Must Know Tips For Disney With Kids

Be {In The Know} at Disney

STEAM Summer Camp with Terrific Scientific and Art Adventures

Ignite your child's passion for science and art!

Charlotte Family Photographer - Photography By Larisa

Ok Mom, are you ready for your close up? Why family photos are so important.

Carolina Adventure Camp

An Unforgettable Summer!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

{Giveaway} Free Family Photo Session from

Don't you love the feel of the spring breeze and warmth here in Charlotte? It makes me want to don the kiddos in gauzy shorts and frilly dresses while we sit on a blanket in the sun or jump through the sprinkler. These are memory making times - and there is no better way to capture memories than with a photography session from She has a way of making family photos fun, while capturing the joy of your family on film so you can re-visit these fleeting moments again and again.

Lucky for you, super awesome readers, I'm a convincing woman. I've convinced Larisa at to celebrate the arrival of spring with my readers by giving away a family photo session. What better way to remember that super sweet dress you couldn't say no to buying, or those adorable suspenders that just happened to find their way into your Etsy cart?

Entering is easy, just follow the rafflecopter app below. Like Photography By Larisa on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Comment on this blog post what color you would choose to dress your family in if you win! 

In the meanwhile enjoy some of my favorite photos from

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Carolina Adventure Camp: An Unforgettable Summer!

Sun, adventure and warm days filled with fresh air, fun and friends - isn't that what childhood summers should be? If you want your kids ages 7-11 to unplug from the digital realm this summer, sign them up for Carolina Adventure Camp. This dynamic summer camp has your child exploring their world through arts and crafts, hiking, acting and improv, adventure challenges, team games and lots more. 

You'll love the energy and excitement that the counselors at Carolina Adventure Camp bring. Not only are they CPR and first aid certified (a must have for this neurotic mama), but they all have experience working with youth. Plus they enjoy being role models for young campers as they guide them through weeks of exploration and education. 

The camp is centrally located at the beautiful, 98-acre Freedom Park in Uptown Charlotte. Freedom Park offers a seven-acre lake, baseball and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, an outdoor amphitheater, nature museum, a challenge course, nature and walking trails and two playgrounds. 

A call to Moms and Dads! Spots for Carolina Adventure Camp are filling up quickly - don't get locked out of this amazing camp. Dates for camp run from June 22nd - July 30th from 9am - 3pm. Campers can sign up for one week at a time for $175 or can sign up for all six weeks for $595. 

If you sign up before April 15th you can save $50 on registration!

Invest in an unforgettable summer for your child and check out Carolina Adventure Camp online by clicking here and keep up to date with all the fun on their Facebook page

This is a paid blog post for Carolina Adventure Camp.

Easter Egg 400 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame

It's spring and the the perfect time of year to get your engines hopping over to check out the Easter Egg 400 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame! Check out all the spring time fun on Saturday, March 28th from 8:30 - 11:30am for kids ages 12 and under.

Rookie Racer members can enjoy a pancake breakfast with the Easter Bunny (info on how to join Rookie Racers here) from 8:30-9:30. For all attendees there will be face painting and spring craft activities in the Great Hall from 8:30-9:30 with a egg hunt from 9:30-9:45 on the third floor of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Then bounce into the fun as the movie 'Hop' is shown in the High Octane Theater from 10:00-11:30.

The cost for the Easter Egg 400 is $7 for adults and kids 2-12, children under 2 are free. The Easter Bunny pancake breakfast is for Rookie Racer members only. This event does NOT include admission to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, but general admission to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased separately.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Full STEAM Ahead with Terrific Scientific and Art Adventures Summer Camps {Coupon Code}

{Scroll to the bottom for $25 off coupon code!} 

We may just be recovering from our Southern #SNOWPOCALYPSE 2015, but it's already time to start thinking about selecting summer camps for the kiddos. Personally, I'm ready to welcome the warmth and sun back! Last year we sent our 5 year old daughter to a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) camp with Terrific Scientific and Art Adventures and it made a long lasting positive impression on all of us. She couldn't stop talking about what she learned and is thrilled to go back again this year. The program got her thinking, asking questions and truly engaged and excited about science. They offered a fun and educational experience for kids ages 4-15 in the Charlotte area. This summer they have 30 different weekly classes running from June 15th until August 14th at three different locations close to you:

1. Bethany Church 4301 Beluah Church Rd Weddington, NC 28104
2. United Faith Christian Academy 8617 Providence Road Charlotte, NC 28277
3. The British International School of Charlotte 7000 Endhaven Lane Charlotte, NC 28277

The summer camp options range from fun things like 'I'm a Movie Maker', 'Future Physician', 'RPG Video Game Maker', 'Robot Builder', 'Robot Developer', 'All Things (Potter) Magical & Mystical', 'Adventures in Cartooning' and many more. Click here to check out all the camps for Terrific Scientific and Art Adventures.

Bonus news mama- we're offering a $25 off coupon to our readers for each registration when you use the code MOMS15! 

In addition to awesome summer camps, beginning this fall, Terrific Scientific and Art Adventures will offer after school science, technology and art enrichment classes, host birthday parties and can add excitement to organized play dates or group events. Check out all they have to offer on the Terrific Scientific and Art Adventures websites, or keep up to date by liking them on their Facebook page.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Ok Mom, Are You Ready for Your Close-up? Family Photography in Charlotte

As moms we have a tendency to avoid being in photos. We have a million reasons. We didn't do our make up, we don't like our outfit, we still haven't lost those x number of pounds - oh we just want one of the kids. Well moms, I'm here to tell you from a mom who didn't do her make up, doesn't like her outfit and still needs to lose x pounds, that it's time for YOUR close up - and time to get into your family photos.

Photo Credit:
Why should you get in front of a camera now and stop cringing? I submit to you throwback Thursdays (#TBT), you know what I'm talking about right? Thursdays are when people post old pictures of themselves on Facebook and Instagram and inevitably think - "God I looked so young, God I looked so thin!"

Photo Credit:
Moms - today is tomorrow's #TBT so get in front of that camera with your family and smile - for these are the photos we will look back at 20 years from now and cherish. Want to really love how you look in your family photos? The key is finding an awesome family photographer - one who can help with your outfit selections, get your family in comfortable poses and capture all of your radiating smiles, and not cost you a fortune. This year we used Larisa Black with Photography by Larisa to shoot our baby number 3 announcement and family photos.

Photo Credit:
I was already into my second trimester and she helped me to select colors and clothing that worked for my body type and coordinated with the rest of the family. We had our photo shoot at Romare Barden Park for the perfect Charlotte backdrop. I love our photos. She guided me so I didn't feel awkward about where to put my hands or how to stand, or which angles to turn my body to make me look my best. The photos she took were fun, energetic and beautiful - which is exactly how my family looks to me in my head and now on canvas. I have true photographic evidence that I am part of our family - and some great future #TBT content ;)

Photo Credit:
Check out the gallery from Photography by Larisa by clicking here. She specializes in family photography, maternity sessions, children photography, newborns and seniors. She offers photography services in the Charlotte, Fort Mill and Rock Hill areas.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

{FLASH Ticket Giveaway!} Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents - LEGENDS!

Join the excitement of the circus at the Time Warner Cable Arena January 28th-Feb 1st 2015. Behold the living legends! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® brings the unbelievable to Children Of All Ages in an all-new show –  Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS. Experience unimaginable family fun, as amazing performers from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder to summon the mythical and mysterious creatures of the past: a Unicorn, a Pegasus and a Woolly Mammoth! Join us for an unforgettable family night of legendary proportions! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS! You can purchase tickets for this exciting event from ticketmaster here

WIN 4 tickets to the show on Sunday, February 1st at 11am by registering below. Winner will be drawn on 1/26/15. 
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Friday, December 26, 2014

How to Use A Public Restroom with a Toddler in 45 Easy Steps

If you have a toddler you'll inevitably endure the joy that is potty training, and better yet for advanced  level mommies - potty training in public restrooms. But never fear fellow moms - here is my guide to how to use a public restroom with a toddler in just 45 easy steps!

Image from:
  1. Upon arrival at restroom begin your 15 second interval reminder "don't touch anything!" 
  2. Begin negotiations with toddler that they are going to go potty. Yes here, yes - now.
  3. Pray the handicap option is open because you'll need to shove yourself, toddler, older child and stroller all in there together. 
  4. Begin lining toilet with copious amounts of toilet paper that will fall off at least once because your toddler is twirling causing it to fall off (but at least for these 5 seconds - isn't touching anything while twirling) 
  5. Re-line toilet with copious amounts of toilet paper. 
  6. Begin negotiations with toddler that they can't line the toilet with paper, because it's a mommy job. 
  7. View the look of the devil in their eye as toddler sizes up how mad you'll get if they knock said toilet paper off the toilet again and verbally warn them not to touch the toilet paper. 
  8. Pull down pull up and acknowledge toddlers excitement and pride that yes, his penis is still there and look mommy it's his penis. 
  9. Position child tenuously on toilet seat while toddler expresses concerns about their falling in, that you have found the one and only potty for GIANTS, and that they don't have to go potty anyway. 
  10. Once placement is confirmed monitor child's hand grip as to assure they not touch the bare (barf) toilet seat. 
  11. If a boy stuff large wad of toilet paper to deflect any mis-aimed urination. Pee on my shoes once, my bad. Pee on my shoes twice - clearly mommy hasn't caught on.. 
  12. Begin negotiations with toddler about what they will do on the toilet - poop? pee? the world is their oyster - digress to telling them they can do #1, #2 or #1 AND #2 - it's up to them. 
  13. Agree with toddler as they adamantly inform you only #1 is on the table for discussion. 
  14. Answer toddler questions about what every noise in the bathroom is. 
  15. Answer toddler inquiry about if you too will go potty, and if so - when and where and how. 
  16. Respond to older child's complaint that they now too have to pee - SUPER BADLY! and assure older child toddler will be done in just a moment and then they can go. 
  17. Begin talks with toddler to hurry up and go pee pee - to which sensing their siblings distress has decided to try for #2, which will no doubt take upwards of a century to complete.
  18. Strain to hear if any tinkling has taken place, which is hard to hear over the induced toddler grunting as they attempt for #2. 
  19. Check pull up for wetness, if wet reply to demands for a new pull up with a different character because the one your brought is the WRONG ONE. 
  20. Assure toddler all the Jake pull ups are in the car and you will change them into it upon arrival at the car. 
  21. Pray toddler will forget that promise. 
  22. Rip off old pull up, weave on new pull up all while being verbally chastised for your poor taste in pull up characters. 
  23. Begin additional encouragement to hurry the process along as older child begins to do the pee-pee dance. 
  24. Warn toddler they have only a minute to complete process and assure a treat if process is completed within the minute. 
  25. Begin negotiations on who will flush the toilet. 
  26. Explain to toddler through their now streaming tears and red face that toilets at the mall cannot be flushed by big kids - only mommies are allowed the honor.
  27. Decide toddler potty time is up and remove child from toilet completely unsure if toddler has completed said business. 
  28. Pull on pull up and acknowledge that it is, in fact, still the incorrect pull up. 
  29. Begin multi-attempt re-lining process single-handedly as you restrain toddler from trying to flush toilet. 
  30. Now use legs as well in this full body experience to guide toddler away from the tampon box can and back toward the bathroom door. 
  31. Set older child on potty. 
  32. Begin negotiations with toddler for washing hands, answer questions about how, where and why this event shall take place. 
  33. Direct toddler not to unlock the bathroom door or touch - anything. 
  34. Remove older child from potty, confirm adequate wiping. 
  35. Reassure toddler once again only mommies can flush toilet. 
  36. Direct toddler toward sinks. 
  37. Lift toddler amidst kicking and yelling that they want to push the soap themselves. 
  38. Attempt to soap up hands enough to disinfect them and dissuade your worries that they have now become carrier monkeys of some awful illness from somehow touching something you didn't see. 
  39. Lean toddler to the faucet amidst toddler doing 'the worm' mid-air because they want to turn the water on themselves. 
  40. Get splashed in the face as toddler enjoys the unexpected wildly inappropriate pressure of said faucet.
  41. Begin negotiations regarding how many pieces of paper towel toddler deems appropriate for drying off. 
  42. Begin negotiations with toddler for how to dispose of said paper towel - don't touch the garbage can - ugh - too late. 
  43.  Plop toddler in stroller as you help older child with hand washing and wash hands yourself. 
  44. Emerge from public restroom battle worn quite certain victorious isn't close to how you feel. 
  45. Remind yourself there is a reason you don't leave the house that often.