Saturday, March 30, 2013

Reposted: Spring Break Inspriation

Looking for last minute Spring Break ideas? This was originally posted last year, maybe it will give you some fun ideas!

I know everyone seems to have Spring Break at different times now (didn't they all used to be at the same time?), but ours begins in one week. We are all really looking forward to it. At this point we have one short get-a-way definitely planned, and another one tentatively planned. We tend to do pretty low key, fairly close to home trips for Spring Break. Usually we don't have a lot of time and/or money to work with, so we do the best we can with what we've got. It seems to me a terrible shame not to go anywhere, but sometimes it doesn't work out. Nonetheless I always try to plan something special and fun for the kids.

Most people probably have their Spring Break plans fully organized by now, but just in case you're still looking for someplace to go that's not too far from southeast Michigan, I have done a few posts in the past about vacations that won't break the bank and are close enough to drive to. Some might be more appropriate for summer, but hopefully we'll still have some decent weather for the next few weeks.

Five Ideas For Close-To-Home Summer Vacations   Despite the name, some of these would work well for Spring Break too. In fact, two of them we have done during Spring Break (Hocking Hills and Niagara Falls).

Spring Fever   This post focuses more on Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio.

Spring Is In The Air (Or Not)   We always have fun in Toledo!

O-hi-o, O-hi-o, It's Off to the Zoo We Go, Part I   The African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio is a blast! And there are deals to be had right now - don't pay full price!

Part II of O-hi-o, O-hi-o, It's Off to the Zoo We Go   The Toledo Zoo is close to home and we love it (although this visit was definitely not our best!).

Winter Weekend   Wow, we vacation a lot in Ohio! Great Wolf Lodge is a definite hit!

Some other ideas, that I haven't written about in any blog posts:
  • Chicago  There's just so much to do! My kids have only been there in the winter (except Mattie, who has never been), so sometime we are going to do this when the weather is nice.
  • Grand Rapids  We haven't been there in a few years (again, Mattie has never been), but I'd love to go back. This was on my wish list for last summer, but we didn't make it. Meijer Gardens and the zoo are fabulous, and I've heard that the Children's Museum is really great too.
  • Toronto   I haven't been there since I was a kid. It's not that far from home, so I think I need to go back. With or without kids is fine with me.
If you're more in the market for day trips, might I suggest:
  • Ann Arbor  Only about an hour from home, this college town offers some cool museums, shops and restaurants. Once we took the train there for the day (we got on in Royal Oak) and walked everywhere. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is a good choice for kid-friendly fun, as is the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.
  • Green Field Village / Henry Ford Museum  The village is an outdoors attraction and doesn't open for the season until April 14, but the museum is indoors and open year round. What I love about this place is that there is so much to see and do, and it is so big that even if the parking lot is jammed it generally doesn't feel like it's that crowded once you get in (goes for both the museum and the village). I'm not a huge fan of crowds, so this is important to me.
  • Downtown Detroit  Unfortunately budget cuts have not been kind to some of our wonderful attractions this year, but there is still enough to do to keep a family busy for the day. Some of my favorites include taking a walk along the RiverFront, riding the People Mover, walking around Greektown, and visiting the Detroit Institute of Art. My goal this year is to get to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which I hear really good things about.
Do you have any special plans for Spring Break this year?

Friday, March 29, 2013

ENDED Giveaway:

Mattie, at age 3 and three quarters, is a little sponge for learning. She is so interested in everything and curious as can be. Watching her play and listening to her chitchat is quite entertaining. As the youngest in the family, she wants to do everything the big kids do. Sometimes she astounds us with how technologically savvy she is, which I'm sure she gets from watching her older siblings use their electronic devices and play games online. Already she asks to use the internet, even when Bethany, Connor, and Lucy aren't around. Normally she just watches them do their thing, but now she can do her own thing with is a full online curriculum for kids in preschool through kindergarten. It's a step-by-step learning system with six different levels, each with over 400 lessons. Subjects include reading, books, math, art and colors, the world around us, and music and songs. Kids are motivated to complete their lessons by earning tickets, which can be redeemed to purchase virtual items to be used on the website. This system helps to make learning a game to keep it as fun and engaging as possible!

To make even more suitable for individual children, parents can use the Lesson Builder feature to customize activities based on the needs of their children. As kids complete lessons, parents can easily check their progress by using the SPOT, Student Progress Online Tracking.

Some fun features to keep kids even more interested in learning include:
  • Customizable Avatar - Make your child's game persona look like her! With earned tickets, additional clothing items can be purchased.
  • Interactive Zoo - Play games and learn in a virtual zoo setting
  • Interactive Farm - Learn about farm animals and do related activities in a virtual farm setting
  • Aquarium - Choose which fish go in your virtual aquarium and learn all about them
  • Record a Book - Maybe my favorite feature! You can record any book on in your own voice, so your child can listen to a favorite story in the voice of a loved one anytime.
I can't wait for Mattie to get started on, because I know she is going to love it and the gears are going to be turning in her little absorbent mind. Right now, you can get your first month of for FREE! That way, you can try it out risk-free! After that, it's only $7.95 a month or $79 for the entire year. For more information and to stay in the loop, be sure to like on Facebook!

I'm also very excited to be able to offer one MichiGal reader a full one-year subscription for FREE! Want to win? Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below and you're in!

This is a sponsored post from  All opinions are my own.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Since we are now in lovely, sunny Florida, let's talk about how thankful I am for being here.

I am so SO SO thankful to have a brother-in-law who decided it would be cool to live in Florida and who has a nice big house that he lets us stay in whenever we want. Of course, we would love if he lived closer and we got to see him more often, but if he had to move away, at least he chose some place good.

I am so thankful to everyone who is back in Michigan and helping to take care of our dog. I know she loves it every time one of you comes over and we really appreciate your help!

I am so thankful to my in-laws for loaning us their slightly larger and way more comfortable van to take to Florida. And that built in DVD player sure does help too.

I am thankful that my brother-in-law finagled some free Disney passes for us.

I am thankful for LEGO Club Magazine for publishing great coupons for Legoland, and for anyone who gave me a coupon or offered me one.

I am thankful for all the wonderful memories our family has of our Florida vacations over the years. We have spent some very happy days and weeks in Florida, and I hope the kids remember at least some of it!

I am thankful that I was able to convince my reluctant husband that we should definitely take this trip.

