The Ridge Hotel at Lake Geneva, WI

Saturday, March 28, 2020

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If you caught my previous post about the Ice Castles in Lake Geneva, then you know what a great time we had and how beautiful it was there.  When planning our trip, we knew we wanted to make the most of it and stay somewhere nearby.  The Ridge Hotel was just the place and we can't wait to go back.

Even though it's off the beaten tourist track, it's still a quick drive to downtown (which is beautiful too).  I loved that we were far enough away to get that vacation feel, but close enough to grab breakfast and support a local spot nearby the next morning.

The Ridge Hotel offers numerous accommodations, so you don't have to leave during your stay at all if you don't want to.  

We had unlimited hot chocolate and coffee at the Bean and Vine Coffee Bar located there in the hotel lobby and they serve lunch.  Their soups and sandwiches were so good and perfect for enjoying before heading out to the Ice Castles.  There were no complaints from any of us and we even got to take our souvenir travel mugs with us for hot chocolate at the Ice Castles too!


The Ridge Hotel is also home to Crafted Americana were we had a beautiful view of lights during dinner and they had the perfect spot for warming up, lounging and making smore's, which they offer nightly.  Dinner did not disappoint either, even our girls devoured their food and a delicious cocktail was a great way to warm up for the night after being inside a big mound of ice for the last few hours.  Crafted American is also right next to the Biergarten, which is open for late night snacks and good beer.


The Ridge Hotel even offers a really cool Igloo Experience outdoors!  My husband and I would love to go back and do this when we have a kid-free weekend.  Of course, it is only offered during the winter months, but this is something you need on your travel list!  Who wouldn't want to have yummy apps, drinks and warm blankets to cuddle with an incredible view of the lake?




My girls also enjoyed a visit to The Ridge Hotel's indoor swimming pool before all passing out from an incredible day and visit to Lake Geneva, WI.  You can click here to learn more about The Ridge Hotel, what it offers and Summer activities for your next trip.

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A Trip to the Ice Castles | Lake Geneva, WI

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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I feel like I can say that 2020 will be the year of adventure for our family.  Last year was definitely the year of survival and with newborn twins we didn't do much.  Now, it's only February and we have checked off a lot on our things to do and places to see list so far!

Including the Ice Castles in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin which we had the opportunity to check out last weekend.


I heard about the Ice Castles last winter but the seasoned was closed.  I knew we had to make time to check them out this year and I'm so glad we did.  We took the four hour trip up to Wisconsin and it was worth it.  The Ice Castles are incredibly beautiful and it is such a neat place to explore, especially for kids.

The experience is built using hundreds of thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists. It was hard to believe the amount of work and how long it takes the artists to create all of the fun hidden gems within the Ice Castles, including breathtaking LED-lit sculptures, frozen thrones, ice-carved tunnels, slides, fountains and much more. 

My girls favorite were definitely all the slides.  They could have spent the entire time just going down them.  There was even this tiny little tunnel/cave they went it and they thought it was so cool! 

 
Even the twins had a good time!  FYI, you can't bring strollers in, but you can bring a sled.  We opted for a baby carriet and kept everyone warm in their snow suits and we didn't have any complaints.  When purchasing tickets, you choose a time slot in order to keep the Ice Castles from getting overcrowded and to maximize your time spent there.  I suggest going just before sunset.  There is still enough light to really get a good look at all the amazing-ness and you get to see a beautiful sunset, which makes the ice really sparkle.


We didn't make it to dark, but we still got to see some of the LED lights start shining and it was colorful!  They even had a little campfire going and benches around it to warm up and have a seat.  You can't forget hot chocolate either and other yummy drinks to keep you warm!  Did I mention my favorite part?!  The ice throne was fun, but a heads up...it's super icy!  I nearly slid off of it trying to get this photo!


If you haven't had the chance to check out an Ice Castles location, you must put it on your travel list.  They are incredibly beautiful and I want to check them all out now.  They have six locations, including Colorado, Alberta, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Utah.





Thank you Ice Castles, Lake Geneva for having us!

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Charlotte’s 4th Birthday Art Party

Sunday, February 23, 2020

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This post contains affiliate links.

Each year it’s hard to believe that any of my girls are a year older. The older they get, the faster it goes by and even though I prepare myself, it doesn’t get easier watching them grow up but it is fun.


Charlotte is officially four years old and we celebrated with an Art themed birthday party! This was her choice and perfectly matched her messy and fun personality. She loves to draw, color and create.  It amazes me with how good she is. It’s definitely something she might have a future in if she keeps it up.

The last two years have felt like she’s getting the short end of the stick with her birthday, but nonetheless, she had a great time and the party turned out much better than I thought. Why do I say that? Well, she turned three just a month and a half after having the twins last year and I just threw a quick and easy pj’s and donuts birthday party together with very little planning and decorating and this year was very last minute as well. Not to mention, it always falls during Thanksgiving so life is busy as it is. So thankful for grace and love from that little girl who could care less about it all. I even messed the cake up this year and she was so forgiving and still managed to give me a huge hug and tell me how good the cake still smelled (she picked out a caterpillar cake from Costco and I put the wrong pick up date).

Anyhow, back to how I planned her art party and how easy you could throw one too!


I was able to get most of her party supplies through Amazon.  Thank goodness for two day shipping and Amazon pretty much always coming in clutch.  And of course, Pinterest always comes in handy too!


Like the idea to have "paint chips" and "paint brushes" was such a fun idea and the kids loved it!  The best part for me, is that it took little effort, which is always a plus when planning a kid's party.  The paint brushes were pre-made marshmallow treats that I dipped in colored chocolate and then stuck with a Popsicle stick.
 

What makes this Art Party themed birthday so easy was that you can use all the colors and not go wrong.  The more the better and mixing and matching different things was a piece of cake.  Get it? ;)  Plates, napkins, utentils...nothing has to match!


Here's a list of what we used to throw a pretty awesome (if I say so myself) party for my four year old and a few more favorite photos.


Stickers, Glue
You can also shop my Amazon Store here.

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3 Things You Should Know About MONSTER JAM

Saturday, February 15, 2020

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This post was written in partnership with Feld Entertainment & Monster Jam. We were provided with complimentary tickets for review.  As always, opinions are 100% honest and my own.


I've posted about Monster Jam before, but until this last weekend we hadn't attended.  It looked really cool, but I honestly didn't think my girls would be interested in Monster Trucks.  I was wrong and wish we had gone sooner!  They had a lot of fun and even picked out their favorite trucks, rooting them on when it was their turn to race and do tricks.

I did learn a few things at our first Monster Jam event and here's what I think you should know before attending.


1. Bring Ear Protection.

There's a reason I listed this first.  It's so important to bring some type of ear protection (noise cancelling headphones or even just ear plugs) for your little ones and even yourself.  It gets loud and depending on where you are sitting, it could be pretty overwhelming for a kid.


2.  Dress appropriately and be prepared for a long night.

Monster Jam is a rain or shine event and will not cancel even if it's crazy cold weather.  The arena can get a little chilly too, so make sure you bring a warm jacket and even a hat and gloves if you know you get cold easily. 

The event runs for two and half hours, so be ready to have some time where you need to bring out the snacks.  If I'm being completely honest, the show was a little long for my two girls BUT that didn't stop them from having fun.  Most stadiums allow you to bring in small snacks and water, so if you have something they love to give them some energy, then you'll be just fine...which is exactly what we did with my five and four year olds.


3. Buy tickets online AND get the Pit Party Pass!

Buying tickets online if possible is so much easier and a great way to avoid having to wait in line.  The lines get really long (trust me, I know from experience) and trying to wait with little ones who have very little patience is not fun.

The Monster Jam Pit Party Passes are amazing and worth it and allow to hang out up close and personal with massive trucks, meet your favorite drivers and crews, get autographs, take pictures and enjoy other family-friendly activities. If you're someone who absolutely loves trucks, then you are definitely not going to want to miss the opportunity to see them all before the show.

It’s an unforgettable part of the Monster Jam experience where special connections are made and lifelong fans are born. This. Is. Monster Jam. You can add the Pit Party Pass at the end of your ticket order. If you’ve purchased tickets already but didn’t purchase your Pit Party Passes yet, you can still purchase them online in advance.


Click here for upcoming events and to purchase tickets to a show near you!
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A Visit to the Georgia Aquarium

Monday, February 3, 2020

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Thank you to the Georgia Aquarium for hosting us! As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

 
This Christmas we decided we wanted to give our girls experiences instead of toys.  We even asked our family members to consider this when getting them a gift.  They still got a few fun things to play with and things for our road trip to Florida (which was one of their big gifts), but we kept it pretty simple.

My two oldest have been begging to go back to Florida since we moved almost two years ago and we were finally in a position where our twins were old enough to manage taking on that trip.  We knew we would need a place to stop along the way and Atlanta, being the half way point, was perfect.


We told the girls we had a surprise for them, but they didn't know what it was until we got to our hotel and could see the giant picture of a shark on the outside of the Georgia Aquarium!  They were so excited that we couldn't get them to go to bed!

It had been a really long time since I had visited the Georgia Aquarium and my husband had never been before, so we were all just a little excited to wake up the next morning and go.


If you have never visited the Georgia Aquarium, it should definitely be on your travel list.  It is incredible and you could seriously spend all day there.  I mean, you're going to want to plan your entire day there really.  From the Beluga Whales to the beautiful dolphins to the sharks and all types of fish, it had something for all of us.  Even my 15 month old twins loved looking at everything.

Each one of us had a different favorite animal and we got to see them all!  My oldest loves all of the colorful fish and the Tropical Diver was the place for us to be with thousands of tropical fish and coral reef.  It was magical!


Charlotte's favorite was the Ocean Voyager and going through the tunnel to feel like you were underwater with giant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays.  She absolutely loves sharks and this was really cool!  This was probably the best part for my husband too.

My favorite had to be the jelly fish and watching the dolphins!  Both were stunning and it was hard to look away.  It was so peaceful watching them flow in the water and the colors of the jellyfish were mesmerizing.



The Georgia Aquarium is year round, so there is always a good time for you to visit and you even have a time slot to choose when purchasing tickets to keep the flow and prevent overcrowding for the ultimate visit.  This would be fun if you are still looking for something to do over Spring Break too.  Your kids will love every animal they encounter and I'm sure there isn't a fish they love that isn't there...unless they're easily creeped out by the spider crabs and piranha like mine were ;)

The aquarium has much more to offer than just underwater friends.  They even offer behind the scenes tours, interactions and encounters with the animals, dive programs, a 4D theater and more! 

You can click here to learn more about the Georgia Aquarium and the efforts it taking to protect our Oceans and how you can help too.

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Frozen Fun Experience at Disney on Ice

Monday, January 27, 2020

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This post was written in partnership with Feld Entertainment & Disney on Ice. We were provided with complimentary tickets for review. As always, opinions are 100% honest and my own.


Like most little girls, my girls are still obsessed with Elsa and Anna from Frozen.  They still dress up several times a week pretending to be the Ice Queen and Princess after the get home from school.  Last week, they had the opportunity to hang out with them during the Frozen Fun Experience (pre-show) at Disney on Ice...and on a school night! ;)


My girls were over the moon with excitement before we even arrived and they had more fun than I could have even imagined.  We were greeted at the door by Kristin, an Arendale resident who knows Elsa and Anna and she played the part perfectly.  She was sweet and helpful and kept our girls entertained with coloring and snowflake making before Elsa and Anna made their appearance.  I can't forget the yummy Mickey shaped snacks that were waiting for us too!  We all gobbled them up!


After having some crafting fun, Anna and Elsa made their appearance and that's were the fun really started!  We had a mini scavenger hunt to look for all of Olaf's body parts and once found, all the kids got to go up and put him back together.  Emma and Charlotte found one of his arms and were so excited!



Then they got to have story time and sing along to Let it Go (along with learning some dance moves).  Emma loved that she got chosen to hold one of the story boards while Elsa and Anna told us all about them.  I'm pretty sure that made her night, along with a lot of other things.



We finished off our Frozen Fun Experience by getting to talk to our favorite Queen and Princess and take a professional photo with them.  Feld Entertainment did a great job organizing this event and we loved it.  The girls were given a keepsake photo and a VIP lanyard to take home.  It was great!


The Frozen Fun Experience is an add-on to the Disney on Ice Show and the perfect way to start you night out with your kiddos.  It's fun for the entire family.  To find Disney on Ice tickets in your area along with a special VIP add-on purchase, you can click here.

Be sure to follow Disney on Ice and my family to keep up on the latest giveaways and shows coming to the Indy area!
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