Seussical the Musical Ticket Giveaway

Last night my little girls and I went to the SOAR Arts Production of Seussical.

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We loved the colorful stage, the nonstop rhyming and the conglomeration of Seuss stories that the crew did on stage.

The cast included local participants ages 7-70 which really makes it feel like a community theater.

Our favorite characters were: The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Amazing Maizie and of course, all the Who’s in Whoville.

The singing, the dancing and the energy on stage was so fun to see and feel and you could also see the joy of all of those participating.

There is ONE more weekend left to see Seussical the Musical at St. Michael-Albertville High School. There are shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday July 28-30 at 7:30 p.m and the final show is Sunday July 31 at 2:30 p.m.

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It’s a great opportunity to take your kids to an affordable live theater production in the Twin Cities.

Tickets are available online and are $10 for kids and $12 for adults. You can also buy tickets at the door for $2 more a ticket.

See the video trailer of the performance right here:

https://www.facebook.com/SOARRegionalArts/videos/1129611833763316/

Bring a few extra dollars to grab a snack during the 15 minute intermission. Everything is just $1.

What is SOAR Arts:

SOAR Arts is St. Michael, Otsego, Albertville and Rogers communities. It’s a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching, educating and entertaining the communities.

SOAR Arts was started by a group of local parents who wanted a community theater option available within the community. They have found ways to make the productions affordable for kids and families to participate while also finding high quality instructors and directors to teach the kids acting, singing and choreography. Being a part of a SOAR production is much more than just putting on a show, it’s an entire lesson in productions and musical theater.

SOAR Arts has given me two tickets to next weekend’s Suessical to give away to one local reader.

You can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway right here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be chosen and announced Wednesday July 27!

 

Pinocchio at Children’s Theatre Company G I V E A W A Y

Miss E and I had the opportunity to attend opening night of Pinocchio at Children’s Theatre Company on Friday night.

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I had thought about watching Pinocchio with her before we went to the play or even finding the story somewhere as I wasn’t sure she was all that familiar but we ran out of time. Lucky for us, it wouldn’t have much mattered.

Pinocchio dreams of being a real boy, but will the all-too-tempting delights of puppet shows and Playland be too much? When Geppetto is swallowed by a whale, it is up to this little wooden puppet to show his courage. Our savvy spin on the classic tale of Pinocchio proves the right four actors, a stage full of construction materials, and your imagination is all that’s needed to bring this perennial favorite to new life. Directed by Greg Banks (The Jungle Book, Huck Finn), this surprising theatrical experience promises to be a performance you’ll never forget – wood we lie to you?

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The Pinocchio storyline at CTC isn’t necessarily the familiar one. It requires a lot of imagination. It’s a creative play on the story and has just five characters who switch roles and places throughout.

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The story is engaging and very physical. Of course, what show with Reed Sigmund and Dean Holt in it isn’t?

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There is some audience interaction, which is always really fun for the kids.

Elise Langer plays Pinocchio {and she did in the 2013 play at CTC too} and does a phenomenal job. She’s super believable and engaging.

I would recommend Pinocchio for ages kindergarten and up. Because the story does require some imagination and creative thinking, I think that toddlers and real young children might have a hard time sitting.

The show is 1 hour and 45 minutes with a 15 minute intermission. As usual, cookies from Patricks are for sale {as well as other refreshments} before and after the show and intermission. Skip the line and order before the play begins and save yourself some time.

Don’t be alarmed when the lobby appears to be under renovation, once Pinocchio begins, it will all make sense.

Planning on seeing Pinocchio with your kids? My readers are invited to purchase $20 tickets right here.

Pinocchio is on stage at Children’s Theatre Company through August 14.

Children’s Theatre Company is also giving ONE of my readers one family four pack of tickets to Pinocchio. You can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway right here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: We were invited to opening night of Pinocchio for review purposes due to a relationship we share with Children’s Theatre Company. All opinions expressed are mine.

Flash $50 Giveaway

What would you do with an extra $50? I always love the opportunity to peruse Amazon at new books I might like to order or think of a special dinner I could use the money for.

For THREE Days ONLY we are offering this Flash Giveaway!
One lucky reader will receive $50 USD Paypal Cash or Amazon Gift Card!!
This giveaway is for THREE Days Only! Enter Now!
We are making it easy peasy to enter! Just use the form below.
Remember, this giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on July 17, 2016! Tell your friends so they can enter, too!

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Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway is organized by Giveaway Booster.com. The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Must be 18+ to enter. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.  My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not.
If you have any questions about this giveaway please email Tina at branchpropromotions@gmail.com.

G I V E A W A Y – Bad Moms Prescreening Passes

I am so very excited about the Bad Moms movie opening in theaters nationwide on July 29!

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Why?

The trailer makes the movie look so real and relatable when it comes to the trials, the judgements, the crazy that is being a mom today. I mean at the end of the day we’re all just trying our best right?

In this new comedy from the writers of The Hangover, Amy has a seemingly perfect life – a great marriage, over-achieving kids, beautiful home and a career. However she’s over-worked, over-committed and exhausted to the point that she’s about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities – going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence – putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn and her clique of devoted perfect moms.

So I’ve been trying to think of my worst Bad Moms moments. Believe me I’ve got more than a few to choose from.

From totally forgetting to pick a kid up at golf practice {after it started pouring rain} Sorry T. to kids who fell down the steps because I left the gate at the top of the stairs open while chatting on the phone. The time I backed over our jogging stroller {thankfully empty} to the time {s} I’ve left my kids in the car while running into the post office or grabbing a pizza. Some might say putting ones’ kids to bed at 5:30 for the night makes a bad mother but I swear those years were survival and still others think letting them stay out on Hennepin Avenue until midnight for the Aquatennial isn’t ok either.

There are plenty. The good news is we’re all in this together and I’d like to think we’re all just trying to do our best.

What are your bad mom moments?

Share your #BadMomMoment for a chance to win passes to the advance screening of #BadMoms on Thursday, July 21st 7:30 p.m. at AMC Southdale!

Five winners will be chosen and announced Tuesday July 19 by noon.

Save Money with Groupon Coupons


This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are mine.

Everybody already loves Groupon- I mean, who doesn’t? It’s a great place to score great deals on events around town. Earlier this week, the kids and I went and played laser tag and went bowling with friends for about 30% of the actual cost. Score!

From my instagram {I’m @samarapostuma}–>

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But did you know there are Groupon Coupons?

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Now you can save even more with Groupon and not just on experiences and tickets. Check their site before heading out to shop and you’ll have access to all the current sales and deals and possible coupon codes.

How many times have you gone shopping and then gotten home and realized you had an email with a coupon for 20% off or something? This has happened to me so many times it’s ridiculous.

Enter Groupon Coupons- just search for the retailer you’re planning to shop from. {Think all the major chains..} or planning a trip? Check Groupon Coupons first to save big.

My favorite deals right now?

40% off at Hotels.com and 15% off at Barnes & Noble

Other deals right now:

Walgreens

Kohls

Nordstrom

Bed Bath and Beyond

and MORE.

 

Have you tried Groupon Coupons yet?

Not sure what Groupon is and want to join? Sign up today! 

Guest Post: The Food Experiment

I am SO excited about today’s guest post from Carrie. She is an old blogging pal of mine, we met years and years ago at Cupcake in Madison, WI and have kept in touch online via Facebook and Instagram since. She tried something new with her kids this summer in regards to food and budgeting and I think I’m in love.
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Hi! I’m Carrie (or 4MamaBear as I’m known online). My cubs are Sam (11), Julia (9), and Elsa (5). We live in a small rural town west of the Twin Cities on an acre lot with a big garden and small house. I work from home as a book designer for authors who want to self publish or for families who want to create photo books. I don’t work full time in the summer so I can be there for my kids as much as possible.

When Samara asked if I’d be willing to share the results of our food experiment this summer I happily said yes. Food was becoming a big source of stress between the kids and I. The constant battles over frequency of snacks and the complaining over meal options were driving me batty. There aren’t enough hours in the day to be able to accomplish everything I wish we could so even though I love to cook and bake with my kids and preserve things from our garden, the reality is that day in and day out there are other things that take up our time too. While my kids would LOVE a maid and a housekeeper, they aren’t going to find either in this house.


Can you relate?


On a typical stay-at-home day this is how the food battle goes:

* Kids wake and immediately wander into the kitchen looking for food. (I get it -they’ve slept 10 hours and are truly hungry!)

* I give them 1-3 options depending on how long it’s been since I shopped last.

* They complain about every choice.

* I  get annoyed and tell them their options just became ‘take it or leave it’.

Not exactly the most positive way to start the day, right?

It didn’t get any better as the day goes on….

By 9am my youngest is asking for “something to eat.”
The older two hear the sound of the pantry or refrigerator door and come looking for food as well.

I tell them they ate an hour ago and they have to wait. More grumbling and whining.

I tell them that if they are truly hungry they are welcome to eat baby carrots or a banana. All of a sudden they aren’t that hungry.

An hour later this happens again.

By 11:00 or 12:00 I’m looking for something to put together for lunch -none of which anyone is excited about or if I’m lucky 1 out of 3 wants what I’ve scrounged up in the pantry.

They eat, they leave the dishes behind, they take turns returning to the kitchen looking for a snack. By this point someone has asked me for something to eat every hour since I came back from working in the gardens.

By the time 2pm rolls around I’ve completely given up and I hand them a box of Cheez-Its, grateful for the reprieve. It is short lived because of the crumbs I have to vacuum up. Note to self: Stop letting them eat on the carpet!

The box of empty carbs lasts one sitting and even though I just spent $140 on groceries two days ago we are out of snacks and don’t get me started on meals since I wasn’t good about getting ingredients for actual dinners. (Hello! Meat is expensive and 2/3’s of my kids won’t touch beans. Who am I kidding – I hate them too!  So….I end up buying some fruit, snacks for on the go, and some frozen bags of veggies with the hope that there will still be some leftover meat in the freezer I can turn into a dinner to feed my husband after his long day at work.)

The evenings aren’t much better since we eat dinner early. Plenty of hours left in the day for mindless snacking.

Until…..

I quit.

 

I quit doing all the shopping.
I quit making breakfast.
I quit making lunch.

I quit handing out snacks.

Now this is what our day looks like:
Kids wake up and get themselves breakfast. (Older sibling makes breakfast for youngest.)
***MAYBE*** the older two have a snack before lunch
Youngest eats a healthy snack mid morning
Big kids make lunch and clean up after themselves while I make a healthy lunch for the youngest and I.
All kids eat an afternoon snack of their choosing.
I make dinner.
Kids eat one after dinner snack of their choosing.

No more begging.
No more whining.

No more mindless snacking.

 

How did we make such a drastic change? It started with a comment I made over the winter during a particular frustrating day. We had reached that point where the kids had gone through all the snack food that was suppose to last at least a week in less than two days. I told the older two that I would rather give them money to do their own shopping so they would understand the ramifications of eating $6 worth of snacks in one sitting. They loved the idea and asked to start immediately. I decided that summer would be a better time to try our experiment so we could venture to a bigger grocery store on a regular basis when the kids were out of school.

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On June 4th with calculators and lists in hand Sam and Julia each got a cart and set off to take charge of their own food choices. I knew it was also going to help them learn to budget money AND food, but they didn’t need to know that. :)

 

Here is a breakdown of how it works based on our food budget:

They each get $30 to spend each week.

They are responsible for writing out their menu with a grocery list that has a place on the side for tallying their total.

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They shop for 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and all of their snacks/treats for the full week.

I am responsible for dinner 7 days a week and for breakfasts and lunches on the weekends.

Any extra money left over from their $30 gets banked for Valley Fair or other festival spending money.  (This is huge because then I don’t have to shell out money we don’t have in the budget on top of entrance fees for those extras.)

If they go over budget they have to work off the extra by weeding the garden. (This only happened to Julia once by $3. Lately they have been super careful and are banking $10-$15 a week for future spending.)

If we are at Costco and we want to eat pizza for lunch then I don’t cook dinner – they eat their original lunch for dinner because I paid for their lunch instead of dinner that day.

If we take an impromptu trip we do our best to make their menu fit the outing. They pick pretty simple things that can be switched around as needed.

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Soon after we started the experiment I took the kids camping and so instead of heating ravioli on the stove in the kitchen we heated it on the camp stove. The kids packed their cereal for breakfasts too.

To encourage them to value homegrown food they can eat as much from our summer kitchen stash of applesauce, jelly, salsa, tomato sauce, etc…and produce from the garden is ‘free’ as well.

I realize that $30 isn’t a lot of money for that many meals so I take care of any staple items like milk, eggs, butter, flour, sugar, spices. I want them to learn that baking at home is way better than buying a $4 package of cookies at the store and that their money will stretch further if they have a well stocked pantry.

Their food is off limits to Elsa, Daddy, and I unless they offer to share. (They are spending my money after all so if Daddy wants to have a bowl of their cereal they have always said yes.)

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The change in Sam and Julia’s eating habits was instant. No longer do they eat a whole box of crackers in one sitting. Sam takes two weeks to finish a box of Cheez-Its now. A bag of cereal lasts up to two weeks instead of two days. Granted it could happen that I pay for three bags of cereal on any given week now to cover Sam, Julia, and Elsa since they have their own bags. Those bags last much longer though.

Best of all the kids are eating when they are HUNGRY not just bored. Nothing bugs me more than boredom eating!!! They have completely stopped asking me for snacks. They are in charge of snacks and they have taken on that responsibility beautifully. Sam even thought to pack snacks for an outing without being prompted.

Overall the experiment was a huge success. Are there things I would change? Absolutely? (Did you see the menu choices????) Cereal five days a week? One kid bought 72 waffles at Costco the other day and figured out how many he/she could eat each day. I stayed out of it and focus on making the ONE meal a day I have to tackle nutritious. (Can I get an hallelujah about that fact that I have been able to hand over a significant portion of the menu planning!!?!?!)

Unexpected Results: 

* Kids are trying new foods (especially fruits)

* Over time they are adding more variety to their menu
* Grocery shopping is FUN! The kids focus on their lists and don’t distract me from mine. You would think would be more difficult, but they are old enough to handle the responsibility themselves. The checkout can get a little crazy as we divide up the items in the confined space of the lines.

* They worked together to make some meals by sharing the cost

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* I HAVE to make sure we get to the store each week so no more limping along on fast food until we get to a bigger grocery store. SAVES money!!!

* They are willing to share with Elsa quite often, but for the most part I try to make sure that Elsa has similar foods or gets to buy that particular food the next time because she saw Sam or Julia eating it.

* They clean up after themselves and are learning their way around the kitchen too!

* I’ve been able to keep my portion of the spending around $80 a week. We used to spend around $120 a week, but then make 1-2 extra trips for $30 each time. Now we only shop ONCE a week.

* I had no idea how much they were eating just to make sure they got what they considered their fair share. Sibling rivalry is alive and well here!

* They really like the idea of spending as little as possible so they can SAVE MONEY.

So there you have it! That’s how we’ve been able to eliminate the food battle in our home and teach some life skills in the process. I would love to hear if you’ve tried anything similar or if you have any questions. You can reach me at 4theloveoffamily@gmail.com if you prefer to contact me privately or on my blog: www.campgroundcubs.blogspot.com
I’m not super active on my blog, but spend way too much time on Instagram as 4MamaBear.

So You Want to go to Valleyfair?

A few weekends ago our family of SEVEN spent a Sunday at Valleyfair. It had been four years since I’d been there and J estimates closer to 15-20 since his last visit.

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We were excited that we could do something fun as a family that would have things that ALL the kids would enjoy. We had such a great day, enjoyed as much of the park that we could and drove home sun kissed and exhausted.
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I spent a lot of time as a teenager at Valleyfair and I’ve heard from lots of others with little ones that they can’t wait for their kids to be old enough for Valleyfair. Old enough for Valleyfair? The time has come. Valleyfair is good for all ages! Miss F {age three} had just as much fun as T {our 17 year old}. There is SO much to do for the whole family.
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Here’s five things for families to know about Valleyfair:
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1. Kids under age 3 and 36″ get in free. Kids under 48″ can pay the junior rate. Anyone taller than 48″ pays full price. Prices are steep but plan ahead. Buy tickets ahead of time online and you’ll save money, also if you think you might go twice in one season buy the two-day pass.
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2. Bring an empty water bottle. You’re not supposed to bring food or drink into Valleyfair {but I’m never above sneaking a few snacks in my bag because family of seven.} but bring an empty water bottle for every person. Did you know that they will fill them up for you throughout the day? Free ice cold water anytime you need it. Forgot a bottle? The vendors also have little plastic cups you can use for water. Amusement parks don’t want kids getting dehydrated either so this is a big perk to me.
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3. Planet Snoopy!
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Seriously love the amount of rides and fun they have for little kids. Miss F loved going on each and every ride in Planet Snoopy. Most of them require 36″ or taller and some require an adult to ride along.
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4. Pro tip: visit Sunday late afternoon/evening. We were there all day on Sunday and by mid to late afternoon it was dying down. One of the ride workers told me that’s common on Sunday’s as families get ready for the work week. Let me tell you, we didn’t wait for a single ride. No lines! Obviously every weekend is probably different but if you want a no-wait experience try to stay late in the day.
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5. Dress appropriately. Think a lot of walking and the potential to get wet. That said, take a quick look in the mirror before you leave because letmetellyou some of the outfit choices were a little interesting. My advice: Wear good shoes and a swim suit under your clothes for any water stuff.
What are your tried and true Valleyfair tips?

Disney’s The BFG: Four Things To Know Before You Go

I had the opportunity to see Disney’s newest movie, The BFG on Tuesday night and was able to bring my 10 year old and one of his buddies.

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The BFG movie is based on the book by Roald Dahl. While I’ve never read the book, my seven year old read if this past school year and has been looking forward to the movie. After seeing the trailer I was a little unsure if the movie would be ok for her so was glad that she was at camp so I could see it and decide.
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I loved the movie. Even though I wasn’t familiar with the storyline, it was easy to follow and a very creative story. There were lots of funny parts, some heartwarming parts that get you right in the heart gut and a few spooky/scary scenes. No bad language, some potty humor {farting} some death, or alluding to death but really a good, feel good Disney movie. I love that it’s a fantasy tale that requires imagination and creativity to believe.
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Here’s my four things you need to know before you go:
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1. The movie is rated PG but I wouldn’t bring little kids. The movie opens up in a dark, London alley and leads to an orphanage where just one little girl is awake. It’s a little spooky and eery and for kids who are sensitive they might become frightened. It also might prompt some questions about orphans and orphanages. Some of the giants eat children and children go missing in the night, this may scare some younger kids who don’t understand the storyline. Because Miss E read the book at school I do plan on bringing her. I wouldn’t bring kids under school age and take in consideration how they handle things like children-eating giants.
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2. The BFG {which stands for Big Friendly Giant} is an outcast in the land of giants because he’s the “runt” and he refuses to eat children. This is a good teachable thing for our kids that it’s ok to be different and sometimes being different gets us picked on but the good guy always wins.
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3. The BFG is based on a book by Roald Dahl. Any chance I can get to incentivize reading for my kids is good. Grab the book from the library, stop in at the book store. You can find the book in all sorts of formats, picture, chapter, movie adaptation. So learn the story ahead of time through reading if you and your kids like that sort of thing.
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4. The BFG was directed by Steven Spielberg. My 10 year old was astonished by the fact Steven Spielberg even makes Disney movies. I will say you can tell his finger prints are in the movie. It’s well done and a cross between real life and digital art. We saw it in 3D but I definitely think it’s one that you can see without 3D and enjoy just as much.
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The BFG opens today nationwide. Do you have plans on taking your kids?

Title Nine Fit Fest Could Change Your Life

I think it was Oprah who many, many years ago announced that getting fit for the proper fitting bra was life-changing.

It is. Indeed.

That said, bra shopping isn’t fun and exciting and to be honest, most of the time I just want to get out of there.

And then there are sports bras. I did that whole KonMari method this past spring and I threw away so many sports bras.

Too small.

Too big.

Too stretched out.

No elastic.

For the most part my sports bra shopping has entailed a walk through Target, grabbing a sports bra that goes by the size of S, M or L and skid addle.

This is why I was very excited when Title Nine Edina invited me to come in for a fitting.

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Did you know that the lack of a good fitting sports bra is often the biggest deterrent to regular exercise? {Myself included}

Did you know that the average American woman wears a 36C but that the vast majority of sports bras are made for A or B cup?

I was excited to get fitted and actually wear a well fitting sports bra {and just a forewarning now that I’ve found one I love I may never wear anything different!}

Molly was my “bravangelist” and she “fit” me last Thursday night. Prior to the event, Title Nine had asked my size, to which my answer was, “umm, the last time I bought bras 18 months ago this was my size…”

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Never worry, help is on the way, that did not worry Molly one bit. She was awesome at making me feel comfortble and bringing in several styles that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise tried.

titlenine6One thing I noticed about Title Nine is that while they do carry their own brands they carry lots of brands that I already love and have purchased before from stores like REI. We joked that Title Nine is an REI for women.

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I also loved that Title Nine had a small area for kids to sit. As a mom, shopping alone doesn’t happen often so it’s nice to know there’s a place for my kids to hang out while I shop. {I plan on heading back later this week for a new swim suit. EEK!}

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Once I had tried a few options, it was time to put them to the test. I consider myself pretty low impact when it comes to exercise, I do a lot of walking with my kids and we also enjoy biking around town but I really don’t run anymore and aside from some at-home work outs I really don’t do much high impact.

I ended up choosing the Tech Athena Sports Bra and like I said above, I love it. I’ve pretty much worn it any chance I can since last Wednesday.

A good sports bra does make me feel like I can be more active. If you’re local and wanting to get fitted, you’re in luck because Title Nine Edina is hosting TWO nights of fittings this week that are totally FREE.

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You can RSVP by calling 612-238-9992. Or find your local Title Nine store to see when Fit Fest is in your area.

Also, Title Nine would like to give one of you a free professional fitting and FREE sports bra of your choice.

To enter:

  1. Leave a comment sharing WHEN you last bought a sports bra and WHY you need a new one.
  2. For an additional entry, follow Simplicity in the Suburbs and/or Title Nine Edina on Facebook and leave a comment for each like.

Winner to be chosen and announced Wednesday June 29. This contest is only open to US residents and if you live within driving distance of a Title Nine store you’ll have to redeem your free sports bra in person.

Check out what my friends Anna from Girl with Blog and Bert from First Time Mom had to say and enter their giveaways, too.

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Disclosure: I received a free sports bra from Title Nine in exchange for attending the event and sharing my experience. All opinions expressed are mine.

Seven Things to Do on Rainy Days in the Twin Cities

I love me some hot, summer sunshine. The sunnier the better for pool days and parks and walks through the neighborhood but sometimes the weather and me aren’t on the same page. Rain happens. Heat advisories strike. Sometimes it’s just plain yucky. It’s good to have a plan when these things happen and you just need to get out!

Here’s seven things to do on rainy days in the Twin Cities:

  1. ONE: Indoor Movies

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Have a Muller Theater nearby? Every Wednesday and Thursday they do FREE films for kids. FREE! Load up the kids and get there early, all shows start at 10 a.m. Buy a giant tub of popcorn {extra butter, please} and enjoy two hours of PEACE and QUIET. Did I mention for FREE?

JUNE 22 & 23 —– Penguins of Madagascar
JUNE 29 & 30 —– Lego Movie
JULY 6 & 7 —– Hotel Transylvania 2
JULY 13 & 14 —– Home
JULY 20 & 21 —– Pan
JULY 27 & 28 —– Peanuts Movie
AUG 3 & 4 —– Norm of the North
AUG 10 & 11 —– Nut Job
AUG 17 & 18 —– Paddington
AUG 24 & 25 —– How To Train Your Dragon 2

  1. TWO: Go on a Donut Crawl

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Minnemama Adventures has compiled a list of the top 7 donut shops in the Twin Cities. I’m a tad bit biased because the bakery formerly owned by my in-laws made the list. But how fun would it be to just plan a morning of donut tasting? I think yes! You can read her list right here. 

  1. THREE: Jump!
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We invested in a trampoline this spring and love it. There’s something about some good jumpin’ to get that energy out but if they can’t jump outside, inside places work too!

When the weather is bad and kids are cooped out sometimes they just need to jump! One of our favorite jump spots is Jump City in Otsego. Several jumpers in a large space but not so large that you’re going to be chasing them around. They also have a parent viewing area, free wi-fi and snacks for sale. {But you can totally bring your own.} Check their hours before they go. Open jump is $4.95/jumper.

Other local jump spots: Pump in Up- each location holds their own open jump times and charge $6.95/jumper. Check the schedule for your nearest location here.

  1. FOUR: Library

My kids love the library and the summer reading programs are always fun for them to have some motivation to get reading. In our house, once our kids can write their name, they get their own library card and let me tell you, this is a HUGE deal. They love picking new books to read.

  1. FIVE: Minnesota Children’s Museum St. Paul or Mall of America

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It’s no secret, we’re huge fans of the Minnesota Children’s Museum. YES, there’s construction going on and YES, some of your favorite rooms might be closed or different. But good things are on their way. Members get free admission at both the St. Paul and Mall of America locations, otherwise admission is $9.95/person ages 1-101. If you’re a family of four and plan on going 3x a year, it’s paid for so memberships just make sense. Also, it helps support the great mission of kids and play.

Thinking your older kids won’t enjoy the museum? Think again. There’s an all new DigiPlay exhibit. My younger three {ages 3, 7 and 10} visited a few weeks back and ALL THREE were entertained and engaged in the exhibit. Learn more about DigiPlay here.

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  1. SIX: Chik Fil A

I know, I know. It’s fast food. Buuuut it’s Chik Fil A and we love Chik Fil A. Also, I LOVE what they do for moms. I so could have used this a few years ago. Go through the drive thru, order and pay. Let them know you and your kids are coming in to dine and they’ll set up your food at your table so you’re ready to go when you get inside. Not every store is participating {for instance, Bloomington is out.} But every single Chik Fil A has a play place.

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{PS They have an entire page of family activities you can do with your kids. Date night questionnaires, fun sheets. It’s good stuff.}

  1. SEVEN: Indoor Parks

There may be other indoor parks in the Twin Cities but I know of three really good ones.

Maple Maze

Edinborough Park

Good Times Park

Not quite a park BUT Maplewood Mall has a really fun carousel and play place that’s worth a drive, too.

 

What do you do when the weather’s bad with your kids?