Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Groundhog Has Spoken: Kingsmill Resort Tees-up Spring Break Packages

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AAA Four Diamond Resort Condos Offer An Escape From Winter’s Hibernation

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – February 10, 2015 – Kingsmill Resort, the only AAA Four Diamond Condominium Resort in historic Williamsburg, Va., is encouraging families to end winter’s hibernation, get out of that burrow, and spring into warmer weather with two special spring break packages. Featuring spacious four-diamond condo accommodations, tickets to the area’s famed attractions, including complimentary transportation to and from Kingsmill, makes the riverfront resort the ideal great escape.

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The Ultimate Spring Escape Package features three-nights’ accommodation, Fun Card Tickets to Busch Gardens valid through summer and one-day tickets to Colonial Williamsburg, as well as free shuttle service to and from both attractions to avoid the hassle and cost of parking. Tickets for families of four begin at $424 per night in a spacious AAA Four Diamond one-bedroom resort condo, and guests who book the Ultimate Spring Escape Package by February 16 will receive a gift of two complimentary plush Kingsmill beach towels. Guests will also appreciate access to the tennis club, discounted green fees on two championship golf courses, and unlimited access to indoor/outdoor pools, a lazy river and fitness center. The package is available for guests from March 27 to May 29. Two and three bedroom condos, plus up to four-bedroom new riverside cottages are also available.

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The Spring Fever Package is more streamlined and value-driven. Packages begin at $354 for guest rooms and $394 for a one-bedroom AAA Four Diamond resort condo. Guests receive Fun Card Tickets to Busch Gardens valid through summer and complimentary transportation to and from the park, a full breakfast buffet at Elements 1010 and complimentary use of indoor/outdoor pools, a lazy river and fitness center. The package is available for guests from March 27 to May 29.

For more information, visit www.kingsmill.com for specific details or call (800) 832-5665.

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Kingsmill Resort is an AAA Four Diamond condo resort and member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Located on the James River off I‐64 between Richmond and Norfolk the property is within minutes from Williamsburg’s numerous destinations including Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, The College of William & Mary, Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center.



Weekends with the Wigglesworths- Frozen Fun!



This past week seemed to really whiz by and I am really happy about it because that means the weekend is here already! Drew had a really great week, she got to be "queen of the classroom" at school. I'm not sure exactly how one gets that title, but she was floating on cloud nine all week and we were really happy for her. 

Queen Drew Getting Dropped Off Monday Morning- She's Ready to Reign! 

Reese's Week Was Pretty Great Too, She Even Learned to Drive! 



This weekend we are surprising the girls with a visit to Rita's of Bethel (CT). The Italian ice shop is having a Frozen party, with special Elsa and Anna treats, face painting, and a meet and greet with Elsa and Anna! I am anticipating lots of happy squealing a little later on. The cherry on top? The girls' Aunt Lindsay will be meeting us there!


I'm in awe that it is already the last day of February. I know it's a short month, but seriously it kind of flew by! Anything exciting coming up for you in March? Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend? I'd love to hear about it, so let me know by leaving a comment below!







Chuggington: Turbo Charged Chugger #Giveaway



Review by Kelly's Thoughts on Things

When it comes to movies my son loves his movies, doesn't matter what ones he loves all and any. He loves the Chuggington trains and we sat here watching the newer one we just got.He brings all of the movies to me and we sit and watch them for hours at a time. This movie was so adorable and my son will sit and make the train sound . Anything that makes him smile makes me happy. 

In “Turbo Charged Chugger,” (SRP $14.98), the trainees take their responsibilities to a whole new exciting level. Wilson and the Chug Patrollers attempt a daring bridge rescue, Brewster helps the Chuggineers build a new station, Koko tries to smash her Chug-A-Sonic record, the Speed Fleet competes in the Track Dash, and everyone learns how to use the Piggy-Back Wagon. With old friends and new, including Hanzo – Head of Speed Fleet, Fire Chugger Asher and Tunnel Runner Payce – riding along, young trainees at home will learn to work together, play fair and use good judgment as they take on new responsibilities of their own! With old friends and new, including Hanzo – Head of Speed Fleet, Fire Chugger Asher and Tunnel Runner Payce – riding along, young trainees at home will learn to work together, play fair and use good judgment as they take on new responsibilities of their own!

Episodes: •“Special Rescue Team” •“Team Trainee” •“Record Breaker Koko” •“The Old Silver Mine Line” •“A Pat on the Paintwork” •“Top Secret Koko” DVD Bonus Features: •Badge Quest Episode: “No Time to Waste” •Character Montages: Asher and Payce •Coloring and Activity Pages

About “Chuggington™” “Chuggington” is a contemporary, action-based, energetic and vibrant CGI series for children ages 2-5. The series follows the adventures of three young trainees – Wilson and his friends Brewster and Koko – as they ride the rails and take on exciting challenges that test their courage, speed and determination. Along the way, and with help and support from a strong community of engines and people, they learn positive values and new skills that empower them to become the best trainees they can be.

Further information is available at HERE.

Want it? Win it!

 One winner will receive the Chuggington Turbo Charged Chugger movie . This Giveaway is open to US residents only, ages 18 and older. The Giveaway will run from February 28, 2015 until 11:59 pm EST on March 13, 2015. One entry/winner per household. This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Enter using the Giveaway Tools Form Below.

Good Luck!  



Friday, February 27, 2015

Experience a World of Fun & Adventure with Junior Explorers: Part Two


Having worked in childcare before my own kiddos were born, I witnessed first hand the importance of having a variety of learning materials (toys, arts and crafts items, books etc) available to children. Because of that, I am somewhat fanatical when it comes to having a wide variety of supplies around to keep the girls busy and learning. I have a fondness for items that not only teach my girls something, but that let them have fun in the process. Over the last 7 years, we've accumulated quite the collection of learning materials (so much so that it takes up a good portion of our dining room), but we always love discovering potential additions for our collection.


Recently we got the chance to work with Junior Explorers, a fun and educational subscription that encourages kids to explore and discover wildlife and nature. The recommended age for this program is 6-11, which is perfect for Drew (7), but I found that Reese (2, almost 3) was pretty interested in participating in some of the learning fun too.

Our First Mission Kit Has Arrived- Time to Head to the Arctic!


Our Mission Kit For the Arctic! 


Part of Our Kit- A Letter to the Junior Explorer Explaining the Mission, a Mission Check List, a Paper Detailing What the Arctic is Like, and a Cool Activity Book!




The Kit Also Included Stickers, Tattoos, Postcards to Send to Your Buddies, Animal Flash Cards, a Bracelet, a Mission Arctic Pin, and mini figures of a Beluga Whale and a Polar Bear!


First, Drew read the letter from Kia and Kyle (our adventure friends). We found out that we were going to be looking for a lost Mama polar bear so that she could be reunited with her two polar bear cubs. 


Drew Reading the Letter From Kia and Kyle to Reese. "...a polar bear mother would never leave her cubs! There is definitely a mystery here." 

Drew was really excited to help solve this mystery, but because Reese was still awake, she decided (with some guidance from Mom) that it would be best to work on the offline aspects of the mission first. She wrote a nice message on the polar bear postcard for her cousin Ty and read through the Arctic fact sheet. When she was done, she decided it was time to get to work on the activity book. Her favorite part was trying to spot the difference between the two Arctic scenes. 

Drew Working on the Word Search Puzzle in the Activity Book 


A few days after receiving the Mission Kit, Drew was able to get to check off the last item on her Mission Check List, and get online. She checked into the Mission Center, entered the code we received, and met up with Kia and Kyle who "showed her around". Then, it was time to start the mission! 


Drew Finding Out That the Search Would Begin Where the Polar Bear Cubs Were Found

Drew enjoyed exploring the Arctic online, but was relieved that she didn't really have to go since it's pretty cold there.She also wasn't sure if she could handle 6 months of continuous day followed by 6 months of continuous night!  One of her favorite things about her Junior Explorers experience was learning about the animals that live in the Arctic. Her favorite was the Lemming, which she thought looked an awful lot like a Groundhog.  She also really enjoyed playing games and earning points which she is able to donate to real conservation projects! 
I loved our experience with the Junior Explorers Mission Arctic Kit. Drew learned some new things and she genuinely had a good time doing so. Reese was also able to join in on some of the fun, which I felt was a big relief. If you have more than one child, I know you get it! 

Every month, a new mission to learn about wildlife and nature with Junior Explorers!

Want to Join a Mission? Sign Up Here! 

Head on over to The Junior Explorers Website today and pick the subscription that is right for you and your kiddos. A one month subscription (one mission) is just $19, but if you opt for a longer subscription, you can save up to $43. Once you are subscribed, you will receive a mission kit each month you are subscribed to receive one. You can cancel anytime along the way. 

These Mission Kits are a great addition to your personal collection of learning materials and could make a great gift! . They are great for girls and boys alike. In fact Ondria and her son, B, also went on an Arctic Mission and she shared that experience here

Be sure to connect with Junior Explorers through FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Don't forget to check out the Junior Explorers Blog too! 


Thank you so much to our friends at Junior Explorers for this experience!  We had so much fun in the Arctic and cannot wait to see where the next mission takes us!  






Day Trips & Destinations: Myrtle Beach SkyWheel


When we were on our winter vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC in January, we were able to do some really neat things. My parents sort of like to lay low when we go on vacation, but I like to plan fun activities for my family, especially now that B is a little older, and enjoys experiencing the sights and sounds of the areas we visit.

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When visiting Myrtle Beach, one of the must-visit attractions that should be on your list, is to visit the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, home of the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, which has been named the Best Scenic Experience in SC. Situated as a centerpiece of the 1.2 mile-long Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade, the SkyWheel is surrounded by some tasty eats, great shopping and the pristine sands of the Atlantic. We visited the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk on a beautiful day- the skies were blue, and temperature was near 60 degrees! We were able to find free on street parking near the entrance to the SkyWheel. Now, please take into consideration that this was January, and during the summertime, the Boardwalk area will likely be very crowded, so plan accordingly. We walked across the street, and as soon as we were standing in front of the SkyWheel, B was mesmerized! He couldn't wait to take a ride!

Here's a photo I snapped of the SkyWheel from the ground, so you'll have an idea of just how big the SkyWheel is- 20 stories high!


The SkyWheel was still decked out in its Christmas finery- which was a lovely touch!

Here's hubby and B, looking up at the SkyWheel, and watching it mid-flight.

A look at the inner-workings of the SkyWheel.

There weren't many people in line at the ticket window for the SkyWheel. We chose to go on our flight right before lunchtime, to avoid any crowds. We picked up our tickets, and then headed down the outdoor corridor, and waited to board. There were a few folks in front of us, and they looked very excited to board and take their flight!

Here's a look at the boarding area- beautiful, and nicely maintained.

We didn't have to wait for long at all, before we were ready to board the SkyWheel. The SkyWheel staff was so incredibly friendly! They welcomed us with big smiles, helped us into our 'pod,' and talked with B, and made him laugh. Once we were seated, and situated, we took a quick look around before we took off. The SkyWheel 'pods' are fully enclosed, with cushioned seats, and they are air-conditioned, as well, which means you can expect a nice, cool, comfortable ride in the heat of the summer season! The doors open and close on both sides, and are locked and sealed during the ride.

B, waiting patiently for us to take off!

Getting ready to leave the station... there goes the pod infront of ours!

And away we go! Excited to see the beach from the very top of the SkyWheel!

As we started our flight, we were all very excited! I was thrilled that the ride was nice and smooth, and that it wasn't fast. It was a nice slow-paced flight, and we really got to enjoy the ride, and look out, and enjoy our surroundings. We saw  nothing but blue sky and blue ocean for miles!

Here's a look at the beach below from about half-way up on the SkyWheel!

B couldn't believe how small everything looked down below us!

My two loves, having a blast riding on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel!

A view of the main drag along the boardwalk, on our way back down...

Our flight on the SkyWheel lasted for about fifteen minutes, which for a ride of this nature, is pretty long! Well worth the $13.00 per adult ticket. We went around completely three times, which was a lot of fun for us, and each time we went back through the boarding area, the staff were smiling and waving- they tried to catch B to get him to wave at them each time! The staff made our flight even better, because they were just so welcoming and friendly!

After our flight on the SkyWheel, we decided to walk around for a bit. It was so beautiful outside, we wanted to enjoy the boardwalk!

B, chillin' at the Land Shark Gift Shop.

Hubby and B, on the Boardwalk.


SkyWheel from the beach view.

Taking a ride on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel was definitely one of the main highlights of our week spent in Myrtle Beach! B begged and begged to go back and ride it again before we left to go home- but we'll save that experience for the next time we visit Myrtle Beach. It's one of our favorite destinations, so we know it won't be long before we're there again!

Check out this great video spot about the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel!



The next time we visit Myrtle Beach and take flight on the SkyWheel, I want to wait until it's dark outside, because they light the SkyWheel up, and it looks so beautiful from the photos! Would make a great date night activity at the beach!

Info on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel...

Tickets are:
 $9.00 ages 3-11
$13.00 ages 11+
$50.00 VIP Ticket
Ages 0-2 ride for free
Group rates available for parties of 15+.

For more info about the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, head on over to their website. Be sure to check out the cool photos and videos, and visit the SkyWheel blog, as well! You can connect with the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Special thanks to our friends at the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel for providing us tickets to ride the SkyWheel so we could share about our experience! We can't wait to go back!

Be sure to plan to take flight on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel if you'll be in the Myrtle Beach area!








Thursday, February 26, 2015

Little Ones Learn About Nature and Travel the World with Junior Explorers!


One of the things I find tough about having a little one who is between preschool and kindergarten age, is that they're not yet in school full time. B goes to school three days a week. during the morning hours, only. Next year, he'll go five days a week, but again- just during the morning hours. One of my main goals this year, has been to continue the learning at home during the afternoon hours, as well as on the days he is not in school. We do a lot of different things, from crafts and projects to experiments, reading and writing, etc. We also work toward discovering and learning new things. B has recently expressed an interest in learning more about the world, and loves animals, as well- so when we were introduced to Junior Explorers, I felt that the program would be a great fit for us!

Junior Explorers

About Junior Explorers

Junior Explorers is a fun monthly subscription for kids of all ages. Every month, the kiddos are sent a new mission pack. They never know where they might  be assigned to explore! The physical kit contains everything needed to get ready for a fun adventure! With the help of a grown up, the children are then encouraged to log into the Junior Explorers website, and join friends Kia and Kyle on the mission! Kia and Kyle are the resident Junior Explorers who accompany your child on every adventure. Together they will explore amazing places like the Arctic, Serengeti and Amazon, having fun while learning about these regions and the animals that live there!

We couldn't wait to see what Junior Explorers was all about! I wondered if B would enjoy it, or if it would hold his interest, since we would be going online together to complete the mission. 


Our Junior Explorers February Mission Kit arrived in the mail...


...and told us that we would be going to the Arctic!



Our Mission Kit came in an envelope, and B couldn't wait to see what was inside!



Our Mission Kit for Mission Arctic, all laid out...

Our Mission Kit included a special letter, an activity booklet, an instuction sheet to follow as we went through our mission, a bracelet, a Mission Arctic Pin (to be pinned to the bracelet), stickers, tattoos, and mission flashcards, plus little mini figures of a fox and a whale. B excited waited to dig into all of this, until we were ready for our mission. 



We read through our mission letter from Kia and Kyle, which contained our mission code, and a bit more information about what our mission to the Arctic would entail.

As I retreived the needed info to log onto the Junior Explorer's website and get everything set up for our mission to the Arctic, B made his own preparations. He disappeared into his room for a few minutes, and when he returned (still in his pj's), he was all decked out in his explorer gear, and ready to head to the Arctic for our mission!


Here's Junior Explorer, B- all dressed and ready for our mission!

We logged into our mission portal, and were so excited to meet Kia and Kyle, and learn about why we needed to head to the Arctic. We viewed several photos of the Arctic, so we could get a better sense of what the climate is like in the Arctic. B noted the flat, snowy areas, and the snow-covered mountains. He then decided that he might need a jacket for the mission, afterall. 


Slide show of the Arctic...



We met our friends Kia and Kyle, and they gave us a better idea of what we'd be doing on our mission to the Arctic. We enjoyed taking a look around, and clicking on the envelope to read our mission letter.



Before we could head to the Arctic on our mission, we needed to pack our gear. So, we used our checklist, and added the items we woud need for our trip to our gear cache. B had a blast locating the items we needed, like a map, compass, backpack, binoculars, water, etc.



We encountered a lot of different animals on our journey through the Arctic.

B loved learning about the Snowy Owls. With every animal we encountered, there was a fun game to play. After we completed each game, we earned a mission flash card, which told us more information about the animals, and were a lot of fun to collect! The games helped us learn more about how the animals in the artic live, the foods they eat, and what they have to do to survive. We loved the food chain game, where we had to try to guess the order the animals eat one another in, for their survival.


Here's Junior Explorer B, with his hat and binoculars, proudly showing off his earned flash cards!

One of B's favorite things about our mission, was looking at the map, and clicking to continue our journey. He loved being able to follow the trail on the map with his fingers, tracing our starting point to where we wound up.



Our Mission Folder showed us our checklist, and some of the photos we snapped while on our mission! It was fun to go back and look through it for a recap of what we had already accomplished on our mission!

Each time we played a game while on our mission, we earned points. Those points accumulated, and near the end of our mission, we were able to split the points up between causes we wanted to show our support to- like the Nature Conservatory!



As Junior Explorers, Kids also will learn how to give back and support the habitats and species they explore every month!
Each month kids complete our Mission Giveback program:
Play games + Earn points + Give points to real world conservation projects + We convert the points to $ and make a donation to those projects = Your child makes a difference + We fulfill our mission of supporting conservation!



Once the mission was completed online, B received his Mission Arctic certificate!

B was so excited to see a certificate with his name on it, after her completed the Mission Arctic. The certificate was issuded by the Junior Explorer Mission Center! In total, we spent about 90 minutes from start to finish completing the mission online. I was so surprised that B was interested and engaged the entire time! He was so excited by this fun, new way for us to explore nature and the animals, that he was prety much glued to his seat at the table the whole time. He loved the photos and fun facts about the animals, loved the games, and couldn't wait to see what we might encounter next,

He was pretty bummed after we completed the mission, until I told him that we had some fun 'offline' stuff yet to do for our mission. So, we took to our Mission Kit that we received in the mail, and grabbed the activity book. We answered some questions, and then B went right for the stickers! He couldn't wait to decorate his Mission Kit envelope!


Having fun decorating...



...and then we went for the tattoos! This was actually the first time B let me put a temporary tattoo on his hand! He loved it!

B had so much fun exploring the Artic with Kia and Kyle and learning about the animals we encountered while on our mission. We loved exploring the climate and learning about how the animals are able to suvive in the arctic, as well. We loved the fun games and missions, collecting the flashcards, and completing the mission made B feel so special. I loved being able to tell him a bit more about why it's so iportant for us to take good care of the earth, and to help protect the earth and the animals that inhabit it, by giving back.

We can't wait to find out what the mission for March will be!
The February mission was so much fun!

Every month, a new mission to learn about wildlife and nature with Junior Explorers!

Want to Join the Missions? Sign Up Here!

Click above or head on over to Junior Explorers to learn more about this wonderful opportunity to connect your children with Kia and Kyle, and explore the world around them! The process is simple- select your subscription- 1 Month is $19.00, and the more you bundle, the more you save. You can cancel anytime along the way. Once you subscribe, your mission kit will arrive each month you're signed up to receive one. Open your mission kit to get your code, and then log onto the computer to join Kia and Kyle, and find out more about the mission!

Junior Explorers makes a wonderful gift! I am especially looking forward to Junior Explorer Missions that we'll be able to go on during the summer months!

Be sure to connect with Junior Explorers through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. You can also sign up for the Junior Explorer Newsletter and head to the JE Blog for even more fun content and ideas!

Special thanks to our friends at Junior Explorers for allowing us to experience the Arctic! We can't wait to see where the next journey will take us!