I am thankful that we got to drive to Florida this time, although flying would be faster. This was our first time driving to Florida as a family, and you know me, I think road trips are way fun!

I am thankful, oh so thankful, for a reprieve from the cold Michigan weather.

I am thankful that we have a place to do our laundry before we come back home!

What are you thankful for this wee?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

So What! Wednesday

So What Wednesday

I'm counting the days until I'm due for an upgrade on my phone. Iphone, here I come. Finally. Hopefully I make it until then without either stomping my phone to bits or throwing it out of a moving vehicle.

We got rid of our home phone that we had through our cable/internet provider and replaced it with Magic Jack. I've had an untold number of people tell me that it keeps breaking up but I don't care. Not going back. And also, it sounds fine on my end.

Because we are slightly nuts, we decided to leave for Florida at 10 o'clock at night and drive straight through. If you never hear from me again, you'll know that our plan back fired and the kids once and for all sent us straight over the edge of sanity.

I've just enjoyed about six hours of being home alone and reveling in the silence. Even my dog has slept quietly almost the entire time. Bliss.

I'm not sure how I'll handle it if we get back from Florida and it's still wintertime in Michigan.

Getting ready for a family vacation is daunting, and I can almost see why some people opt not to travel when their kids are young. Almost, but not quite. Daunting, yes, but so worth it.

I believe this will be our third year in a row celebrating Easter away from home. I like it that way.

A goal of mine this year is to get a passport, just in case. I have no plans of international travel at the moment, but I like the idea of being able to do so if the opportunity comes up.

I cannot fathom the idea of going an entire year or more with no vacation whatsoever. I get that money is an issue, it certainly is for us. But something inside me starts going a little haywire if I don't get out of town every now and then. I would absolutely tent camp if that was the only way to do it. Or course, I actually enjoy tent camping, so I'm not sure what my point is there.

I feel a little guilty leaving my dog at home while we're on vacation. If only she weren't a big, neurotic, shedding fur ball, then maybe someone would let her stay at their house and she wouldn't miss us so much.

What are you saying So What! to this week?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Travel Tuesday: Mall of America

Yes, I'm still talking about our road trip last summer. In case you've missed anything, here's a list of my road trip posts to date:

After having some fun in North Dakota, we were headed for the one place Bethany had been looking forward to visiting for months: the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnesota. We took her to national parks and monuments, and she was most excited about a mall. I can't complain, because she had fun every place we went, and also...I was looking forward to checking out this massive mall too! 

Knowing that Bethany really wanted to go to the Mall of America, I made sure to plan a route home that would take us right to it. Throughout the trip planning process, keeping the kids involved, interested, and happy was a top priority. I wanted them to be excited about the trip, and the way to do that was to make sure we did things they were interested in doing. To conserve money, we reserved a hotel room in St. Cloud, which is about an hour and a half north west of Bloomington. Instead of paying top dollar for a tiny, crappy room near the mall, which is a huge tourist destination, we paid a very reasonable rate for a big, comfortable room and dealt with making the drive to the mall in the morning. It was definitely the way to go. Although it would be pretty cool to stay at the hotel that's located within the mall!

My thoughts about the Mall of America: It's big. It's clean. There are lots of stores. It's a mall

Actually, although it is just a giant mall with some extras thrown in for fun, we had a really great day at the mall. Connor was happy to build his own mini figures at the LEGO store. Lucy was happy to pick out an outfit for her Bitty Baby at the American Girl store. Mathilda was thrilled with the Nickelodeon characters. Bethany was excited to do some back to school shopping at the Mall of America. Nobody complained that we opted to just look at the amusement park and not spend money on rides. Nobody complained that we ate at the food court instead of Rainforest Cafe. It was a nice, happy, air-conditioned day.

Nickelodeon Universe Mall of America
It is pretty surreal to see the Nickelodeon Universe amusement park right in the middle of a mall. You don't have to pay an admission fee, you just pay if you want to go on rides. So we were free to walk around and check everything out. Characters were walking around for photo ops. Maybe if we hadn't been so pressed for time, we would have let the kids go on a ride or two. But as it was, with just fitting in lunch and the shopping that each kid wanted to do, we spent several hours at the mall and then really had to move on.

The LEGO store was pretty awesome because there were several large brick sculptures around it and on top of it, many of which could be seen clearly from the food court on the next floor.

This is definitely a mall that would require a few days to truly check out every nook and cranny. We were happy with the stores we went to, but we definitely missed quite a few. Something that I would have liked to have seen was the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, which is also located directly within the mall.

I would really like to return to the Mall of America. I even think it would be fun to make a trip just to go back to school shopping. It's about a 12 hour drive from home, so that might be a bit extreme. But it would be fun!

Road trip Wisconsin
Somewhere in Wisconsin
Not long after leaving the mall, we found ourselves crossing into Wisconsin, our 12th state of the trip. We spent our last night of vacation at a hotel in a small Wisconsin town, with a view of corn fields. On the way there, we drove past the Wisconsin Dells, and at least one of my children had the nerve to complain that we weren't stopping. Because, you know, we hadn't done enough throughout the course of our trip! I thought that was kind of funny, but to put a positive spin on it, at least they were ready and willing to do even more! I didn't burn them out too badly, I guess. 

By the time we woke up on the final morning of our trip, we were getting antsy to get home. The kids were missing Chris, and as always, the final stretch home was the longest. But what a trip! We had such a fantastic time, from beginning to end. I can't wait to do it again!

Wonder Pets Nickelodeon Universe

Mall of America LEGO store

Mall of America LEGO store

LEGO store mini figures Mall of America
Connor is making his own mini figures at the LEGO store at Mall of America
LEGO helicopter Mall of America
LEGO helicopter at the Mall of America

Nickelodeon Universe

Nickelodeon Universe - Mall of America

Mall of America
The closest we got to meeting Dora at the Mall of America

Monday, March 25, 2013

ENDED Giveaway: Dial Kids Body+Hair Wash

Dial Kids Body and Hair WashKids these days are so lucky, with all the products and gear produced and marketed especially for them. When I was a kid, our choices were extremely limited for things like body wash. "Body wash" came in the form of a slippery bar of soap that was difficult to grasp in the bathtub and quickly began to disintegrate if left in the water for too long. And it smelled like, well, like soap.

I love the simplicity of the Dial Kids Body + Hair Wash. It's gentle, effective, convenient, and comes in fun scents, making skin care easy for my kids. Developed with pediatric dermatologists, the formulas are just right for little ones. Plus, it won't melt into a gooey mess if you drop it in the bath water! These new body washes are tear free, hypoallergenic, contain no artificial dyes or added parabens, and they're ph balanced.

Since young children have really delicate skin that is not quite ready for more grown-up formulas of body wash, Dial makes a Body + Hair Wash especially for kids ages 2-5. My little girls have particularly sensitive skin, so this one is perfect for them. It comes in a Peachy Clean scent, which is light and pleasant, and not over-powering in the least. Mathilda was so excited about this, she insisted on having a "Peachy Clean" shower the first day we got it. The verdict: it's easy to use and completely non-irritating.

Dial has also released a Body + Hair Wash with kids ages 6+ in mind. This one comes in two scents: Watery Melon and Berry Cool. These are also gentle, yet a little more concentrated for bigger kids. We've tried the Watery Melon, and it smells great and works well too. My kids like the scent, and I like that they can use the same product to wash their hair and their bodies.

Would you like to try Dial for Kids? Three winners will each receive two Dial Kids body washes of their choice! That way, the winners can try two different scents if they'd like! Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. U.S. only!

I received complimentary products in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

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Review: POND'S Luminous Line


When I think of the word luminous, I associate it with joy, health, and love. What's made me feel luminous lately? Running. Spending an evening laughing my butt off with my girlfriends. Drinking an ice cold smoothie full of healthy ingredients. My 3-year old telling me she just can't stop hugging me. Fulfilling, happy experiences make me feel luminous.

When I think of luminous skin, I think fresh. Clean. Soft. Glowing. The kind of skin anyone would want to have. When I take care of my skin with good skin care products, such as those from the POND'S Luminous Line, I look in the mirror and feel luminous.


In the mornings, I like to alternate between a cream cleanser and an exfoliating cleanser. I have found that regularly exfoliating is an important key in maintaining a good complexion. POND'S Luminous Clean Daily Exfoliating Cleanser does the trick gently, making my skin feel soft and clean without any irritation. On alternate days, I love POND'S Luminous Clean Cream Cleanser. Some cream cleansers are difficult to rinse off and leave my face feeling somewhat grimy. This one rinses easily and fully and makes my face feel clean and radiant. Both of these products are hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and dermatologist tested.


After washing my face in the morning, I always follow up with a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15. A great choice? New POND'S Luminous Moisture Day Lotion with SPF 15. It's light, pleasant smelling, dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and suitable for all skin types.


My dirty little secret is, while I always wash my face in the morning, I struggle to keep up with a nighttime face-washing regime. I usually wait until I'm exhausted and about to fall into bed, which is obviously the problem. POND'S helps, with Luminous Clean Wet Cleansing Towelettes. These feel wonderful on my face, and make it easy for me to wipe away a day's dirt and make-up before I hit the sack. This product is hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, and safe for contact lens wearers.

This month, supermodel Molly Sims is partnering with POND'S to help women realize that great skin can make them feel luminous. They are launching the POND'S 30-Day Luminous Photo Challenge on Facebook. There are 30 challenges designed to encourage women to share photos of their luminous moments. From March 4 through April 2, women can submit photos via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #LuminousEffect for a chance to win some great prizes!

Molly Sims has her own tips for looking luminous, including:

  • Start your day off with exercise and a healthy green juice
  • Never go to bed without washing your face
  • Exfoliate regularly
  • Smile big!

What makes you feel luminous?

I participated in this campaign from One2One Network. I received products for review purposes and may be eligible for other rewards. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Be Bold

When Bethany was home sick last week, we spent an entire day watching Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta. Mostly I was astounded by how many people some brides bring with them to shop for a wedding gown, and how mean those friends and family members can be! I know this stuff is kind of staged, but really, you couldn't pay me to tell my beautiful daughter that she has too much junk in the trunk to wear the dress she's fallen in love with. That kind of comment lingers in your memory forever.

But, they weren't all horrible and nasty.

One bride-to-be was particularly self-conscious about a recent weight gain. She was accustomed to being much more slender, but was taking medications that had caused her to put on some weight. In tears, she stood before her loved ones, modeling a dress she wanted badly. But she was so unhappy with her body and thought she was too big to wear the dress. That's when her brother*  piped up and said the sweetest thing to her.

Be bold.

He told her that she had always been bold when making decisions in her life, she looked great in the dress, and to just go with her heart and get the dress. Be bold, he said. Just be bold.

I couldn't help but tear up a little. How lucky that woman is to have someone who cares about her enough to encourage her and remind her of the strong individual that she is. Sometimes we all need to hear that. Maybe he just wanted her to hurry up and pick a dress already so he could get the hell out of that store. But I'm choosing to believe that he spoke out of love and admiration.

Who doesn't need to be bold? To dig deep within, summon every ounce of courage and resolution, and take a chance? Mostly in life, we coast by. We could navigate with our eyes closed; waking up, making breakfast, getting dressed, driving the kids to school, and on and on it goes. But what kind of life is it if we never shake things up? If we simply continue to do the same things over and over again, nothing ever changes. We don't grow. We wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.

Doing something new is scary. Letting ourselves be vulnerable is terrifying. It's true that the outcomes of new ventures are uncertain, but that's what makes them exciting and potentially very fulfilling. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we make a fool of our ourselves. A life full of failures and embarrassments is better than a life full of un-realized dreams and chances that were never taken. Because side by side with those failures and embarrassments, are sure to be some of the most satisfying moments and accomplishments of your life.

Be bold.

Take a chance. Live your dreams. Don't let fear rule your life.

Leave a comment and share about a time when you were bold!

*He could have been her brother-in-law, cousin, uncle, or friend...but I'll just simplify and assume he was her brother.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

ENDED Giveaway: Peter Pan Live at the Fox Theatre Detroit

Peter Pan Broadway

Connor's first play, just a couple months shy of his third birthday, was Peter Pan. I remember how excited and captivated he was by the special effects and the stage props. Back then, he use to let me dress him up in ties and dress shoes, and he had the most adorable little navy blue wool dress coat. Bethany use to get excited about fancy dresses and patent leather shoes, and I could even get her to wear tights. I can clearly recall how cute the two of them looked that day, and how quietly they sat and watched the entire play.

