A Weekend at the Kalahari Resort, Poconos, PA – Day 1

So if you follow me on Instagram, you will know that two weeks ago – the boys and I packed up and headed to the Poconos for an impromptu weekend away at Kalahari Resort. 

I was invited as a part of a media weekend getaway but it happened to fall on a day where Charles was traveling for work as well. At first I didn’t think I could make it work and didn’t want to go to a indoor waterpark solo with two littles, but after an hour of master planning {and packing!}, I packed up the littles into the car and decided to make it work! 

America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark? I couldn’t pass up this opportunity and I knew the boys would have an absolute BLAST.

Spoiler Alert: They totally did. Brooks wanted to take up permanent residence there, and still asks me just about every day to go back. 

So I want to share our weekend with you, but obviously sharing 3 days of fun takes a lot of time and pictures, so I’ll be doing it in two posts – today and tomorrow! And its going to be a picture heavy post! Beware! Or Enjoy! 🙂

And if you aren’t in the Philadelphia area, don’t worry! Aside from the Poconos, PA location there is also a Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, OH – Wisconsin Dells, WI and Round Rock, TX {opening soon!}

So about our weekend away! I drove up with the boys on Friday afternoon and of course the second I told Brooks we were going to an indoor waterpark, the first second inside the hotel he just HAD to go!

Doesn’t this look like a kid that’s pretty pumped about his current life?

I don’t blame him for being excited – I was excited to check it out too – BUT I was a little nervous about doing water activities solo with two very mobile but non-swimmers. Luckily, the Tot section of the waterpark made it super easy for me to manage both littles, keep them safe, happy and give them a little taste of the waterpark fun before bedtime.

We all had to get a good nights sleep to rest up for the next big day of all the waterpark fun!

The rooms in Kalahari were amazing and I wish I took pictures to share with you. But the second we stepped foot in our room, with the boys it was like a bomb of crazy went off, so I didn’t get any good photos. We stayed in the African Queen Suite which was 852 sq. ft. consisting of a fireplace, table and chairs, master bedroom w/king size bed, guest room w/two queen size beds and a queen size sofa sleeper. Admission to the indoor waterpark and outdoor waterpark (seasonal, weather permitting) is included for each registered hotel guest! And they have more than just suites – 1, 2, 3 and 5 bedroom suites are available!

The rooms were amazing – perfect for families. We put the boys in a room together, brought Graham’s crib and put Brooks in the big boy bed. Then after they went to bed at 7pm, Charles I could hang out and have our own space.

The only issue was me being neurotic about Brooks sleeping in a large bed. I was so afraid he was going to fall off the bed – even with pillows underneath the sheets acting like rails and pillows on the floor. I kept on waiting to hear a THUMP of him on the floor, breaking an arm. So I pretty much didn’t sleep and watched him all night. #crazymom

But aside from me being a little nuts, the rooms were fantastic and smartly planned out for families traveling together!

The next morning it was waterpark day! And since the boys go to bed at 7pm, they get up around 7am – which is fine by me when we are home, but when we are in a hotel, its time to get up and out of the room! The waterpark doesn’t open until 9am so we had some time to kill – Enter the Arcade!

{after my morning frozen coffee treat, of course}

All the flashing lights, noises and games. We were given a pre-loaded card to enjoy pretty much all the games in the arcade, the boys were in heaven and loved playing all the games and rides that were age appropriate for them. It was a great way to burn off some steam in the beginning of the day – and pretty much else was still sleeping, so we had the place to ourselves!

Random – but check out this mini version of the waterpark. It includes EVERYTHING and gives you an idea of just how big Kalahari actually is! It’s seriously massive and we were there that weekend to check out the grand opening of their Phase II project – which doubled their guest rooms {up to 1,000!}, opened a true 220,000 sq. ft. waterpark, 100,000 sq. ft. convention center, 40,000 sq. ft. interactive arcade, 3 full-service signature dining experiences and 6,000 sq. ft. of retail space.

Did I mention this place is HUGE? It’s pretty much it’s own little amazing city.

As a part of the media weekend, we were invited to a special Breakfast on Sunday morning, celebrating Kenya’s Birthday {the Kalahari elephant mascot!}

Brooks was a little less than thrilled when he learned we wouldn’t be heading off to the waterpark as soon as it opened, but when I mentioned that they may have Birthday Cake, he was back on board.

