Category - Entertainment

NEW BOOK: Fearless Speaking & Author Interview

If you’re an adult, in most cases you’ve been in either one situation or another:

a. You’ve been made to speak in front of a group of people about a topic or

b. You’ve had the opportunity to speak in front of a group of people about a topic

Even though one is usually “forced” both situations for some people can be very frightening.

I remember in high school and college when I would be required to present a project or give a speech I would always have butterflies floating around in my stomach. Some presentations would be successful (in my mind at least), and others would crash and burn. As I spoke more and more in front of people I felt a little more comfortable, but depending on the situation, topic, preparedness of my speeches I still have moments where I feel I shine and others…well….not.so.much.

If you’ve ever felt this way {I know I’m not alone}, never fear! Dr. Genard has recently published his fully self-guided book on overcoming stage fright, Fearless Speaking.

Fearless Speaking Book Interview

This book comes with over 50 practical tips and tricks, along with other knowledge to set you free from a fear of public speaking, or at least get you on the right path.

Here are some answers from Dr. Genard himself regarding the topic of conquering stage fright and fear of public speaking:

Can your book help with all types of speaking opportunities?

Absolutely! Any speaking application can bene”t from the techniques in Fearless Speaking. Whether it’s situational anxiety that comes from talking to your boss, to high-profile appearances such as delivering a major address, appearing on television, or being interviewed by the New York Times, the Fearless Speaking System will help you stay poised and professional. After all, giving a toast at a wedding or impressing someone you’re on a date with requires you to come across honestly and credibly, while being at your very best!

Why did you write this book?

I wrote Fearless Speaking because I believe it’s time to start dealing head-on with the fear of public speaking. It’s an enormous problem in our society. The best figure we have is that between 56% and 70% of us suffer from some form of speech anxiety. That means that in the U.S. alone, millions of Americans suffer from a phobia that negatively impacts their lives. There are hundreds of books on public speaking, but only a handful address the actual fear of public speaking—and none of them spend more than a few chapters on the topic.

Who is Fearless Speaking meant to benefit?

This book is for anyone—and I really mean that literally—who has jitters, nervousness, anxiety, or self-doubt concerning their speaking skills. Some people only get butterflies, of course, while others suffer full-blown panic attacks. This book is for any one of those speakers.

Fearless Speaking really provides a practical toolbox of hands-on skills that can be applied in any speaking situation from interpersonal communications to presentations to formal speeches. It empowers people to focus on the task at hand so they can speak with confidence, comfort, and control.

In fact, the book could have been titled “Speak with Confidence.” Learning how to speak fearlessly allows you to regain your momentum, pursue opportunities you’ve been avoiding, and reconnect with the world personally and professionally.

About the Author: Dr. Genard brings decades of experience as an actor, teacher, and speech coach to helping clients conquer their stage fright. With Fearless Speaking, you can learn the same performance-based techniques that form the basis of his in-depth fear reduction system. In fact, this book is the only fully self-guided approach to overcoming fear of public speaking inspired by the theater.

Interested in overcoming your fear of public speaking or know someone who might benefit from Dr. Genard’s tips and tricks?? Check out or Purchase Fearless Speaking on Amazon.com for more details. {I do not receive any compensation for this link, just providing it so you don’t have to do an additional search.}

PBS Kids Martha Speaketh Weeketh

Summer is here and what better time to keep your kids learning in fun and creative ways?!? I’m a HUGE proponent of taking your children outside to learn, visiting museums, making fun crafts, but there also is something to be said about educational television programming too.

My favorite educational channel for kids is PBS KIDS. I know the shows will be wholesome and focused on learning from age appropriate characters and themes.

Beginning June 16 (check local listings), everyone’s favorite talking dog will kick off Martha Speaketh Weeketh with three all-new episodes of MARTHA SPEAKS and a new meaty online game, Martha’s Steaks. During the week, fans can watch their favorite canine linguist speaking in questions, in Polish, and even Elizabethan English!

What a great way to improve your child’s vocabulary and open up the doors to questions they may have about where certain words come from or what words mean. I love when experiences spur my girls on to learn new things.

 

Martha Speaketh Weeketh Teach Vocabulary

 

Some episodes that will be featured are:

Monday, June 16th
Thou Callest Me a Dog & Martha’s Paper Chase

Tuesday, June 17th
Alice Tells a Story & Pirates and Princesses

Wednesday, June 18th
Tomato, You Say & Martha Questions

and some great repeats the rest of the week that you won’t want to miss!

Martha Speaketh Weeketh PBS Kids

 

 

Have you ever asked your child what their favorite word is? I challenge you to ask them, share yours and discover their meaning or where they came from. Happy learning and happy {almost} Summer!

 

Martha Speaks Logo

 

 

This is not a sponsored post, however we did receive Martha Speaks products to help with this review. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are honest and my own words. Your opinions may vary.

3 Awesome Science DVDs for Kids

My girls both love Science and learning about the world and nature, {even if they’re not fond of bugs.} In fact, we just had a great trip to Discovery Place Charlotte for Miss A’s birthday where we were learning about jellyfish, gases, and creating some cool recycled works of art.

While we will be visiting lots of museums and parks this Summer, I know there will be some moments {especially with packing for the new house and the move itself} where we’ll need some downtime. I found 3 great DVDs from NCircle that are both fun, and educational. {My favorite combination.}

 

3 Awesome Science DVDs for Kids MommyB

 

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!: Space is the Place

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Join the Cat in the Hat on a trip into space, and learn why the cosmos is such a cool place! In this new DVD, the Cat and his friends visit each of the planets, the sun and the stars. Young viewers can learn why day turns to night thanks to our friend, the sun.

Sid the Science Kid: What is a Rainbow?

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After a rainstorm, the sun comes out and Sid spots a big rainbow in the sky. He races inside to tell his parents, but by the time he brings them outside to see it, the rainbow is gone. Sid and his friends investigate rainbows at school where they discover that rainbows can only form when light passes through water droplets.

Your kiddos will learn the answers to the questions: Where does light come from? How are shadows made? How are rainbows created? What causes darkness?

Octonauts: To the Gup-X!

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This DVD includes the following exciting adventures: Captain Barnacles leads a mission to rescue Dashi, who is trapped inside a giant whale shark; Kwazii takes to the skies to retrieve a precious book from a school of flying fish; Peso tries to bandage a Great White Shark without becoming his lunch – and much more! Plus, in a special extra feature, Tweak & Tunip tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the Gup-X!

Both my girls {ages 4 and 7} really enjoy these DVDs and have learned so much about space, rainbows/light, and sea life. These are movies that we can watch over and over again and not have to worry about questionable content or mindless viewing.

 

I received review products associated with this review. This is not a sponsored post and I was not obligated to write my opinions. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own honest words.

Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium To Host 100 Kids to Celebrate 100th Attraction Giveaway

The new Sea Life Aquarium at Concord Mills will provide 100 tickets to local children in celebration of being the 100th attraction to open under UK-based Merlin Entertainments.

This outreach initiative was created through Merlin’s Magic Wand, the company’s charity that provides magical days out for seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged children at Merlin attractions worldwide. This year, Merlin will work with local organizations in more than 22 countries to provide 10,000 kids with tickets to visit their 100 attractions.
 
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord has partnered with local organizations including Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte (RMH), The Sandbox and Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital to provide tickets to children in their care. Each of these Charlotte area organizations helps families with a child who has been diagnosed with cancer or a life-altering illness by providing them with basic necessities, suitable housing or medical care.

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“We are always thrilled to partner with organizations who are passionate about children,” said Mona Johnson-Gibson, Executive Director of RMH of Charlotte. “Sea Life is a great way for our families to take a break and have some fun!”

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Sea Life’s mascot Sharky visited with some of the kids at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte today for a special ticket presentation. He made an earlier appearance at Ronald McDonald House in April.
 
“The entire Sea Life team is excited to be able to provide so many amazing children with a fun day away to just be kids,” said Jack Stevenson, Marketing Manger at Sea Life Charlotte-Concord. “We look forward to sharing our underwater journey with them very soon.”
 
About Sea Life Charlotte-Concord
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is a one-story, 26,000-square-foot indoor aquarium with another 10,000 square feet planned for future expansion. This one-of-a-kind attraction will allow visitors to experience the magical world beneath our seas with marine habitats, displays, and close encounters with over 5,000 sea creatures. Sea Life provides a glimpse of the diversity of marine life while also playing an active role in animal and environmental conservation. Visitors will see strong evidence of Sea Life’s Breed, Rescue and Protect activities around the world, including new projects developed locally.
 
Sea Life is the world’s largest aquarium chain with over 45 attractions around the world. Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is the sixth Sea Life aquarium launched in the U.S. and is located at Concord Mills, 8111 Concord Mills Blvd. in Concord, NC. For more information, visit www.visitsealife.com/charlotte-concord.

In honor of the tickets being given away to some great charities in Charlotte, here’s your chance to win 4 General Admission tickets to Sea Life Charlotte-Concord.

Enter here:

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SEA LIFE Generic Logo AW (Holding CMYK 100-80-0-20)

 

 

I am a member of the Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Parent Council. I receive complimentary admission however I am not paid for my opinions or work.

Tips for Visiting the Georgia Aquarium {Giveaway}

Planning your summer trips and family vacations? Might I suggest a trip to Atlanta, Georgia to visit to the world’s second largest aquarium, Georgia Aquarium.

Tips for Visiting Georgia Aquarium MommyB Collage

Daddy B, Miss A, Lil’ C, and I were able to make a weekend trip down to Atlanta thanks to the Georgia Aquarium and Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Downtown. We had heard from some of YOU and friends how amazing the aquarium was, and are happy to confirm all of the rave reviews were spot on. We really enjoyed our visit and would love to go back again soon.

For those of you thinking of making a visit to the Georgia Aquarium here are some tips:

Tips for Visiting Georgia Aquarium MommyB

Take your time.

If you are visiting Georgia for attractions other than the aquarium I would highly recommend setting aside an entire day (times vary depending on the day of the week), to enjoy the aquarium.

Get to events/shows early.

Especially on weekends, the shows and special events fill up quickly, if you don’t like large crowds or want to be proactive plan your schedule around the shows giving about a 15-30 minute leeway at least.

 

Eat meals at off times.

You’d be surprised at how many people were in the cafeteria (which has some really yummy/healthy options too) right at noon for lunch. If you plan accordingly you can miss the mad rush, find a table, enjoy your meal, and end up enjoying the aquarium while everyone else is eating.

Take lots of pictures and video.

With many of the animals and fish being species we don’t often see, be sure to take lots of pictures and video to commemorate your trip and reminisce in the memories. Sometimes we get caught up in seeing the sites but forget to document it too.

Skip shows if you have sensitive children.

Both of our girls are a little sensitive to things that seem to be scary including movies, bugs, large animals. While I understand not all children are affected there are some things for parents of sensitive children to be aware of.

In Deepo’s Undersea 3D Wonder Show certain children may be bothered by 3d (the film or the glasses), air blowing under seats, and non-harmful objects falling from the ceiling. If your child has a sensory processing disorder or is sensitive in this manner you may want to skip this attraction, however if your child loves movies and doesn’t mind the sensory features this is a great, wholesome video even though there is some commercialism (Home Depot), there are lots of laughs and learning showcased.

