WIN Samantha, an American Girl Doll

The American Girl store has opened in Charlotte, check out our blog to enter to win your very own Samantha doll!

Brews Cruise Charlotte

Calling all beer lovers! Check out NoDa's top microbreweries on a fun, safe tour.

The Must Know While in the Disney Parks

Planning a trip to Disney World with kids? Lots of tips and tricks to maximize your Disney fun with kids in tow.

Taking Control of Playroom Chaos with the Rule of Five

Tips for making the playroom a happy place for all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

ArtPop Charlotte - Vote Now!

Painting by Nancy Marshburn (Pastel)

Nancy Marshburn, a friend of MomAboutCharlotte.com, has submitted the painting above for a program in Charlotte called ArtPop. ArtPop helps to promote local artists and beautify Charlotte by presenting their work on available billboard space throughout the city. Twenty talented local artists are selected out of hundreds of entries to participate in this program. 
 
Nancy's beautiful painting needs your votes, and it takes less than a minute! Visit http://www.charlottecultureguide.com/poll/detail/59, scroll down to view Nancy's painting and click the check box under her name. Scroll down to enter your name, email address and complete the captcha verification and you're done! You can vote to enter through 11:59 on 11/30/14.
 
We love to support our local artists at MomAboutCharlotte.com, stay tuned for the winner and enjoy their artwork around our lovely city. The Arts and Sciences Council (ASC) has partnered with Adams Outdoor Advertising to launch this program in January of 2015. Best of luck to all the participants!
 
 

Monday, October 20, 2014

KidsLink: The App for Moms {Moms Wanted}

For a limited time KidsLink is looking for readers of MomAboutCharlotte.com with iphones or ipads to download the invitation only app for free to see if it helps to organize your world. Signing up is easy and secure. From your iphone or ipad, click on mykidslink.com/install, click Join and enter the code: MOMCLT.


I am a tech geek. I adore apps that make my life easier, especially when it comes to parenting. I've found my family seems to collect an insane quantity of papers - doctors notes, dentist visits, school notices etc. so much etc... And where do these all land? On my desk for filing (aka building up until I end up spending 2 hours sorting and filing). I've recently discovered an app called KidsLink that helps busy moms like you and I organize life and take back the surface space on our desks. Kidslink is a private social network and world-managing app. It works like a private, secure facebook, Instagram and digital drop box all in one.

With KidsLink I can privately add my closest friends and family - only those who would love to see five pictures a day of my kids and be updated on their adorable shenanigans privately and securely (even if it's just you and your partner). Another aspect I love about KidsLink, is how they are securely protecting what is shared with the app - so when my son is interviewing for a future job his boss can't find an image of his first potty victory online. They encourage you to think about what you post online and to #shareresponsibly.


I can add moments and milestones like losing a first tooth on my timeline to share with friends, and if I choose I can push it to facebook with a simple click. When we return from a doctor's visit I can picture and save all the papers in the vault, which is accessible by parents only. After soccer practice I can picture the schedule and save it to the vault for future reference. When I forget to schedule an annual well check (cause they're healthy why would I remember to make them a doctor's appointment??) KidsLink will remind me. I can also store insurance cards and report cards, and art work - oh soooo many pictures of precious scribbles!

For a limited time KidsLink is looking for readers of MomAboutCharlotte.com with iphones or ipads to download the invitation only app for free to see if it helps to organize your world. Signing up is easy and secure. From your iphone or ipad, click on mykidslink.com/install, click Join and enter the code: MOMCLT.



Check out the short video on how KidsLink can work for you (after the commercial of course)
http://bit.ly/protectwkidslink

Thursday, October 16, 2014

{Giveaway} Marvel Universe LIVE!

{Giveaway} 
Scroll to the bottom of the blog to enter to win 4 tickets
to see Marvel Universe LIVE on Friday, 11/14/14.


Brace yourself for the impact of Marvel comic superheros as they head to Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena November 14th- November 16th 2014 for an action packed stunt show.

After much anticipation, Feld Entertainment, Inc., the world's leading producer of touring live family entertainment, today revealed details about the most ambitious live show in its history - Marvel Universe LIVE! Featuring the most Marvel characters EVER assembled in one production. This high-caliber arena spectacular will put fans right in the middle of one of the most electrifying battles between good and evil ever conceived.

Check out the video below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 12, 2014

{Giveaway - American Girls Doll Samantha} American Girls Store Opens in Charlotte, NC

{Giveaway - American Girl Doll Samantha} Scroll to the bottom to enter to win our giveaway of the Samantha American Girl Doll.


My daughter, 6, and I had little idea what American Girl dolls were until Friday when were invited to a preview of the Charlotte American Girl store at the South Park Mall. I had done some preliminary searching and saw the pricing online, and I can't lie - I was skeptical. But, after our hour visit we both left swooning over the pink and purple girly-ness of it all.


The American Girl store is more than a store, it's an experience. Walking in the door I was impressed with the ambiance, it plays like a doll store and collectors museum in one. Groups of ornately dressed dolls are staged in glass cases, featuring the fashion and accessories of each time period. If you're not familiar with American Girl dolls, each of the BeForever collection dolls hail from a different era and feature books with stories about what it was like to live during that time, along with themes that connect these characters to the hopes and dreams of modern day girls.


I liked the wide range of features available for the dolls with many skin, eye and hair colors and hair textures. Girls are able to pick out a doll they relate to, and add features like freckles or braces. They offer matching clothes for girls and dolls and every accessory under the sun. The BeForever and My American Girl dolls are recommended for ages 8+. Bitty Baby dolls are also available with similar options for ages 3+, in addition to Bitty Twins and pets. They have a bookstore section full of books about the dolls, their adventures and workbooks and craft sets.


The American Girl store is a posh place for dolls, with a beauty and hair bar. Dolls sit atop styling chairs (strapped in - that made me smile) while their hair is restored and restyled to their out of box condition. They also pierce doll ears and create custom matching t-shirts. There is a lot to take in, so famished moms and girls might need a bite to eat between rows of dolls and accessories at the American Girl Bistro. They also host birthday parties with loaner dolls for guests attending.

Whether you’re looking to browse and learn about American Girl dolls or are an avid collector this addition is just another great reason to head to South Park Mall for a uniquely girl-fun experience. We have been reading the Samantha book at home, which allows the reader to make choices about how the story plays out. S absolutely loves this feature, and even though there are no pictures has been enthralled with the story and I’ve enjoyed reading them to her as well.

Join in on the American Girl fun and register to win a Samantha doll of your own below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

MomAboutCharlotte.com Disclaimer: We received 2 books, a work book and a Samantha doll to facilitate a review of this brand, as well as a Samantha doll to give away to a reader. As always my opinion is my own, and I only share what I love with my readers.
 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dads About Charlotte: Charlotte Brews Cruise

Dads and Charlotte breweries, some things just go hand in hand. The Dads of Mom About Charlotte ventured out on a beautiful fall day with Charlotte Brews Cruise tours to weigh in on all things pilsner, ale and lager. Top notch Charlotte based microbreweries have been popping up around the NoDa (North Davidson) area for the past several years. My IPA loving hubby Jim, and ale aficionado brother-in-law Gary boarded the Charlotte Brews Cruise van for an afternoon of beer education and tasting. They toured three breweries: Birdsong Brewing Company, The Unknown Brewing Company and finally Heist Brewery.

Birdsong, known for serving up the most affordable growlers in Charlotte, gave the guys a full tour of their brewery. They explained the brewing process, showing the specific grains and malts they use to create their award winning flavors. They explored the brewery floor (with beer in hand) and got to taste a flight of five of their hand picked brews - including their very unique jalapeno pale ale. Scott the tour guide gave a little background about each of the samples prior to tasting, allowing novice and experienced tasters alike to connect to each brew. Jim and Gary's favorite was the Higher Ground IPA. 

Having Scott and Hannah as tour guides created a laid back VIP atmosphere at each brewery. Their rapport with employees and tour goers translated into a fun welcoming way to meet new people with similar interests (I <3 beer). They were very knowledgeable about beer and the Charlotte microbreweries and history. 
Next up was The Unknown Brewing Company, whose founder Brad Shell has a rich micro-brewing pedigree, hailing from previous engagements with Sweet Water, Terrapin and Rogue Breweries. With their close proximity to BOA Stadium The Unknown Brewing Company sells plastic half growlers perfect for thirsty tailgaters. The ambiance has a modern feel, the brewery floor is visible from the tasting area with plenty of room for future growth. The brews are innovative, including the perfectly southern tea-based Hospitalitea beer. Jim's favorite was the Over The Edge IPA and Gary's was the Ginger What. 

My brother-in-law loved the convenience and safety that the tour guide afforded on the brewery tour experience. He got to lay back and enjoy while they did the heavy lifting and driving. He enjoyed learning about the history of each brewery they were visiting and also the history and current on goings of microbreweries in the Charlotte area. Charlotte Brews Cruise picks up at Heist Brewery for their public Saturday tours but also offers pick up at specific locations for private tours. We're in the process of setting up a brewery tour that will pick up and drop off in our neighborhood to maximize neighborhood fun ;) 
Last was Heist Brewery, which specializes in twisted American cuisine and handcrafted beer. Heist offered the widest range of brews - something for every taste. Heist Brewery hosts tall ceilings and wide open spaces speckled with high top tables and outside seating. The guys agreed this was the best place to drink and dine, and you could do it with your friends or with kids in tow. Jim's favorite was Cross Pollen Nation and Gary's was The Out To Pasture. 

Going on the Charlotte Brews Cruise Tour offered the guys the chance to sample beer that they wouldn't normally try - Gary had never tried a ginger beer but loved the Ginger What. Jim was a fan of the jalapeno pale ale, but if we were at dinner probably wouldn't have otherwise risked ordering it as an entire beer. It expanded their palette and was a lot of fun. When my sister and I arrived to pick them up 3.5 hours later our husbands had happy beer smiles and enjoyed getting out for some guy time. 

They were able to purchase their favorite beers to bring home and stored them in the van's cooler. Charlotte Brews Cruise provided waters and snacks during the tour. The tour was given four thumbs up by the guys and they look forward to their next tour. Public Saturday tours cost $49 per person, and private tours start at $54 per person. You can keep up to date on all things brews by following Charlotte Brews Cruise on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

MomAboutCharlotte.com Disclaimer: I received a free happy husband and brother-in-law for my review of Charlotte Brews Cruise (their tours were comped). However, as always my opinions are always my own and I only share what I (or I by association) love. As soon as I'm not preggo or nursing I plan to join Scott and the gang on a tour myself. 




Friday, September 19, 2014

Hopebuilders 5K & Stroller Roller 10/18/14 Charlotte, NC



The 19th annual Hopebuilders 5K & Stroller Roller takes place on October 18th in Charlotte, North Carolina, to benefit Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital. This year, we formed a Hopebuilders Team in support of 'The CHS IVF Family Fund'. This fund has been created to provide grants to infertility patients in need of financial assistance to undergo assisted reproductive technology, such as In Vitro Fertilization at the Reproductive Medicine and Infertility Center. By joining the “Family Futures” Hopebuilders team, you will be contributing to the growth of the CHS IVF Family Fund at a critical time—our hope and intention being that we are able to raise the seed funding necessary to begin making grants to family beneficiaries in the future.

There are two ways you can support the CHS IVF Family Fund through the Hopebuilders 5K:


1. Join the family futures team by clicking here. Then click on the "Join Team" in the black bar above the list of team member names. 

2. Donate to the "Family Futures" team, our team captain is Jenny Crow by clicking here. Select your donation and scroll down and you will see under "Honoree Information" that your gift will support Jenny Crow - this will support the entire "Family Futures" team and team goal.

Thank you for considering making a contribution to the CHS IVF Family Fund through the Hopebuilders 5K. For questions, please contact Carolinas HealthCare Foundation at(704) 355-4048 or emailCHFoundation@carolinas.org<mailto:CHFoundation@carolinas.org>.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

{Ticket Giveaway for CFG Style Week} Attention Mommy Fashonistas!

Style. Fashion. Runway. Once you become a mommy these terms may feel like long lost lovers amidst the daily grind of carpool and diaper changes. Break away with me for a moment if you will, and let's rekindle that sexy old flame by stepping out of the norm and into Charlotte Fashion Guild's Style Week September 24th-27th 2014. Join top designers from Project Runway, Trinidad, Sweden, New York and beyond, at Label House at the NC Music Factory in Uptown Charlotte.

Grab your girlfriends, your favorite LBD and scoop up tickets before they're gone. Unlike a killer pair of Louboutin's, getting into this shin-dig won't break the monthly budget, tickets are $15-$40.

The fabulous minds that are bringing style back to Charlotte are giving our readers the chance to get their runway on for free! Just sign up below and the winner will be drawn on Sunday, 9/21/14. For more information check out CFG Style Week's website and stay connected with them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway