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  • Around Atlanta

    Kicking Off the Holiday Season With Santa’s Toy Factory

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     ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

    Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

     

    The North Point Mall has partnered with Mattel to introduce a new holiday adventure that will be memorable for the entire family. Santa’s Toy Factory will open on November 11 in the center court area of the shopping center.

    It seems like it was just yesterday that I was making my list for Christmas which included all the latest items from Mattel and Barbie® . Am I dating myself or do you guys remember when the Barbie® Fold N’ Fun House was released for the first time? Now I get to be in the receiving end of all these lists! North Point Mall is a great place to fulfill the items that I’m sure my girls will be asking for since it has all the stores that they love.

    Here’s a bit more about Santa’s Toy Factory:

    Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

    Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

    Santa’s Toy Factory is designed to empower creativity through an interactive, immersive experience to meet Santa. Within the 1,600 square-foot space, young guests will have the opportunity to “test” new toys in Santa’s Factory before they get delivered to all the boys and girls on Christmas morning. After they “test” the toys, they visit different stations to digitally design, build and paint toys from Mattel’s iconic brands including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, and Thomas & Friends.. The grand finale, of course, will be meeting Santa himself for photos and to share their holiday wish list.

    “We are proud to be partnering with Mattel to bring this new, one-of-a-kind holiday concept to life,” said Nick Nicolosi, general manager of North Point Mall. “We are always looking for ways to introduce new brands and experiences to our community and can’t wait to showcase Santa’s Toy Factory this holiday season. We know our guests will embrace it.”

    The experience with Santa’s Toy Factory is free-of-charge and photo packages begin at $39.99. To make reservations to ensure quicker access, please click HERE. If you’d like more information, please visit www.VisitSantasToyFactory.com. North Point Mall is located at 1000 North Point Circle and is home to a plethora of high-quality tenants including American Girl, Lego and the Disney Store.a.

    The holiday season is here! And what better way to kick it off than with Santa's Toy Factory visiting North Point Mall! Be sure to check it out!

    ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

    Check out these One-Day Special Events Too!

    You Can Be Anything Barbie

     ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.


    Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

    November 12, 2017
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Center Court

    Thomas and His Super Station


    Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

    November 25, 2017
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Center Court

    Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage

     ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.


    Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

    December 7, 2017
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Center Court

    Get Social with North Point Mall

    Twitter: @NorthPointMall

    Instagram: @northpointmall

    Facebook: @NorthPointMall

    Get Social with Mattel

    Twitter: @Mattel

    Instagram: @Mattel

    Facebook: @Mattel

    Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Bloggin’ Mamas & North Point Mall to share these free family events with my readers, and am being compensated for this partnership. All opinions expressed are my own.

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  • Around Atlanta Travel

    Explore Georgia: Sweetwater Creek State Park

    Most days I love living in Georgia. I love how you can escape the madness that is “Hotlanta” and find yourself in a totally different world but not completely out of touch with the six lanes of bumper to bumper traffic. One of the places I love most is Sweetwater Creek State Park.

    Ready? Set? Hike! You would never think that this beautiful state park is just outside the city of Atlanta. Visit Sweetwater Creek State Park today!

    Sweetwater Creek State Park

    This week we had a homeschool field trip to learn to fish. After fishing wrapped up, my friend Ashley from Mommy Week suggested taking a walk to the ruins. The trails all start at the Visitors Center, which also has a museum, so we checked that out first.

    Ready? Set? Hike! You would never think that this beautiful state park is just outside the city of Atlanta. Visit Sweetwater Creek State Park today!

    Visitors Center

    Although quaint in size, the museum was chock full of info. It had remnants from the Civil War, Native Americans, slavery, and more. There was a classroom that contained snakes found in the area and turtles to be seen up close and personal. One of my favorite things to see was the old loon used to make fabric. Ready? Set? Hike! You would never think that this beautiful state park is just outside the city of Atlanta. Visit Sweetwater Creek State Park today!

    The Red Trail

    The kids all equipped themselves with maps to guide us to the ruins that we wanted to check out. The trail is pretty easy to walk–I did it with BC strapped to me in my Tula carrier. Ready? Set? Hike! You would never think that this beautiful state park is just outside the city of Atlanta. Visit Sweetwater Creek State Park today!I loved how there weren’t swarms of flies ready to attack me and then baby. The scenery was beautiful as the trail is along the waterside with huge rocks sprinkled about. Ready? Set? Hike! You would never think that this beautiful state park is just outside the city of Atlanta. Visit Sweetwater Creek State Park today!

    The Ruins

    Omg they were beautiful!!! You couldn’t get to close (safety first) but just being able to see them up against the perfect backdrop of the sky and bubbling waters was breathtaking. The baby and I sat on the stairs and enjoyed the view while the kids walked around exploring. Ready? Set? Hike! You would never think that this beautiful state park is just outside the city of Atlanta. Visit Sweetwater Creek State Park today!Although I was suuuuper sore after finishing the walk I’m so happy I was able to make these memories with the kids.

    Do you go on mini adventures where you live?

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  • Around Atlanta

    Celebrating ABC in Centennial Park District

    My baby is three! It feels like it was just yesterday that my belly was filled with this baby girl that has completely rocked our worlds since being born but alas, it’s filled with another. On August 13th, she turned 3 and while I don’t believe in birthday parties every year, we were still able to celebrate her life with an Atlanta-style day in the Centennial Park District.

    ABC’s Birthday Itinerary

    We started the day out nice and early and we were scheduled to include 2 attractions and 2 restaurants in Centennial Park District in downtown Atlanta.
    10:00 am – Georgia Aquarium
    12:30 pm – Lunch
    2:00 pm – Private Tour of the Civil Rights Museum
    5:30 pm- Dinner @ Ted’s Montana Grill.

    Pregnancy life cut our day short since I really couldn’t walk after a delicious lunch and fun at the Aquarium.

    Georgia Aquarium

    When the Georgia Aquarium opened, I was one of the people that had pre-purchased an annual membership so to say that I love the Aquarium may be an understatement. But because it was abc’s birthday, we let her guide us around her favorite spots.

    The first stop was the Tropical Diver exhibit–also my favorite. The Tropical Diver is where you can see the luminescent jellyfish float around gracefully. They are so beautiful and everyone was hypnotized by their graceful movements. We got a chance to see Dori and Nemo too! I think this is the first time that we paid attention to the eels on our way out but the mesmerized abc as well.

    Next stop took us on an upstairs adventure to places I hadn’t been yet. We saw the Spongebob in 4-D feature which was really fun. It was the perfect length for antsy toddlers and kept them engaged with the bubbles blowing around. In truth, I don’t know who loved it more–me or the girls! I’ve never explored the upstairs before and I was really missing out!

    Upstairs brought us to the touch pool with the stingrays and other exhibits for the kids to explore that were more interactive. Both of the girls were able to enjoy themselves as I sat down for a much needed break before we left for lunch. We couldn’t leave without grabbing some souvenirs. Abc chose a mermaid–and I was sooooo glad they had brown mermaids–and Mini chose a choker necklace.

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    Kwan’s Deli

    After all that walking around the Aquarium, we were starving! There are so many restaurants within walking distance but we were invited to eat at Kwan’s Deli which is a traditional Korean restaurant that also has more traditional Deli sandwiches. There service was quick and food was rather delicious!

    Check out the quick video with the highlights of our day:

    Many thanks to the Centennial Park District for hosting our epic birthday trip! We loved being able to walk wherever we needed to making it so we didn’t have to waste time looking for parking.

    Have you been to the Centennial Park District yet?

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  • Around Atlanta Featured

    How To Survive An Amusement Park While Pregnant

    I’m 28 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child and when Six Flags invited me to come for a visit, I packed my kids up and we went on a trip to the amusement park. Yes, I know. It sounds like I was setting myself up for failure and possibly early labor but I really don’t want my kids to miss out on summer fun just because mommy has a belly full of baby. Plus, let’s be real: our days are way easier when we get out the house. But going to an amusement park while pregnant can seriously lack the “amusing” part if you aren’t properly prepared!

    5 Tips on Surviving an Amusement Park While Pregnant

    1. Wear comfortable clothes

    Now depending on your body type this will differ. My Facebook friends thought it best for me to wear a flowy dress but the way that my thighs are set up? This would be an epic fail. Like my thighs fight for a spot when they walk so between the chaffing and sweat misery would be a guarantee. So yes, I opted for some pants, Chucks, and a flowy top.

    2. Pack your own refreshments

    I’m a firm believer in doing this anyway because those prices are outrageous. How does a 1liter bottle of water cost $4.50!?!? Are these magical unicorn tears that promise hydration for forever? I digress… Make sure that you have some nice, cold water and snacks for you–and the children since they’re going to all of sudden become starving as soon as you whip out your snacks.

    3. Make sure your bag is comfortable

    There is nothing worse than having to fidget with bags and such as you’re trying to map out where you can go. Don’t want to sacrifice style for comfort? My favorite bags are JuJuBe and Lily Jade which offer incredible style and comfort.

    4. Tylenol

    Yep. I know. I hate taking pain relievers–especially when I’m pregnant. But realistically, I need this! I hate telling my kids “No” simply because I’m in pain.

    5. Proper belly support

    I got one of those nifty pregnancy belts to hold BC up in hopes of being able to resume normal activities but I was horribly mistaken. What I learned instead was the best thing for me was KT Tape. Yep, the same stuff that all those super fit people use on their knees, elbows, backs and such. I tape this belly right up and am able to function in life–this includes putting on my panties without falling.

    At 28 weeks pregnant I took my kids to an amusement park. Crazy, right? I know... But we survived and had a great time with these 5 tips.

    #JusticeLeague Battle For Metropolis At #SixFlags

    At 28 weeks pregnant I took my kids to an amusement park. Crazy, right? I know... But we survived and had a great time with these 5 tips.

    Last week we had the opportunity to check out the new 4-D ride at Six Flags Over Georgia and according to Mini it was “so cool and really amazing!” I didn’t go on the ride courtesy of the baby that’s baking in my belly but check out this awesome video that has me super excited to go back at the end of summer!

    We love going to Six Flags. Even though I can’t do rides now, I love how there are rides that are available for my kids to go on where I don’t have to ride with them–yes, even little miss Abc!

    At 28 weeks pregnant I took my kids to an amusement park. Crazy, right? I know... But we survived and had a great time with these 5 tips. At 28 weeks pregnant I took my kids to an amusement park. Crazy, right? I know... But we survived and had a great time with these 5 tips.

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  • Around Atlanta

    Serving Up Quality Meat With Schweid & Sons

    When you think of the best burger that you’ve ever had (outside of your mom’s at your family BBQ), what comes to mind? In fact, what makes the burger so good for you? When I think of a good burger, it’s the quality of meat that always makes it. I can always tell when the meat isn’t the freshest or made with quality beef/turkey/chicken. But lately I’ve been wanting beef burgers so when the people from Schweid & Sons wanted me to taste their meat giggle I couldn’t turn it down.

    Schweid & Sons is now serving the South Eastern Region and after tasting the quality of their burgers, my girls and I couldn't be happier!

    Schweid & Sons Grand Opening

    When the girls and I arrived at the location I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew there was going to be food involved and that naturally peaked my pregnancy mind. Plus, Mini and Abc are the presidents and VP of Team Eat Kids so I knew that if we were tasting something, they would be great additions here. Schweid & Sons is NOT a restaurant and that’s important to note. I wouldn’t want you all to see these pictures of these delicious burgers and want to make your way over there expecting to be served up. What they are is a fourth generation, family-owned ground beef purveyer and they supply their delicious meats to some of our favorite restaurants.

    Schweid & Sons is now serving the South Eastern Region and after tasting the quality of their burgers, my girls and I couldn't be happier!

    This was a grand opening because they are now in the South Eastern region after only being in NJ–big props to them!!! Not only is this big for them, it’s also opened up almost 100 jobs here in Atlanta which is great for our economy here.

    Schweid & Sons is now serving the South Eastern Region and after tasting the quality of their burgers, my girls and I couldn't be happier!

    But How Was The Meat?

    I know, this is the important thing, right?

    Schweid & Sons is now serving the South Eastern Region and after tasting the quality of their burgers, my girls and I couldn't be happier!

    Well, I will say that Mini ate at least 3 burgers on her own and Abc held her own with her. Mini kept exclaiming how good the burgers were and once I finally took a bite of one, I could do nothing but agree with her. The meat was fresh and handled with love and that came through in every bite. Due to pregnancy, my burgers were cooked to where there was no pink left and that didn’t kill the integrity of the meat. Each bite was juicy and full of flavor.

    But all the burgers weren’t made with meat! The cake was a burger too!

    Many thanks to Schweid & Sons for inviting my daughters and I out to help welcome them to Atlanta!

     

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  • Around Atlanta Motherhood

    The Mommy + Me Time That Matters

    Mom, ma, mama, mommy. We know who and what we are. We are the makers of memories and homes. Join me as I share my fondest memories w/pictures of my family.

    With Mother’s Day around the corner I’m feeling nostalgic–especially since I just got the photos in that my friend Richard from This Original Life took during our “Mommy & Me” photo shoot.

    Mom, ma, mama, mommy. We know who and what we are. We are the makers of memories and homes. Join me as I share my fondest memories w/pictures of my family.

    I’ve always said that if my girls can look back on their childhoods the way I look back on mine, then I was successful as a mom. Thinking back to my childhood, there are so.many.fond memories. I can probably fill a book with the times that we laughed, cried, loved and hated each other–yes, hated (my girls get their drama honest).

    Mom, ma, mama, mommy. We know who and what we are. We are the makers of memories and homes. Join me as I share my fondest memories w/pictures of my family.

    But not one of those times is a staged photo shoot but I wish I had photos of those times so I could show my littles how things looked, how I smiled, the gleam in my eyes–everything that Richard captured during the morning he spent with my family.

    Mom, ma, mama, mommy. We know who and what we are. We are the makers of memories and homes. Join me as I share my fondest memories w/pictures of my family.

    My favorite times were when my mom would wake my brother and I up, toss us in the car and we would venture on what seemed like an unplanned road trip. As a little girl, it was so much fun to just hop in the car and go! I thought my mom was truly the coolest. Now as an adult, I know there was so much planning she did behind the scenes. What I would give to see pictures of my mom sneaking around the house and our rooms (which were ALWAYS messy) to pack us up for our impending trip.

    Mom, ma, mama, mommy. We know who and what we are. We are the makers of memories and homes. Join me as I share my fondest memories w/pictures of my family.

    We would go to places like Hershey Park, Busch Gardens, or just to visit her family that we rarely saw so it was always a special occasion to see them. I remember when it was my turn to play navigator (I was horrible at it) but I loved the chance to get my mom’s attention all to myself. We would talk about everything–swimming, school, the future. We would laugh and joke or we would just stare out into the road that was waiting for us.

    Mom, ma, mama, mommy. We know who and what we are. We are the makers of memories and homes. Join me as I share my fondest memories w/pictures of my family.

    Another of my favorite memories were all the times that she took to make sure I understood the importance of good skin care. While the saying of “black don’t crack” is popular now, it wasn’t always! The lessons in Clinique care stick with me now as I still have a beauty regimen in place that was started as a child with my mom. Masks, toners, face wash, creams… I knew how to use them, when, and how often at a young age.

    Mom, ma, mama, mommy. We know who and what we are. We are the makers of memories and homes. Join me as I share my fondest memories w/pictures of my family.

    One of my least favorite times were my years of puberty. We would argue so much. There was lots of talking back, swift pops to the mouth and anger. I hated myself but I didn’t know why. I didn’t look like my svelte blond hair, blue-eyed counterparts and I hated it. But my mom loved me through it. She forced me to see the beauty that society denied me. She taught me that though my curves and body were beautiful, not everyone needed to see all of it. She taught me that it doesn’t matter what others think of me just so long as I thought of myself as being great nothing else mattered.

    Mom, ma, mama, mommy. We know who and what we are. We are the makers of memories and homes. Join me as I share my fondest memories w/pictures of my family.

    These are the times I wish I could photograph. These are the lessons I wish I could keep in a physical sense so I can wrap them up and pass them down to my daughter.

    Mom, ma, mama, mommy. We know who and what we are. We are the makers of memories and homes. Join me as I share my fondest memories w/pictures of my family.

    The very daughter that she held as soon as my body pushed her out. The very granddaughter that she fell in love with the instant she saw my belly pop out showing I was holding her life. The very granddaughter that the swooped in to save me so that I could be the best mom I could to her.

    Mom, ma, mama, mommy. We know who and what we are. We are the makers of memories and homes. Join me as I share my fondest memories w/pictures of my family.

    And now I’m building my own memories with my daughters. Neither one of them will look back on the day we had our staged photos done. It was stressful as we all tried to smile just right through makeup and semi-done hair. But you know what they’ll remember? They’ll remember the day that “that man came and took our pictures”. Mini has already referenced the morning that she helped me make her “favorite” french toast. These are the times that matter. These are the moments worth remembering. And I’m so happy that I have these pictures to illustrate the narration that I have in my head.

    Mom, ma, mama, mommy. We know who and what we are. We are the makers of memories and homes. Join me as I share my fondest memories w/pictures of my family.

    Check out this deal that my friend is offering!

    Check out some more of the photos from our Mommy + Me Morning Photo Shoot!

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