Georgia Aquarium Deepo Review MommyB

In Georgia Aquarium’s other large attraction; AT&T Dolphin Tales show, your family gets to watch a live dolphin show with a pirate tale. This show is held in an amphitheater type setting so if someone in your family is claustrophobic or afraid of heights you may want to skip out. Also we loved the dolphins so much that they canceled out the “bad guys” aka dead fish pirate ship/bad pirates, but the girls did mention how that part of the show bothered them. If your children do not like “bad guys” in movies/shows you may want to consider skipping this attraction.

Allow yourself to be amazed.

With the media and accessibility that we have these days it’s often hard for us to fully realize the wonders of the world. Try to remember these are real creatures and animals that you have the privilege of seeing up close. Encourage your children (and yourself) to learn at least 5 new things about sea life.

Amazing Georgia Aquarium Pics MommyB

Look for discounts.

Often times you can find attraction discounts with memberships you are a part of, or if you are a credit card holder, be sure to check also with travel bureaus for discounts to attractions. Georgia Aquarium is also offering an amazing Southern Hospitality Discount for residents of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida. Visitors receive discounted admission of $29.95 +tax when they show a valid ID verifying residency at the ticket window only, now through June 13, 2014.

Enter to win tickets.

My last piece of advice for visiting the Georgia Aquarium is to enter to win your family a 4 pack of Total Tickets with a Behind-the-Scenes Tour, and a 1 Day Parking Voucher. How awesome is that?!?! If it’s not a great fit for you feel free to enter to win for someone else or tell your friends/family about this giveaway and all of the great things Georgia Aquarium has in store for families.

Enter here to win:

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Plan your trip.

Start your planning by checking out information on the Georgia Aquarium website. The site offers hours of operation, parking information, ticket package details and is sure to get your family excited about the trip!

 

 

My family and I were invited to Georgia and the Georgia Aquarium. We were not compensated for a review nor did we pay for admission or lodging. Thank you to Georgia Aquarium and Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Atlanta for hosting us.

Tech Review: i Covers and Cases

Sometimes when you acquire new technology you forget all the additional accessories that go along with the new devices.  Coming from personal experience {aka a cracked phone}, it’s important to make sure your devices are protected and have the right accessories. I had the opportunity to review a couple of new i-accessories and wanted to give you my thoughts so you can make the best purchasing choice whether you go with the brands listed, or the reviews give you some helpful tips on buying your next device accessory.

From ZooGue – iPad 3rd/4th generation Genius case $49.99

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[I like:]

  • Fit my iPad perfectly
  • Has the appropriate spots for cameras etc.
  • Comes in PINK and BLACK
  • Has a hard cover for protection
  • Can attach with velcro straps for portability
  • Decent price

[/checklist]

[Not so much:]

  • This version has a velcro stand that sticks to everything (including my clothes when carrying it)
  • No screen protector
  • Only comes in two colors currently

[/badlist]

ZooGue iPad Case Review MommyB

Overall thoughts:

I think I would have chosen the Zoogue Prodigy iPad case over this one because the velcro is very annoying, but I do love that the case allows for several angles (which is great for glare and different user heights).

For more details and to purchase check out ZooGue’s website: zoogue.com

From NueVue – Leather iPhone Case $56.99

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[I like:]

  • That it rids my phone of germs {phones are so germy!}
  • It’s available in leather, canvas, and cotton twill and several colors
  • The sleek and clean look of the case

[/checklist]

[Not so much:]

  • These types of case covers don’t offer protection for phones and other devices
  • Cannot use the phone while it’s in the case
  • If using for only cleaning purposes you still need to remove your hardcase before cleaning

[/badlist]

NewVu iPhone Case review MommyB

Overall thoughts:

I LOVE the concept of a clean phone {bacteria-free especially} however I need my phone to be protected especially being a busy mom. If they can somehow combine cleaning with hardcase phones I’m all in. In the meantime I will continue to use my NueVue case to clean my phone on occasion.

More details and purchasing NueVue on their website: nuevue.com

Are you looking for a case or accessory for any of your devices? Do you have any technology device accessories favorites? 

Tech Review i Covers and Cases MommyB

 

Thanks for checking out my i accessories post, feel free to share this post and come back to read more reviews, thoughts, and giveaways on MommyBKnowsBest.com

I received review products from both companies in order to give a detailed review and chose to share my experiences with you. All opinions express in this post are my honest thoughts.

 

 

 

10 Things I Heart in Spring

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I decided that I would not write about Spring on my blog until it finally felt like Spring here in Charlotte, NC, however today, it’s going to be up in the 80s so I’m not sure if I’m allowed to write this considering the summer-like weather we are having. Then again, how can I not share with you things I’m hearting this Spring?!?!

Disneyland in the Spring MommyB
1. Traveling – Although we’re in the midst of packing for our move in June, we have been traveling a lot this Spring. We had the opportunity to visit Disneyland in California, where the weather was amazing and we had a BLAST! And we just returned from an amazing trip to Georgia where we visited the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola (I’ll have trip reports on both soon!) Where have you traveled this Spring or where are you traveling to?

Build-a-Bear Spring2. New friends – We have been making lots of new friends this Spring! We recently started going to story hour at the church we’ve been attending and making new friends there AND in stuffed friend news, we got a new Spring Build-A-Bear friend who is an ADORABLE Soft & Sweet Lamb ($18) She has fluffy white fur that’s perfect for cuddling. Our little lamb is all dressed up for Spring and tea parties AND at Build-A-Bear you can also add scents so your furry friends smell oh-so-sweet, how cool is that?!?

3. Outside Fun – We are blessed to have a nice, flat, and decent size backyard so lately we’ve been spending a lot of time outside. If it’s nice out I’ll let Miss A do her homework outside and of course lots of chalk, bubbles, running, scooters/bikes, and water table play. How about you??

4. Spring Cleaning – I know this sounds soooo strange, but I really do love organizing and cleaning, even though these days I don’t have quite as much time as I’d like to do either. Luckily, the move gives me a great excuse to do a little bit of both. I’ve been trying out a few new cleaning products including some Method products and Nature’s Kloth.

We try to be a little more eco-friendly here and there and both of these products help. We’ve been using Nature’s Kloth instead of a sponge and replacing the way we clean with paper towels to create less waste. I love that it’s eco-friendly (biodegradable, washable over 300 times, made from cotton and plant fiber, and more) and is great for many uses inside and outside the house. I definitely feel better about cleaning when there isn’t a huge pile of used papertowels in my trash.

5. Healthy Kiddos – I am super thankful for healthy kiddos. Lately we’ve been pretty healthy especially considering that we’ve been flying and traveling a lot. We have a lot of friends who have not been so fortunate this Spring. For those uncomfortable fevers and painful colds and aches we give our girls Children’s Advil. For Lil’ C who does not do well with any sort of pain, this does the trick for us. I love that they have so many flavors (and dye-free versions) too since she doesn’t care for most medicine flavors. Plus, they have some fun activities and tips for parents on how to stay healthy.

Garden Lites Collage

We also love that our girls like healthy foods like Garden Lites. Miss A surprisingly enjoyed these gluten-Free, veggie muffins. They’re high in fiber, and low in fat. Miss A’s favorite flavor was: Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip. They have loads more flavors and come in a box of 4 with an SRP of $3.99.

Lee Fashion Spring Capris

6. Spring Clothes!! – I love a good infinity scarf, especially the beautiful chevron one that one of my friends gave me for my birthday, but I really enjoy wearing comfy Spring clothes. I love wearing adorable maxi and sun dresses because they are so flowy and comfortable.

