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Mar 24, 2017

Healthy Salad Recipe - Under 400 Calories

Three days ago I hit my limit and decided it was time to count calories again.  I'm just not able to lose (or even maintain) a healthy weight if I don't.  So, armed with My Fitness Pal and a ton of fresh fruits and veggies, I'm on a mission to lose 100 pounds.

Today's salad was super yummy, hope you like it too:

Recipe: (362 calories)
2 cups spring salad mix (16)
1 hard boiled egg (70)
1/3 cup dried cranberries (120)
1 cup cucumber (16)
1 serving feta cheese (80)
2 tbs Kens Lite Greek Dressing. (70)

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Mar 23, 2017

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools - Every Child Can Swim

Brought to you by Aqua-Tots Swim Schools of Michigan

With Six Metro Detroit Locations to serve you in Canton, Novi, Sterling Heights, Troy, Auburn Hills (coming soon) and Farmington Hills (coming soon).

March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, so I wanted to share a little more about the S.N.A.P. Program at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools.

Aqua-Tots Swim School's mission is to help prevent drowning within the community. We have a specially designed Special Needs Aquatic Program (S.N.A.P.) for children. The S.N.A.P. swimming program is designed to provide a beneficial, motivating and enjoyable experience for children of all ages with special needs. The pool is a great place for children to learn new swimming skills, focus on adaptability and to help aid in the therapeutic process.

According to the National Autism Association, drowning is among the leading causes of death for individuals with autism.  Almost half of children with an ASD will try to leave their safe environment, this rate is almost four times higher than the elopement rate for children without ASD.  Wandering away, then naturally leaves them more susceptible to drowning, in fact, 32% of parents reported a “close call” with a possible drowning. 

Swimming is such an important life skill for everyone, especially for children with autism who face a higher likelihood of drowning.  Living in Michigan, we have so many natural bodies of water, which makes learning to swim even more important.  Aqua-Tots Swim Schools of Michigan aims to teach children of all ability levels this critical skill and continually strives to meet the needs of each and every swimmer. 

For children with special needs, water safety is a big concern.  Aqua-Tots Swim Schools of Michigan offers SNAP (special needs aquatic program) classes that emphasize safe permissions/boundaries and water safety skills.  Students also gain confidence in the water as they are learning a new skill. And although they are not certified to run a therapy based program many parents have reported improvement in many areas including mobility, comprehension and social skills after starting in the Aqua Tots program.

What stands out about this program is their dedication to ensure that each child has a wonderful swimming experience.  They believe that every child can learn to swim and be safe in the water, and they do their best to find what works most efficiently for each child.  

Over our years at Aqua-Tots we have seen many lessons take place.  Some of the most memorable moments for me, beyond those of my own children and their accomplishments, are the interactions between the swim coaches and a child with Autism.  I can see clearly in my mind the pure joy on the face of a boy who was enjoying every moment of his swimming lessons.  I remember this because I also remember that he took quite some time to get to that point.  He started his first lesson afraid to even get in the water and his coach was so patient with him, so persistent, so caring.  I can't imagine how his parents felt to see this change, but for me, it was simply awesome.  

All of the coaches at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools go through a rigorous training process where they do classroom work, testing, shadowing and CPR/First Aid Training.  Coaches can choose to further their training by becoming a SNAP instructor.  The training sessions include classes and shadowing experiences where they learn how to adapt the curriculum and themselves to fit the needs of each child.  

SNAP instructors at Aqua-Tots are given the tools they need to help children with autism be safe in and near the water, learn how to swim and develop a love for swimming in their inclusive and adaptive child-centered swimming program.  They learn how to modify or manage behavior issues that may arise, including violence/outbursts, fear based behaviors, routine based behaviors, excited or seeking type behaviors in a way that is most effective for the individual and their learning goals.  

But, most importantly, the instructors love what they do and demonstrate a genuine care for each and every student, which is at the core of why their program works so well.  Rosa and Carlyn have both developed wonderful relationships with each coach they have worked with over time.  Occasionally, we will run into a coach they had in the past and they always take a moment to greet them, ask how they are doing.  It is these caring bonds that make Aqua-Tots so effective and sets them apart from other swimming programs.  

More About Aqua-Tots

Teaching kids to swim has been the foundation of Aqua-Tots since they began. And today they still take special care to make sure their swim schools are a welcoming, comfortable and inviting place for kids of all ages at our Detroit area locations including Canton, Novi, Sterling Heights, Troy, Auburn Hills (coming soon) and Farmington Hills (coming soon). Aqua-Tots Swim Schools of Michigan offers swim classes for babies, toddlers, infants, kids, swim team, adults, and children with special needs at over 70 locations worldwide. With never more than 4 students per swim class, this intimate setting provides a great environment for children learning to swim. Call to schedule your COMPLIMENTARY in water evaluation and tour today.
Troy 248-845-4545
Sterling Heights 586-844-3633
Novi 248-845-4544
Canton 734-828-2000
Farmington Hills 248-537-4004 (Coming Soon)
Auburn Hills 248-537-4005 (Coming Soon)

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Under The Sea - Indoor Playground in Troy

Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit a great new play space in Troy called Under the Sea Playground.  This indoor play space is located on the northwest corner of Maple and Livernois, just north of Mc Donalds.  

Under the Sea Playground opened it's doors just a month ago, and I have to tell you that we are so happy to have a great resource so close to us.  

The main attraction is the play structure which hosts three wave slides, a swirly slide, steps, stairs, and other fun interactive elements.  

They have even included a toddler play area with a small slide and soft blocks.

Behind the play structure is a fun interactive musical wall.

Under The Sea Playground in Troy! Under The Sea Playground
This is such a cool #interactive #music experience. #underthesea #indoorplayground in #troy. #oaklandcounty #metrodetroit. #familyfun #metrodetroitmom

Posted by Metro Detroit Mommy on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The kinetic sand was a big hit with Carlyn and Evelyn.

While we were there, owner Hadeer Zoura stopped by and asked us if he could make us lunch.  All I can say is WOW!  We had a Hawaiian Pizza and a Quinoa Salad.  Both were amazing...
Hadeer says they make all their menu items in-house.  We will be back just for the food, it is a great place for lunch or dinner.  

Finally, there is plenty of seating and tables within the play space.

Keep in touch and follow Under The Sea Playground on Facebook!

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Mar 22, 2017

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Live - Ticket Giveaway {ends 4/2/17}

Image result for daniel tiger live images

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Live!

The legacy of the beloved “Mister Rogers” lives on with the hit television series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, from The Fred Rogers Company and airing daily on PBS KIDS. Now, Daniel and all of his friends are hopping aboard Trolley to delight live audiences with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! coming to the Fox Theatre on Sunday, April 9 at 2 p.m.

Event Info

You can see Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Live! at the Fox Theatre on Sunday, April 9 at 2:00 pm.

Ticket Info

Order tickets online at PROMO CODE: mommy **

**Link does not work with Internet Explorer. Please use Safari, Firefox, or Chrome when ordering tickets online.

Order tickets by phone contact Ashley Dolin at 313.471.3095 or email at

MDM Discount: $38.25 (box office price $43.25)|$28.25 (box office price $33.25)|$22.50 (box office price $25.50) with no added fees!


Use the form below to enter for a chance to win four tickets to the show:

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Macy's Bunny Brunch

We are so excited to partner with Macy's this year and share this fun Easter Event.  We have attended two years in a row and the girls always have a great time.

Macy's Lakeshore Grill will be hosting a Bunny Brunch event at two Michigan locations, Somerset Lakeshore Grill in Troy and Twelve Oaks Lakeshore Grill in Novi.  Guests will be treated to a gourmet buffet brunch including scrambled eggs, vegetable strata, potato hash, bacon, french toast assorted baked goods, granola parfaits, fruit, cereal, coffee/milk/juice. (Menu subject to change)

Children will each have time to visit with the Easter Bunny, so don't forget your cameras.

The Easter Bunny Brunch will take place: 
  • Sunday, April 9th, 2017 at 10 am
    Somerset Lakeshore Grill in Macy's
    Troy, Michigan
  • Sunday, April 9th, 2017 at 10 am
    Twelve Oaks Lakeshore Grill in Macy's
    Novi, Michigan
  • Saturday, April 15th, 2017 at 9 am
    Somerset Lakeshore Grill in Macy's
    Troy, Michigan

For more information and to make reservations you can visit their website:

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Mar 21, 2017

Great Wolf Lodge - Traverse City: Saving Money

If you are anything like our family, you want a vacation, but don't want to spend an arm and a leg to provide that experience for your children.  Here are some great ways to save on your next vacation to Great Wolf Lodge.  

Our articles about Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City:
Get the overview of our vacation.
Read about our experience at the waterpark.
Pup and Paw Passes: Are they worth it?
Dining Out: Red Mesa Grill in Traverse City
Great Wolf Lodge - Traverse City: Saving Money

1.  Check the Special Offers

Great Wolf Lodges usually offers a variety of specials that will reduce the rate of your room, sometimes up to 50%.  We used the Early Saver to book our Family Suite on our last vacation which was two nights for our family of 4 (plus an infant) for just a little over $250.  I have seen rates as low as $74.99 per night for a family of 4.  So, booking early and checking for deals on their website and Groupon are great ways to shave a ton of money off your stay. 

2.  Book on the cheapest dates

If you sign up to become a member you can get special deals, including the Early Saver program which allows you to save up to 50% on the nightly rates, but you can save even more by checking the dates and if you are flexible, you can really take advantage of the lowest rates which are usually available during the week when the kids are in school. 

3.  Bring your own food

Each room includes a mini-fridge and microwave.  So it is possible to bring your own food, drinks, and snacks to save some of your spending money.  Meals tend to be about $50 for a family of four, so eating at GWL three times a day can easily tack on another $150 per day to your vacation.  

4. Plan ahead for the extras

If you know ahead of time what you want to purchase while you are there, chances are you can save by buying when you book.  Great Wolf Lodge offers deals on just about everything from MagiQuest, to Meal Plans and even the Pup and Paw Passes which include a ton of fun activities for the children. 

5. Plan your budget

Knowing ahead of time what you are going to spend your money on can really save you money on those impulse purchases.  For older children, you can let them know that they have so many choices or so much to spend and let them be involved in the decision process.  For younger children, you can talk about what you are going to do before you arrive so that saying "no" to items that are not on the list is a bit easier.  

I hope you have a great time planning your next vacation with Great Wolf Lodge.  What do you do to save money on your vacations?  I would love to hear your ideas, please leave a comment below.  

Are you ready to book your vacation?  If so head over to Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City and start planning your adventure.  You can also check out Great Wolf Lodge on the following social media outlets:

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Tropical Smoothie Cafe - Two New Bold Flavorful Items {giveaway ends 4/20/17}

Last week my family and I got the chance to visit our local Tropical Smoothie Cafe to try out the new Cha Cha Sriracha and Acai Berry Boost Smoothie.

The Cha Cha Sriracha Flatbread comes with grilled chicken, mozzarella, shredded carrots, house-made roasted pineapple salsa, cilantro, scallions & caramelized pineapple Sriracha sauce on a toasted flatbread.  It is full of great bold flavors with a bit of a kick.  I really enjoyed the caramelized pineapple Sriracha sauce which made the sandwich.  At under 500 calories, it is a great way to enjoy a healthy, tasty meal.

The Acai Berry Boost is filled with Acai, pomegranate, banana, blueberries & strawberries.  The combination is a tangy and sweet burst of flavor in every sip.  For those watching their calorie intake, you can have the smoothie made with Splenda.  The Acai Berry Boost is loaded with antioxidants and healthy fiber and the Acai and other berries deliver an all-day long source of energy to get through the day. And any smoothie on the menu can be boosted with fresh add-ins including fresh ginger, ground flaxseeds, almonds, peanut butter, Spinach & Kale Super PackTM and whole grain oats. 

Rosa and Carlyn each got a smoothie of their own.  Raspberry and Strawberry flavors, both were fantastic.

 The location that we visited was clean and had a fun tropical decor, and a bonus drive through, so you can get your food on the go.  

For more information about Tropical Smoothie Café, visit online at Also, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the scoop on special offers and promotions related to the new Cha Cha Sriracha Flatbread and boosted smoothies.

The Giveaway

Enter below for a chance to win a $50 Gift Card, Smoothie Cup and a bottle of Sriracha2Go.

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger: