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Friday, January 30, 2015

SpongeBob SquarePants Heads to Detroit This Weekend!!!

Are you (or your kids) looking forward to the new Spongebob movie coming out next week?  If so maybe they might like to meet him.  Spongebob will be in Detroit this weekend promoting his new movie THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER,.

Friday, January 30th, Saturday, January 31st and Sunday, February 1st.



                                                            
Friday, January 30th, 2015
6:00PM-8:00PM     SpongeBob Meet & Greet at Oakland Mall
Oakland Mall in Troy, will host a special meet & greet in center court. This event is free and open to the public. 
Bring your camera for photos with SpongeBob.

Oakland Mall
412 West 14 Mile Road
Troy, MI 48083

Saturday, January 31, 2015
1:30PM-2:00PM      Detroit Red Wings Game
Anyone that is attending the Detroit Red Wings game at the New York Islanders on Saturday, will have the chance to see SpongeBob.  Before the game, SpongeBob will be at the Kid’s Club Table on the concourse level to meet & greet fans. Bring your camera to get pictures with him.

Joe Louis Arena
19 Steve Yzerman Drive
Detroit, MI 48226

6:30PM-7:30PM      Detroit Pistons Game
Anyone that is attending the Detroit Pistons game as they take on the Houston Rockets on Saturday, will have the chance to see SpongeBob.  Before the game, during the Pistons “Power Hour”, SpongeBob will be doing a meet & greet with fans.
Bring your camera to get pictures with him.

The Palace of Auburn Hills
6 Championship Drive
Auburn Hills, MI 48326

Sunday, February 1, 2015
11:00AM-3:00PM    Sea Life Michigan Aquarium
SpongeBob “Invincibubble”, is heading back to the sea and will be meeting fans during Grand Opening weekend of the new Michigan Sea Life Aquarium at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. Bring your camera to get pictures with him.
           
                                     Sea Life Michigan Aquarium
                                    (inside Great Lakes Crossing Outlets)       
                                    4316 Baldwin Road

                                    Auburn Hills, MI 48326

Thursday, January 29, 2015

DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS FROZEN - An awesome deal on a Suite

DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS FROZEN

Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt

MAR 12 - 15 , 2015THE PALACE OF AUBURN HILLS
Feld Entertainment, Inc., the worldwide leader in producing live touring family entertainment, announced its 34th Disney On Ice spectacular will bring the Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney's Frozen, to life.  Disney On Ice presents Frozen Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt visits The Palace of Auburn Hills for nine performances from March 12-15, 2015.
Check out this suite deal: 

Tickets at $93 Rinkside, $63 VIP and $38 reserved at Palacenet.com, The Palace Ticket Store and all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets may be also charged by phone to American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard by calling 800.745.3000.
Show times for Disney On Ice presents Frozen Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt:
  • Thursday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, March 13 at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 14 at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 15 at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The Academy Award® winning tale will be told live for the first time in this production, capturing the dynamic between two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa.  Anna, a girl with an extraordinary heart, embarks on an epic journey to find her sister, the magical Elsa, who is determined to remain secluded as she finally feels free to test the limits of her powers. Rugged mountain man Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven, the lovable and hilarious snowman Olaf and the mystical trolls help Anna along the way in this story about love conquering fear.  Audiences will get to sing along with such musical masterpieces as “Let it Go,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Fixer Upper.”
“In our more than 30 years of producing Disney On Ice shows, Feld Entertainment has been waiting for a film like this,” says producer Nicole Feld.  “While it might seem obvious that Frozen is well suited for the ice, this Disney On Ice production will touch audiences emotionally through innovative show elements and world-class skating.”
In Disney On Ice presents Frozen, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse take the audience through the magical story based in Arendelle, with special appearances by beloved Disney princesses and favorite characters from Disney∙Pixar's Toy Story and Finding Nemo and Disney's The Lion King, who come together to prove that true love is the greatest power of all.  Director Patty Vincent says, “Our goal is to showcase these heartwarming characters in a way that allows the audience to cheer and sing along throughout this emotional journey.”
To learn more about Disney On Ice, visit www.disneyonice.com, or visit Facebook and YouTube.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Flip City - Fantastic Fun

Today we visited Flip City. Flip City is also knows as AGT Flip City and All World Gym. They are located at 32556 Dequindre Road in Warren.



The place is a little difficult to find. It is on Dequindre, south of 14 mile on the east side of the road. Just south of the Penske truck Rental. You can look for a building that says "Auto Concepts" on the front and turn down that drive way. There is a sign for "Flip City" on the lawn, but I missed it twice. Here is a picture if you decide to go, to help you find the place:


They have open gym weekdays from 10:30 to 11:30 and 4:00 to 5:00. The cost is $5 per child. You do have to fill out a waiver, so if it is your first time, give yourself a couple extra minutes to fill out and sign the paper. They also accept credit cards which is nice, since I almost never have any cash on me. 

They also offer a open gym in the evenings where you can drop off your child for a few hours (ages 5 and up) and enjoy some adult time. The times and cost can be found on their website



They just added a bunch of trampolines, which the kids really enjoyed.



Plus the old trampolines (in the corner) with the foam pit and mats.



The two runner trampolines, uneven parallel bars.



Balance beams and lots of space to play.  (There is a preschool class in session here.)



And a basketball court that wasn't very well lit.  

video

The kids all enjoyed jumping into the foam pit. Although I recommend removing socks as they are easily lost in the pit.

Overall, we really had a great time. there was a lot for the kids to do and kept them busy.  An hour seemed like it was enough for all the kids, although we were able to stay until 12:00 (1.5 hours). 

There is a lot of wear and tear on much of the equipment. Foam pads falling off, tape coming up, the blocks are worn, pads are ripped and worn, and the carpet could have used a good vacuuming. But for $5, it really is a great deal and the kids didn't care.   And after an hour of play their feet were not dirty.  The equipment is well worn, but it appeared to be clean. I recommend Flip City for anyone over the age of one. 

I received no compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own, your experience may differ.

Tips on taking better photographs of your kids

MDM Blogger Bri Mason - Life on Paper Photography by Bri Mason.

So you have a fancy new camera and you are ready to take pictures of your own kids but wait, it is definitely not as easy as you thought right?  Although these tips won’t make you a professional, they are very useful and will help you take better photographs.  Here are some useful tips that I’ve learned throughout the years of shooting professionally:

Find the light!  The best way to get a natural, clean look of your kids is to keep the light as natural as possible.  If you can, get outdoors to avoid using a flash or if you must stay indoors, find the room with the biggest window and most natural light coming in.  Shooting in the early morning or late evening will help eliminate the casting of harsh shadows on the faces of your precious ones and gives you a softer light to work with.  Keep the sun to your back and avoid shooting with the sun on their face. Don’t be afraid of a cloudy day.  Believe it or not, clouds are the professional photographer’s best friend as the clouds offer soft, diffused light throughout the day.


Location! Deciding on a location really makes a world of difference with your photographs.  Be conscious of your background.  Be sure to avoid other people that can easily wander into your shot or objects such as cars, trash cans, picnic tables, litter, etc.  Before you snap the shutter, take a look through your camera lens and assess the scene.  If the coast is clear, snap away.  Taking a minute to do this before you begin shooting will be worth it in the end. And don’t be afraid to use flower beds or bushes as your location! I frequently toss kids into a bush (lol!) to get the shot!

Get Low As a parent, we are used to standing tall above our kids most of the day with them looking up at us.  As a photographer, the opposite is true.  The best angle or level to shoot at is at your child’s eye level.  This means you will need to crouch, kneel, lie down or pull up a stool to get the shot.  All of the aches and pains afterwards will be totally worth it when you realize what you can capture when you get down to their level.  But be sure to refrain from shooting  “up the nose”. 


Get close! There is nothing more precious than capturing the little rolls of your newborn baby, the beautiful long eyelashes of your little girl or the chubby hands of your busy boy.  Getting close-ups of your kids will give you a more powerful look rather than taking every photo from head to toe.  

Patience!  If there is one thing I have learned time after time is that waiting for your shot is so much easier than trying to force it when it comes to kids.  Take your time and avoid trying to get forced smiles by asking them to say, “Cheese”.  Trust me, it doesn’t work!  Let them play, jump around, sit and color and when the time is right, call their name and when they look at you, snap the shutter.  Catching them in their natural environment will be your best bet of getting a natural reaction.

Perspective!  We are quick to focus solely on our kids’ faces or the front of their bodies when really if we take a minute to stand behind or to the side of them, we can capture a whole new world that is often overlooked.  Capturing your child from behind make for a more dramatic feel.  Snapping a photo of their little hands playing with Legos or their feet splashing in the water really captures the essence of a child’s world.  Sure they look adorable in that super cute outfit you spend a ton of money on but in the long run you will want to remember more than just what they wore.  You will want a memory of what they were as a child not what they wore.


Have fun! Although taking photos of our own kids can be stressful, step back and leave your expectations at the door.  Have fun!  Enjoy the moment.  Be silly.  Play.  After all, you really are capturing memories that will last a lifetime and then some.  You will be happy you did.
Bri Mason is a professional photographer and owner of Life on Paper Photography by Bri MasonBri is passionate about natural light photography and specializes in newborn, children, and family photography.  She is also a Mommy to Olivia and Sydnee and wife to Kevin.   

Monday, January 26, 2015

Roseville Recreation Center




This week we visited the Roseville Recreation Center.  The facility is located at 18185 Sycamore, right off of Gratiot, north of 696.  Admission is just $2 per child and they are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to noon until April 3, 2014.  


There was so much to do there.  Tons of climbers, slides, see saws, a merry go round and more on the mats.  Along the walls were all kinds of bikes, wagons and cars.


There were blocks for building, basketballs and nets, tunnels, and so much more!  



The kids had such a great time.  Although it was a bit of a challenge keeping up with my three with such a big gym and well over 40 children playing.

Everything was clean, there were restroom facilities and drinking fountains available too.  The only downside was to change a diaper I had to go to the restroom by the preschool, which with three kids seemed like a very long walk.

You can see more images from our adventure in our photo gallery.




Cutest Valentine's Day Card Ever

A Metro Detroit Mommy fan ( and friend) sent these cards out to her son's preschool class last year.  


Isn't that simply adorable?  

She took the picture of her son (holding his hand out) on her phone then added the Valentine's embellishments with a photo editing program.

Next she had the images printed up at her local drug store (CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, etc). 

She cut two holes in the picture at the top and bottom of his hand, just big enough for the lollipop handle, 

Finally she added the lollipops.

Wishing you a fantastic Valentine's Day!!   

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Beat the Winter Blues - Recap with Links


We have been writing about a lot of fun things to do with your children now that it is cold outside.

Here is a recap of some of the directories we have so far:

Beat the Winter Blues - our indoor family fun guide for:
Other activities around Metro Detroit: