where near that description! The superkarts simulate a speed of up to 50 mph!!! What!?! Yes, that's right and its all indoors! The cool part was signing up with a racer name and getting fitted for a helmet. My first thought was, "oh, there is safety equipment involved?" LOL! I donned my helmet and step out onto the platform. I see the previous heat in wrapping up their 10 laps and they are flying by! "Is it my turn yet?" Now I sound like my kids! This place will do that to you though. It's an indoor adult playground for adrenaline junkies. During my first few laps, I was cutting the corners cautiously but that soon changed. I was burning out and gliding around the corners. And to think Mike was concerned. Once my heat was over, I checked my best lap time, which was 40.3 secs.

After all that fun, I had to cool off, literally. I was covered in sweat. So we played games and climbed the cosmic rock wall (this was a first for me). I made it to the top by hitting the buzzer and realized that what goes up must come down... by just pushing off the wall. Are you kidding?! I crashed into two of the crew members on my way down. Occupational hazard, I guess.

Aside from the racing action, there is a zipline (which is above the track), rock climbing, and an extreme rope course (above the arcade area).
I survived the cosmic rock wall!
We redeemed our tickets on our way home, which are stored electronically the reloadable cards, and selected a few things for the girls. I was exhausted but my day wasn't over... I still had to make it to a wedding invitation stuffing "party".

Now word to the wise, this is not the kind of place where you get all fancy and jazzy with your attire. Because most of the attractions are extremely physical, it is best to go in comfortable clothing and closed toe shoes. I am still wondering how the lady in the short mini kirt and 5 inch heels felt when she walked in? Someone should have warned her. Tsk, Tsk.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cool Parks = Cool Mom

My girls are 3 and 5, so what makes me cool at this juncture in our relationship is a cool activity where they are free to be their age. What gets me a lot of points during the summer time is finding a place where they can play in water and keep cool! I think we have officially hit the "dog days of summer" with daily temperatures exceeding the high 90's. 

Here is a list of my top 5 places to keep cool in Atlanta. All on the list are budget friendly with the exception of number 5, but there are coupons available to help with that. Now, keep in mind there is no particular order:

Mak @ the Historic Fourth Ward Park
 3. International Beach
4. Piedmont Park Aquatic Center
5. Lake Lanier Waterpark

It may be hot outside but that is no reason to stay in the house... get outside, have some fun and keep cool!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just give me a reason....

Just give me a reason and I will throw a party! I have been known to have an impromptu gathering simply because its sunny outside. So recently, I had the opportunity to host a product sample party for a few friends sponsored by Proctor and Gamble. The theme of the party was "Have You Tried This Yet?" As a hostess, we were allowed to have the party in any format, so I decided to have an ice cream social. Free Products + coupons + ice cream = Smile

Having an ice cream social was something that I have always wanted to do, for no other reason than my extreme love for ice cream. I provided several toppings like caramel, chocolate syrup, chocolate sprinkles, nuts, whipped cream, bananas, cherries and strawberries. We also had some root beer and orange soda to make floats.

Gift bags for my guests

What can I say... I aim to please and so did P & G! The best part of the whole event was that I was able to provide everyone invited with full-size personal care products and a booklet of coupons for the future purchase of those items. As you can see from the picture above the products were items people use everyday, so its not like the products would be wasted. My practical side approved of this.

Here is a list of the items that I was able to give to my guests, thanks to P & G:

Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Extra White + Scope Dual Blast Toothpaste
Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Whitening + Deep Clean
Covergirl Naturaluxe Gloss Balm
Herbal Essences Touchably Smooth Shampoo
Herbal Essences Touchably Smooth Conditioner
Oral B Complete Fresh Scope Scented Toothbrush
Scope Dual Blast Mouthwash
Gillette Fusion ProSeries Irritaion Defense Moisturizer
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Irritation Defense Shave Prep