Toddler’s Go & Grow by Similac

Go and Grow with Similac

Disclaimer: This post was developed in partnership with Similac. All opinions are my own.

Parenting can be a tough job especially when you have picky eaters.  If the truth is told, I am a picky eater too so it is no wonder that my son is the same.  Now that he is a toddler, and we are working on introducing him to different types of foods.  Although that may be a worthy parenting move on our part, it can be a difficult process.  We frequently watch the wave of disgust overtake his sweet little face when he bites into something that he finds unpleasant.   Since we are in the middle of this interesting stage of toddlerhood, I am researching products to figure out what would be the best thing to give him.  I do not want him missing out on the vitamins and nutrients that his little body needs for development.  He is already a small child and still wears some 12-month-old clothes.

Being that we are experienced parents with older children, I know there was one brand that I could definitely trust, Similac.  Similac has been around for a long time and is a widely trusted company.  If I am looking to give him the best nutrition like I did my other children,  I have to buy the best.  That is where the Go & Grow by Similac products come in.  These products are specifically designed for the toddler, and they have over 25 essential vitamins and minerals to support growth and development.

Go and Grow Similac powdered Milk

One of the first Go & Grow by Similac products we tried was the Toddler Drink.   As I had mentioned earlier, our son is small and still wearing clothes from when he was younger.  Now that we are not on formula, I need a milk that will help him grow and gain weight.    As a family that is on the go all the time, we chose to try out the pouches.  Each box contains 16 pouches which will make eight 8 oz drinks.   We simply combined two single serve packets with eight ounces of water in a sippy cup.

You might be wondering if he liked it?  YES!  He loved it, and he likes to give me pouches whenever he wants a drink.  I even took a little taste and found that is tastes like a vanilla milkshake.

What I love even more about these pouches is that I can take them with me.  Anytime he needs some milk, I am ready thanks to these convenient and easy to use pouches.

Go & Grow by Similac Toddler Drink

  • Each 8-fl-oz serving has over 25 vitamins and minerals
  • Each serving has at least 30% Daily Value* of iron, calcium, and vitamins C & E
  • Has OptiGRO™—A unique brain- and eye-nourishing blend of DHA, Lutein, and Vitamin E
  • Unflavored, NON-GMO† Sensitive NON-GMO†, and Vanilla available in cans. Unflavored, Non GMO and vanilla also available in stick packs.
  • Is Gluten-free

Similac Go and Grow Fruit and Veggie Pouches

 

Similac Go and Grow Fruit and Veggie Pouches

In February 2017, the CDC reported that 9 out of 10 children between the ages of 2 and 18 do not eat enough vegetables.  I am certainly not surprised by this, and if you have been in the grocery store you will see the effects of that in the foods we buy and purchase.  So many items are now being made with vegetables in an attempt to help people get those in daily.  That’s why my husband and I made a vow to introduce our children to both fruits and vegetables at an early age.  We did not want to lose any time getting them exposed to foods that we felt would be good for them.  Similac gets this!  That is why the leader in infant nutrition introduced the Go & Grow by Similac Pouches with OptiGRO.   Each pouch has 3-4 servings of combined organic fruits and veggies and OptiGRO nutrients to help meet daily recommended fruit and vegetables.

With a variety of flavors available, these pouches are available for both babies and toddlers.  Go & Grow by Similac Pouches are Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO, contain no fillers, artificial flavors or colors and are gluten free.   As a momma, I am one happy lady with this news!  It is a product that I can feel good about giving my pride and joy!  Does he like them?  Seriously, do you even have to ask?  Of course, he does!  His favorite is the Pear, Blueberry,  and Spinach one.   It is the perfect combination of flavors that gives him the right amount of flavor.  To be honest, the entire family loves the pouches incusing our 18 year old!

 

Go & Grow by Similac Fruit & Vegetable Pouches

  • DHA- like that found in fish, for toddler’s developing brain
  • Lutein- like that found in spinach, for eye health
  • Vitamin E- like that found in broccoli, for growth and development
  • Toddlers transitioning to table food can be unpredictable eaters. Go & Grow by Similac Pouches with OptiGRO are a convenient way to help them squeeze more fruits & veggies into their day!
  • Proper nutrition is the foundation for a healthy life for toddlers, and ideally, every toddler would happily gobble up nutrient-rich foods like broccoli and sweet potatoes. But in reality, it can take a while for certain foods to appeal to kids.
  • Abbott created new Go & Grow by Similac Pouches to help babies and toddlers squeeze more fruits and vegetables into their day. Each pouch has 3-4 servings of combined fruits and veggies, at least 1/3 the daily recommended servings for your toddler.
  • Similac products are based on the latest science and innovation, and Go & Grow pouches are no different. Each pouch has OptiGRO, our blend of 32mg of DHA, lutein and vitamin E that supports brain, eye and overall growth and development.
  • Go & Grow by Similac Pouches are Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO, contain no fillers, artificial flavors or colors and are gluten free.

 

Baby Flavors:

  • Pumpkin, Banana, Carrot Puree
  • Sweet Potato, Apple, Carrot Puree
  • Pear, Blueberry, Spinach Puree
  • Mango, Pear, Spinach Puree

Toddler Flavors:

  • Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Banana, Carrot, Spinach, Broccoli Puree
  • Mango, Sweet Potato, Pear Puree
  • Mango, Apple, Butternut Squash, Spinach Puree
  • Apple, Butternut Squash, Banana, Blueberry Puree

Go & Grow by Similac

 

 

Go & Grow by Similac can be found at your local Walmart.  For more information, please visit http://wm6.walmart.com/Go-Grow-Similac?adid=trm-ABB_G3114-Soc-blog-GoGrowPureYa

Earn money back with Ibotta with the purchase of any size of Go & Grow by Similac® Mix-Ins™

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge to get those vegetables and fruits in your toddler’s diet, how about taking some time to enjoy the moments you have created and shared with your bundle of joy.  Right now you can enter to win a custom photo book from Walmart and She Speaks Up.  You can find out all the details here.  Enter by July 25.

 

Go and Grow Similac

 

 

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine

Casa de Suenos: Charming Bed & Breakfast in the Heart of St. Augustine

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine

Tucked away in the heart of the ancient city is a charming Spanish designed bed and breakfast known as Casa de Suenos or “House of Dreams.” My husband and I were recently given the opportunity to stay the night in this beautiful, well over a century old, bed and breakfast. Rich in history, which you can read here, this bed and breakfast provides guests with the much-needed escape from the craziness and busyness of life. It is the perfect atmosphere for a romantic getaway, and a place where you can relax, unwind and unplug from the world we know and get to know one another again.

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine

Upon entering through the front doors, you immediately step into the tastefully decorated foyer and sitting area. With gorgeous hardwood floors and an inviting theme, this is the perfect place to sit for a spell and read a book. All the comforts of home ready for you… should you need them. They even offer guests books that are free to enjoy during a stay and believe me, there are plenty of places where you can escape into a good book for hours.

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine

 

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine

 

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast features seven bedrooms with private baths.  We had the pleasure of staying in the Cordova Room that has its own private balcony overlooking the street it is named for.  It was a room that quietly whispered to us as we entered through the doors…”Relax and stay for a spell.”  The overall room ambiance was felt from the minute we entered through the door. The room itself was quite spacious, and our wrought iron queen bed was heavenly.

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine

 

The bathroom was separated into two rooms which, honestly, was a pleasant surprise.  Both of these are accessible in your private room.  We fell in love with the French door garden tub area. The jetted garden tub was big enough for two people and opened up to the balcony through another set of lovely French doors. 

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine


We enjoyed having a private balcony that overlooked Cordova Street.  Even though this bed and breakfast are located in the heart of the historical ancient city of St. Augustine, it is in a perfect location that still gives you that secluded feeling.   You will not be interrupted or left feeling as if the touristy city interferes with your escape.  

 

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine

 

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine

 

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine

 

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine


What are bed and breakfasts known for? Breakfast! The Casa de Suenos breakfasts are tasty and satisfying. Each day features a different menu, and there is always more than enough food to enjoy. For the two days we were there,  we enjoyed fresh fruits, fluffy scrambled eggs,  gooey warm cinnamon rolls and mouth-watering blueberry French toast. We seriously had more than enough delicious food each morning to start off our day in the ancient city. There is  also a variety of coffees and juices available for guests to choose from as well.

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine

 

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine

 

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast St. Augustine
Not only do they provide a delightful breakfast each morning, but they provide food and drinks throughout the day for their guests.   Imagine having access all day to refreshing soft drinks and coffee. The refrigerator for guests is stocked with a variety of well-known and great tasting beverages.  Social hour was one of our favorite times at the inn. We enjoyed having a special time set aside to get together with those staying with us. It was also a time to connect with the innkeepers and get to know them too.  They took an interest in guests staying at the inn and truly wanted to make sure that our needs were met. The innkeeper even provided a book for me to read about ghosts in St. Augustine. The food that they prepared during our social hour was delicious, and the presentation of the food and beverages were pleasing to the eye.  One evening the drinks were presented in a wooden boat.  How clever!  
Each evening at the Casa de Suenos guests are treated to a signature dessert which is delivered to your room.  During our stay, we enjoyed Scottish Oatmeal Bars and Cookies and Creme Cheesecake.

Casa d
The innkeepers were knowledgeable and personable, but also gave their guests the right amount of interaction. I noticed that one of the innkeepers took the time to call a boating attraction for another couple to find out if the tour would be canceled due to the weather.   She was extremely friendly and honestly took delight in helping guests staying at the inn. It was like being at a friend’s house that truly wants you to enjoy yourself so they give you the space you need.

Casa de Suenos bed & Breakfast St. Augustine

What makes this bed and breakfast stand apart from the rest are the amenities that it offered to guests.  Casa de Suenos provides nearly EVERYTHING you would want or need to make your getaway memorable.  I do not know about you but there have been times that we have gone away and our lodging has been nothing more than our sleeping quarters.  We had to get in our cars and drive everywhere and pay for food and beverages.  Not only does Casa de Suenos offer delectable food and refreshing drinks, but also they provide the amenities and services needed for enjoyment and comfort.

St. Augustine Beach

Want to go to the beach? Of course, you do!  You are in Florida!  When people are looking for lodging arrangements in a beach area, most of them desire to find a place directly on the beach so you can relax and not have to worry about parking.  What is unique about Casa de Suenos is that it also has a place on the beach that is accessible to ALL their guests.  The Beach Cottage supplies everything you need to enjoy a day on the beach from the chairs, towels, beach toys, and bottled water to the showers and bathrooms.  All you would need to bring is some food and extra drinks, and I am sure the innkeepers would help arrange all that for you.  Located in a secluded area that has little traffic, you can enjoy the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean and maybe even catch a glimpse of a sea turtle.  When we went we actually saw a sea turtle nest bed!

Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast

The Casa de Suenos sits in a location that allows for easy access to nearly every tourist attraction you could want to visit.  When I say easy access I do not mean get in your car and fight traffic for a few minutes either.  You can literally put on your walking shoes and set out from their front door.  So much of want you would want to see and do in the ancient city of St. Augustine is truly within walking distance of Casa de Suenos.    Not in the mood to walk or fight traffic?  The Inn provides bicycles for guests to enjoy a day bicycling through the town.  Even if it is raining, they have got you covered with umbrellas and ponchos.  This B&B REALLY thinks of everything! Parking is easy.  They have their own private lot and a few extra places right across the street.  

Casa de Suenos Bed 7 Breakfast St. Augustine
Want to go for a dip in the pool?  Just ride your bike down the street to their sister inn, The St. Francis Inn, to enjoy a swim.  Nestled in a private hideaway, is the perfect place to escape the heat.  The temperature of the pool will be just right year round as it is set to around 80 degrees. 

St Augustine Lighthouse

Do you love lighthouses?   Guests of the Casa de Suenos Bed and Breakfast are given complimentary tickets to see this beauty in person.  Are you ready to climb the 219 steps to the top? Towering 165 feet above sea level, St. Augustine’s Lighthouse was built in 1864. You are going to love the view! 

 

Casa du Suenos Bed & Breakfast is a destination that you need to experience. The charm is also due to their fabulous innkeepers, making it a place you will want to visit over and over.  It is truly like visiting family.   They are genuine and make you feel at home.  Like a family would, they want to make sure that they provide you with the absolute BEST. That includes helping to direct you to the BEST places to eat locally or telling you the BEST places to explore in the area.  They want to make this a memorable visit for you!  So if you are looking to plan an unforgettable anniversary for your significant other or just want to get away for the weekend, head to the B&B that promises personal service and pampering.   I know my husband and I plan to get back there soon to experience the charm that we now know and to reminiscence with what feels like old friends.

Disclaimer:  We were provided with two nights at this bed and breakfast to facilitate a review.  All opinions presented are 100% mine and were not influenced by Casa de Suenos.

 

HOOT for Kids- A Fun Subscription Box for Kids

7f781be05b4d440982c5a14d297e3e45_600Subscription boxes are becoming increasingly popular these days, and you can find nearly any kind of subscription box you can think of.  From children themed boxes to adult themed, subscription boxes provide consumers with a fun filled experience.

You might be asking yourself…What is a subscription box?  Subscription Boxes are boxes that contain a variety of products all centered around a certain theme like beauty, pets, food, science, etc…  The cool thing about subscription boxes is that they allow you to try out different products that you may not have even heard of before or sample ones that you love.  Imagine having the freedom to customize a box just for your child.

Do you recall what it was like when you were younger and playing with toys?  I have fond memories of hours and hours of creative and imaginative play with my toys.   Now that we are the proud parents of several children, we want to provide our children with the best tools available for getting ready for school and today’s world.   Thankfully there are plenty of options out there to assist us, but what about toys that just let them be kids.  I want them to find the joy that comes with being imaginative with toys that foster that rather than being sucked into technology and flashing lights.

Hoot for kids

Born out of the belief that toys foster growth and developed by a team of pediatric occupational therapists, HOOT for Kids (which stands for Hands on Occupational Therapy) curates a customized Treasure Box filled with toys hand-picked based on your child’s age and developmental learning needs.  So we decided to check them out for ourselves, and we ordered a box for our 18-month-old.

Hoot for kids

As you can see we were provided with three items in our HOOT box.

Choo Choo Colors Lift-A-Flap hard back book

Brio Push Along Race Car 

Hape First Pounder (Hammer & Peg set)

Hoot for kids

Every one of the items in our box was specifically chosen for our 18-month-old, and each item was developmentally appropriate.  The book was perfect for his little hands to lift up the flaps and begin to learn his colors.  The race car provided hours of entertainment as he pushed it through the entire house.  His favorite toy was the Hape First Pounder.  Trying to be like his father and fix things, this provided hours of engagement.  Overall, we were extremely pleased with the contents of our box.  It was easy to see the attention that was given to our child with the toys selected.

If you are looking for ways to engage your child at home with toys that are truly developmentally appropriate and will allow for that imaginative and creative play, we strongly suggest that you check what  HOOT for Kids has to offer.  This subscription box service promotes purpose driven play with toys and activities that will strengthen developmental skills and help your child reach milestones. Pick the plan that best suits you, and leave the rest to them.  They will select quality toys that challenge and engage your child.  They will even suggest activities and tips to help your child maximize their potential by targeting areas such as fine motor, gross motor, sensory, strength, oral motor, and visual perceptual.

Disclaimer:  We were provided a box to facilitate a review.  All opinions presented are 100% mine.

 

 

Panama City Beach 4th of July

Panama City Beach to Host a Real.Fun.Fourth

Panama City Beach 4th of July

With summer in full swing across the Gulf Coast of Florida, Panama City Beach is setting the stage for a Fourth of July extravaganza. With its award winning beaches, emerald water and All-American atmosphere, Panama City Beach is the perfect destination for visitors of all ages to celebrate America’s independence.

“The Fourth is a great time to visit Panama City Beach, and this year with the holiday falling on a Tuesday, we hope visitors can stay for the week,” says Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO Dan Rowe. “I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the holiday than with beachside fireworks, friends and family.”

Home to the largest display of fireworks on the Gulf Coast, Panama City Beach offers spectacular views for visitors to experience from a variety of different locations from resorts to waterfront restaurants. Below is a listing of special parades, contests and activities sure to keep visitors entertained from morning to fireworks:

Light up the Bay Fireworks & Events: July 1-4

Visitors can head to the newly-renovated Sheraton Bay Point Resort for a day of fun activities ranging from an aerialist show to a ukulele orchestra performance. Guests can compete in sandcastle competitions, dive in for a movie by the pool or play a round of golf. To top it all off, a fireworks show will take place on Sunday, July 2 with stunning views from Sheraton’s Bay’s private beach. For more information, visit www.sheratonbaypoint.com.

Beach Bash & Light Up the Gulf Fireworks Show: July 3

The 11th Annual Beach Bash at Boardwalk Beach Resort is a Fourth of July favorite for guests of all ages. Throughout the holiday weekend, families can soak in sunshine, savor delicious seafood and jam to live music before experiencing “Light Up the Gulf”, Panama City Beach’s largest private fireworks show. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.boardwalkbeachresort.com.

Freedom Rocks! Fireworks: July 3

Guests can head to the Grand Lagoon for a beautiful day of shopping, live music and dining at Freedom Rocks! participating waterfront restaurants. Firework lovers shouldn’t miss the display above the Grand Lagoon Bridge, best enjoyed with chairs and blankets on the grassy lawn at Treasure Island Marina. Fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. A choreographed music simulcast will be available on the Kick’n 103.5 app and online at www.kickin1035.com. For more information, visit www.grandlagoon.com.

Star Spangled Spectacular: July 4

It doesn’t get better than the beach for a view of the fireworks, with Pier Park claiming fame to the largest fireworks display on the Gulf Coast. Guests should bring their beach chairs for the 9 p.m. show- which will feature dueling fireworks from the City (Russell-Fields) and County (M.B. Miller) Piers. The synchronized simulcast will also be available on the Kick’n 103.5 app. For more information, visit www.visitpanamacitybeach.com/event/star-spangled-spectacular.

About Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is situated on 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordering clear, emerald-green waters where the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay converge. With 320 days of sunshine annually and attractions such as St. Andrews State Park and Pier Park, the region has long been favored by travelers seeking an affordable beach vacation with year-round offerings for families, couples, groups and adventure-seekers. These include championship golf courses, spas, sporting events, award-winning dining and diverse recreational activities. In addition, Panama City Beach’s Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport offers non-stop flights on Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. For more information, call 850-233-5070 or visit the official website of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.visitpanamacitybeach.com. Live HD video of the world-famous beach is now available at www.visitpanamacitybeach.com/webcam/. Stay connected with Panama City Beach on Twitter and Instagram (@Visit_PCB), as well as Facebook (@VisitPanamaCityBeach).

Family and Budget Friendly Resort in Disney

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs

Disclaimer:  We were given a media rate to facilitate this review.  All opinions presented are 100% mine and were not influenced by the Wyndham in any way.

The most magical place on earth!  I am sure you have heard this before, and you probably already know exactly where this is.  Disney!  Who doesn’t love Disney and all the magic that lives there?  I know there are some that can do without, but for many people this is the place to go to make dreams happen!  Although Disney is where the magic is at, it can be a costly vacation for many families.  Finding that perfect place to stay that is family and budget friendly can be a challenge.  As parents or grandparents, we want to give our children and grandchildren the experience of a lifetime without breaking the bank.   With many lodging places to choose from Disney, we have found one of the best one to be at.  It is family and budget friendly, which means you will have plenty of money left over to create memories that will last a lifetime in the Disney parks.

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Towers

Wyndham, known for being a hotel chain that people can trust and offers an excellent experience, has a great location that is actually one of Disney’s official resort hotels.  What does that mean exactly?  I can assure you it is not just a label given to them.  It means that guests can be assured the level of quality accommodations and professional service that Disney is well-known for giving at their resorts and parks.

Located on the Walt Disney resort property, the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort  offers two distinct lodging option.  The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Towers feature 232 newly renovated and upscale guest rooms that showcase some amazing views of the surrounding theme parks and Disney Springs (formerly known as Downtown Disney).  The Towers feature a lake house theme that can be seen from the moment you enter through the front doors to the details found in the guest rooms.

The Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista has 394 guests rooms and provides a more affordable guest accommodations on a resort-style campus.

Wyndham Graden Lake Buena Vista

Not only does the Wyndham offer spacious and comfortably furnished rooms in two price ranges, the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista  has several shared amenities that families are going to enjoy and appreciate.  If you are looking for an upscale and yet affordable lodging destination, you HAVE to go to Wyndham Lake Buena Vista .  It is the perfect place for both couples and families because it offers you the best of both worlds.

Here are our top reasons for making this your go to lodging destination in Disney.

Disney Springs

Location, Location, Location

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista  is located right next door to Disney Springs.  It is honestly a 5 minute walk from the lobby door to the entrance of Disney Springs.  Being in close proximity to the area’s prestigious outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex is HUGE!   This complex is like a theme park all in itself.  It is a place that you are going to want to visit and spend time in.

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista

 

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Tower room

 

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Tower

 

 

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort

Hotel and Rooms

Impeccably designed-we were impressed the moment we entered the lobby doors of the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista .  Not only will you will immediately notice the upscale décor and lake house theme, but also quickly delight in the Disney ambiance that fills this place.  After all, you are in the world’s most magical place on earth!   With a stunning lobby filled with modern furnishings,  you will want to just sit here and relax with a cup of Joffrey’s coffee from the 24 hour Sundial Cafe or your favorite drink from the Eclipse Lounge.  Complimentary water and lemonade are also available in the lobby at different times throughout the day.

The hotel is geared towards both families and couples, and you will appreciate how Wyndham Lake Buena Vista  has added in the extra details to make this feel like an escape from your busy life.  With two lodging options, this resort provides clean and comfortable rooms.  We were given a room with two double beds.  It was spacious and well furnished.  The modern furnishings and views of Disney Springs make for a room you will be comfortable in.   After all, with a desk and adjustable chair,  blackout curtains,  flat screen HDTV with cable, in-room coffee maker, and Blue Harmony toiletries, you won’t have to wander far from your room if you are looking to relax.  The plush robes are an added bonus for lounging around like a celebrity.  One thing you are not going to want to miss is the view of Disney Springs and beyond at dark.  We enjoyed watching the fireworks from several Disney area theme parks.

All guests receive complimentary WiFi, and a business center provides guests with complimentary computer and printer services.

The Oasis Aquatic Pool area is truly an oasis at this Wyndham resort.  Take a break from the heat and parks and enjoy the day or a few hours at the pool.  It is perfect for both children and adults.

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort

 Dining

There are plenty of dining options at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista  that are sure to tickle your taste-buds in some fashion.

The Lakeview Restaurant is the resort’s in-house dining establishment.  It offers a delicious buffet style breakfast everyday of the week.  Offering Official Disney Character Breakfasts, Pluto and Goofy will entertain guests every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning from 7:30 to 10:30.

 

Character Breakfast at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista resort

The Eclipse Lounge & Bar, located in the lobby, is a great place for adults to enjoy a cocktail or two after a fun-filled day at Disney. The Eclipse offers a bar menu and a big screen television where you can catch the game.

Sundial Cafe is open 24 hours and offers a delicious assortment on items that you can take on the go.  It is the perfect place to get your morning dose of Joffrey’s coffee and some pastries.  We were simply in awe of the size of the donuts this place makes.  They were the HUGE – like the size of a dessert plate!

 

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista

Domino’s Kiosk is the lobby is great for those nights when you just want pizza.  We ordered from this two nights while we were there, and it was truly an ease.

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista

The Wyndham also offers a bar and grill at the pool and in room dining options.  Whatever you are in the mood to eat, you are going to find that they can accommodate most of what you want.

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Shuttles to Disney parks

Disney Shuttles and Theme Park Tickets

The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista has a shuttle that transports to all 4 Disney parks, and this is included in the daily resort fee.  They begin running an hour before the parks open to 2 hours after the parks close.  They even provide transportation to Disney Springs from 6 pm to 2 am.  Want to visit Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach or perhaps go shopping at the Lake Buena Vista Factory Outlet Stores?  Just stop by the guest services to arrange for transportation.

Need tickets to the parks?  Stop in at the Disney store located in the lobby to purchase tickets to the Disney area theme parks.

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Park Tickets

The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Official Disney World Resort Hotel  provides luxury and a hospitality that just can’t be missed.  If you are looking to give your family the magical experience of Disney, this Wyndham location is a great place to go.  I am looking forward to heading back here again to take my family so that we, too, can be a p[art of the magic that only Disney can provide!

For more information or reservations,  visit The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista’s website.

 

 

Augusta, Ga – A Hidden Jewel in Georgia Waiting to be Discovered by YOU this Summer!

Augusta, Georgia

Reduce your carbon footprint by skipping the plane ticket abroad in exchange for a backyard adventure in Augusta, Ga., a city steeped in tradition with a fresh new vibe.  Augusta’s River Region is a bustling hub for outdoor enthusiasts who prefer the riverside to the mountainsides with various outdoor activities for visitors to dive into. Whether you are looking to cruise down the Savannah River by boat, kayak or paddleboard or navigate miles of trails by bike or foot, this summer Augusta is showing visitors that the grass is just as green outside the golf courses.

Augusta Riverwalk

Augusta Riverwalk

Augusta Canal

Augusta Canal

Augusta Riverwalk

Augusta Riverwalk

The Augusta Canal National Heritage Area is an outdoor enthusiast’s mecca, with several activities centralized on and around the Savannah River. During the day, visitors can rent kayaks and paddleboards at the Savannah Rapids Park or embark on a tour with Cole Watkin Tours and rentals. Another local favorite, Betty’s Branch, is a tributary to the Savannah River with a particularly challenging route around Germany Island, which is abundant in wildlife. While a challenge, this 3.5-hour journey offers perks outside its cardio-burning but also passes a small sandbar that is perfect for a mid-voyage picnic. Shake off river-legs by exploring the conveniently accessible nature trails that surround the heritage area by foot or bike. Additionally, guests can unwind on a Petersburg boat tour and lazily cruise through time on these gentle river giants. Additionally, visitors are encouraged to stroll along Augusta’s Riverwalk and absorb the views of stunning greenery, historical monuments and architectural masterpieces that line the river.

Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art

Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art

Phinizy Swamp is an ecological gem for those who want to experience nature and catch glimpses of wildlife such as blue herons, otters and alligators in their natural setting. Additionally, in the charming mystique of the swamp, over 14 miles of trails can be traversed in solace. The park also offers monthly activities such as yoga gatherings, art programs and organized group hikes.

Phinizy Park Walkway

Phinizy Park Walkway

 

Phinizy Nature Park

Phinizy Nature Park

For bicycle enthusiasts and top-performing cyclists, Augusta offers world-class biking trails at every level. For a casual ride, visitors can choose between the Greeneway Trail, a 7 mile out-and-back paved trail or the Augusta Canal Trail a 10.9 mile trail, both replete with views of the river. For an adrenaline-filled challenge, mountain-bikers can traverse the 37-mile, renowned Forks Area Trails System.

Get the competitive juices brewing at Augusta’s Hippodrome Disc Golf Complex, a fun alternative to traditional golf, where guests attempt to successfully float a disc into a suspended basket. While a frisbee can be thrown around in a park anywhere, Hippodrome offers various courses that test different skill levels and takes disc-golfers through various landscapes, from open-air fields to the wooded greens.

Augusta Dining Scene

Augusta Dining Scene

 

Augusta Dining Scene

Augusta Dining Scene

To round out the outdoor adventures, explore Augusta’s River Region beverages. Cool down with a ‘Nanas Puddin’ boozy milkshake from Farmhaus Burgers, a customized burger joint that uses locally-sourced ingredients and has prime real estate in downtown Augusta. For the craft beer connoisseur, check out Augusta’s recently opened breweries Riverwatch Brewery and Savannah River Brewing which are family-friendly. For visitors who want to truly taste a bit of Augusta, several establishments throughout the city are proud pourers of Augusta’s Fruitland Peach Vodka, the only peach vodka made with real Georgia peaches, and have taken on their own variations that are refreshingly light.

Partridge Inn

Partridge Inn

Partridge Inn

Partridge Inn

Augusta offers several overnight accommodations from Southern classics to chic modern stays. Stay the night in an Augusta icon, the recently renovated Partridge Inn, Curio Collection by Hilton has upgraded feature but has retained its antebellum charm. For a prime location in downtown Augusta with sleek features, guests can book their stay at Augusta Marriot, perfectly positioned for overviews of the Savannah River.

If you are looking for a quick weekend getaway or planning a vacation for your family, Augusta is the perfect hidden jewel in Georgia just waiting to be discovered by you!

Set Your Garden Aflutter with Butterflies and Other Pollinators This Summer

Thriving gardens herald the return of fluttering friends! Butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators are fun to watch but also critical for healthy gardens, ensuring plants are cross-fertilized and able to bloom their brightest. In honor of National Pollinator Week, which takes place June 19-25, 2017, the experts at Pike Nurseries have the buzz to help gardeners keep landscapes a welcoming pollinator oasis.

Planting a butterfly garden in the backyard is one of the simplest ways green thumbs of all kinds can bring life and color to their landscapes. Following a 10-15 day metamorphosis from crawly caterpillars, butterflies initially emerge into a new life with clear wings. Many are unaware that the vibrant patterns seen by the human eye are actually tiny scales reflecting the sun! In addition to providing more color to backyards, these fascinating creatures keep plants cross-pollinated to produce vibrant flowers and delicious produce, keeping gardens happy and healthy!

The professionals at Atlanta’s favorite garden center recommend the following tips to create a safe refuge for these fan favorite pollinators:

Build a Healthy Habitat: Butterflies are very delicate and prefer to seek shelter on plants that will protect them from nature’s harsh elements. Shrubs with larger leaves, such as laurels and anise, provide the best places for them to land. Gardeners looking to attract pollinators to their yard can also consider butterfly houses as favorable options for these fluttering friends to make their home!

Provide Fresh Food: Along with nutrients gained from the nectar in flowers and the leafy goodness of shrubs, plants producing berries also attract pollinators. Establishing a garden that is friendly to butterflies provides an aesthetic benefit while also creating a dependable food source throughout their life.

Food for caterpillars: Host plants, such as dill, parsley and fennel, are particularly important for butterflies in the early stages of life. Crawling caterpillars consume a lot of food to gather strength for their transformation, eating through much of these popular herb host plants. Gardeners should consider planting extra of these varieties if caterpillars have taken up residence!

Food for butterflies: When butterflies first emerge from their cocoons, they begin the hunt for nectar to gain their strength. Gardeners can plant nectar supplying flowers, such as lantana, coneflowers and butterfly weed, that double as gorgeous color additions to the garden. Butterflies also enjoy tasting overripe fruit and can be placed in a butterfly feeder along with nectar to ensure plenty of tasty treat options!

Create a Bath:  Like most living organisms, pollinators need water to survive. To guarantee these colorful garden helpers are getting ample amounts of hydration, birdbaths or small saucers can be incorporated in a butterfly garden. Butterflies prefer shallow water and will not drink from open water, instead siphoning from moist soil. To create a station from which butterflies and birds can drink, stones, pebbles or even sand can be added into a shallow birdbath to create a variety of depths for drinking and bathing.

Set up a Sun Soak: Unlike birds, butterflies are cold-blooded and need to absorb heat from the sun to warm their wings so they can fly. To ensure they have plenty of turf to soak up the rays, large flat stones can be placed in the garden for additional sunbathing spots. Butterfly gardens should be situated in sunny locations that are sheltered from the wind.

 

Both kids and adults can learn more firsthand by attending Pike Nurseries’ upcoming free classes on attracting butterflies and other pollinators, lead by the experts at select store locations. Pikes Kid Series: Butterflies will teach kids the benefits of these buzzing friends while building their own butterfly feeder on Wednesday, June at 10 a.m. Adults can learn how to build the perfect pollinator garden during the Attracting Butterflies and Pollinators class taking place on June 13-15 at 6:30 p.m. and June 17 at 9 a.m. For more information on these free events and for location information, please visit pikenursery.com/classes.

Whether installing a large landscape or a petite patch of flowers, Pike Nurseries has everything families need to begin planting the seeds for a stunning sanctuary for pollinators. For more fun facts on butterflies as well as tips to create a butterfly garden, please visit pikenurseries.com or stop by any of the 17 Pike Nurseries locations and speak to the garden experts.