April 19-21, 2013, Peter Pan is coming back to Detroit for five performances at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Show times are as follows:
  • Friday, April 19, 2013 - 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, April 21, 2013 - 1:00 PM
  • Sunday, April 21, 2013 - 6:30 PM

Peter Pan Broadway

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the family friendly classic tale of a magical land and a little boy who didn't want to grow up. Cathy Rigby will once again be starring as Peter Pan in this Tony Award nominated production. Tickets start at just $30, click HERE for more information and to purchase tickets.

Interested in winning tickets? In conjunction with Olympia Entertainment, I'm offering  four tickets to see Peter Pan at the Fox Theatre to one lucky MichiGal reader! The tickets are for the Friday, April 19 performance, at 7:30 PM! This play is fun to watch for kids and grown ups, and boys and girls alike! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

Please note: the tickets can only be used for the Detroit performance of Peter Pan at the Fox Theatre on Friday, April 19 at 7:30 PM! They cannot be used anywhere else, or for any other production! Please only enter if you live in the area or are willing to drive to Detroit to see the play.

Prize is being provided by Olympia Entertainment. No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are my own.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

ENDED Giveaway: Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries at the Fox Theatre

As a kid, one of my favorite shows was Scooby Doo. Decades later, it tickles me that my kids also enjoy watching the adventures of Scooby and his gang of intrepid mystery-solvers. Recently I learned that there is now a Scooby Doo stage show. What a great idea! I'm really curious to see how a Scooby Doo mystery will be converted to the stage. As a theatre lover, I think it's great when children's favorite characters have their own theatrical productions, because it's a terrific way to introduce kids to the theatre. They can get comfortable being in a theatre setting and begin learning audience etiquette.

This April 13-14, 2013, Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries will be at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Event times are as follows:

Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 11:00 AM
Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 2:00 PM
Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 1:00 PM

Click HERE to buy tickets now!

In typical Scooby fashion, a pesky ghost is causing trouble in a local theatre, and Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Velma, and Daphne are on the job to get down to the bottom of the mystery. Incorporating musical performances of the Scooby-Doo theme song, as well as several other songs, and introducing some new characters, Scooby-Doo Live! promises to amuse and entertain kids and parents alike.

I am so excited to be offering my readers the chance to win 4 tickets to see Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, on Sunday, April 14 at 1:00 PM! Want to win? Just use the Rafflecopter form to enter! Please note, this contest is ONLY FOR THE DETROIT SHOW! Please only enter if you are in the Detroit area, or are willing to travel here for the performance!

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I am offering this giveaway in conjunction with Olympia Entertainment. Olympia Entertainment is providing the winner's tickets.

Online Degree Programs: Perfect Solution for Parents

I have a confession. I'm 38 years old, and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Wait, what's that you say? I'm already grown up? Well that may be true, but it sure doesn't feel like it at times! While I enjoy my work as a full-time mommy, and I know in my heart nothing could be more fulfilling at this time of my life, I do know that at some point my kids aren't going to need me quite so much. In other words, I'm not going to be a full-time mommy forever. What will I do then? Online Bachelors Degree Programs are the answer for lots of parents in similar situations.

Most parents of young children require a certain amount of flexibility in their lives. Kids get sick, have snow days, holiday breaks, and more. Not to mention, they also have an endless need to be driven somewhere: school, extra-curricular activities, sports practices and games, birthday parties, play dates...the list goes on. When the time comes for me to seriously consider going back to school, I know I'll need all the flexibility I can possibly get. What this means for me is that an online degree program is probably going to be first choice. That way I can be home when I need to be home, be in the car fulfilling my chauffeur duties when need be, be available to help with homework or tend to sick children, and do my course work when it's convenient for my schedule. Of course that doesn't solve the dilemma of what it is exactly that I want to do with my life, but at least an online college program could make going back to school possible for me.

A long time ago, I though I might go back to school to get a degree in Social Work. I even started filling out paper work and went to my Alma mater for an informational meeting about the program. Then pregnancy struck again and I put that dream on the back burner. Now I'm not so sure that I still have the same dream. Even before that dream of being a social worker, I had another dream - to be a writer. I love the writing outlet that this blog provides, and the little jobs I get to do every now and then, but maybe getting a degree in journalism or creative writing would set me on the path to actually earn a living from my writing. In the meantime, I still have a child in preschool, so I know I won't be going to school at least until she's in school full time. But when the time comes, I'm grateful to know that technology has provided me with the option of online college programs.

This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: BYOU Magazine

Being a young girl has always been difficult, but I think it is getting harder by the day. The expectations, the peer pressure, the mean girl factor, media portrayals, perfection obsessions, and more are contributing to making girls feel inadequate and insecure.

I see it in my own beautiful daughter, and it makes me so sad. I have tried since she was born to build her up and make her feel strong, smart, and comfortable in her own skin. Yet when I took her to the doctor the other day and the nurse weighed her, Bethany was horrified at the number on the scale. Why? I'm not sure, but it seems that she has an idea that her weight should be under a certain number. My daughter is made of muscle; slender, strong, and with envy-worthy washboard abs. There is literally not an ounce of pudge on her. And even with the perfect body she has been blessed with, she is insecure and has body image issues. What of the little girls her age who still have lingering baby fat, or who are gaining weight faster than height as they go through puberty? What of the underweight, skinny ones, with knobby knees and bony shoulders? They are no less beautiful and perfect in their own right. But we females are somehow brought up to believe that we are never quite enough.

And it certainly doesn't end with our physical attributes. Our choices are questioned, even well into adulthood. Stay-at-home mom? You don't "really" work. Working mother? You should be home with your children. We can't win. So often, we are not taken seriously, and it's not just the men who are doing it to us. Women are the worst critics of other women. Instead of supporting one another, we judge. We wage unnecessary and frivolous wars over things that shouldn't matter. I'm not talking about battle grounds in faraway countries. I'm talking about school yards and social media, text messages and PTC meetings. We're not nice to each other, and it starts young.

Bethany has had girls who are barely acquaintances freely approach her at school to let her know they don't approve of her outfit or how she did her hair that day. I know some people take pride in their frank, unfiltered honesty. But I don't think any good ever came out of insulting someone under the guise of righteous honesty. If your words are going to hurt someone without helping them, bite your tongue!

Positivity is something that is sadly lacking for young girls these days. We need more media and support to make them feel good about themselves, so that they can carry that self-confidence into adulthood and spread it to other women and to their own children. They need to be made to feel that their ideas are important, and that they matter.

As a mom of three daughters, I am passionate about nurturing the self esteem and confidence of young girls. So when I was given the opportunity to review BYOU Magazine, a magazine geared toward 8-14 year old girls, I was really excited by what I saw. I read stories about fulfilling our dreams, making goals, starting small businesses, and embracing our own unique traits. Full of practical advice, good role models, fun ideas, and empowering information, reading BYOU was a definite breath of fresh air. I am so happy to see that something of this quality is being published for young girls, and I hope that it continues to gain popularity so that its positive message will spread.

BYOU (Be Your Own You) Magazine is published bi-monthly and available for purchase at thousands of book stores across the U.S. and Canada, as well as online (cover price: $3.95). Subscriptions are available for just $17.97. Some regular features include:

  • Celebrity Interviews, with a strong emphasis on positive role models.
  • Girls Making a Difference, both celebrities and "real" girls are highlighted for their community efforts
  • Self Esteem Education and Information, including common issues like friendship problems and bullying
  • What It Means To Me To Be Your Own You, featuring real girls sharing self esteem tips and thoughts on what it means to be your own person
  • BFF Column From A&A, Allisyn Arm and Audrey Whitby, stars of Disney's "So Random", give friendship advice
  • Shining Your Heartlight Bright, with age-appropriate beauty tips - inner and outer beauty; also featuring real girls
  • B-On Location With BYOU, invite BYOU to photograph what real girls are doing to be true to themselves in their communities
  • B-Smart, offers a chance for readers to exercise their brains with fun games and puzzles because it is cool to be smart!
  • B-Silly, encouraging girls to have fun without being self-conscious and overly concerned about what others think
I love the positive, empowering messages throughout BYOU Magazine. I love the strong emphasis on "real" girls, and the great things they are doing. I love that everything in the magazine is age appropriate, and there is no questionable content. The whole magazine is designed to make girls feel good about themselves, in a genuine, un-superficial way. 

If you are the parent of a daughter between the ages of 8-14, I strongly encourage you to check out BYOU Magazine. It's spreading the kind of messages that our girls need to hear and believe!

To order BYOU Magazine, please click HERE.

To connect with BYOU and learn more, feel free to follow via social media:

I was provided with an issue of BYOU Magazine for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Thankful Thursday

thankful Thursday gratitude

Sometimes I find it difficult to find gratitude for the lovely state in which I reside. Sure, it's pretty easy to love Michigan in the middle of summer, especially if I happen to be, say, hanging out on a beach on the shores of one of our majestic Great Lakes. Other times, like a first day of spring that feels like the dead of winter, I have to dig a little deeper. Or a lot deeper.

But, this is where I live, and it's probably going to be where I continue to live for a  long time to come. So I'm going to focus a little on being thankful instead of wishing I lived somewhere else. Somewhere warmer. Anyway.

What am I thankful for in Michigan?

The green. And the water. Green is everywhere, even in the winter with the Evergreen trees. And you can't go far with finding water. In my city, there is a large (but not quite Great) lake, and we are just a short drive to Lake Huron. I have to admit that I love being close to the water. I wish I was closer to a beach, but like I said, Lake Huron's not far, along with its beaches.

The seasons. I'm not one to gush over how much I just adore the change of seasons. I'm usually not a fan of any change that involves cooler weather. But when spring comes, and the snow starts melting and the flowers start blooming and the breeze is suddenly comfortable and a little warm instead of arctic. Driving along with your windows down and smelling the clean, fresh air...And even in the fall, although it's getting colder and one step closer to the dreaded winter, the leaves change and it really is beautiful here. Especially when we get an Indian Summer, and we can enjoy the fall colors with temperatures in the 70s or even 80s. Now that is nice.

It's not so bad living in the same city where my maternal grandmother grew up. It's kind of cool driving along and wondering if this or that was a place she was when she was a child or a teenager. My whole family has been in Michigan for generations, and I love being so close to that history.

There is a lot to do and see in Michigan. We are lucky enough to have the rustic Upper Peninsula, with its waterfalls and forests and lakes, and Up North, where we Michiganders go to relax and re-connect with nature. I am grateful that we have Chris's dad's place to go in northern Michigan to disconnect digitally. I'm grateful that we have his pool, and Chris's mom's private park and pool, and family close by to spend time with our kids and help us when we need it.

I'm grateful that I can take my kids to places I went when I was a kid. I'm glad that my kids have been able to grow up knowing my aunts and uncles and cousins because we live near so many of them.

Now, that wasn't so hard. I could probably even think of more things, like that we seem to live in a bubble protecting us from major natural disasters. That's something to be grateful for too!

What are you thankful for this week? What are your favorite things about your home state, whether that happens to be Michigan or someplace else?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So What! Wednesday

So What Wednesday

We are leaving for Florida in one week and I am completely and totally unprepared. I need to get a game plan here!

I'm kind of concerned about how traveling is going to mess with my diet. I am bringing all my Shaklee 180™ stuff with me, but it's really the driving part that is concerning me. I like to munch on candy and junk during long car rides, especially when I'm driving. It keeps my mind focused and helps me concentrate on the road.

After not wearing to a hat to school for three or four days, Mathilda once again wore a hat to school yesterday. I continue to do my best not to make a big deal out of it. I've been telling her for weeks that she can't wear hats anymore when it's spring because it will be too warm. Ha. I believe the high temperature is going to a whopping 30 degrees today.

Bethany has bronchitis and I feel so bad for her! I know how she feels because I used to get bronchitis all the time when I was a kid. It's not fun.

I try not to let things bring me down that I have no control over, but the weather. Oh this weather is really getting to me. I can't wait to go SOUTH next week!

Since Bethany's been home sick I've been watching more television than I've watched in years. We had one whole day of Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta, and now we're on day 2 of iCarly. When I was a kid I was stuck watching soap operas and boring talk shows when I was home sick.

Sometimes Mathilda's memory blows my mind. I can't believe the stuff this kid remembers. Meanwhile, I can't remember whether I fed the dog this morning.

My little girls try hard to be independent. When they feel like it. Which means that sometimes Lucy goes to school with her hair looking not quite I'd prefer. And there's often toothpaste all over the bathroom counter because Mattie likes to get her own toothbrush ready.

Connor reminded me that when he was in first grade, I taught him how to make his own school lunches. I told Lucy maybe it's time she learns, since she's in first grade too. She's not too keen on that idea. So much for the independent streak.

Bethany's basketball banquet was Saturday, so now the season is really, completely over. Which makes me a little sad, even though it was hectic with practices and games and tournaments for almost 5 months.

What are you saying So What! to this week?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Putting Edge Glow in the Dark Mini Golf and Arcades

Putting Edge Glow-in-the-Dark Mini GolfI'm always on the lookout for new and different fun activities to do together as a family. We like to do all kinds of things, from visiting museums to playgrounds to theme parks.

Putting Edge Glow in the Dark Mini Golf sounds like it would be a fun activity to do either with a group of friends, on a date night, or as a family. This would also be something entertaining and different for a birthday party, a special interest group, or a corporate function, just to name a few ideas. Any age, male or female can enjoy this imaginative activity.

A birthday party at Putting Edge sounds like a blast, and I have no doubt that my kids would think so, too! Right now, you can save $20 at your next Putting Edge Glow-in-the-Dark birthday party, just use this link to get your coupon! The coupon expires 8/31/13. Certain restrictions apply, so read the coupon for details!

Putting Edge birthday party

Putting Edge has locations in the Detroit area, Orlando, Chicago, Denver, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and throughout Canada.

Putting Edge Glow in the Dark Mini Golf
Putting Edge Glow in the Dark Mini Golf

Doesn't this look cool? I'm looking forward to trying it out!

Have you been to Putting Edge? Which location did you visit?

In exchange for helping to promote Putting Edge, I will receive free passes to a location of my choice. All opinions are my own.

Tropical Trio Sweepstakes: Win a Trip to Hawaii!

I have a dream, of visiting Hawaii some day. I don't know when or if the day will come that I finally get there, but I remain hopeful! Do you share this dream with me? Then you might be interested to know that you can enter to win a trip to Hawaii, courtesy of Purex, Honey Bunches of Oats, and Outrigger Hotels and Resorts!

Tropical Trio Sweepstakes
Tropical Trio Sweepstakes

One Grand Prize winner will receive a four-night stay at Outrigger Waikiki for two people! If that doesn't sound like heaven, I don't know what does!

Five 1st Place winners will receive a one-year's supply of Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash Detergent and Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends. Okay, so it's not Hawaii...but it's still a pretty awesome prize! 

One hundred 2nd Place winners will receive coupons for free Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash Detergent and Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends. 

106 prizes!!!

So if this...

Outrigger Waikiki Hawaii
Outrigger Waikiki

looks good to you (especially on a day like this, when the wind is howling and freezing cold), take a chance and enter the sweepstakes!

Just click HERE to enter!

Disclosure: In exchange for writing this post, I'm in the running to win a prize. No compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

Travel Tuesday: The Road Trip Continues Into North Dakota

Believe it or not, I'm still not done recapping our big Summer 2012 road trip! It won't be long now, but...if you'd like to catch up on past posts about the trip, here are the links:

After leaving Glacier National Park, we were exhausted from our day of breathtaking site-seeing. But we still had to get in at least a couple hours of driving because the clock was ticking. My mom was scheduled to be back to work on a certain day, so we couldn't linger. I purposely decided to take a different route heading east than we had taken while driving west so that we could see some different scenery. On our way back to Michigan, we started out on U.S. 2, which took us through northern Montana, and then transferred to I-94 before entering North Dakota. U.S. 2 was definitely a more rural route, taking us along a four lane highway very close to Canada. It was also flatter going, so not nearly as intense as driving through the mountains with a speed  limit of 70! U.S. 2 does go straight to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and I'd love to go that way next time!

The Baker Massacre
Somewhere along U.S. 2 in Montana
There were lots of places I wanted to stop, and again it was difficult trying to have tunnel vision and driving past interesting museums and sites. The area is a hot bed of dinosaur fossils, and many little museums along U.S. 2 display remains. We didn't stop at any, and after spending the night in a little Montana town, pressed forward with North Dakota on our minds. Once in awhile we pulled over to read road side markers, like the one to the left, to learn a little about the local history. Under this particular sign, someone had so thoughtfully left a memorial in the form of a Crown Royal bottle. 

Baker Massacre
Baker Massacre memorial

Around here, we typically see things like teddy bears and homemade signs at road side memorials. Artificial flowers adorned with ribbons too...but I don't think I've ever seen a Crown Royal bottle.

abandoned bridge

We also stopped to snap a few pictures of this dilapidated abandoned bridge. It looked pretty dangerous to me, and nothing was blocking it off. But hey, we were in the wild west. I'm not sure if this was in Montana or North Dakota. Actually, the drop wasn't too far down, but still! I wouldn't want to fall in that murky water. Or trip on those rusty iron beams.

dinosaur sculpture
Gas station somewhere in North Dakota

Check out this gas station art somewhere in North Dakota. Appropriate, don't you think? Also, there is a baby or small child in the dinosaur's mouth. Sort of disturbing, but still interesting. I love finding sculptures in random public places.

One place I really wanted to visit in North Dakota was the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. However, it just wasn't meant to be this time. But I had read that if we pulled off at exit 32 (off of I-94, eastbound), the exit for the Painted Canyon Visitor Center, that we could get a decent view of the park and maybe even see some wandering bison.

So we had to pass up this ------------------------>

But...we did see this ---
right outside of our car! And at least 12 more like it, including a few babies. It was getting kind of late by the time we got there, so we didn't get out, but we did roll through and take some pics. Lots of other travelers were poking their heads out of their car windows and snapping photos too.

Where else can you see random, free-roaming bison just hanging out at a rest stop? I love the west! However, I just read some sad news. The Painted Canyon Visitor Center is supposed to re-open for the season on April 1st, but it is closed indefinitely due to budget cuts. This makes me sad, and really happy that we stopped! Hopefully the visitor center will be re-opened again soon.

Now, let's talk about sunflowers. I had no idea that North Dakota is home to field after field full of big, beautiful sunflowers. They are gorgeous. All last summer I wanted to find a field of sunflowers so I could take pictures of my kids in it. And here I was, zooming down I-94 going 75 miles an hour and passing who knows how many fields of sunflowers. There was no place to stop and get close enough. I was so bummed! I got a few shots at a rest stop, but we couldn't get close enough to the field for my liking. Just know, these pictures do not do the flowers justice, at all!

North Dakota sunflowers
North Dakota sunflowers

Since this was our first time in North Dakota, I wanted to make sure we did at least one touristy thing. Jamestown just happened to be on our route. Jamestown is known as "Buffalo City", probably because it is the home of the world's largest buffalo at Frontier Village. Basically, Frontier Village is a compilation of several historical buildings, such as an old post office and church, that have been donated by local residents. And of course there's the buffalo...which is, by the way, a statue. In case you were hoping to see the world's largest live buffalo. It was fun and kitschy and super duper hot.

Frontier Village Jamestown, North Dakota
Fun at Frontier Village in Jamestown, North Dakota

We didn't have much time in North Dakota, but we had enough time to see and appreciate some of this beautiful state. Bison and sunflowers and Frontier Village: a few more reasons to love a road trip. We wouldn't have seen any of this stuff from an airplane. I'm getting nostalgic for our time on the road!

Next stop: Mall of America.

Don't want to miss what happens next? Be sure to sign up for MichiGal email updates! Click HERE!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

ENDED Giveaway & Review: Soft Scrub Advanced Surface

Soft Scrub Advance Surface all purpose cleaner
I've always been a fan of Soft Scrub products because they often work when other all purpose cleaners just don't do the trick. Now Soft Scrub has a new product, Soft Scrub Advanced Surface, specially formulated to clean premium surfaces, including granite, marble, stainless steel, and glass cook tops. Like all Soft Scrub products, it's tough on stains yet gentle to the surface. One of the great things about this particular cleaning product is that it doesn't need to be rinsed. After applying it to your surface, just wipe it off with a damp sponge or paper towel.

I don't have a lot of premium surfaces in my house, but I do have a granite sink. I never really know what to use to clean it, and since it's a really dark color, I'm never sure how clean it really is. I've never used a granite cleaner, but I decided to give Soft Scrub Advanced Surface a whirl in my sink. Right away I could tell a difference from the usual random cleaning products I've been using. My sink looks cleaner, it really does! I think I'm going to try this product on my stainless steel appliances too. I have a feeling they will look a little more clean and vibrant!

Looking for an easy to use product to clean your premium surfaces? Give Soft Scrub Advance Surface a try! Want to win it? You're in luck! I'm giving one MichiGal reader 3 Soft Scrub products of your choice. You can get all three the same, or three different items - your choice! Just use the Rafflecopter form to enter! U.S. only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was provided with a sample of Soft Scrub Advanced Surface for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

ENDED Giveaway: Stock Up on New Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash Detergent

Since we're still stuck in a stubborn winter rut here in Michigan (Last year at this time it was HOT outside! This year? SNOW!), I need all the warm weather inspiration I can get to keep me motivated for the happy days of summer. And today, my inspiration comes in the form of a bottle of new Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash laundry detergent. It smells so good...fruity and tropical, like summertime.

And, do you know what else makes me happy about Purex Natural Elements? It's biodegradable! Don't you love when that happens? To make it even more green, at least 25% of the bottle is made from post-consumer recycled plastic. Green cleaning products are fab, aren't they? So, in case you ever wonder what happens to all that plastic you've been recycling, there's your answer. Also, something that is very important for my family: Purex Natural Elements is a dye-free and hypoallergenic laundry detergent, making it perfect for sensitive skin. Furthermore, it will work in any washing machine, including high efficiency models.

I've given you lots of good reasons to run out and buy Purex Natural Elements liquid laundry detergent and start using it right away. I'm also offering one MichiGal reader the chance to win 3 bottles of Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash laundry detergent! That's about 99 loads of laundry! That would even last ME a long time, and I am the queen of the never ending laundry!

All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and you're in! Sorry, U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I have been provided with a free sample in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

ENDED Giveaway: JAWS Cleaning Products

Just Add Water System JAWS cleaning products
A few months ago, I reviewed JAWS (Just Add Water System) cleaning products and hosted a giveaway for a set of four products. I was thrilled when a JAWS rep recently contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in hosting another giveaway, because I love these products! Let me highlight for you what I think is so special about JAWS, because I don't think it will be hard to convince you that you'd like to try these products too!

  • Just Add Water means that you can keep buying refills of the concentrate of your choice and re-use your plastic bottles. Environmentally friendly products make me happy!
  • Non-toxic - I feel safe letting my kids help me clean with these products! The smell won't choke you and have you begging for fresh air, like some other cleaning sprays.
  • Convenient - two refill cartridges can be stored on each bottle, so you'll always know where they are.
  • They work great and can be used to clean everything from the kitchen to the bathroom and everything in between.
  • Pretty colors - for some reason, the jewel tones make my kids more excited to use these sprays and get to cleaning!
If all those reasons are not enough to entice you to try JAWS, maybe the word SALE is?! The following sales are coming up in April:
  • April 8-21, BOGO at Hiller's
  • April 14-27, BOGO at Busch's
Normally, the bottles are $4.99 each and include one refill. So with the sale, you'll only be paying $2.49 a bottle (and you get the re-fill too!). The sale includes the Glass and Hard Surface Cleaner, Multi-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser, Bathroom Cleaner/Deodorizer, and Disinfectant Cleaner Degreaser.

Using JAWS cleaning products is easy. When you buy it, the bottles will be empty. All you have to do is fill a bottle with tap water and insert a cartridge of concentrated cleaning solution. Screw the top back on, and you're in business!

I am happy to offer one MichiGal reader a set of four JAWS cleaners! Sorry, but U.S. only and no P.O. boxes. Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

JAWS is providing me with a product sample. All opinions are my own.

ENDED Giveaway & Review: Custom Fortune Cookies

A few weeks ago, I came home to find an unexpected delivery on my porch. I love finding packages on my porch, so I rushed in the house to tear into the box. This is what I found:
Colorful fortune cookies
The box was full of fortune cookies, in a rainbow of colors: blue, red, orange, yellow, green, dark brown, and traditional light brown. I was very surprised, until a light bulb went off in my head and I remembered that I had been in contact with a rep from to review and host a giveaway for their fortune cookies.

My first thought was, wow! What a fun product! Then the kids and I started sampling and discovered that each color was a different flavor! I think the favorite was the dark brown, which was chocolate flavored. All of the flavors were as follows:

  • Red - Strawberry
  • Dark Brown - Chocolate
  • Blue - Raspberry
  • Green - Lime
  • Orange - Orange
  • Yellow - Coconut
  • Light Brown - Traditional
I found all of the flavors to be subtle and tasty. I was a little bummed that my fortunes were all an identical message with the company's website, but the good news is that you can order your own custom fortune cookies with personalized messages.

Wouldn't it be cool to order these for your child's graduation party, in his or her school colors? Or at a baby shower for a boy in blue? I only wish they came in pink! You could add in a personalized message congratulating the graduate or thanking guests for coming. These fortune cookies would definitely make a unique party favor and treat. There are several different themed messages you can choose from, including Wedding, Birthday, Graduation, Baby Shower, and Traditional. These cookies will have a variety of relevant messages. Or you can also order custom fortune cookies, which include up to 10 of your own personalized messages. 

Imagine the possibilities! Green for St. Paddy's Day! Red for Valentine's Day! How about sending these in for your child's next classroom party? Match the cookies with your favorite sports team when you have friends over to watch the game! Not only would these cookies be great at parties, they could also be used for marketing and business promotion.

Planning a party or looking for a fun way to promote your business? Guess what?! I am giving away a $100 credit to Custom Fortune Cookies! And you know what else? You can get a lot of fortune cookies for a hundred bucks! Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. 

To connect with Custom Fortune Cookies and learn more, visit and like their Facebook page!

U.S. only, no P.O. boxes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a product sample for review purposes.

ENDED Giveaway! The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu Ray Combo Pack

I don't know about you, but I am a HUGE fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's work. I read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Ring series years ago, and was hesitantly excited when the movie adaptations started coming out. Hesitant because, well, you never know if your favorite books are going to be totally botched when you see them on the silver screen! The Lord of the Rings trilogy was beautiful, true to the books, and not at all disappointing. What a relief! But I really couldn't wait to see The Hobbit, which is my favorite Tolkien book.  And when that movie came out, once again, I was not disappointed. Well, I was a little disappointed that I have to wait so long to see the next installment! But I loved the movie and will wait as patiently as I can to see the second movie of this trilogy.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is coming to Blu ray and DVD on March 19, 2013! This is definitely one you'll want to add to your movie collection! And I am giving away a Blu ray combo pack to one lucky winner! Just use the Rafflecopter form below. U.S. only, no P.O. boxes.

I am working with Warner Bros. to provide my MichiGal readers with this giveaway. No compensation was received.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ENDED Giveaway! History Channel's The Bible Companion Book

Have you been watching The Bible on the History Channel? It's on Sunday nights at 8 pm. From executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, it looks like a really interesting rendition of traditional Bible stories. I already hosted a giveaway associated with this premier, but now I have another one to offer!

This time around, the winner will receive once of the following The Bible companion books (book will be chosen at random):

  • A Story of God and All of Us (Hardcover)
  • A Story of God and All of Us (Reflections)
  • A Story of God and All of Us (Young Readers)

I am working with The History Channel to provide offer you this giveaway! No compensation was received.

To enter, just use the Rafflecopter form below! Sorry, U.S. only and no P.O. boxes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Disney On Ice Dare to Dream

For weeks, Mathilda and Lucy were excitedly anticipating Disney on Ice Dare to Dream. Truthfully, I was looking forward to it too! I took Bethany when she was very little, but haven't gone in about eight years. Lucy is really into princesses, and so is Mattie (even though she pretends not to be), so I knew it would be a perfect time to take them. We made plans with some friends so we could all go together, and waited impatiently for this morning to get here. I was a little annoyed when I woke up to find my van covered with snow, and worried that the drive would take twice as long. But we got going right on schedule and made it to the Palace of Auburn Hills with time to spare. Traffic in the parking lot was flowing nicely, with plenty of attendants directing drivers in the right direction. We parked easily and got our tickets from will call with no problem and no line.

Rapunzel & Mother Gothel at Disney On Ice
I made sure the girls each wore a Disney Princess shirt to the show, but purposely didn't mention dressing in costume. I knew many little girls would be decked out in princess finery, but our multitude of princess dresses have seen (much) better days. I don't think we have a single one that deserves to be worn in public. However it was really fun to see all the other little girls who were dressed up like princesses. The babies, especially, just made me melt into a puddle. I saw one little baby dressed as Minnie Mouse,and another as Aurora, and they were absolutely adorable. Okay, I admit that dressing up would have made the occasion just that much more special, but I couldn't bring myself to allow my girls to wear torn and tattered dresses with chocolate milk stains on them. Next time we go, I'll try to figure something out. I think Lucy and Mattie would get a big kick out of that!

Disney On Ice finale
The show consisted of three stories, which were basically condensed versions of Princess and the Frog, Cinderella, and Tangled. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy served as narrators before the show and in between sets. The first half of the show was Princess and the Frog and half of Cinderella. After a short 10 or 15 minute intermission, we saw the second half of Cinderella and Tangled. The actors amazed me with their skating skills, and it was really visually entertaining to watch them. There were some cool special effects, and the girls were absolutely captivated from beginning to end. The finale included guest appearances from Snow White, Aurora, Belle, Jasmine, Mulan, and Ariel, and of course, their accompanying princes. Mathilda was dancing and singing right from the start, and the other girls were really enjoying themselves too. We had so much fun!

Mickey & Minnie at Disney On Ice
At the end of the show, we had to fight our way through the crowd to make our way to the exit. Heading out a little early would have made it much easier to leave, but I wouldn't have wanted to miss the end of the show. The girls really liked seeing the other princesses make an appearance, and if we had left early, they would have missed that. Once we got outside, the crowd dispersed and it only took a few minutes to get out of the parking lot and onto I-75 to head home. I was anticipating that traffic would be much worse and that it would take a lot longer to get in and out of the Palace parking lot, so I was pleasantly surprised.

If you want to take your kids to see Disney On Ice Dare to Dream at the Palace of Auburn Hills, it's not too late! There are still four more shows this weekend! Your little girls will love it, and you won't regret it! My girls are already asking when we can see Disney On Ice again. Click HERE for more information!

  • Saturday, March 16, 2013, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, March 17, 2013, 11:30 am
  • Sunday, March 17, 2013, 3:30 pm
  • Sunday, March 17, 2013, 7:30 pm

In exchange for helping to promote Disney On Ice Dare to Dream, I was provided with complimentary tickets.