Tag - charlotte

Getting our House Market Ready – Window Genie Review

The Bullocks are moving to Charlotte!

Lately our family has been getting our current home market ready and as we do so we want our home to look amazing for buyers. Our awesome realtor has helped us with staging the home, we hired a carpet cleaner to freshen up some areas in the house and recently Window Genie of Concord paid us a visit.

 

NEW WG Gold

 

Most homes around this time of year need a little cleaning and our home is no different {other than the fact that we want it to look extra nice for potential buyers}. We were introduced to Window Genie Concord and they helped us achieve a beautiful, clean looking home.

If you’re not familiar with the company, Window Genie offers a huge selection of services whether you are getting your home market ready or just want to maintain your home’s curb appeal.

Mark from Window Genie came to our home to survey areas that were in need of care and give us a recommended plan of action. We chose to have the North side of the house, North side of our inside fence, and both front and back patios/walkways powerwashed.

While they were here Mark and his team went above and beyond to make sure our home looked amazing.

Here are some before and after pictures:

 

Window Genie Patio MommyB

 

Window Genie Siding MommyB

 

Window Genie Fence MommyB

 

(No filters were used on any images but as you can tell the direction of the sun changed between photos.)

As you can see the results speak for themselves. Mark and his team were friendly, and professional. One thing I really loved too is that they moved and put back all the furniture that was where they cleaned saving me time to complete other tasks on my ever growing to-do list.

I love how clean the house and fence look and know whoever decides to tour the house will notice as well. We are so happy we worked with Window Genie to help get our home market ready. I’m already making a list of tasks for Window Genie for our new house to make it look just as great as our house now.

 

 

If you want to check them out, they’re a national company, and I can personally recommend the Concord branch. concord-nc.windowgenie.com

Mention MommyBKnowsBest to Window Genie Concord location and receive 10% off!!! 

 

I want to know: What are some things you’ve done or services you’ve used to make your house market ready??

This is a review for Window Genie services I did not receive compensation and all opinions are my own, honest thoughts.

Advent Ideas for the Whole Family

I know Advent has already started! I can’t believe it’s December already, not only because it was 70+ degrees here in North Carolina, but also because I don’t feel like it’s time for the end of this year. {Tell me I’m not the only one in this boat.}

In lieu of Advent, one of the most awesomest times of year that we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus and show even more love and kindness to those around us, our family likes to honor advent and count down the days until Christmas with a paper chain filled with fun activities and thoughtful acts as well.

Advent Ideas for the Whole Family MommyB

 

Here is our list {in no specific order} of things on our Advent chain.

  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Decorate the house {inside/outside}
  • Donate Food to a local food bank/cause
  • Make homemade presents
  • Wrap presents {with Christmas music and snacks of course}
  • Christmas Craft
  • Invite someone to church
  • Watch Christmas Movie {movie marathon or movie night}
  • Have a holiday playdate
  • Make a birthday cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday
  • Send Christmas Cards {kids help address, stuff, stamp}
  • Take gifts to civil servants, doctors, etc.
  • Head to our favorite botanical garden {we love Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens}
  • Visit a {live} nativity {we enjoyed Billy Graham Library’s festivities}
  • Read Christmas stories from the Bible and check out some great books our family likes to read.
  • Write a letter to Jesus {and leave it under your tree or read aloud and share as a family}
  • Go caroling with some friends in nearby neighborhoods or Senior Assisted living communities
  • Drive through your neighborhood or a neighborhood that’s known for it’s lights display
  • Make paper snowflakes and then display them
  • Help your child make or purchase gifts for their classmates {we made play dough one year}
  • Help your child make or purchase gifts for their teachers
  • Send a care package to missionaries, {we’re going to send ours to the Yon family}
  • Celebrate St. Nicholas Day, which just so happens to be my birthday. {Believe it or not the real St. Nicholas focused on giving more than receiving and so this day we plan on doing something kind for others}
  • Have a secret Santa with family or friends but instead of giving gifts write thoughtful notes or draw pictures.
  • Have a neighborhood night in {invite neighbors for yummy food and great fellowship}

Again, those are only a few ideas and the ones we’re using this year, it’s easy to find other ideas online as well.

 

I’d love to hear if you celebrate Advent and how you celebrate it. Also let me know if you decide to use any of these ideas too!!

Matthew 1:21 “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

 

Happy December!

Grand Opening of the NEW American Girl Store Charlotte Sneak Peek

The NEW American Girl Store at the Southpark Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina opens this weekend, Saturday, October 11th – Sunday, October 12th.

The B girls and I were invited to the store today for a sneak peek before opening day. Here are some photos of our visit:

American Girl Charlotte Sneak Peek MommyB

NEW American Girl Store Southpark Charlotte Visit MommyB

The new 12,000-square-foot retail site, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, features a fun, casual environment where girls and their family members and friends can shop for their favorite American Girl products, browse a great selection of books in their bookstore, enjoy lunch and dinner, or an unforgettable dessert in the Bistro, treat their doll to a new ‘do in the Doll Hair Salon, and celebrate birthdays or other special events.

American Girl Store Charlotte Salon MommyB

 

American Girl Charlotte bitty baby & Bookstore MommyB

 

American Girl Charlotte Beforever Collection

 

American Girl Store Charlotte Bistro MommyB

 

Details for the Grand Opening can be found on their website: American Girl Charlotte. If you’re interested in attending this weekend I highly suggest being prepared ahead of time and plan on spending hours at the mall. If you make it a day-trip it will definitely make you and your kiddos a little happier, bring activities, and plan to visit other locations in the Southpark Mall to make the time pass quicker.

 

American Girl Charlotte Grand Opening on MommyBKnowsBest

 

American Girl Store is at Southpark Mall, 4400 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC 28211. The best entrance to park next to is the Macy’s wing of Southpark Mall and you’ll find the store as you walk to the Mall entrance on the second level. {You won’t be able to miss it.}

In all we loved learning about the history of American Girl, enjoy the wholesome values and character that this brand brings to keep our daughters young as opposed to some products available on shelves today. While the cost of an American Girl doll can be higher than some customer’s budget there are options to purchase accessories, mini versions of their favorite dolls, or a great incentive {like my girls are doing} to save up their money by doing chores and birthday dollars.

Have you ever been to an American Girl store? Will you visit the NEW American Girl store in Charlotte, North Carolina? 

 

 

This is not a paid post, I attended a media event upon request from American Girl. All opinions and thoughts are my own honest words. Your experiences may vary.

Celebrating Fall Food in Charlotte North Carolina

With current temps around the low 60’s {and even cooler at night}, Charlotte, North Carolina sure feels like Fall. While we just kicked off the Autumnal Equinox there’s no hesitating ringing it in with some great food festivals to celebrate harvest time!

Two local venues I have to brag about are celebrating the next two weekends.

7th Street Public Market

First up, this Saturday, September 27th, one of my favorite uptown spots, 7th Street Market is hosting Harvest Fest. From 12:00 noon to 7:00pm you’ll be able to partake in a variety of events.

12:00pm – 3:00pm Daytime events include activities for the entire family: hayrides, pumpkin carving, corn shucking another fun Fall activities.

4:00pm – 7:00pm Get your tickets for Harvest Fest Taste of the Market where you’ll be able to sample Fall fare and drinks from local vendors and enjoy a private concert. Tickets sold HERE at $25 a piece.

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery MommyB

Next weekend Charlotte’s authentic German beer haus; Olde Mecklenburg Brewery {OMB} is hosting their annual Mecktober Fest event. This year’s event will be a two-day event on October 3rd & 4th from 11:00am to midnight.

Come enjoy German beer, food, and music in OMB’s signature authentic style and new, larger location. I can tell you from first-hand experience their beer AND food are awesome, {Though I have yet to try Mecktoberfest}.

There is a $10 entry fee for those ages 21 and up, and $5 entry for designated drivers and those under 21 years old.

 

Dining at Bonefish Grill with a Shellfish Allergy

For those of you who don’t know I have a shellfish allergy. I didn’t know I was allergic until I had a pretty severe reaction after eating shrimp at a hibachi grill {twice}. I say twice because the first time we thought it was the oil the grill used, but later found out that the culprit was indeed shellfish.

To be fair, I probably should have known this a little sooner, I have only eaten shrimp in my life once before (when I was in high school) but every time I would peel shrimp to cook for my husband my hands would itch and turn a little red.

For a while I was very cautious of dining out, especially when it came to seafood restaurants, because, well hellloooo. I know sometimes when I ask for my dish a little different at restaurants I’ve had to send them back and eating shellfish contaminated food isn’t something I’ve been willing to risk.

Luckily, Bonefish Grill takes shellfish and other allergies VERY seriously. **Please be sure to tell your waiter if you have allergies before you order.

Dining at Bonefish Grill with a Shellfish Allergy MommyB

 

Your table is “flagged” to ensure that your dishes are safe for you to eat. The staff was very respectful of my allergy and helpful to suggest dishes. Our waiter, who was amazingly friendly, also told us that the pesto dipping oil for the table bread is made from pumpkin seeds rather than pine nuts due to the increase in diners with tree nut allergies. In my opinion, that is very thoughtful of a restaurant to make that concession.

Not only was our wait staff excellent regarding my allergies and recommendations, but the food during this visit was delicious.

If I can give you some recommendations:

Start with the Fresh Watermelon Martini because it’s light and sweet and a great drink that won’t make you feel full.

Next, if you’re in the sharing mood, the Wagyu Beef & Ginger Potstickers are delicious. The sauce and crispy onions help finish off a yummy bite. Kristen from The Playful Mom and I may or may not have devoured these.

For my entree I ordered the NEW 13 oz Rib Eye steak, I HIGHLY suggest the white truffle butter. This steak melted in my mouth, it was cooked to perfection and the truffle butter completed the savory flavor. My sides were equally amazing as I could barely put my fork down for the mushroom ravioli.

Of course we had to try out the desserts, I opted for the creme brulee and Kristin tried the NEW S’mores Flatbread which is all the rage. I actually wish I had swiped some from her when she wasn’t looking. Though in all honest the creme brulee was very creamy and the fresh berries topped this dish off nicely.

I did not have any issues with allergic reactions, our food was outstanding, service was polite and prompt, and my dinner date was pretty fun too.

Bonefish Grill Review MommyB
Even though I can’t eat shellfish, I encourage you to check out some of the great NEW Bonefish Grill menu items as well as their standard favorites: bonefishgrill.com/menu

 

Do you have any food allergies??

Have you been to a Bonefish Grill? Tried any NEW menu items? What are your favorite dishes?

 

 

I received a complimentary meal in order to give you opinions about my experience. This is not a paid post and all opinions are my own honest thoughts as usual. Your opinions and experiences may vary.

Five Whole Years and a Change for the Better

5 years ago today I wrote my first blog post on MommyBKnowsBest.com. My goals were to:

1. Review products by giving my opinions and have “cool stuff” that Miss A could play with.

2. Do a job outside of being a mom {which was awesome, don’t get me wrong}, but blogging was something that would fulfill a different part of my life.

 

Here was my very first blog post on this website:

 

MBKB First Post

 

Since 2009 I have worked with a ton of amazing people, had some experiences that I would have never had if it wasn’t for blogging, and felt the fulfilment that I was looking for when I first began blogging.

As each year of blogging passes I’ve tried to assess my goals and I believe the site has grown and developed in a way that was what I had imagined in my head. With your help, I’ve gained readers, and friends on this journey and I am very excited about the next part of this adventure with you.

In my 6th year of blogging change is coming.

My goals for myself as a mom and a blogger have changed. I’ve gained insight into what is fulfilling and on the other hand “empty” for me as I spend late nights working. I’ve been able to start saying no to things that are not a good fit and realizing that my time is valuable.

I love sharing my experiences with you and that part will not change, however my experiences, my life, will be shared with more intention behind them. More meaning and less “stuff”. ”

You see somewhere along the way I feel like the “stuff” has gotten in the way. My goals are to be more authentic {though I always put a part of myself in any post I’ve done}, mindful of the things I’m sharing with you, and I hope you’ll find this to be a breath of fresh air, as I know it will be for me.

I will be finishing up some projects and prior commitments throughout my relaunch,  but in the coming months will be excited to showcase my blog not only with fresh content, a new name, and a different mission, but with a great new look that DaddyB is helping me with as well.

I know not all change is welcomed, but I hope that you’ll continue to support the site in your own way, should you feel led.

 

Thank you, I appreciate you and love you and wouldn’t be where I am 5 years later without you.

 

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Blessings!!

Fresh Footwear Style for Back to School for the Whole Family

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Rack Room Shoes, all opinions are my own.

 

While DaddyB and I admittedly aren’t returning to school {props to parents who do!!}, we tell our girls that school is their job and well, our jobs keep us pretty busy too.

Just because the four of us are busy doesn’t mean we don’t want to have a fresh look for our whole family.

My childhood memories of Back to School shopping always included a couple of pairs of shoes if we were able to afford it.With my girls I like to buy them one pair of dress shoes and one pair of sneakers to start the school year off right.

We headed to Rack Room Shoes to take a look at what they had available, knowing they always carry really fun sneakers, great Fall boots, and cute dress shoes too.

(It’s safe to say they had a very fun, stylish first day of school. Shoes by Rack Room Shoes.)

First Day of School Shoes MommyB

Back to School Shoe Shopping for Kids

After several very methodical rounds of “eenie-meenie” we were able to land on these adorable, light-up sneakers (they even have an on/off button!)

Our dress shoe search didn’t end up quite the same, however Rack Room Shoes delivered, literally.

We chose a great ballet flat style, but unfortunately none were in stock in the store. With Rack Room’s Ship2Home service, we were guaranteed that the style and size shoes we were looking for would be delivered right to our front door, no having to return to the store or drive to another store.

Unfortunately, the shoe style didn’t fit my girls long and narrow feet, but the return policy at Rack Room Shoes made it super easy (and not stressful) for me to take the girls back in and start our dress shoe search again. During that trip we were able to find two pairs of mary jane type dress shoes in the exact sizes we needed, {maybe these were the shoes we should have picked out all along.}

At the end of our search we ended up with two great pairs of shoes for the girls {in the same brand and style} and a happy mom too!

Back to School Shoes Girls MommyB

Back to School Work Shoe Shopping for Mom and Dad

Following that same note, I wanted in on freshening up my footwear for my job too. I decided I would get a pair of dress shoes for meetings and events and a pair of fun sneakers for my job as mommy and errands.

 

Back to School Mom Job Shoes

 

DaddyB got the dress shoes memo but since he spends a large portion of his time at work, fittingly so, he freshened up his look with a couple of pairs of dress shoes.

The styles and prices at Rack Room Shoes made it really easy and affordable for our family of four to buy several pairs of quality shoes. We really enjoyed our experience shopping with Rack Room Shoes. The store was clean, associates were helpful and friendly, the return policy and Ship2Home are Ah-mazing, and the styles and discounts are pretty awesome too.

Next time our family makes a shoe purchase I know where we are headed… Rack Room Shoes.

Fresh Footwear Style for Back to School for the Whole Family @myrackroom MommyB

 

Have you ever shopped at Rack Room Shoes?? 

 

For more information on Rack Room Shoes locations, discounts, and styles head to their website: rackroomshoes.com, also follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Be sure to enter my Back to School Must Haves Giveaway featuring a $50 Rack Room Shoes gift card!

Looking for what’s hot in Fall Footwear Fashion?

or

Want to find out how to give back to your community with Rack Room Shoes?

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Rack Room Shoes. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.

Fury 325 – World’s Tallest Gigacoaster Coming to Carowinds

Fury325 Carowinds MommyB

Carowinds Amusement Park (Charlotte, NC) announced that they’ll be building a massive new roller coaster for 2015. Dubbed Fury 325, the ride will be the tallest gigacoaster (roller coasters between 300 and 399 feet tall) and the 5th tallest roller coaster overall. The ride’s theme has a local tie-in with a hornet logo and colors similar to the Charlotte Hornets NBA team colors. The exciting path is said to resemble the daring swoops and dives of a hornet.

Here’s a teaser video for the new ride:

How Big is Fury 325?

Fury 325’s insane height is right there in the name. It will be 325 feet tall. That’s more than 30 stories and nearly 100 feet taller than Carowinds’ Intimidator. Intimidator is already a notable landmark that’s visible from a few miles around. According to the Carowinds, Fury 325 will be so tall that it will be visible from Uptown Charlotte.

Fury 325 will surely draw some long lines, but it should be worth the wait thanks to a lengthy, 3 minute and 25 second ride. It’ll boast 6,602 feet (more than a mile) of teal and yellow track that’ll carry riders from South Carolina into North Carolina, passing above and then below the entrance, and then back to the Palmetto state.

What Can Riders Expect on Fury 325?

Fury 325 Coming to Carowinds - World's Tallest Gigacoaster - CharlotteRiders can expect highs, lows, and lots of speed. For the vast majority of guests, Fury 325 will be the tallest roller coaster they’ve ever encountered. There are only three rides in the U.S. that are taller. And, Fury 325 will have the distinction of the tallest traditional lift hill anywhere. So expect an impressively long climb to the ride’s lofty high peak.

The 81-degree first drop will be nearly straight down and will produce quite an intense free fall feeling. Then, Fury 325 will deliver blistering speed. At the bottom of that first drop, the trains will rocket to 95 mph. Throughout the ride’s course you’ll be treated to exciting climbs and dives. The highlight of the ride looks to be the underground dive beneath a plaza bridge near the park’s entrance.

Thanks the ride’s design the speed, twists, and turns, should be glass smooth. The designers of the new ride also designed the popular and easily ride-able Intimidator. If you enjoy that ride, then you should like Fury 325. Expect more speed and swooping turns instead of the straight-forward ups and downs found on Intimidator.

Carowinds’ New Park Gate & Entrance Plaza

Entering the park next year, will be an entirely new experience. A new parking gate is already under construction. Also in the works is a more open plaza at the front gates where guests will be greeted by Fury 325 passing above and then below the new entrance. The ride will pass over guests six times encouraging gasps from onlookers.
Fury 325 - New Carowinds Entrance - Underground Dive
The station for Fury 325 will be in the Thrill Zone section near Hurler. Guests will need to be 54 inches or taller in order to ride. The ride is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2015.

Learn more at Carowinds.com/Swarm. Or hop in the front seat and take a virtual ride here.

What do you think of Fury 325?

We’re excited that this huge new ride is going to be built in our backyard. What do you think? Are you planning on visiting Carowinds next year so that you can ride it? Let us know what you think. Leave a comment below.

 

As a member of media I received admission to this media event for information regarding Carowind’s newest park features. 

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Video

I am a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council and receive admission to cover media events.

Enjoy our video of SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord:

 

 

For more information on SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord check out these links:
• Website: www.VisitSEALIFE.com/Charlotte-Concord
• Facebook: www.facebook/SEALIFECharlotteConcord
• Twitter: @SEALIFECC
• Instagram: instagram.com/SEALIFECC
• YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/SEALIFECC

 

Have you visited SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord? What’s your family’s favorite part??

 

It is SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord’s goal to provide a memorable experience at the best value possible. If you would like to share your feedback with their management team, please contact them at sealifecharlotteconcord@gmail.com

 

As a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council I receive admission in return for writing about events and reviewing the aquarium. As always, any opinions expressed in this post are the honest thoughts of myself and my family. Your opinions may vary.

Win the Wrestling Match with your CarSeat

Sweat dripping down your brow, crushed and pinched fingers, and indistinguishable shouts of frustration are pretty much the three ways I would typically describe the process of installing a car seat. That is before our family got the Britax Pinnacle 90.

(Images are for review purposes only, the seat was not fully installed and we did not drive the vehicle in the pictured modes.)

 

Britax-Pinnacle-90-ClickTight-MommyB.jpg

 

 

I have been praying for a car seat like this. One that I don’t turn down carpooling so I don’t have to take the car seat out or leave a little dirtier than I like because of the hassle that installation is, not to mention the worry that when we reinstall the seat it may not be as tight or secure as it was before we took it out of the minivan.

See, Pinnacle 90 car seat has a cool feature called the ClickTight Installation System. Basically, no matter what “mode” the car seat is in, you can easily install and uninstall the car seat without having to deal with the difficulty of threading the seatbelt or figuring out how to use the Latch System.

When it comes to safety the ClickTight Installation System does one better. Before we would try our hardest to get the tightest fit for the car seats with as little wiggle room as possible, (according to safety standards), but never quite knowing if we had the seat quite right. Britax has taken out all the guesswork with this system so each time you install your car seat, no matter what vehicle you put your child in, you know the installation is safe and exact each time.

Installation in three easy steps:

Step 1
Simply squeeze using thumb and finger, where indicated, to reveal the ClickTight Technology. What makes BRITAX ClickTight Technology so unique is that the belt path has been exposed and is right in front of you. This eliminates the “blind reach” around the seat into a potentially small belt path. It also means that you don’t have to figure out how to route your vehicle seat belt through the seat (i.e. long belt paths versus short belt paths, etc.).

Step 2

Thread the seatbelt over the armrest and under the seat opening. Connect the seat belt and remove slack.

Step 3

Then push it closed. The click tells you you’ve installed the seat securely.

See it in action:

 

What are three ways you would describe installing your child’s car seat?

Find out more about the Britax Pinnacle 90 and how Britax’s advanced technology makes parents fall in love with their products rather than end up a sweaty, frustrated mess: BritaxUSA.com, Facebook, & Twitter

 

 

I am a huge fan of Britax as a company and have been even before I began working with them on reviews and projects. My family used Britax products for several years and believe Britax is a quality brand.

I received a sample product for review purposes for this post . All opinions and thoughts in this post are my own honest words. Your opinions may vary.