Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Shelf Safe Milk: A Mama's Best Secret Weapon #MilkUnleashed

With two growing boys, milk is a big part of my family's diet. We go through several gallons of milk a week easy and its the one thing we have to "emergency run" to the grocery store for every time. Now though, we have discovered the next best thing to that option. Have you heard of shelf safe milk? Its perfect because we can easily keep milk on hand for a longer period without worry.

Shelf safe milk is considered ultra high temperature pasteurized milk (over 280 degrees Fahrenheit vs 180 for regular pasteurization) that is packaged in an eco friendly Tetra Pak carton. This means that it can be stored on the pantry shelf, at room temperature, for much longer than refrigerated milk. No fancy additives or dangerous preservatives need be added. Of course you can get shelf safe milk in flavors like chocolate or strawberry though.

The best part for me, and what I mentioned earlier is that shelf safe milk does not require refrigeration until the packaging is opened. Seriously. You can keep healthy, great tasting back up milk in your pantry. Just open and use when needed. In general shelf safe milk can be stored for around six months! (Always check your expiration dates!)

The tetra packs come in a variety of sizes perfect for lunches, camping and of course your purse or diaper bag as a back up! I have used them in the past as ice packs for the cooler even. Freeze them the night before and by lunch time the next day, the contents of your cooler are cold and your milk is the perfect temperature for drinking!

Ready to learn more about Milk Unleashed? Check out the Milk unleashed website in English or French and be sure tolike them on Facebook to learn more great ways shelf safe milk can benefit your family!

*This post is brought to you by Milk Unleashed and The Motherhood. All opinions are – as always – honest and my own.

Getting Shoe Crazy For Back to School with @FamousFootwear

Last week, I had the opportunity to check out the back to school selection for kids, young and old, at our local Famous Footwear with a group of local bloggers. Having two you boys, who are growing like weeds, back to school season is always the prime season to hit the stores and stock up on clothes and definitely shoes to last us through the next growth spurt.

Famous Footwear keeps parents in mind with their BOGO 1/2 off sale. The best part? Every thing in the store is BOGO. Meaning you can get the kids a pair of shoes and a backpack with the least costly item half off! Plus, if you are only buying one pair of shoes, they will actually give you a coupon for half off your next purchase with in the time frame so don't have to get two items in one trip.

I was able to get a pair of shoes for K and me, plus some awesome socks and gel shoe inserts for me all for under 40 bucks! Can't beat that!

At the event last week, a few of the bloggers had the opportunity to go "Shoe Crazy" for charity. Three bloggers were given the opportunity to run through out the store and grab as many shoes as they could in  30 seconds. The catch was that they had to get the box back to the table before going for the next pair. They got to keep the shoes they grabbed and Famous Footwear donated the value of the shoes to a local charity. It was a ton of fun to watch and they they raised $784! Not shabby!

Moral of the story: Famous Footwear is the perfect place to get shoes, socks, and back to school accessories for the whole family at a pretty nice discount!

*I was provided with a gift card to help facilitate my review of Famous Footwear's back to school styles.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

3rd Annual Piedmont Park Arts Festival (Huge Giveaway!)

It's back to school time again here in Atlanta, but that doesn't mean the summer fun has to come to an end! This month the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces will be putting on the third annual Piedmont Park Arts Festival, a family friendly event full of fun activities that you won't want to miss!
piedmont park arts festival
The Noguchi Playscape at the park is one of the coolest playgrounds in Atlanta (photo courtesy of Piedmont Park Conservancy)Piedmont Park is Atlanta's largest park, spanning 189 acres, and has an amazing history that dates back to the 1800s. The park, which was originally a privately owned property, was sold in 1887 and hosted the famous Piedmont Exposition that same year. That event took place over 12 days and had over 200,000 attendees, even President Grover Cleveland made an appearance with his wife Frances! Seven years later in 1895, the 100 day Cotton States and International Exposition took place at the park and attracted over 800,000 visitors from the U.S. and 13 countries. Fast forward to 2013, the park is still one of the most famous spaces in Atlanta, and the perfect home for Piedmont Park Arts Festival!

piedmont park

Piedmont Park is a great place to picnic with the family![/caption] This free two day event taking place August 17th and 18th will feature over 250 painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metalworkers, glass blowers, jewelers and crafters. The Festival will also offer artist demonstrations, live acoustic music, a Street Market, children's inflatable play area plus a variety of local food trucks and even craft beer! The Noguchi Playscape at the park is one of the coolest playgrounds in Atlanta (photo courtesy of Piedmont Park Conservancy)

Piedmont Park Arts Festival
When: Saturday, August 17th 10-6; Sunday, August 18th 11-6
Where: Piedmont Park, 1215 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30309
Food trucks: 10+ local food trucks and vendors (food truck line up)
Live music: Over 10 local bands and artists (entertainment schedule)
Local artists: 250 booths (participating artist list)
Cost: Free admission
Parking: There is limited free parking available around the park. Festival attendees are strongly encouraged to take MARTA. Paid parking is available at the SAGE parking facility
Children's Entertainment: Inflatables, sand art and face painting (activity tickets are required)
Pets: Dogs are welcome to join in the fun too, just be sure to bring a leash and pick up behind them! For more information visit www.piedmontparkartsfestival.com

Such a beautiful place! (photo courtesy of city-data.com)

 This is always an awesome festival and great way to spend the afternoon with your family. You can spend the whole day strolling through the artist booths, munching on local food, listening to music and letting the kiddos play on the playground. Be sure to bring a blanket for lounging on the grass, a frisbee to toss around, sunscreen (because no one likes sunburn!) and towels if you plan to let the kiddos splash around in Legacy Fountain. Don't forget to share all your fun festival pictures online using hashtag #PiedmontParkArtsFestival! But wait, there's more awesome stuff going on! Is that even possible?! This year, the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces is partnering with three different organizations to bring even more fun to the festival. Check out these special events going on that weekend below:

Piedmont Summer Sprint 5k

piedmont summer sprint 5k Come run or walk through Piedmont Park with your friends and family at 9:30 on Saturday morning before the festival. Discounts are available for groups and families, and registration is available on Active.com. If you'd like to volunteer with packet pick up and race day activities, you can sign up here. They are also accepting donations of art supplies if you want to bring some along!

Guinness Book of World Records Attempt

Hoop Pass
 Want to make history? Join AFFPS and Hoop Essence for the Guinness Book of World Records attempt for the longest human chain to pass a hula-hoop! The record breaking attempt is taking place on Saturday at 4:00 at the Active Oval at the park. Anyone 8 years or older can participate, you'll just need to register at the HoopEssence booth (blue & white striped tent) between 11:00 and 3:30. Participants are asked to provide a small donation ($2 suggested), and all proceeds will benefit Embraced Atlanta, an organization that provides assistive mobility and prosthetic devices to those in need. They need 400 people to break the record, so spread the word and bring along a crowd! Click here for more info about the event and sponsor HoopEssence.

Sunday Funday Cornhole Tournament

cornhole gameMonday Night Brewing is hosting this fun adult event in the park meadow on Sunday from 2:00 to 6:00. Teams of two will compete in a first round eliminate style cornhole tournament for the chance to win one of three great prizes: $250 for 1st place, $1oo for 2nd place, and and Monday Night Brewing prize pack for 3rd place. Participants must be 21 and older and will need to present valid ID when they check in. Teams can register online for $15 through Friday, August 16th, or for $20 on site at the Monday Night Brewing tent. All the info you need to join in the fun can be found on the festival website. Proceeds will go to benefit CURE Childhood Cancer, a non-profit cancer research foundation in Atlanta.

piedmont park arts festival giveaway

***Giveaway Alert***

The folks over at the festival have even given me and several other awesome Atlanta bloggers a $110 Festival Prize Pack to give away to one of our readers! It includes $50 in Artist Bucks, 2 lunch vouchers (meal and drink), and up to 4 children's bracelets for unlimited inflatable play! The giveaway ends at midnight on Thursday 8/15, use the form below to enter.

(If the form isn't showing up, click on the text below that says "a Rafflecopter giveaway" sometimes it's a little wonky!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Want more chances to win? Be sure to follow the Piedmont Park Arts Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as they'll be giving away $50 in Artist Bucks to spend at the festival every day! Disclosure - I was compensated for promoting the festival and giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Time Saving Tips and Tricks (AKA Our Television Debut!)

Earlier this week, we made our television debut! I was approached by Fox 5 Atlanta about doing a short segment on some tips and tricks for busy parents. Now I want to share those tips and tricks with you as well as our five minutes of fame!

You can ready the whole story on the Fox 5 Atlanta website as well. Tell me what you think!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Little Gamble

At the end of last week I took a little trip up to the casino in Cherokee, North Carolina. I was kind of reluctant about going because I am generally the unluckiest kind of person. I don't know if its a personality flaw or just plain inexperience though, so I agreed to the trip.

Plus there was a chance at spending some time in the Smokies while there and I'm not like to turn that down. Ever.

We got up early and drove through some of the most dense fog I've ever seen for what seemed like a ridiculously long time ,but was really only about 3 hours, before we got to the Indian Reservation that the casino calls home. I'll just say I wasn't really impressed by the outside of the casino. It was kind of run down looking compared to what I was expecting I guess.

The inside though was gorgeous! There was a huge water feature and cool lighting and an electronic poker room. It was a lot bigger on the inside than I expected too.

Of course they don't build pretty (inside) buildings by people coming there and winning either. All in all I think we walked out with a little less than we went in with but it was a lot of fun wasting what little we did. My highest win was a dollar and I got all excited about it until my friend sat down at a machine and won fifty bucks right off. My poor deflated ego. 


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