I am also loving the new Lee Spring collection that features bermuda shorts and capris that are comfortable while being dressy at the same time. If I need to dress up an outfit some of their capris and shorts come with adorable, fashionable belts as well. Here are a few of my other favorites from their collection:

Lee Spring Collection

 

7. Parties – I always love a good get-together and with the girls’ birthdays, holidays and end of school coming for us, Spring is always filled with fun parties and celebrations. We’ll have a small birthday get together for Miss A {since we went to Disneyland the girls aren’t getting their usual HUGE parties}, a class party for the end of the year {here’s an end of the year gift idea}, and loads of friends birthday parties.

Iesodo Video8. Good Message Movies – We were sent a couple of videos from Iesodo (pronounced Ya-Sa-Doe) that retells Bible stories with animated animals, mainly birds. My girls LOVED the videos and have been singing the catchy songs every day since we’ve watched them. We love sharing these videos with our friends because we know the language and content are appropriate for all viewers. Even if you have no religious affiliation, but want your children to learn good values, these videos promote wholesome character traits and morals and is good for children of any age.

9. Pasta Salad – Of course you can eat pasta salad anytime of year, but this is the season pasta salads shine! I really love cold, crisp salads with lots of veggies. What’s your favorite pasta salad recipe?

B girls with Genevive Goings Choo Choo Soul at Disneyland

10. Meeting Amazing People – Not that this is necessarily a Spring thing, but since we went to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we were able to meet some pretty amazing people. One of our favorites though was Genevieve Goings from Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve.

Miss A says her favorite person/character she met the entire stay was Genevieve and we met a lot of people/characters so that says a lot. Of course we fell in love with Genevieve on Disney/Disney Junior with her Choo Choo Soul songs and realized she did more music for Disney as well as a round up of songs from Disney classic movies.

We’re excited to hear that her first Independent Children’s Album for pre-schoolers is called “Do You Know?” and releases June 3, with the first single “My Telephone Number Is” available NOW on iTunes.The album focuses on learning key fundamentals with Genevieve’s unique brand of “Kids Music with Soul.” I got an exclusive preview of the songs on her new album and wow!

My girls love to dance and sing and they get that from their mommy, this is one album you will not be able to contain the dancing. Our favorite songs are: “My Telephone Number Is” {great for helping your child learn your phone number, a MUST}, “Inside Voice” {which is rockin’ and rowdy in the best possible way and teaches kids when and where to use their inside/outside voice} and surprisingly, “Gotta Do My Business” {a potty song with swagger}.

I love when kids music is both appropriate and enjoyable and Genevieve definitely accomplishes that with the album. I can’t wait to buy a copy for our family and give one away on the site along with a few other goodies! In honor of Spring, I’m giving away a $25 Build-A-Bear gift card, 2 copies of Iesodo DVDs (Faith and Love) and once it’s available on June 3rd, a copy of Genevive Goings’ new album.

Enter here to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is not a compensated post, however I did receive samples of some of the above products/brands and chose to tell you about them. All opinions expressed in the post are my own honest thoughts.

Why You’ll Want to Read a Book about Trash {Guest Post}

All children are recyclers at heart. They are inventors, creators and magicians when it comes to re-using things lying about the house. An old towel becomes a cape, boxes are space ships or racing cars, an empty soda bottle makes a super submarine and a cardboard tube is a pirates telescope. When children look at the world of waste they see endless possibilities.

At Retrash we can totally relate to that wonder of creating things from unwanted waste. Retrash is a book all about reusing waste to create beautiful pieces of art and practical items. It inspires creativity and imagination through stories of upcycling, recycling and living sustainably.

The book, show cases over 80 artists from all over the world who are looking at waste in new and creative ways.

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This gorgeous dress and others like it are the work of Australian designer Danette Rowse, and are made by recycling fabrics found in charity shops including table cloths and pillow cases.

“I am inspired by my desire to make comfortable, versatile and quality clothing for children.” says Danette.

Copyright Robyn Stewardson Retrash 3

Robyn Stewardson creates these beautiful owls using found objects, mainly kitchen utensils which are assembled using wire.

“I have been an avid op-shopper for years and thrive on giving something discarded a new lease on life. Now visiting op shops and trash and treasure markets is a must to find the materials I need to create my ever expanding parliament of owls.” says Robyn.

10 year old Olive Reichel makes ‘Miss O’s’ off cut bears using fabric off cuts from her mum’s design studio.

“I really, really, like making teddies. I get inspiration from random things everywhere and I like basing my ideas on pictures in my head.”

Copyright Brady-Anne Cushing Retrash 2

Brady-Anne Cushing creates hand made products from fabrics that are repurposed or salvaged.

“We gather our materials in many ways (salvage shops, remnants left over from friends, home decor projects, yard sales, etc.). We enjoy the challenge of finding unique materials in unconventional ways. We take great pride in the quality of our original items and create them with strength and integrity to bring years of
enjoyment!”
says Brady-Anne.

I believe that Retrash can inspire a small step for change and I am passionate about getting his book into the world.

Retrash Logo

We are currently running a funding campaign to raise money to print Retrash. You can get a copy of Retrash at a reduced price during the funding campaign, and you can even have your name printed in the book to show your support. Visit the website for more information: retrash.com

 

This is not a sponsored post, I thought the idea was cool and was honored that Founder of retrash, Nathan Devine, was interested in authoring this blog post.

Tweetsie Visit Spring #Giveaway

Happy amusement park season!! If you’re following me on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter you know that my family just got back from an exciting trip to Disneyland with Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and had a blast.

The B family is no stranger to visiting theme parks and amusement parks, we’ve been all over the country between myself and the girls and of course DaddyB aka CoasterCritic and have our clear favorite and other parks that don’t necessarily live up to the hype.

All four of us were able to visit Tweetsie Railroad in North Carolina last year and really enjoyed our visit. I love how family-oriented and wholesome this park is and even that it’s nestled in the mountains. If you want to read about our previous visit head here: Family Getaway: Tweetsie Railroad Review.

Tweetsie Collage

We are excited about another visit this Spring/Summer and know the girls will enjoy it even more this year since Lil C is bigger. While we don’t live close enough to get our own Season Pass, I typically recommend if people think they’ll visit more than once that they consider getting one because of the perks and value.

A 2014 Golden Rail Season Pass to Tweetsie includes:

  • A full season of adventure from Wild West train rides, amusement rides, live entertainment and the Deer Park Habitat
  • Free admission to all special events including: Day Out With Thomas, the Ghost Train® Halloween Festival, SpongeBob Squarepants, Cool Summer Nights evenings (July 5, 12, 19 and 26), Railroad Heritage weekends and more!
  • Free parking for the July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza, the High Country¹s most popular Independence Day celebration

Season Pass holders also receive discounts at other North Carolina family attractions including:

  • Biltmore Estate
  • Chimney Rock Park
  • Grandfather Mountain
  • Mast General Store
  • Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
  • Tanger Outlets in Blowing Rock

Tweetsie Railroad is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, including Memorial Day. Starting May 30th through August 17th the park will run seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., returning to the weekend schedule from August 18 through November 2, including Labor Day. *With the exception of a few holidays (see website for full schedule and details before visiting.)

Season passes are now available at a special rate of $80 for adults and $55 for children ages 3 through 12. After April 27, rates increase to $90 for adults and $65 for children. Children 2 and under are admitted free.

Daily admission to Tweetsie Railroad is $39 for adults and $26 for children ages 3 through 12. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Tickets and Golden Rail Season Passes are available at Tweetsie.com.

For more information about the 2014 season at Tweetsie Railroad, visit Tweetsie.com or call 877.TWEETSIE (877.893.3874). Find Tweetsie on Facebook or follow Tweetsie on Twitter @TweetsieRR.

If you are closeby or planning a visit to North Carolina, I highly recommend that you and your family visit Tweetsie Railroad, there’s something for the whole family whether it’s rides, performances, seeing the steam engine, mining, or visiting the petting zoo. It’s easy to spend an entire fun-filled day here.

In honor of their season opening Tweetsie Railroad is giving one lucky MommyB Knows Best reader the chance to win a 4-pack of daily admission tickets. *Does not include special holiday/events

Enter here to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is not a compensated post, however we received complimentary visit tickets to allow to give our honest opinions on the park. All opinions expressed in this post are honest and my own words. Your opinion may vary.

Tips for Trying Sushi for the First Time and Experiencing New Things at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte

DaddyB and I were invited to check out The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar in the SouthPark area of Charlotte, NC last weekend. Yes, you heard right, we had a date night. Though in the past there have been years between our dates out of the house now that we have an amazing babysitter and the girls are older we really enjoy a great night out.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Restaurant Review MommyB

This was a very interesting visit for us as DaddyB has never tried sushi, ever, and I am allergic to shellfish so have to be selective about what I can and cannot eat. We were excited for the challenge and fully embraced it and had confidence that a restaurant loved by so many in the area would not disappoint.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte Review MommyB

When we first walked into The Cowfish we noticed the fun atmosphere immediately as familiar music from our young adulthood played, and conversation filled the room. Once we were sat at our table we were able to soak in the eclectic hints of decor in the room. I personally loved the giant sized bento box:

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte MommyB

Be forewarned, the menu at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is HUGE, both literally and in content of menu items. If you’re someone who takes a long time to order you may want to check out their menu ahead of time online. Our waiter Brandon however, really knew the menu and was able to tell us quickly about items and was amazing at answering all of our many questions about ingredient dishes, and his recommendations.

We shared delicious truffle fries {a must order}, but when it came to our entrees we decided to try a little bit of both worlds that The Cowfish offers. As I mentioned DaddyB has never tried sushi at all so he got the famous Fusion Specialty Bento Box that includes sushi, a mini burger, and awesome sides including my favorite thai cucumbers. I decided to go with a diner favorite The Deliverance Roll – Southern Style Bar-B-Q-shi, which included delicious bbq pulled pork, a really cool potato wrap and was topped with bacon coleslaw.

The Cowfish Restaurant Charlotte MommyB

If you’ve never eaten sushi, here are a few tips for trying sushi for the first time:

1. Start with a “beginner roll”. Consider starting with a roll that doesn’t include raw fish like the California Roll {Daddy B started his meal with an intermediate roll and liked it, but wasn’t ready for the texture.}

2. Choose a roll that offers a tempura {light batter} or a flavorful drizzle to enhance the flavor of the roll.

3. Consider a fusion restaurant like The Cowfish, that offers familiar ingredients alongside new ingredients. This will give more confidence in experiencing new foods.

Speaking of experiencing new foods, this truly was our night for doing just that! Not only did DaddyB try sushi for the first time, but we were also able to sample some of the unique ingredients that The Cowfish has to offer. Check this out, we had flavor infused Masago {fish eggs}, with wasabi, citrus, soy, and sriracha. {My favorite was the citrus flavor.} We also got a “sneak peek” at the newest wasabi-infused micro greens. I must say this was one of the coolest things I’ve eaten in a while. They taste like micro greens at first but then as you chew a burst of the wasabi flavor comes out. I’d love to see this paired with a dish.

New Foods at The Cowfish Charlotte MommyB

Our experience at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar was filled with fun, new experiences, unique and tasty food. If I had to change anything about our night out I would have loved my food to be a little hotter {I like my food on the warmer side of the spectrum (ask DaddyB, he thinks I’m funny)}. Other than that, seriously the ambiance, outstanding service, and price of our date night were just as sweet as our yummy fortune cookie-crusted dessert.

Thanks The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte MommyB

Have you ever had fusion sushi before??? What are your favorite sushi dishes?

This is not a compensated post, we received a complimentary meal in order to give our honest thoughts on the restaurant, services, and food offerings. These are our opinions based on the above experience, however your experiences may vary.