Category - Charlotte

5 Things I Learned About Opera – My First Experience

 

Opera GlassesSaturday night my Facebook status read something like: “Heading to the Opera” I think I may have confused some people. While I am a work-at-home mom I have a few occasions when I get out of the house at night, typically it’s for a Mom’s Night Out or Night In, but sometimes I go to the movies, or even…the opera.

I was invited by Opera Carolina to attend their performance of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. This was my first experience with opera and I learned a lot from going. I think it’s definitely something worth experiencing at least once in your life.

1. Opera Carolina provides Subtitles for their performances. My guest/friend, photographer Jamie, and I weren’t sure how much of the show we’d be able to understand from watching the actions and movements of the cast, but were delightfully surprised to see a discrete sign above the stage with subtitles in English.

2. Tickets are affordable. When I think of the opera typically I think of high-class and high prices, this is not the case. Tickets at Opera Carolina range from $15 to $135 depending on where you are sitting and when you attend. The lower pricing is great for those of you who want to “check out” the opera without spending too much.

3. Leave your tuxedos and gowns at home. Again, another misconception I had of the opera, {that was a reason I hesitated to attend} was that I had to be in a ball gown, dripping with diamonds, and looking flawless. While I did look flawless I wore black dress pants and a cute blue top and did not feel out of place, now I didn’t see anyone in cutoffs so let’s not get carried away, but don’t worry about dying your wedding dress and wearing it just to fit in.

4. They have concessions. Just like any other show they offer concessions, drinks, and snacks are available for purchase. One of my friends, frequent opera-goer Lisa Frame always gets peanut M&Ms. Unfortunately for Jamie and I, being dinner skippers would have loved a three-course meal, but love that they offer a variety since I wasn’t even aware that would be an option.

5. It can be exciting and fun. Aside from getting ready and attending the opera in itself, there were some cool moments in Eugene Onegin. The story was based on love that was raw, twisted and even led to death. Not all the moments in this opera were a little slower especially after being up at 2:00 in the morning with Baby C.

Overall, I’m really glad that I decided to overcome my objections of what I “thought” the opera would be like. I enjoyed getting ready for the show, having fun with a hilarious friend, getting out of the house, and enjoying some culture. The cast and crew of Eugene Onegin is incredibly talented and I loved the music and even a few silly parts that were highlighted.

If you want to check out Opera Carolina and see Eugene Onegin on March 22nd or March 25th, or just check out what the opera is all about head over to their website here: http://www.operacarolina.org/operas/

opera-carolina-logo-color-200

Thank you to Opera Carolina and Opera Social Bytes for having me and my guest and for the complimentary items. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review and was not obligated to write this review specifically. All of the thoughts expressed above are my own honest opinions, yours may vary.

Wholesome Goodness All-Natural Foods Review {Giveaway- CLOSED}

Wholesome Goodness Goodies

Wholesome Goodness Logo

 

My family and I have recently been introduced to Wholesome Goodness Foods and we are really impressed. Why? Because Wholesome Goodness products are not only all-natural, but they’re tasty too!

Their products tout that they are free from the following:

[badlist]

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Modified Starches
  • Artificial Colors & Flavors
  • Preservatives
  • MSG

[/badlist]

That’s a pretty long list of things they make sure they do not include in their products.

We were able to try these awesome goodies:

Wholesome Goodness Goodies

Out of the above goodies we loved everything but each family member had a favorite, here’s what The B Family liked:

MommyB – I love the Snack Mix Tubes. Being a busy mom sometimes I am the last to eat or just plain don’t have time to sit down for a snack especially. Wholesome Goodness’ Tuxedo Mix and Mountain Mix were delicious!! I love that they were portion size and not too big {otherwise I may have over indulged}, and that they are easy to throw in my diaper bag.

DaddyB – Usually DaddyB goes for the plain oatmeal and really enjoyed the Quick Cook Steel Oats we were sent, but he fell in love with the Multigrain Maple Brown Sugar & Pecans Hot Cereal. Usually we don’t talk about him liking or not liking food because he’s not too picky, {even though he plugs his nose to eat veggies ;)}, but with this, he expressly told me, “I really like that oatmeal.” And that’s saying a lot.

Miss A – She can sometimes be picky, but will always take at least one bite of what we offer her. Let me tell you, she could not get enough of the Whole Grain Sea Salt Crisps. It didn’t surprise me too much though because she normally loves DaddyB’s Sunchips. I did some label reading though and found out that Wholesome Goodness’ version offers lower saturated fat, and lower sodium to name a few unfortunately it has a tad less protein as well, but overall a good alternative to the norm. As they say the “better-for-you” version.

Baby C – As some of you know BabyC is not a milk drinker, and has never been. We have tried several different types, almond, rice, coconut, soy etc, but every time we get a couple of sips and no more. While I can’t say she loved the Chocolate Almond Drink from Wholesome Goodness, she did take more sips than usual. That’s a start right? Even though she didn’t “gobble” the drink up, she really enjoyed the Rice & Wheat Flakes with Strawberries.

Since we liked those products the most we’re giving them to your family too!! Enter to win Wholesome Goodness Snack Mix Tubes, Multigrain Maple Brown Sugar & Pecans Hot Cereal, Whole Grain Sea Salt Crisps, and Rice & Wheat Flakes with Strawberries.

How to Win

Head over to the Wholesome Goodness website here: http://wholesome-goodness.com/ and tell me what product you would like to try.

1. Leave a comment on another post on my website. (1 comment per post, no limit otherwise.)

2. Follow Wholesome Goodness on Twitter

2. Follow MommyBKnowsBest on Twitter

3. Tweet– using @mommybknowsbest and @eatwholesome linking back to this giveaway. (up to 5 tweets a day)

Not an entry because MommyB Knows Best follows Facebook TOS, but we’d love it if you’d go check out Wholesome Goodness. here: on Facebook and if you want to follow MommyB Knows Best (again not an entry but I’d love you forever if you did) click here: MommyB Knows Best Facebook

RulesGiveaway ends April 2nd @12:00 am. The winner will be chosen at random, verified, emailed, and announced in a Winner’s post. The winner has 48 hours to respond to the email from MommyB to claim the prize, if the prize is not claimed within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen at random. You must be a US resident and 18 years or older to enter.

Wholesome Goodness sent some products for me to try out. All opinions expressed in this post are my own honest opinions, however yours may vary.

i play. and Green Sprouts Review, Discount, and Giveaway

i play. green sprouts

i play. green sproutsHave you heard about i play., inc.? They are a company local to Asheville, North Carolina {woohoo} offering great kid products like really cool compressed diaper wipes, sweet organic baby clothes, unique toys and more and if you’re looking for a great company that cares about keeping kids healthy inside and out. i play. is it. i play. was founded in the early 80’s and continues to be concerned with protecting both our kiddos and the planet we live on. They pride themselves on researching and early elimination of harmful resources like PVC, BPA and Petroleum from their products.

In fact, here is a list of materials that i play., inc. currently uses on their products:

Inside

• Natural, non-petroleum materials such as plant starch,  plant fiber, wood, and cotton

• Non-petroleum materials such as glass, silicone and stainless steel

• BPA-free plastics such as Polypropylene (PP)

Outside

• Natural fibers such as cotton and plant-based non-wovens

• Organic cotton which promotes sustainable farming

• PVC-free waterproof materials such as EVA and polyurethane coated polyesters and nylon

• Sun protective fabrics of UPF 50+

• Flexible and breathable fabrics for active play

While there are a lot of fun things on their site I would love to fill my home up with {and just may}, we were able to test out a few things that i play. and Green Sprouts have to offer.

My favorite product that we received was a cute PINK Waterproof Insulated Jacket that is not only adorable, but made with an incredibly soft microfiber that I could rub all day long, so I know it’s comfortable for Baby C’s sensitive skin too. I love the velcro pieces on this jacket that help adjust to your child’s size. My only wish – that they made them in sizes larger than a 4T so Little Miss A could coordinate too.

i play. is also great about having lots of winter separates to add on or remove depending on the temperature and occasion. Check out their full line of outerwear:

i play. outerwear

Overall I love what i play., inc. is doing with their Green Sprouts and i play. line and can’t wait to see what else is coming up for them. I am definitely eyeing the summer swim and eye wear already!

What a DEAL!! Between now through February 29th, 2012 get a 20% Discount on i play. Winterwear and Green Sprouts Disposables using this discount code: IPFB12  and it gets better: i play. is giving one lucky MommyB Knows Best reader a Waterproof Insulated Jacket of your very own! 

How to Win

Head over to i play.’s website here: http://iplaybabywear.com/ and tell me what other product you would buy from their site.

1. Leave a comment on another post on my website. (1 comment per post, no limit otherwise.)

2. Follow i play. on Twitter

2. Follow MommyBKnowsBest on Twitter

3. Tweet– using @mommybknowsbest and @iplayinc linking back to this giveaway. (up to 5 tweets a day)

4. Check out i play.’s blog and leave them a comment.

Not an entry because MommyB Knows Best follows Facebook TOS, but we’d love it if you’d go check out i play. here: on Facebook and if you want to follow MommyB Knows Best (again not an entry but I’d love you forever if you did) click here: MommyB Knows Best Facebook

RulesGiveaway ends March 9th @12:00 am. The winner will be chosen at random, verified, emailed, and announced in a Winner’s post. The winner has 48 hours to respond to the email from MommyB to claim the prize, if the prize is not claimed within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen at random. You must be a US resident and 18 years or older to enter.

I received products from i play. in order to give you my honest review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own honest opinions, however yours may vary.

 

 

Who Returns on The Bachelor Episode 8

The Bachelor Mystery Woman

Some of you may know from my Facebook status updates that I enjoy reality television. Some shows I watch because they make me feel like a better mom, that my home is immaculate, that I’m an awesome wife, and some I just watch because they’re fun. The Bachelor on ABC is one of the latter.

I never got into watching The Bachelor or The Bachelorette until recently. I’m not sure what caused me to tune into Season 15 of The Bachelor but once I started watching I was hooked. I was in love with Emily Maynard’s personality from the start, not to mention that she is local to Charlotte. She seemed very sweet, kind, and a great mom. Don’t worry, I know you don’t “know” a person from what you see on TV, but I still really like Emily. She was my pick for Brad Womack as he returned again to find love and while I’m sad they didn’t find a lasting relationship I’m excited to see this coming season of The Bachelorette and pray that if it’s God’s will she finds the perfect husband and father figure for her daughter Ricki.

Now back to The Bachelor Season 16, as I was watching tonight I was so sad that Kacie B. was given the boot. Although I think Nikki is my second choice. As I was watching the lead up to next week’s episode I was listening to Courtney’s voice and what showed Ben opening his hotel room door to the “mystery woman” in shock. I knew from the body shape and clothing that it was not Courtney, so I had to watch it again. Much to my surprise, from looking at the woman’s jewelry I figured out who the “mystery woman” is….

The Bachelor Mystery Woman

 

none other than, this week’s castoff herself…. Kacie B.

Kacie B The Bachelor

I’m aware that I’m not the first to report this, however I thought it was cool that without any other blogs/websites I realized just from the jewelry that Kacie B. is the woman who returns. Word is that she’s coming back to tell Ben about the way Courtney has been with the women on the show and behind his back in an effort to save him from marrying someone he may not truly know.

Again I’m sad to see her go, but hope she finds an awesome man with the same beliefs and values she has who will treat her like a queen, such a sweetie.

Do you watch The Bachelor? Who do you think Ben will choose??

Tropical Foods Dipping Chocolate – Valentine’s Day Treats

Dipping Chocolate

One of the sweetest days of the year is right around the corner and celebrating with kids now gives Valentine’s Day new meaning. I love celebrating holidays with my kiddos and enjoy seeing their faces when we get to bond and create. Of course we’re always making crafts and occasionally we get to create some tasty treats too.

Miss A and I made these yummy treats last Christmas:

Chocoley Chocolate

We like to dip things in chocolate because well, everything is better with chocolate when you’re a self-diagnosed choco-holic. We’ve dipped cookies, marshmallows, and carmel.

Dipping ChocolateTropical Foods is hosting a contest asking bloggers, “What are your favorite foods to dip in chocolate?”And by nature, I MUST answer. I think my all-time favorite thing to dip would have to be Oreos. At Christmas time they are extra tasty with peppermint shavings. However, if I were concocting something for Valentine’s Day with the kiddos I think I would make heart shaped cake pops from red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting, and cover in their White Chocolate Dipping Chocolate, but you can’t forget the heart shaped sprinkles. I also really enjoy dipping pretzels, homemade caramels, making frozen bananas, and fresh strawberries!

My awesome friends shared their dipped goodies with me.

Lolli from, “Better in Bulk” has a “unique” technique for dipping her truffles:

Dipping Truffles - Better in Bulk

Finger-lickin’ good huh??

My friend Michelle from, “Honest and Truly” makes this delicious chocolate drizzled popcorn:

Drizzled Popcorn - Honest and Truly

Head here for the recipe: http://honestandtruly.blogspot.com

Now that you’re in the dipping mood too, if you were asked, “What are your favorite foods to dip in chocolate,” what would your answer be??

I am blogging for a chance to win Tropical Foods blogger contest and because I personally enjoy Tropical Foods products. I have worked with Tropical Foods in the past as well. All images posted are either my property or given consent to use for the purpose of this blog post by the image owner.

Oral B Party – Brushing up on Dental Health

Oral-B Winnie the Pooh Party

OralB Stages

Seems like we’ve been throwing a lot of parties lately, how much fun!! We have a few fun activities coming up for our family this week, but I wanted to go back and recap a great Oral-B Stages party we were able to host at the B house.

Oral-B Stages are great for the little ones, and I have always felt that oral health is super important especially with my kiddos. OralB has brushes available for children who are 4 months young and kid themed brushes up to age 7 years old.

Our party was a Disney movie theme, we got to watch, Winnie the Pooh, the movie, eat popcorn, and play fun Oral-B games. What better pair than popcorn and tooth care since all those kernels get stuck in your teeth?!?

Check out some fun pictures from our party:

Oral-B Winnie the Pooh Party

Popcorn Time

Oral-B Tigger

Tigger even made an appearance

Oral-B collage

What parties are you hosting the rest of this year?

Do you and your family use Oral-B? What do you think of the brand?

We personally choose Oral-B products because I love the brand as a whole, and they have great character themes. We’ve used these products well before this event and will continue to use them. I received all products and goodies for our guests from Oral-B and MomSelect, this in no way effects my opinion of Oral-B. 

Tiny Prints Holiday Party

Tiny Prints HolidayWith the holidays upon us there are so many different parties to attend. On my schedule we’ve had a Halloween play date, a couples Halloween party, a Jake and the Neverland Pirates birthday party, and coming up we have a Thanksgiving Feast, Holiday Cookie exchanges, and other parties I’ve either been invited to or hosted myself for work, not to mention my own birthday party in December and parties that haven’t even been planned yet.

Last weekend, on behalf of one of my most favorite companies, Tiny Prints, I hosted a blogger holiday party and with a few tips I used it was a success.

Invite the Right People for the Right Event – If you are having a play date don’t invite people who don’t like children, pretty obvious right? However I’ve seen interesting mixes at parties because often times people don’t want to leave anyone out, but by being selective, {at times}, it can pay off. I invited some amazing bloggers including {in alphabetical order, so as not to show favoritism *LOL*} Faith, Jamie, Jessica, Kelley, Lisa, Maricris, and Susan.

Tiny Prints Attendees

Find a unique place or theme for the party – Sometimes when you are in a smaller city it’s hard to find new venues to host events at, and even if you choose to host events in your home, one key tip is to get creative. Thinking outside the box when it comes to venues and themes are what can make or break a party. Choose locations you wouldn’t normally think of but work out logistically and look on places like pinterest {which I have vowed to stay away from,} for ideas. I chose Fran’s Filling Station because the menu selection sounded different, and it wasn’t a chain and I’m so glad I chose it because the food and staff were amazing, and I’m dying to go back for round 2.

Find some entertainment or a purpose – While sometimes it’s nice to just get together with friends, when there is a purpose or something fun scheduled for a party people get even more excited to attend. At the Tiny Prints event, Chris Garner, local photographer and owner of TPS Photography, spoke about tips for photography which will not only come in handy for our blogs, but also for our own photos during the holidays. Whatever your purpose or entertainment make it a good fit for your attendees.

Tiny Prints GoodiesMake sure the guests leave with something in hand – aka Goodies. We all love them, let’s face it, when you leave a party with a goodie bag you get a little excited. Recently, I went to a Mom’s Night In, where we made pies and the hostess made pie pops {like these from Bakerella} and although my girls didn’t get to go to the Mom’s Night In {for obvious reasons}, they were able to enjoy the goodies. And I must say for this Tiny Prints event the goodies were pretty awesome! Read More

Discovery Place Kids – Can Can’s Masquerade

Baby C Dress Up

Above ALL else, my girls favorite activity for play time is playing dress up. No matter if it’s trying on fancy dresses and shiny, plastic jewelry, or wearing their favorite character costumes, they could play dress up all day long. They have danced, ran errands with me, and even eaten in their dress up clothes, and if I would allow it I’m sure they would have slept in them, tiara and all, {ouch!}.

Miss A Dress Up

 

 

 

 

Lucky for us, my girls ultimate dream is coming true. The biggest dress up night of their lives {yes all 4 years for Miss A and 1.5 for Baby C,} is coming on October 21st, and you can come too!

 

 

Discovery Place KIDS' Can Can

Can Can, Discovery Place KIDS’ awesome mascot, invites you to her Masquerade Ball at Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville. Put your fancy pants on, shine your dancing shoes, and get ready to celebrate the Museum’s one-year anniversary!

Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served for the young and young at heart. Masks and costumes are welcome but not required, but of course you know my little ones will be dressed up for sure, and maybe mommy and daddy too!

Friday, October 21, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
105 Gilead Road
Huntersville, NC 28078

Purchase tickets online http://www.discoveryplacekids.org/events/event/18/Can-Cans-Masquerade-Ball or call 704.348.1994 to purchase over the phone and for additional information.

Cost per ticket is: $25 per child (ages 1-13 years) & $50 per adult (ages 14 and up).
*Children younger than one are free

All proceeds from this event will benefit the educational programming at Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville.

So won’t you join me and my “dresser-uppers”, Can Can, and The Charlotte Moms {who are giving away 2 tickets through 9/25} for this fun night to celebrate Discovery Place KIDS’ first birthday?! We would love to see you come out and support the community and have fun with the kiddos too.

What are your child(ren)’s favorite characters to dress up as?

A Teddy Bear Picnic To Remember

Teddy Bear Picnic

Amazing! That is the one word I would use to describe the great time had by all at the Teddy Bear Picnic this past Saturday. Thanks to North American Bear Company each of the kids received a different bear. Some of the children didn’t even want to put their bear down, while others were playing, “Ring Around the Rosie”s.

Bear Play

The moms and children donned their adorable duds and came to munch on some of these breakfast favorites: organic milk, orange juice {no pulp of course}, gigantic muffins, a great assortment of kid friendly fruit, teddy bear cookies {mostly for theming}, and thanks to Musselman’s not only did we have a picnic basket, but we got to enjoy some of their healthy AND tasty Totally Fruit applesauce, no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial colors or flavors! Love it!!

And of course, to top off the Teddy Bear theme: Tropical Sun’s own Grabeez Gummy Bears in assorted flavors. Easy for the kids to hold and munch. Or read nutrition information: {I actually think “G” was trying to figure a way to just get the red ones out, those are my favorite.}

G and Tropical Sun Grabeez Gummy Bears

After their bellies were full, the children danced to music, ran around the shaded area and checked out the beautiful water at Cullman Park in the Ballantyne Corporate Park picked out by the amazing photographer for this event, Jamie, with Photography by Jamie Lea. 

Here are a few more great shots from the event and to check them all out, head over to Photography by Jamie Lea on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/PhotographyByJamieLea and make sure you like her page.

Teddy Bear Picnic Collage

Big thanks again to all those who participated in this event!

North American Bear Company – A great assortment of Teddy Bears

Photography by Jamie Lea – Amazing photographs

Anders Ruff – Printables made specifically for our event

Tropical Foods – Attendees Take Home Grabeez Gummy Bears

Musselman’s – Delicious All Natural and Totally Fruit Applesauces

Perfectly Perrywinkle – Fuchsia and Orange headband worn by Miss A

Taylor Mathis – Fun red and white checkered table cloth

A Teddy Bear Picnic – Charlotte Giveaway {CLOSED}

Teddy Bear Picnic Bear Lineup

Teddy Bear PicnicEvery teddy bear, that’s been good
Is sure of a treat today
There’s lots of wonderful things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
They’ll hide and seek as long as they please
Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic!

Hooray for summer, for play, and especially for picnics. I wanted to bring something fun to you, my amazing readers, and I decided what would be more fun than a Teddy Bear Picnic?!? What child, {and parent} wouldn’t love to attend a picnic with the cutest Teddy Bears, tasty snacks, and fun friends?

For this fun event, I have partnered with North American Bear Company, who I love and have worked with in the past. They have provided 8 of their most fun bears as dining pals to this event. Here is a sneak-peek at some of the bears that they’ve provided:

Teddy Bear Picnic Bear Lineup

Along with North American Bear Company there are a few other companies who are pitching in some great goodies for my guests. Musselmans has provided a cute picnic basket with fruity goodness, great printables by Charlotte superstars: Anders Ruff made specifically for this event, and amazing local photographer Jamie from Photography by Jamie Lea will be on-site to snap some fun pictures of the kiddos among some other great tasty surprises.

The official Teddy Bear Picnic will be held Saturday, August 6th, in the Charlotte, North Carolina area at brunch time and you are invited. I will be your hostess and my beautiful 4 year old, Miss A will be joining us so there are 7 spots up for grabs to this amazing Charlotte event your child {and you} won’t want to miss.

If you are not in the Charlotte area you may still be in luck. North American Bear Company is giving one lucky reader a bear of their very own so they can have their own Teddy Bear Picnic too. Entries will be pulled from the same general pool so any of the entrants are eligible to win this great prize.

Please note for the Teddy Bear Picnic:

  • 7 children (and 1 parent) will be selected to attend this event {feel a little Willy Wonka-esque to anyone else}.
  • Parent or primary caregiver must be able to attend the full event with the child selected.
  • Ages 3 and up (preferably under 10 years old).
  • 1 child per household please.
  • Location will be revealed to the winners 1 week prior to the event.

How to Win

Head on over to my {first ever} giveaway tab on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/MommyBKnowsBest and be sure to enter all of your information for a chance to win an invite to the Teddy Bear Picnic. If you are unable to attend because of location or your schedule please be sure to write UNABLE TO ATTEND in the entry section to be entered for the North American Bear Company Teddy Bear drawing only.

RulesGiveaway ends July 29th @12:00 am. The winners will be chosen at random, verified, emailed, and announced in a Winner’s post. The winners will have 48 hours to respond to the email from MommyB to claim the prize, if the prize is not claimed within 48 hours a new winners will be chosen at random. You must be a US resident and 18 years or older to enter.