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Apr 25, 2015

Big Bubble Zone Review and #Giveaway Ends 5/17

This post is sponsored by Big Bubble Zone but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.



I have finally found the PERFECT Big Bubble Wand.  Right before Christmas our family had the opportunity to try out the Mega Wands from Big Bubble Zone.   There are no fancy string, stick contraptions or messy puddles of solution.  The Mega Wand makes big bubbles with no mess and it can easily be used by children three and up (depending on their arm length).


I love this bubble wand.  It is so easy to use.  Carlyn (age 2.5) can use the wand, but cannot dip the stick back into the bubble reservoir because her arms are too short.  Rosa (age 5.5) can easily manage the whole process by herself.


All you have to do is dip the wand into the reservoir, pull it out, press the button on the handle and either let the wind make bubbles or gently move the big bubble wand through the air.  


The bubbles are huge.  The kids love them.  The neighborhood kids love them.  Every time we get the wands out it become a giant party.  We have even entertained a few adults;)

Big Bubble Zone was founded by Ray and Karen Brisebois in Sausalito, California. The two owners always had a passion for bubbles and decided upon discovering these two bubble wands that they were too good not to share! Very often, Ray is found showing off his bubbles around Marin County. Whether for kids or adults, these bubble wands are sure to delight everyone who has been enraptured by the joy and fun of bubble making.


Get more info:
 Enter below for a chance to win a Star Wand from Big Bubble Zone.  Please note the Star Wand is NOT the wand featured in this article, it is a smaller version of the Mega Wand.

Yard*bird Smoked Meats in Keego Harbor


Last week a group of bloggers and their friends were invited to try out Yard*bird Smoked Meats in Keego Harbor.  We received a wide variety of foods to try (free of charge), but were not obligated to write about our experience in exchange for the dinner.  

I love ribs and barbecue so I was really excited to be able to try out this new spot for smoked meats. They just opened at the beginning of the month, so we were some of the first to experience Yard*Bird.   

We started off with a few appetizers.  Parmesan Tots, Yard Chips and Smoked Cod.  The Parmesan Tots were okay, not really something I would order again. The Yard Chips however were wonderful! They are made with homemade corn tortilla chips loaded with your choice of smoked brisket, pulled chicken or pulled pork, w. tomato salsa, sour cream, mucho sauce, jack cheese and pickled jalapenos. the sauce was yummy.  The smoked cod (not on the menu) was also very tasty. 


We then got to try a wide variety of sides, Bacon Dog Pit Beans, Mac & Cheese, Cornbread,
Green Beans, and Fried Green Tomatoes.  The Bacon Dog Pit Beans were okay.  I really enjoyed the Mac & Cheese which was creamy, cheesy spiral noodle goodness.  The Cornbread was perfect, not crumbly or dry, YUM. I didn't care for the Green Beans as they were served cold, and they were rather plain. But the  Fried Green Tomatoes stole the show.  I have never tried them before, I was happily surprised by the flavor.

The smoked meats were then served.  We tried the Ribs, Beef Brisket and Pulled Pork with a variety of their sauces.  All of the meats and sauces were very tasty.

Finally, dessert.  Perfection! The Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding was fantastic.  Smooth, creamy and it hit the spot.  I would go back, just for the dessert!

Overall it was a great experience and with a decent sized kids menu I would recommend a visit to our fans.  

HOURS OF OPERATION
Monday-Friday  4pm to 10pm
Saturday 12pm to 11pm
Sunday 11am to 8:30pm

Contact Yard*Bird:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

248.681.2124
1978 Cass Lake Road, Keego Harbor MI. 48320
info@yardbird.cool

Apr 24, 2015

Sesame Street: Elmo The Musical Volume 2 on DVD and digital on May 5, 2015 #Giveaway Ends May 2

GET READY TO SING, DANCE AND LEARN AS SESAME WORKSHOP
AND WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASE
ON DVD AND DIGITAL MAY 5, 2015

Plus Full-Length Video of Play With Me: Imagine With Me!



Your favorite furry red monster is ready to sing and dance as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization, release Sesame Street Elmo the Musical Volume 2:Learn and Imagine (amazon affiliate link) on DVD and digital on May 5, 2015 for $14.98 SRP . With over two hours of fun in seven all-new episodes, Sesame Street fans young and old will love to interact with Elmo during his explorations!

Sesame Street Elmo the Musical Volume 2:Learn and Imagine, kids will sing, dance, play and imagine along with Elmo on math-filled adventures!  They’ll join Elmo as he becomes a cowboy in his musical “The Count-by-Two Kid,” and escorts six kitty-cows through a canyon to the Double Double Dude Dude Ranch Ranch. Next, they’ll don a detective hat with Elmo to help investigate the secret behind all the sneezing. An extension of Sesame Street’s STEAM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), each episode is an interactive, fun-filled musical adventure created by Elmo and the child at home. Focusing on imagination and math skills, such as enumeration, relational concepts, addition/subtraction, geometric shapes and many more, Elmo takes viewers on thrilling explorations as he imagines himself in many adventures. This DVD also includes bonus full-length video of Play With Me Sesame: Imagine With Me, which focuses on imagination and interactive learning.

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is excited to bring back the musical enthusiasm of ‘Elmo the Musical’ with Sesame Street Elmo the Musical Volume 2:Learn and Imagine.” said Jeff Brown, WBHE Executive Vice President and GM of Non-Theatrical Franchise Marketing. “We are eager to continue in grand Sesame Street tradition, providing upbeat and educational programming to children in each of these exciting episodes.”

Now in its 45th season, Sesame Street is the longest-running program in children’s television and the number one top-of-mind preschool show with moms. Sesame Street also has the highest "co-viewing" experience - meaning adults watching with kids - of any preschool show. The series has received more Emmy awards than any other show in television history, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award honoring the 40th year.

About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street which reaches 156 million children across more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help all children reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, including television programs, digital experiences, books and community engagement, its research-based programs are tailored to the needs of the communities and countries they serve, helping children everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder. For more information, visit us at www.sesameworkshop.org.

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.

Enter below for a chance to win one of three copies of  Sesame Street Elmo the Musical Volume 2:Learn and Imagine

Fostering a Healthy Self Image

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger Theresa Walker - BeachBody Coach


Finding a woman who is comfortable with her own body is comparable to a chance at winning the lotto.  Odds are, it’s one in a million.  Whether we want to be or not, our looks and bodies are judged not only by society, but worst of all, by ourselves.  Everywhere we go, we see an ad or a magazine cover with a models or actress’s perfect (air brushed) face and size 0 body (thanks to her personal trainer).  This is turn often means we feel the need to live up to a standard of outer beauty that most of us never will reach.  I say outer, because that’s all it is, outer beauty.  The perfectly styled and colored hair, the size 2 skinny jeans, the 5” heels, the perfectly made up face, the matching jewelry to accessorize our outfit and don’t forget about the designer bag on our shoulder!  This is what the world see’s of us; but what is our own self-image, what do we see when we look in the mirror?  No matter where you are at with your body and how you feel about it, how do you create a positive and healthy self-image?  How do you start to look in the mirror and see the positive, not just the “imperfections” or things you’d like to change that drag down your self-esteem each day little by little?  




For me, there is one big thing that makes a difference in how I feel in my own skin, and that’s how I talk to myself, about myself.  

It means that when I look in the mirror whether it's at my face and I start to notice the lines around my eyes or it’s at my body and I see those hips I’d like to lose a couple inches off, I STOP.  I had to stop the internal dialogue which was saying negative things about how much I hate those hips or how I wish I could erase those lines.  

Why it is so easy to look in the mirror and see those flaws and point them out to ourselves?  I’m not sure, but I know I am not the only one who is so harsh on myself.  I started to wonder, would I ever, ever say those things to someone else??  Would I say to a friend, “gosh, look at that belly flab left over from your pregnancies!”  NO, I wouldn't in a million years!  So why would I catch myself looking in the mirror, putting myself down, every day?  And it never stops at the belly, next it’s the hips, or thighs.  Seems like when you are evaluating yourself, we are quick to list off every flaw we can see, like a downward spiral and in turn, we feel worse and worse.  So here is what I started doing instead:

Now, when I look in the mirror and I start to talk negatively to myself and focus on the imperfections, I stop and I start listing off what I like about myself!  I skip over the areas I have room to improve in, and I instead focus on what makes me feel good about myself.  So what if I have some extra belly flab, I have two handsome little boys.  I may have lines around my eyes, but they are from when I am happy and my whole face smiles.  And then I start to find features that I like, like my arms or my upper abs and I say “hey, look at those awesome arms that I’ve worked so hard for”.  Or, “I really like the color of my eyes”.  It doesn't matter what it is, find something you like to compliment yourself on.   

Obviously, there is so much more to us than our looks.  You can tell yourself, “So what if I don’t like how I look right now, I am an awesome mother, I am a great wife.”  Maybe you have a newborn and are just too tired to workout.  Maybe you just started a new job and are short on “me” time.  Instead, tell yourself how proud you are of the mom that you are each day to your kids.  You might not have found the “me” time or had the energy, but you probably spent a lot of your day taking great care of everyone else to make sure they had healthy meals in front of them, got the kids to school on time, got errands accomplished, sat on the floor and played with the kids or read their favorite book.  Beauty is not about what is on the outside, it's what is on the inside, and what we contribute to the world and our families each day.   

As mothers and women, heck, as humans, we can’t have it all, every day.  We aren’t made to be perfect, we are made to be human.  So embrace that!  Embrace yourself, imperfections and all.  Stop the negative dialogue, treat yourself as you’d treat your friend or your sister, BE KIND, be forgiving, be complimentary.  What you say to yourself, really does affect how you feel about yourself each day and in every thing that you do.  Want to be a happier, healthier person with a positive outlook?  Start with what you say to yourself each day when you look in the mirror.  I bet you are more likely to treat yourself better, take care of yourself and overall feel happier each day; when you start by saying positive and kind things and in turn, feeling good about yourself.  We can’t expect it from the world, if we can’t offer it to ourselves.

Theresa Walker 
Theresa is a wife and stay at home mother of 2 energetic boys, DJ (8) and Aiden (5). She has a bachelors in Communications and prior to being a mother she worked at Better Investing magazine in advertising and as a Corporate Account Manager. These days she is fortunate enough to spend time with her boys checking out all of the local fun there is to be had. She and her family love to travel. She is also active in a large online mom's group through Facebook that she started called Planet Mom. She enjoys being active and one of her proudest accomplishments was running the Detroit Half Marathon as well as the Romeo to Richmond Half. In her free time you can find her running or biking through Stony Creek. Or curled up on a couch with a good book and her cat in her lap. She recently became a BeachBody Coach, so that she could share her love for health and fitness with others to help them reach their personal goals. You can find her Facebook page at Inspired Health & Fitness. She considers herself a "Fit Foodie" and loves trying new recipes, experimenting and new restaurants around town. She hopes she can share some of her tips for healthy eating and exercise for busy moms and Metro Detroit Mommy Fans.

Apr 23, 2015

Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success

Kelly’s Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success!

Metro Detroit Mommy Guest Blogger: Kelly Doresi - CAPPA Certified Lactation Educator (CLE)

Virtually anyone is capable of  breastfeeding successfully. We are capable of growing our babies in our wombs, we are also capable of continuing to sustain this baby with our milk alone! If women couldn’t breastfeed, we wouldn’t have survived as a species. That being said, why does it seem that so many women can’t breastfeed? In my practice I hear the myths and fears women hold onto on a daily basis. What are we to think when we hear the stories from our mothers, aunts, sisters and friends who were not able to breastfeed for one reason or another? Does my body not know how to do this? Is there something wrong with me too? Many women are left feeling their bodies will fail them, when in fact it is our culture failing them. Breastfeeding is not the norm in our culture anymore. The myths surrounding breastfeeding, stories of friends and family members who have failed, and the lack of knowledgeable health care providers are hindering breastfeeding further. Many women fall victim to these so called “Booby Traps” in our society. So, if we really can breastfeed, how do we do it? I would like to share with you the same advice I would give to my clients!



Here are my top ten tried and true tips for successful breastfeeding!

  1. Obtain Education and Support
This is my #1 tip I give to everyone who is even remotely thinking about breastfeeding. Having accurate information and real support are the most important tools to make breastfeeding successful. Read books, take a breastfeeding class, browse breastfeeding specific websites, and talk to other women who were successful with breastfeeding. La Leche League’s Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is my favorite book for expecting moms. Websites like Kellymom.com, and llli.org are fantastic too! You can find breastfeeding classes through your local hospital or WIC and also community classes like this one here. Surround yourself with support too! When you need help, you won’t have to go searching for it, you will already have it in your toolbox. Experienced family members and friends, lactation consultants, breastfeeding counselors, La Leche League leaders (and meetings!), and postpartum doulas are all great people to lean on for breastfeeding advice. Avoid advice from friends and family, though well meaning as it may be, who are not experienced breastfeeders or who have attempted unsuccessfully.

  1. Be Determined
Have you ever heard of “power of visualization” or “mind over matter”? You can use determination with breastfeeding too! The more you visualize nursing and bonding with your baby, the more excited you will become, and more likely you will be to do everything in your power to breastfeed. Changing the language you use when you talk about breastfeeding to, “I am going to breastfeed.” from, “I will try to breastfeed.” will set you up for breastfeeding success. Saying you will do something puts you in the mindset that you will succeed, while saying you will try means you are also ok with failing. In the words of Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

  1. Mindful Birthing
The way you birth matters, not just for mom and baby’s overall health, but also for breastfeeding. Whether you choose to birth au-natural, plan to have an epidural or cesarean, or if things don’t go as planned and you end up with a procedure you didn’t visualize in labor. It is important to understand how these different outcomes may affect breastfeeding. A baby who is born naturally and without complication is awake, alert and ready to breastfeed. Having pain medications during your labor or cesarean section can make your baby sleepy, and get breastfeeding off to a rocky start. Using vacuum suction or forceps in labor may bruise baby’s head or face and make initial breastfeeding painful for them. Babies who are routinely bulb suctioned with a vaginal birth, or who need emergency resuscitation may have an aversion to anything being put in or near their mouths. It is important you understand how these may affect you and your baby so that in these instances you know to turn to your breastfeeding support team for immediate help.

  1. Breastfeed within the First Hour
Did you know that babies are born ready to breastfeed? Breastfeeding is the expected outcome of birth. When baby is born, he should be placed on your chest. Soon after, baby will begin to bob his head, and “crawl” toward the breast. You can help him find it or let him crawl to the breast and self attach, this is called the breast crawl. (Yes! Babies can do this!!) Once baby has initiated breastfeeding, and done so successfully, he may fall into a deep sleep for a few hours. This sleep phase is natural, and part of the reason that breastfeeding within the first hour is crucial. It is very difficult to wake a baby during this sleep phase which can delay breastfeeding.

  1. Follow Baby’s Lead
This is a simple concept, but one that is most often pushed aside. Milk production is dependant on a process of supply and demand. In other words, the more baby nurses, the more milk your body will make. When you try to feed a baby according to a schedule, or restrict the amount of time at the breast, baby’s weight gain and your milk supply will suffer. Babies are excellent at regulating their own intake; they will tell you when they are finished nursing. When they are done, they will spit the nipple out, and often be sleeping. Baby’s tummies are also very efficient at digesting breastmilk, and often, babies will be hungry again a short time after nursing. Newborn babies, especially, nurse frequently. Newborn baby’s stomachs are the size of a marble and can only hold about a teaspoon of milk at a time. It takes about a month for baby’s belly to reach it’s maximum capacity, about 2.5-3oz per feeding session. No two babies are alike or will nurse for the same amount of time. So, pay attention to your baby’s early hunger cues and nurse until baby is done!

  1. Skin to Skin Contact
Promoting bonding and breastfeeding is really easy when you are holding your baby skin to skin. Strip your baby down to his diaper and lay him on your naked chest with just a thin blanket over you to keep you warm. There is no limit to how long or often you can do skin to skin. Babies respond really well to this type of contact. It keeps them warm better than any electric bassinet warmer could, regulates their heart and respiratory rates, and even helps regulate their blood sugar. Skin to skin contact is incredibly calming for your baby, and gives them easy access to the breast. It is also very beneficial for mom too! Keeping your baby against your bare skin kick starts your milk making hormones and facilitates bonding between you and your baby. This is an excellent way for dads, partners, grandmas or anyone else to bond with the baby too, without feeding the baby.

  1. What Goes in Must Come Out
Now that you have initiated breastfeeding, how do you know that it is going well and that you have enough milk for you baby? It is really easy to tell! Check your baby’s diaper; what goes in must come out.  On the first day baby should have one pee diaper and one poopy diaper. Day two you should see two pees and two poops. Day three you should see three of each, and day four you should see four of each. By day five your baby should have at least 8-10 wet and messy diapers in a day. Babies who are making messy diapers and gaining weight are getting plenty of milk.

  1. Toss Out Formula Samples
Formula companies are fabulous marketers and have deep pockets. They spend millions of dollars annually on advertising and send representatives to our pediatricians, obstetricians, and hospital labor and delivery floors, handing out formula samples to give to their patients. They also are in partnership with all of the wonderful stores where we create our baby registries, and buy our personal information from them to send their samples to our homes. Research shows that when you are given formula samples early on, you are more likely to use it- the formula companies are very aware of this. Any time you use formula, your baby is filled up and often drinks too much which stretches his stomach. Then, your baby skips a nursing session and your milk stays in your breasts signaling your body to slow down milk production. Your milk supply will then lessen, and your baby may begin to get agitated at the breast, and resist breastfeeding in preference to the ease and flow of a bottle nipple. Then, mom gives baby a bottle and starts the cycle all over again. This is called the “Top Up Trap”. It happens all too often, and is one of the many reasons that women are not successful.

  1. Avoid Pacifiers
Babies have an intense need to suckle, and this is important not just for your milk supply, but also so that they are getting all of the nutrients and calories they need to gain adequate weight and grow optimally. Breastfeeding meets all of your baby’s basic needs: nourishment, comfort, and suckling. There really is no need for a pacifier. I am not saying that a breastfed baby can not or should not ever have a pacifier. However, in the first few weeks, in order to establish a healthy milk supply your baby needs to nurse frequently. (Are you noticing a pattern yet?) When a breastfed baby has a pacifier, you are more likely to miss their early feeding cues, and less likely to nurse your baby as often as they need to. When suckling on a pacifier, it gives your baby an artificial feeling of “fullness” and baby will skip a feeding.

  1. Create a Postpartum Plan
Those first few weeks, it is overwhelming to be a new parent! Nobody knows this more than a mom who is trying to establish breastfeeding. You have to try to balance caring for a new baby, yourself, and balance all of the visitors who are wanting to come over and see the new baby! Writing a postpartum plan and making your friends and family aware of it ahead of time can save you headaches and struggles. Create the plan to cover a time period as long as you would like, I recommend at least the first two weeks. Include in this plan who you would like to delegate household duties to, who will be responsible for running errands, buying groceries and cooking meals. You could even set up a meal train. Most importantly of all, set limitations for visitors. Try to stick to 1-2 visitors a day and ask them to help around the house instead of coming to hold the baby. Let family and friends know that this is your special time to bond, focus on breastfeeding, and you would love to have them around if they plan to help. Babies don’t respond well to being passed around like a hot potato and need the safety and comfort of their mother’s breasts. It is OK to be selfish and take the first couple weeks to adjust to your new life as parents. You only get this time once in your baby’s entire life.

So, moral of the story here: Nurse your baby early and often, and follow their lead. With these tips and support from breastfeeding professionals you absolutely CAN breastfeed your baby!

Kelly Doresi  is a CAPPA Certified Lactation Educator (CLE). Breastfeeding is her life! She is currently nursing her two year old and plans to tandem nurse him when his brother is born in August. She teaches breastfeeding classes in her community, runs a free breastfeeding support group bi-monthly, supports moms during pregnancy and postpartum with all breastfeeding issues, and works in a breastfeeding clinic three days a week. It’s a lot, and she loves every minute of it. Supporting breastfeeding families is her passion! Kelly is always available for breastfeeding support either in person, by phone or email. You can reach her here.

Apr 22, 2015

Wild Kratts is Coming to the Detroit Opera House May 28th at 7PM #giveaway Ends 5/14

Metro Detroit Mommy and one lucky fan will receive tickets to this event in exchange for this promotional post.  

Animated Kratt Brothers, Martin and Chris, "come to real life" in a classically Wild Kratts story.  Off "To the Creature Rescue!” the Emmy nominated Kratt Brothers activate some fan favorite Creature Power Suits to confront a comic villain. Through hilarious pratfalls and amazing animal ‘wow facts’ the Wild Kratts team rescues their favorite invention from Zach’s clutches so the animals of the creature world are safe once again.





Wild Kratts LIVE! is created for the stage by the imaginative minds of Martin Kratt and Chris Kratt from  Zooboomafoo, Kratt’s Creatures and Be the Creature. The Kratt Brothers’ national tours draw tens of thousands of creature-crazy kids and their families and the not-for-profit Kratt Brothers Creature Hero Society, together with kids, has successfully protected critical wildlife habitats through the creation of nature reserves.

The wildly popular PBS KIDS® television show, WILD KRATTS, is coming to the live stage. Wild Kratts LIVE! will be at Detroit Opera House on Thursday, May 28, 2015. Tickets on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000 and the Detroit Opera House Box Office.

http://www.ticketmaster.com/the-wild-kratts-live-Detroit-Michigan-5-28-2015/event/08004E819F6B1932
Wild Kratts, Thursday, May 28th @ 7PM
Detroit Opera House

Enter below for a chance to win 4 tickets to this event: