Celebrating Summer with BRITAX #CelebrateConBritax

Disclosure: As a Britax Latina Blogger/Advisory Board Member (and in partnership with Mami Innovative Media), this post is part of a sponsored outreach. All opinions expressed are my own.

There have been so many things my family has enjoyed this summer.  We’ve tried to get out of the house as much as possible to enjoy the gorgeous (for the most part) weather.  We’ve visited parks, museums, playgrounds, water parks, restaurants, and still have a few road trips planned.  It’s exhausting, for sure, but staying in just isn’t one of my strong suits.

Here’s a look at a few of the things we’ve done so far:

We visited a farm. (Lamb’s Farm in Libertyville, IL)

Lambs_Farm_IL

We had some great food. (Rainforest Café in Gurnee, IL)

Rainforest_Cafe_IL

We let loose. (Ball Factory in Naperville, IL)

Ball_Factory_IL

We hung out at a few children’s museums. (Exploration Station in Bourbonnais, IL)

Exploration_Station_IL

And pretended to be pirates. (Exploration Station)
Exploration_Station_Pirate_IL

We visited a few parks. (Country Lakes Park in Naperville, IL)

Country_Lakes_Park_IL

And of course a splash pad. (Sunset Splash Pad in Lake in the Hills, IL)

Sunset_Splash_Pad_IL

And a waterpark too. (Raging Waves Waterpark in Yorkville, IL)

Raging_Waves_Waterpark_IL

We even picked some strawberries. (Cody’s Farm in Marengo, IL).

Codys_Farm_IL

We’ve had a heck of a summer so far, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Of course, I know how fortunate we have been to be able to do all the things that my restless-self wants to do.  I’m giving my kids the education of experience and am so grateful.  So, yes, I’m celebrating my summer and all the things we’ve been able to do.

At the same time, I wouldn’t feel as secure as I have been on my (sometimes very long) excursions across the state if it wasn’t for the trust I put in Britax.  From their car seats to their stroller line, there is none other that I would trust as much as Britax.  My family’s safety is of utmost importance to me and Britax eases my mind when it comes to my little one.

Celebrate Con Britax

I still have lots more planned this summer, and I’m glad to have Britax along for the ride.

What’s your favorite memory so far this summer?

Keep the Kids Hydrated this Summer with a NewAir WCD-100W Water Dispenser

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As the summer temps continue to climb higher and higher, it’s more important then ever to stay hydrated.  And if you have kids, especially, you know that all the running around and playing they do make them more susceptible to dehydration in the extreme heat.  Here in Chicago, temperatures can soar to over 100 degrees on a really hot day!

NewAir-Collage

One thing I stress with my kids is to drink lots of water in the summer – and all year long, actually.  Problem is, we have hard water in my home.  For those that don’t know, hard water is water that has a high mineral content (in contrast with “soft water”). Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of calcium and magnesium-containing minerals such as limestone, chalk and dolomite.  This is how it looks (so gross!) after a few years under the water dispenser on the fridge – and it is impossible to clean:

Hard-Water-Fridge

Recently, we received a NewAir WCD-100W Water Dispenser and I couldn’t be happier.  I never thought a water dispenser was supposed to be in someone’s house.  Every office I’ve ever worked in has had one, but I’ve never associated a home and a water dispenser.  But now, after having one at my house for a few weeks now, I wish I would have thought of getting one sooner – I love it.

Setting Up the WCD-100W Water Dispenser

The NewAir WCD-100W Water Dispenser is delivered to your home in a really, really big box.  It’s super-easy to open and get it set-up.  It does take a while before you can start using the water dispenser, though.  It is recommended that you let the unit stand upright for 2 hours before connecting it to a power source.  Then, you’ll have to perform an initial cleaning.  Once you’ve installed the water bottle, let the unit stand, ON, for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove the water bottle (some will likely spill) and flush out the standing water.  Once flushed, you can replace the bottle and use as normal.

Using the WCD-100W Water Dispenser

Using the NewAir WCD-100W is a breeze.  Seriously, my 3-year-old knows how to get himself a cup of water.  There are 3 valves on this machine – one for cold water, one for room temperature, and one for hot water.  The hot valve itself can get pretty hot when the unit is on, so we usually leave the heat valve off.  We love drinking out cold water from this dispenser though – we never, ever use the refrigerator for drinking water anymore.

This unit also comes with a storage unit on the bottom.  It’s not refrigerated or anything, but you can use it to hold extra cups, napkins, or whatever you want to store there.

NewAir-Storage

I also thought that the unit would look unsightly or take up too much space in my home.  Thankfully, that is not the case.  The unit is tucked away in the corner of my kitchen eating area and you can’t even see it initially when you walk into the kitchen.  Then, it’s really convenient to grab a glass of water when you’re sitting down for a meal.

NewAir-Kitchen

My only concerns with the NewAir WCD-100W Water Dispenser are the hot water spout and the bottle capacity.  While the hot water dispenser does have an extra lever as an added safety feature, I have no doubt that some kids can probably figure out how to get the valve to work, even if unintentionally.  This concerns me with a 3-year-old in the house because that water is really hot and a little kid can get burned easily.  I get around this by leaving the hot water power button in the off position.  It only takes about 5-10 minutes to get the unit heated up, so I would just turn that on right before I had to use it.

NewAir-Heat-Valve

My other issue has to do with the size of the water bottle the NewAir is supposed to be compatible with.  The user manual states that the NewAir Water Dispenser is designed to work with 2-, 3-, or 5-gallon bottles of drinking water.  Problem is, all the stores by me that carry large water bottles only carry 4-gallon bottles.  I figure that if it can handle a 3-gallon and a 5-gallon, it should be able to hold a 4-gallon too.  So that’s what we’ve been using and we haven’t had a problem with it.

4-Gallon-Water-Bottle

Want to see the NewAir WCD-100W Water Dispenser in action?  This video will show you exactly how we use it.

Bottom line?  I would absolutely recommend a NewAir WCD-100W Water Dispenser.  We have really enjoyed ours and only wish I would have thought to purchase one years earlier!

Purchase yours on Amazon!

Take a Break from the Summer Heat at Raging Waves Waterpark in Yorkville, IL #WelcomeToSummer

Disclosure: I received complimentary admission to the Raging Waves Waterpark in exchange for this post.  I was not asked to provide a particular point of view, and all opinions are 100% my own.

Most people that know me know that I am rarely at home.  Especially on the weekends, I like to go out with the family and find a new place to explore.  In the colder months I like to visit indoor spots like museums, play spaces, and cafes with the kids.  In the summer, though, I like to spend my time outdoors.  This means lots of parks, hiking, pools, and waterparks.  This past weekend, my family had the opportunity to head to Raging Waves Waterpark in Yorkville and, let me tell you, my son was SO EXCITED!  We had the most amazing time, and figured that you’d want to know what you can expect when you visit Raging Waves (because you totally should visit because you will have an absolutely amazing time…and your kids will think you’re the BEST!).

Raging Waves Waterpark-Overview

Photo Credit: Raging Waves

Located in Yorkville, IL, Raging Waves is Illinois’ largest waterpark, located just 45 minutes west of Chicago.  Sitting on over 40 acres of land, Raging Waves is a privately-owned waterpark that boasts 17 water slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and multiple play areas.  This year marks its seventh season of operation, so it’s a fairly new park – and it’s oh so pretty!  I had the pleasure of meeting the park’s owner, Randy Witt, while I was there and he had some interesting stories to tell.  For instance, I was happy to learn that the name of the park was actually taken from a Bible verse!  Very cool.

Raging Waves Boomerang

Photo Credit: Raging Waves

My husband and I visited with our three-year-old, so we didn’t get a chance to experience the slides ourselves – which was a bummer because some of them, like the Boomerang, looked SO cool!  I have always enjoyed waterslides and Raging Waves does not disappoint!  But, since we were with the toddler, we spent a lot of our time in Koala Cove.  My son loved splashing around in the wading pool and the small slides were perfect for his size.  One word of caution though – make sure a parent is waiting at the bottom of the slide when your child goes down – the water at the bottom is deeper than you think!

We also spent lots of time in the Great Barrier Reef – the wave pool at Raging Waves.  Experience a few minutes of calm before the waves hit!  We mostly stayed in the shallow end because the waves can get pretty intense for a 3-year-old!  We visited on a busy Saturday and there were plenty of lounge chairs in the shade for when we needed a break.  Also, there’s a HUGE sand area right before you get to the wave pool if your kids are into digging!

Raging Waves Wave Pool

Photo Credit: Raging Waves

Another one of our favorite spots at the park was Kookaburra Kreek, Raging Waves’ lazy river.  I liked the fact that there weren’t as many sprinklers here as I’ve experienced at other parks – just one little waterfall under one of the bridges.  I was surprised, though, that there were lots of kids running through the pool without an inner tube – something I haven’t experienced at other parks.  Usually the lifeguards ask you to get out of the pool if you don’t have a tube – but here the kids running through were A-OK.

Raging Waves Lazy River

Photo Credit: Raging Waves

If your kids are into splash pads and lots of sprinklers, they will love Kangaroo Falls!  My son wasn’t too crazy about water all up in his face, but this was a favorite among kids at Raging Waves.

Raging Waves Kangaroo Falls

Photo Credit: Raging Waves

In addition to a few special events happening at the park over the summer, Raging Waves has added a new show, Sinbad and the Search for the Golden Pineapple, and it’s totally free with your admission.  It’s a fun, high-diving adventure and my son was enthralled with all the action.  It was so cute when he was visibly nervous as he watched one of the high dive jumps.

Raging Waves Sinbad Show

Photo Credit: Raging Waves

And meeting the cast afterwards was really fun too!

Raging Waves Show Cast

A few other things to consider when visiting Raging Waves:

  • Parking is free, however you can pay an extra $7.00 for VIP parking up close.
  • Lockers are $10.00 – $15.00 extra, depending on size, with in and out privileges all day.
  • Tubes to ride the slides are free, but there are inner tubes available for rental for the wave pool for an additional $5.00.
  • General Admission is $29.99 for all those over 48” tall, and $19.99 for those under 48” tall.  Many discounts are available including discounts for food donation, discounted tickets available for purchase at Costco, coupons available at Fifth Third Bank locations, Weekday Specials and much more.  Never pay more than you have to!
  • Cabanas are available for rental in the park if you’re looking for a private area to relax within the park.  This is definitely something I’ll be looking into for my next visit.
  • There is a Fifth Third Bank ATM located in the park for your convenience.
  • Life jackets are available at multiple locations throughout the park and are completely free of charge to use.  I was especially grateful since I forgot my son’s life vest at home.
  • There are 3 restrooms located in the park, 2 restaurants, and various snack carts located throughout the park.
  • The employees at the park are extremely friendly and helpful – if you need something or have a question, just ask!  The lifeguards go through an extensive training and must complete continuing education each year.  The park’s focus on safety is of utmost importance to me and my family!
  • The food available at the park is reasonably priced and they offer typical fast food fare like burgers, hot dogs, pizza, etc.  If you need special arrangements, like gluten-free, just call the park ahead of time to let them know – they can accommodate you!Raging Waves recently hired a new food manager so I anticipate new food options soon.
  • There are height requirements for most of the slides.  You must be over 48” tall to rise all of the large slides, and there are even some height restrictions for the kiddie slides in Kangaroo Falls.  You must be 36″ or taller to ride lower slides, must be 42″ or taller to ride the upper slides.  You can check your child’s height as soon as you walk in the park.
Raging Waves Height

Not quite tall enough yet…maybe next year!

We had such a blast when we visited Raging Waves.  Even after spending hours at the park, my son didn’t want to leave!  So head on out to Raging Waves with the family this summer.  You’re guaranteed to have a good time!

Raging waves is located at 4000 N. Bridge Street in Yorkville, near the intersection of Route 47 and Galena Road.

Connect with Raging Waves

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Keep Your Summer Skin Hydrated with JERGENS! #LuminousSkin

For whatever reason, my skin experiences some issues all throughout the year.  For some (like me) winters are bad because the cold weather brings about itchy, dry skin that is really uncomfortable.  So during the cold winter months, I tend to use thicker moisturizing lotions to combat the dry skin.

Summer Ocean

But what about summer?  It seems like my skin reacts pretty much the same way when it’s hot out.  The humidity does a number on my skin and I find new dry patches of skin all the time.  Couple that with the fact that sun damage, chlorine from the pool (because if you have kids like me, it’s inevitable that you’ll be visiting some water play areas in the summer), and other harmful heat-related damage and it leaves skin feeling less-than-radiant.  Not exactly the feel-good summertime feeling you want this time of year.  The biggest problem I have with trying to combat dry skin in the summer is trying to find the right product to use.  I definitely don’t want to use the same thick lotion that I use in the winter, ya know?

Jergens Logo

Luckily, the folks over at JERGENS® have already figured that one out.  With their help, I can skip the thick wintertime lotions and apply a light moisturizing oil instead!  Yay, my summer skin has been saved!  I’ve been using JERGENS® Shea Beauty Oil for about a week now and I still love it.  Honestly – it smells so good I would have an air freshener made with it just so I could get a whiff all day!  Not only does it smell great, but it promises to beautify the skin for 6x more radiance, sheen, and hydration.  And let me tell you, the new JERGENS® Shea Beauty Oil delivers on all counts!

Jergens LuminousSkin

For even more beautifying this summer, also try JERGENS® BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream.  With 5 beautifying benefits all rolled into one gorgeous looking tube, you can’t go wrong!  In just 5 days, the BB Body Cream will hydrate & smooth,  brighten & illuminate, even skin tone, firm skin, and will minimize the appearance of imperfections – and it smells pretty great too!

So give your skin a break from the heat of summer and keep it hydrated with JERGENS®!

Connect with JERGENS®

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Disclosure: This is part of a product review campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and JERGENS; complimentary products were provided. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Keeping Our Cool with a Klondike #KandyBar

Disclosure: This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Klondike, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #KandyBar http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH

I don’t know about you, but my family is so excited that summer has finally arrived.  We suffered through a really long winter and the warmer weather is definitely appreciated.  Lately, through a bout with chickenpox, my son hasn’t been able to leave the house – and trust me, he is not happy with his quarantine!  There isn’t a kid around that likes to be outdoors ore than my son.  He’s used to almost daily trips to the park or somewhere else fun, so staying at home has been really hard on him.  The only place he’s been able to go lately is…our backyard.

Our backyard is nothing fancy.  No big swimming pool or swing set.  No tree house or basketball court.  Just a plain ‘ol backyard with a little water table that my son can play in for hours.  Literally, hours.

Klondike Water Table

If he’s not playing at the water table, he’s probably running through the sprinkler.

Klondike Sprinkler

Kids have a ton of things they can do to keep cool outside (water balloons or water guns, anyone?), but what about us?  The adults watching them?  It’s just as hot for us outside as it is for the kids.  Sometimes I bring a book out with me, or I scroll through my Facebook feed, but most times I just sit there…hot.

I’m sitting in the sun, watching my son play, and all I can think of is a a cool treat.  Something that will take my mind off the scorching sun that’s on my back.  Something tasty.  Something sweet.  For all those things, I love Klondike Kandy Bars.

Klondike Kandy Bars

Have you tried these yet?  They taste just like a candy bar…only colder!!!  They are decadent and delicious, and will certainly keep you cool while watching the kids play around outside this summer.  Only problem is…keeping the kids away while you eat it!

Klondike Kandy Bar Steal

Connect with Klondike

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Kick Off Summer with a Farmland Barbeque and a Homemade Barbeque Sauce Recipe #ReadySetRibs

Disclosure:  This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Farmland/Smithfield, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #ReadySetRibshttp://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH

Ahh, Memorial Day.  Not only a day of remembrance for those that lost their lives in active military service (a meaning we should never forget), but also the unofficial start to the summer cookout season.  Bring on the barbecues, it’s time to get grilling!  Sitting outside, surrounded by family enjoying a great meal signifies the perfect summer day – and one I’m more than happy to provide.

Summer Grilling Farmland Baby Back Ribs

Once Memorial Day hits, I grill outside as much as possible.  Nothing beats the hot, savory taste of meat cooked over an open flame.  Nothing.

Farmland Baby Back Ribs

These days, my family has come to appreciate the sticky sweet tang of a great fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs.  Yes, ribs.  I always thought they were too messy, but even I can’t drown out the pleads of my family to make more.

Farmland Baby Back Ribs Barbeque

Usually my husband mans the grill, but when making ribs, I make it a point to do it myself.  I have my own, secret (well, not after today) recipe that only I can get it right.  Who says grilling is just a man’s job anyway?!?!  My first stop is Walmart, of course, where I pick up all the fixin’s for a great barbeque.

Walmart Farmland Baby Back Ribs

From there, I boil my ribs first.  I know lots of people like to cook them low and slow – either in the oven or in a smoker – but I’m a busy mom trying to keep track of a teenager and entertain a preschooler, so a long, drawn-out process just isn’t in the cards for me.  I prefer to season my ribs with a dry rub (salt, pepper, paprika, brown sugar, cumin), place in a large pot and cover with enough water to fully cover the ribs.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about an hour and a half.  Then, take the ribs out and place them on a preheated grill, and baste with the homemade barbeque sauce for another 15-20 minutes.  Brush the sauce on often and I guarantee a delicious rib!

Tangy Homemade Barbeque Sauce

Tangy Homemade Barbeque Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup root beer
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low heat, and continue to simmer for 30-45 minutes.
http://thoughtsfromher.com/2014/05/kick-summer-farmland-barbeque-readysetribs/

If you’re planning to pick up Farmland/Smithfield Baby Back Ribs or St. Louis Style Ribs, be sure to use this $1.00 Off Coupon to save big.

For more grilling tips, visit readysetribs.com to get advice and more recipes from the barbeque pros, BBQ Pitmasters!

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Streamwood, IL: Sunny Hill Splash Pad

My son loves visiting splash parks, and I love it too since it’s not as hectic as visiting a pool.  My toddler can run around to his heart’s desire and I’m not constantly “helicoptering” to make sure he’s not going to drown.  After our visit to the Blue Heron Splash Park a few weeks ago, we decided to try the Sunny Hill Splash Pad in Streamwood recently and the toddler had a great time.

Sunny Hill Splash Pad

The Sunny Hill Splash Pad can be hard to find if you’re using your GPS or Google.  The address listed on the website takes you in the opposite direction from where the splash pad is located and it actually took me 30 minutes out of my way before I called the Streamwood Park District for directions.  If you’re looking for Sunny Hill, it’s just west of Route 59 (Sutton Road) on Irving Park Road.

Once we finally arrived at the park, I marveled at how large it was…and how crowded!  If you’re looking for a quiet little splash pad, this is not the park for you.  The gated splash pad was really crowded and parents, strollers, and beach towels lined the perimeter.

However, Sunny Hill Splash Pad is free, gated, has a restroom building, plenty of tables if you wanted to pack a lunch, and a playground right next to the splash pad (in case your kids needed a little break from the water).  There’s also a gated skate park for older kids too.

Sunny Hill Splash Pad Fun

Overall, a nice way to spend a few hours on a sunny summer day – if you don’t mind the crowds, of course!

Elgin, IL: Wing Park Aquatic Center

With only a few more weeks of summer (I know, it’s passed way too quickly!), there’s still some time to visit a pool or two.  It hasn’t been consistently hot in Illinois, but we managed to get to the pool and a few splash parks.  While we’ve still got time, I’ll let you know about a few I’ve been to lately and hope you can visit before the season’s over.

Wing Park Slide

Recently, my son and I headed to the Wing Park Aquatic Center in Elgin on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon.  The Wing Park pool features a large recreation pool, double flume slide, sand volleyball court, diving hopper, four water play features, bathhouse, competition lap pool, children’s play area, and a concession building.

Helpful Tip: The Wing Park Pool opens at noon.  On the weekends, especially on really nice days, don’t even bother getting there early.  We were about 20 minutes early and the line to get in was already long.  At noon, when the pool officially opens, there is only 1 cashier at the entrance window.  If you are not a season pass holder you will wait a long time.

Wing Park Water

Once we were finally ready to play, we had a great time.  The Wing Park pool isn’t a mega waterpark, and I never felt cramped the whole time I was there.  I really liked their toddler areas too.  There was a small splash area…

Wing Park Splash Area

Only smaller kids (under the age of 5 I think) are allowed to play in the splash area and there is one slide.  However, it’s a tube slide and my little guy was to afraid to go down alone.  But the pirate ship slide was a big hit…

Wing Park Pirate Ship Toddler Slide

We spent most of our day lounging in the recreation pool.  It’s nice because it doesn’t get too deep so the kids have a lot of room to play.  I brought my own life vest from home and I did not see any available for rent at the pool.  So, if you have a little one, bring your own.

Wing Park Recreation Pool

There’s a diving board with a tube slide and a very deep pool on the other side of the aquatic center but, naturally with a toddler, we didn’t venture out that way.  We did see the concession stand and eating area as we were leaving though.  Signs everywhere said no outside food, but I saw a few families bust out the cooler and chow down on snacks from home.

Wing Park Concessions

Overall, we had a great time at the Wing Park Aquatic Center, and it was an outing that didn’t break the bank.  {Admission prices are $5.00 (R) and $7.00 (non-R) for kids and $7.00 (R) and $9.00 (non-R) adults.}  And, let’s face it, I can’t think of a better way to beat the heat than by sitting poolside.  Can you?

Dole Fruit Squish’ems: The Perfect On-The-Go Snack!

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Dole Packaged Foods, LLC. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

With multiple road trips and countless weekend activities planned for this summer, it’s incredible how we tend to reach for not-so-healthy snacks while on the go (McDonald’s, anyone?).  It’s important to me to provide yummy and nutritious foods to my toddler…and being on the road shouldn’t change that.

Dole Fruit Squish'emsFB

DOLE Fruit Squish’ems are the perfect on-the-go treat for my family.  At only 60 calories a pouch and BPA, GMO, and Gluten free – I feel good giving these to my son for a snack or a treat.  And trust me – he loves them too!  He always asks me to squeeze out every last drop before he’s done.

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I love how the DOLE Fruit Squish’ems are so portable too.  I always keep these quick and convenient pouches in my purse or diaper bag to whip out when my son starts getting hungry or cranky.  He has yet to turn them down.  We recently packed them in our “toddler bag” for a road trip and they were such a quick and easy option to whip out when he started getting hungry. And, truth be told, it kept him from continually asking if we were “there yet?”.

Is there any doubt that this kid loves DOLE Fruit Squish’ems?

DOLE Fruit Squish'ems

So the next time the kids are ready for a snack, you can pass the chips and cookies and give them Dole Fruit Squish’ems instead!

The new DOLE Fruit Squish’ems are available in three yummy flavors, including: Apple, Apple Mixed Berry, and Apple Strawberry.  These delicious, new snacks are available at retailers nationwide for an SRP of $2.99 per package.  So go out and try some DOLE Fruit Squish’ems today – your kids will love ‘em!

To learn more about DOLE Fruit Squish’ems, you can visit their website, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Dole Packaged Foods, LLC. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Save at Six Flags Great America this Summer!

sixflagsgreatamimages

We are so excited to head to Six Flags Great America this summer…well, no one is more excited than my teenager.  They’ve got an all-new nightly show that you’re not going to want to miss!

 

Six Flags Great America is pleased to present the premiere of igNIGHT – Grand Finale, a mesmerizing and immersive nighttime spectacle bursting with energy, vivid colors, brilliant visual effects, lively performances, fascinating imagery, and pure imagination.

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The groundbreaking new high-tech show — the most advanced show in the park’s 37-year history! — plays on all your senses, taking you on a wonderfully wild journey to a beautiful never-before-seen world. Watch in wonder as igNIGHT illuminates the dark night, magically bringing to life a phenomenal bright and vibrant multimedia universe filled with music, singing, dancing, laser lighting, and pyrotechnics right before your very eyes. Guest interaction along with advanced audio, enhanced video projection, and special effects round out the brand new show that is sure to stun and delight audiences of all ages.

 

igNIGHT – Grand Finale will premiere in summer 2013 and will take place in the evenings right before the park closes because there’s no better way to end an adrenaline-filled day at Six Flags Great America than with a big bang!

 

My readers can SAVE $20 Off One-Day Admission to Six Flags Great America: http://www.windycitykidsguide.com/coupon.php?bid=11220&dealid=1287

Have fun at the park!

Back to School for a Teenager

I’m not sure why, but something about back to school – and back to the same ‘ol same, ‘ol routine – has had me feeling particularly lazy lately.  Not sure if it has been boredom, exhaustion, or just a plain old mourning of the summer months, but this year “Back to School” has really kicked my you-know-what!  It never used to be like this when I was a kid getting ready for my own back to school routine.  I used to LOVE it!

Hmm, loving back to school, you say?

Yes.  If you must know, I was a nerd.  Head of my class, straight-A student and all that.  When I was in grade school I couldn’t wait to go back to school.  I missed my friends, my teachers, and even my homework assignments.  Summers were ok, of course, but I mostly remember just getting to sleep in pretty late…like, noon late. (That’s one aspect of my childhood I wish I could get back!)

I grew up in Chicago, so the end of summer and Back to School meant no more playing volleyball in the street, no more freeze tag, no more hanging out at the “pump” (someone would open the fire hydrant and we’d have an instant sprinkler to cool off in), no more chillin’ on my friends front steps till it was dark out…Back to School promptly put an end to some of my best memories as a kid.

But Back to School was also a beginning.  The start of school supply shopping, buying a new outfit for the 1st day of school, organizing all my new gear in my brand-new backpack, and the beginning of a new year for learning. I already mentioned I was a nerd, right?

My baby girl back in the day (when school was still cool)!

This year, my daughter entered her last year of middle school. (Yes, I am the proud mom of an 8th grader!)  Somehow all the fond memories I have about going back to school seemed to skip a generation.  Back to school doesn’t hold the same sense of joyous anticipation for her.  Back to school instead means waking up too early, actually having assignment deadlines, fighting the urge not to fall asleep during a Science lecture, and falsely claiming to have learned something each day.

*SIGH*  Oh where did I go wrong with this one?  Why can’t back to school be something to look forward to, instead of something to try and avoid?  Don’t get me wrong – I do believe she learns something every day and she does have good grades, but would it kill her to actually enjoy it?

Sometimes I think it might.

Does Back to School conjure up pleasant memories for you?  Please tell me I’m not the only “nerd” in the group!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post as a Britax Latina Advisory Board Member and Blogger. As always, all opinions, ideas, and stories stated here are clearly my own.
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