Nurture + Nourish: A Group for New Moms

Meal and Memories with Mom

American Girl Store South Park

Date Nights Worth the Babysitter

Exit Strategy - Can you escape the room?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mother's Day Gift That'll Give Mom All The Feels

Red alert Dads! Mother's Day is just a few weeks away, so you still have time to rock this year out with a personalized gift that she will love for both its sentiment and its trendy fashion statement.

I ordered this delicate gold bar engraved with my kid's names and thought it would be a great gift for Mother's Day. I was impressed when mine arrived that it felt like a quality boutique piece that you'd pay double or triple for in stores. Head over to the Urban Layered shop on and check out all the totally customizable, perfectly unique top quality jewelry that'll make mom swoon this Mother's Day.

I ordered this one as a surprise for my sister for Mother's Day - she's one of the best moms I know :) 

This necklace is the plate necklace in gold, and for a limited time it's 20% off - but order ASAP because it takes a little while to create your custom piece and ship it to you. I would suggest ordering the 18" necklace for it to fall on Mom's neck like it does on mine. Win at Mother's Day this year with one of Urban Layered's on-trend, heart melting baubles for the Mom in your life. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Meal & Memories with Mom at the American Girl Store Charlotte

When S was little it was just her and I. I shared in every moment of her day, from the time she woke until bedtime kisses at night. Now that she's seven, things are different - she's up and out the door to school before the darkness has lifted and I'm at work until dinner time, then it's off to soccer or errands - all the things that keep life busy. We've added two siblings to the mix as well, and now there is even less exclusively Mommy-S time than there was before. I carve out special time as often as I can so we can connect and share one-on-one. We plan specific Mommy-S nights, because at seven, she has a whole new cast of characters that make up her day and I cherish being able to sit with her at a special place and hear all the excitement without interruption.

For our most recent mommy-daughter pow-wow we were invited to Meal & Memories with Mom at the American Girl Store's Bistro in Charlotte at the South Park Mall. The American Girl store hosts all types of Mother/Daughter events throughout the year including painting, monogram painting and more. You can see their events by clicking on this link

Getting ready for a night out is part of our fun, we picked out our dresses together. S wore pink, and matched the American Girl Bistro's decor perfectly. The ambiance at the Bistro is 100% girly with bubble chandeliers and pink gerber daisy lights. The hostess showed us to our seats with an adorable place setting including hair bow for S to take home holding her napkin. S's doll Samantha even had a special chair at our table as well as a tiny cup and saucer so she wouldn't miss out on the dining fun. 

S was given an American Girl bag filled with goodies and ideas for us to start making memories throughout our dinner. There were three dice that we rolled with words and numbers and we could use them to make up silly or true stories. Some of them really got us giggling, seven year olds have such fun imaginations!

There was a Making Memories book that asked questions for us each to fill out and compare notes and thoughts. We answered which we liked better, books or magazines, flowers or chocolate. It was fun to talk about how we're alike and different and the reasons we chose our answers.

They included a dry erase board for her to decorate with stickers and use to answer the questions that were in a box on the table including things like "Which would you rather be - able to fly or be invisible." For the record I chose that I'd like to fly so I could avoid traffic. S chose invisible, and when asked why she said "so she could sneak out of her room and go to her friend's houses." Oh boy.. I'm in trouble. :) 

Amidst the memory making we were served three courses for our dinner. S chose the fancy fruit fondue which included fruit kabobs, mini banana muffins and yogurt in a flowerpot and I selected the  soft pretzel bites. S said the muffins were the 'best muffins in the whole world'. For our entrees S chose her favorite stand-by, Macaroni with Lots of Cheese and I went traditional fare as well with a Roasted Turkey Club Sandwich. For dessert we enjoyed the Chocolate Mousse Flowerpot - S loved the fact that each course came with a flower pot and or flower. American Girl does it up right, and knows how to cater to their audience. 

S said at least four times that it was the best night ever, I love seven-year-old exuberance, but I had to agree. We had so much fun together. We wrapped up in the playing games, answering questions, eating and laughing. After dinner we strolled around the store for a little while so S could make up her birthday wish list early.

Events at the American Girl Store in Charlotte range in price, this particular experience costs $40 per person. Other adventures like Leah's Adventure Academy running March 29th - 31st are only $10 per person and include adventures through four themed stations, an adventure journal, an undersea cupcake food craft, handkerchief decorating and a photo op. This is a great Spring Break idea! You can get more info and sign up here.

Our experience was comp'd so that I could give a review. As always my opinions are my own. Any experiences I attend and wouldn't recommend to a friend I don't write about and don't share with my readers. It's my promise to you, and why you'll only see what I've enjoyed and would recommend on my blog. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

NASCAR Hall of Fame Easter Egg 400 March 26th 2016

{Enter to WIN 4 tickets by commenting on the Facebook Post at this link ( with your favorite Easter tradition AND by sharing that Facebook Post publicly. I'll pick a winner on 3/24. 

Looking for a new and fun way to join in the Easter fun? Check out the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Easter Egg 400 where your kids can rev their engines as they cruise around Race Week scooping up easter eggs! In addition to the Easter egg hunt they'll have spring craft activities in the Great Hall, the ever entertaining Mr. Nigel and Friends, photos with The Easter Bunny and Champ the Cheetah. It'll all concluded with a viewing of "Shaun the Sheep."
This revved-up egg-stravanganza begins on Saturday, March 26th 2016 8:30am - 11:30am at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. 
8:30 - 9:30 a.m. 
Spring craft activities in the Great Hall for all attendees as well as entertainment by Mr. Nigel and Friends. 

9:30 - 9:45 a.m. 
Easter egg hunt begins in Race Week 
(separate egg hunts for younger kids) 

10 - 11:30 a.m. 
“Shaun the Sheep” movie shown in the High Octane Theater event is FREE for Rookie Racers Kids Club members and $7 for non-members. All kids under age 2 will receive free admission.

Rookie Racers Kids Club members can RSVP by 
clicking here.
General admission tickets can be purchased by 
Click here to learn more about joining the Rookie Racers Kids Club today!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Nurture+Nourish : A Group for New Moms at Baby+Company

I'm an A-type preparer, but when it came to being a new mom - no stack of books or prenatal classes could fully prepare me for the adventure that awaited. When I gave birth to my daughter in Iowa, I stepped into a new world to navigate - minus sleep, plus uncharted daily questions and concerns. (Who knew there were so many wrong ways a baby could latch on? Or the diversity I'd behold for colors and consistencies of poop?) I needed support from experienced moms, and from those who were on this journey beside me.

I joined a new mom's group overseen by a nurse, and it was the best thing I could have done for baby and me. When I moved to Charlotte to have my second and third babies, those classes didn't exist - and I was so disappointed! Now Baby+Company, a boutique birth center in Charlotte near Presbyterian Hospital, is offering a 6 week postpartum group for moms and their newborns. The series is led by baby educator and lactation consultant, Mellissa Willette, RN, IBCLC.

Moms and babies will come together once a week for two hours to learn about their babies, ask questions, share stories and give and gain support. I promise you - as a newly dubbed mommy it will be the most anticipated two hours of your week (aside from a two-hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep of course). You'll enjoy the posh home-like atmosphere at Baby+Company while you settle on the blanket clad floors and learn techniques to calm and soothe your baby through infant massage. The topics in the class will depend on the needs and interests of the moms in the group, but may include mommy-baby yoga, learning about toys and activities that will stimulate your baby's learning center, and products and tips that will make your life easier. Plus - you'll get real answers to the new baby questions that weren't covered in the book or pre-natal class. 

The camaraderie I developed with those new moms in the first weeks of my adventure into motherhood turned into meeting for tea after our classes ended, making play dates as the babies grew, and long-lasting friendships.

Classes cost $120 for local moms and $80 for Baby+Company clients. For more information to register click here

Baby+Company is a boutique birth center offering highly personalized, evidence-based maternity and well-woman care. They specialize in prenatal and postpartum care, labor and birth services, annual exams, birth control and fertility counseling. You can learn more about Baby+Company on their website here, and read more about my sneak peek of their center (and view their beautiful space) here. I'm excited to be transitioning my care to their center for my next well-woman appointment. 

This is a sponsored post, but as always all opinions are my own and I only share what I love with my readers. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Exit Strategy {Date Nights Worth the Babysitter}

Hey babe, I've got an idea for our date night. You. Me. Let's lock ourselves in a dimly lit room. We'll conjure up some magic - and then.... solve puzzles, unlock hidden secrets and protect the castle against a dragon attack! This was the M.O. for escape-the-room-game date night at Exit Strategy, an hour of brain-expanding, challenging excitement.

The moment you step into the 'Quest of Honor' room you're transported to a castle where medieval music fills the room and builds excitement as the Exit Strategy guide reviews the rules of play. I can't reveal too much about what we did in the room, the strategy of the game must be kept a secret to ensure fair play. If you enjoy strategy board games, intellectual experiences, trying new things and having lots of fun, you'll love the rooms at Exit Strategy.

We pieced together clues and riddles and worked together with 6 other team members to complete our mission and defeat the dragon. Unfortunately we didn't beat the room, we achieved about 75% of our mission within the hour, but we had SUCH a blast! It was fun not to know what to expect. It required me to dust off my baby-brain and start thinking out-of-the-box, inside of the room. 

There can be up to 10 participants in a room, and we played with people we didn't know. I think it would have been an even better time trying to exit the room with friends. The additional familiarity and camaraderie may have helped in the decision making and negotiating the room to locate and decipher clues faster. Either way you try with friends or strangers, you're set up for an adventure. We got stuck on a couple of clues and were able to ask the Exit Strategy guide for clues via the walkie talkie. They  gave us a little direction, since the majority of us were first time strategists. 

Now that we've experienced one room we're hooked and want to try the other rooms. We think that we'll have a better feel for how to strategize (even though each are quite different) and hopefully be able to beat the room. Not that we REALLY want to beat the room or anything. (We really want to beat the room..) 

For more information and to easily book a date night worth the babysitter online you can check out their website here. You can keep up to date with their Instagram, Facebook at Twitter pages. 

Exit Strategy also works with companies offering team building experiences.

We were invited to experience Exit Strategy free of cost so I could review it, but as always all opinions are my own. I only review and share what I love in the Queen City with my readers. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

LEGO KidsFest - Building Excitement

My kids got to wade into a sea of LEGO's at LEGO KidsFest that rolled through Charlotte this past weekend. We weren't sure what to expect at the convention center, but my youngest two (my oldest was out of town) really enjoyed all that LEGO KidsFest had to offer.

I loved that they had LEGOs perfect for every age, from large Duplos that little bits (almost 1 year old now!) enjoyed moving from place to place, to LEGO Juniors that were right up the alley for my 3 year old's interests and building capability. For the older kids they had every type of LEGO you could imagine, Princess, Fairy, Star Wars in addition to battle zones where families competed to win LEGO prizes. The older kids could enjoy Master Builder sessions where they could hone their creativity and building techniques. 

Our kids moved from booth to booth and loved posing with the giant LEGO creations. My husband and I were particularly impressed with Super Man's multi-dimensional cape. My younger two were a little young to enjoy all the booths that were available, but we participated in the creation nation where E made a LEGO creation to be included in the US map and received a LEGO Builder gift for participating. He also got artsy in the Art Gallery which housed participants LEGO arts of work on large canvas like displays.

We wore little bits in a carrier, but many people had strollers and it seemed maneuverable. I packed water bottles for the family, which was a good move because it was very dry in the convention center. I also brought snacks because it was right during dinner and my kids are picky eaters.  My kids couldn't participate in every activity, although the older kid events looked like SO much fun. I think the best age for the festival would be 6-14. As a child I was always a LEGO enthusiast, and this type of festival would have blown. my. mind. 

If LEGO KidsFest is coming to your city, it's a must experience. But buy quickly, because all 3 sessions in Charlotte sold out two weeks prior to the event. 

Terrific Scientific Summer Camps 2016 {$25 Discount Code}

We've been enjoying the STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) summer camps that Terrific Scientific Summer Camps offer for two years. Our daughter eagerly anticipates this summer camp each year. You can read about our daughters weeks learning and exploring with Terrific Scientific here and here.  Right now they are offering a $25 discount with the code MOMS$2016. 

This year they are offering 35 summer camps including: Environmental science, programming, digital arts, chemistry, biology, veterinary medicine, robotics, forensics, video game creation, food science, technology, paleontology, engineering,  astronomy, marine biology and special effects.

Follow this link and sign your little ones up for an amazing summer time experience.