We got to enjoy a special family style breakfast and a dance party for the littles first thing in the morning. It was a great way to check out one of the restaurants
{ Brandenberg} and enjoy one of the activities for the kids that Kalahari offers! 

Brooks is at the perfect age for all this – he is just getting into characters and this character breakfast with all of Kalahari’s cast was a great way to kick off our Saturday morning!

Graham on the other hand is interested in the characters, but doesn’t want them to get too close to him! Ha! He enjoyed the dance party in his own little world and took interest in the characters from afar!

Breakfast. A little bit of pretty much everything on the menu. Yum.

After fueling up, it was time to hit the waterpark!

It’s hard to really explain how big this place is unless you go and see it for yourself. It’s so very large. This is a photo of part of the entrance to the waterpark – and you can’t even see where it ends.

Also, waterslides GALORE!

Tons of waterslides, two fantastic toddler areas, lazy river, wave pool, indoor surfing and more. The waterpark was filled with something for everyone and super clean! I was definitely impressed.

The boys loved everything about it. They wanted to go on everything and loved every minute in the water.

I could pretty much watch Brooks go down the tot slides forever. He couldn’t get enough!

Graham loved it too and had a absolute blast – I think he loved people watching {or Brooks watching} just as much. It was such a new scene for him to take in, and he’s not as fearless as Brooks is with the water, but he loved splashing, playing and having fun in his 1.5 year old way!

We spent a good chunk of the morning doing all the things at the waterpark, but then it was time to head back to the room for a little nap and rest time for the boys {before doing it all over again!} It was awesome being able to just pop up to our room for a few hours and then pop back down for round 2 at the waterpark. Definitely made things super easy and no stress! Can’t say enough good things about it!

I’ll be back to share more of our weekend with you tomorrow! If you have any specific questions about Kalahari, let me know in the comments or message me and I’ll be sure to answer them!

Getting Out of the City | Springtime at Sands Bethlehem

This post was sponsored by Sands Bethlehem as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

I admit it, I am not one to sit still in the same place for very long. Sometimes I like to blame the littles, like they are the ones who keep me moving – which is true in some aspects, but more often than not, I’m usually the one who doesn’t want to stay at home. We would definitely all go a little crazy if we do!

I want to be out and about. Exploring the city, taking in the sights. I love being a tourist where I live and even where I don’t live. There’s so much to see and do and experience out there, whats the point in staying at home?

During the winter, we tend to stay inside a little bit more while we try to avoid the cold outdoors. I get that, I do – but I do make a point to get out and do something fun with the boys a few times a week, no matter the season. As the weather warms up, we look to spend time with as a family doing fun things, especially on the weekends – and if it involves a little extra travel, that is fine by me!

Aside from learning about fun things going on in the city, I often enjoy looking outside the city limits as well – It’s nice to change things up a bit. Sands Bethlehem looks to me like a fun entertainment destination for the entire family this Spring, and I thought it might be helpful to share a few things that looked cool to me that they have going on in the next few weeks!

I haven’t been there {yet!} but it looks like there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy, including fantastic restaurants from celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Buddy Valastro, designer outlet shopping, a luxurious spa for ultimate relaxation {sign me up!}, Kids Quest and Cyber Quest, the world class casino for mom and dad and all of the local Lehigh Valley area attractions.

A few things currently going on include Easter Bunny Photos at The Outlets at Sands Bethlehem – April 1 – 15, 2017: Monday through Saturday from 11:00am to 7:00pm; Sunday from 11:00am to 6:00p. And how cool is it that they are doing Pet Photos with the Easter Bunny, Sunday, April 9th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Jackson would LOVE that!

This Saturday, The Outlets at Sands Bethlehem is hosting it’s annual FREE community Easter event on Saturday, April 8 starting at 10:00 a.m. There will be a Easter Egg Hunt, located at Kids Quest with varying Age Groups / Start Times: Infant to 4 yrs / 10:00am start | 5 yrs to 7 yrs / 10:30am start | 8 yrs to 10 yrs / 11:00am start | Kids must be pre-registered the day of the event.  Registration will begin a half hour before each hunt in front of Kids Quest.

And be sure to stick around to enjoy the Lehigh Valley Academy Band and Choir Spring Concert from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Along with some pretty amazing Door Prizes too!

The Kids Quest at The Outlets at Sands Bethlehem will be hosting Grossology Science Weekends throughout April. If you have a little that’s old enough, be sure to visit Kids Quest every weekend for themed arts and crafts, special activities and more.

And I know I would be hitting up the Steel Magnolia Spa & Salon at The Outlets at Sands Bethlehem – Enjoy 50% off a Classic Manicure with a Spa Pedicure service!

If you are a fellow Philly resident, I’d love to hear about your favorite getaway spot! Have you been to Sands?

 

For more information on upcoming events and activities happening at Sands: https://www.pasands.com/

Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.

DIY Easter Decorations – Hand Painted Eggs + Bunnies by the Littles

I’m usually not one for much holiday decoration. Sure, Christmas is a whole different story because there are stockings, trees, lights – it’s a production. But all the other holidays sort of just come and go without much fuss. 

I have been on a bit of a mission to change all that. My parents decorated for the seasons and the holidays and I enjoyed the constantly changing decor. It was fun and I want to have that for my littles too.

That being said, I live in the city and storage for holiday decor is at a minimum.

Seriously, minimum. 

So I decided to add to my holiday collections a little more each year, but in a more fun way {I think} than just picking up decorations at Target {which is very tempting, they are always so cute!}

I’ve been having my littles make their own decorations to spruce up our home and it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever.

I got these wooden eggs at Target  along with these little Rabbits {similar} for each of the boys to get arts + crafty with. I enjoy having a creative activity for the boys to do a few days a week – it’s nice to change things up a bit and even more fun when they are being productive towards helping me decorate!

Plus it’s cute coming from the kids! 

We decorated a heart for the front door along with an XO for my new office for Valentine’s Day. I enjoy decorating with tasteful art from the littles – and they love to paint, so its a win, win! 

For these, we did them in a few different layers – painted one color before dinner one night, let try. Another color before dinner another night. It was a good end of the night activity and kept them entertained, plus I think the layered colors on the eggs turned out great! 

They definitely look handmade – by a toddler!

Which is what I was going for, thankyouverymuch!

And while Brooks mainly did the Easter egg painting, because of their size {and the fact that Graham tends to put the paintbrush in his mouth when you aren’t looking – see below} the Bunny’s were a big hit for each of the boys to paint solo and make their own. I did a solid color over them completely before giving them to them, so they were at least covered with color the majority of the way.

And then I let the boys go to town!

Like I said, it was a really fun activity that I was able to drag out over the course of a week – and the boys love to paint!

And apparently eat the paint #momfail

MOST of the paint went on the art projects.

And as you can see, my #momhack of pizza boxes and painters tape kept my table mostly paint free.

Mostly.

But here is our finished product. After a quick drill of holes in the eggs {I’m sure you can find eggs with holes already in them}, I strung them with some green twine and was ready to hang them up for display!

The eggs turned out really great. I love the layered marble look – and its a nice little of decoration without being too much. Subtle. I like that.

And I love the bunnies too! It’s sweet that one was made by each little. I’m going to write their name and the year on the back of each one, something my mom would totally do {Hi Mom!}

Thanks to my little painters for the Easter Decor!

Do you have your littles help decorate?

Any good DIY ideas to share for some more arts + crafts fun?

And don’t forget to enter my Spring is in the Air Giveaway for a chance to win a $75 gift card!

The Land Down Under

Let’s start this post off with a little Fun Fact about me. If you are new around here you might not know this! When I was a junior in collage at Villanova University I studied abroad in Sydney, Australia. I was there the second half of the Spring semester and stayed the whole summer – even made a pit stop in Fiji and got certified in snorkeling! 

So, needless to say that after spending 9 months in the Land Down Under, I left a          piece of my heart there for sure. It’s a beautiful country, simply breathtaking. I traveled all up and down the coast – from Melbourne to the Great Barrier Reef – even made it out to the middle of the country to see Ayer’s Rock.

It was the best. I hope to go back someday. 

Jervis Bay, my favorite spot

Here are a few scenes from when I studied abroad, I wish I had the blog back then, would have been amazing to have all my travels and experiences to share with you here, but here are a few look backs at a few of the places we went:

When I went abroad for such a long period of time, it was hard to say goodbye to my parents. Australia is SO FAR away and at the time, my grandma was sick so my parents were unable to come visit. It was difficult to be so far away from family and friends, but luckily, I made awesome friendships with the people who I traveled with for school and it was incredible.

Everyone should study abroad. It was the best experience ever.

I’d love to know if you studied abroad, and if so – where?

Another Fun Fact about me – before my 9+ months away, my parents took me out to a celebratory dinner to Outback! They also ate there numerous times while I was away as a little ‘toast to my time abroad’ which I thought was sweet! 

When I lived in Virginia we would go all the time, there was one really close and it was so good! I was so excited when I was invited to visit the Outback at King of Prussia Mall, which is now open!

The brand spankin’ new restaurant, which brought 100 jobs to the area, features a “Modern Australia” building design, both inside and out, as well as spacious dining room and bar areas that can seat approximately 350 people.

I was brought in with a VERY important job – to try the new SPRING MADNESS 3-Point Bloomin’ Onion! It’s three Outback Signature Dishes all mashed up into one plate – Bloomin’ Onion, topped with Aussie Cheese Fries, topped with Outback Center-Cut Sirloin.

Umm..Yum.

Brooks was pretty pumped up to try out the new 3-Point Bloom. He pretty much ate all the cheese fries, because what toddler wouldn’t?!

And he was pretty excited about them too.
The lovely folks at Outback also gave me a few Free Bloomin’ Onion cards to give away! Want one? Leave a comment below and I will pick a few winners to send them too!

Everyone loves a good Bloomin’ Onion – amIright?!
Thanks for a lovely meal Outback! If you are visiting the King of Prussia Mall anytime soon, be sure to stop by and check it out!
Outback Steakhouse starts fresh every day to create the flavors that our mates crave. Best known for grilled steaks, the Bloomin’ Onion and a wide variety of chicken and seafood, Outback also offers a wide variety of crisp salads and freshly made soups and sides. New creations and grilled classics, such as Victoria’s Filet Mignon and Perfectly Grilled Salmon, are made from scratch daily using only the highest quality ingredients sourced from around the world. Earn up to 50% off every fourth visit by joining Dine RewardsTM at www.dine-rewards.com. For more information, please visit www.outback.com or http://www.facebook.com/outback.

Brooks’ First Kids Yoga Class!

A few weeks ago, we brought our old Wii back from the dead of our basement. It has been collecting dust down there for a loong time – it’s the original Wii that’s probably 10 years old – I thought it would be fun to bust out and see if Brooks could figure it out and play with it.

Ha!  The kid had the thing mastered in 10 minutes.

Maybe less.

So Brooks now has a slight obsession with Wii Fit and Wii Sports. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it – on the one end, it’s good for coordination and he’s at least moving around playing the games. On the other end, it’s more screen time – something Brooks isn’t lacking these days. BUT we keep busy in the mornings and afternoons out and about most days. So when he has a little down time while Graham naps so I can get a thing or two done, it’s not the worst thing in the world – right? Right?!

I found that surprisingly with the Wii Fit, he loved doing the yoga! He enjoyed mimicking the poses and movements along with the instructor on the screen. It was all sorts of cute – so that got the wheels in my head turning to try out a kids yoga class  in our neighborhood to see if he liked the real thing! Ha!

But before I get into Brooks’ class I have to share my kids yoga outfit. Obviously, I had to look cute for yoga, too – right?

Outfit Details: Leggings / Bralette / Top / Boots

Seriously ladies, you need this Bralette in your life! So comfortable and cute – only $20 and I’ve seen it on sale for less! I love the floral detail.

Ok, so back to kids yoga!

The class description for where we were for class was as follows: Please join us for our Kids and Toddler yoga classes focused on playful movement and imagination through games, music and storytelling. We will introduce the basic foundations of meditation and breath as tools to focus and relax.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Brooks LOVED it.

From playing yoga on Wii Fit a few times, he was immediately engaged in the class, following along with the teacher and familiar with the moves.
For the first class, I brought Graham with me because it was the only day and time that worked for class and I had both littles solo.

Graham sat on the little block watching the teacher, looking all cute for about 5 seconds, then he ran around the room for 45 minutes while big bro took class.

Side Note: How cute are these two pictures of Brooks doing his yoga flow and Graham getting his Buddha on. Ha.

Love it.

Graham was more into the blocks than class anyways. And they proved to be a nice little form of entertainment for the younger littles in class. This class was for walkers up to age 4, so there was a wide variety of littles. This age group was good for me because I was able to bring both boys together!

I think my favorite part of class was watching Brooks try to meditate at the end of class. Getting a 3 year old to close his eyes during an activity is really hard, but also really sweet.

Love my little yogis.

All in all it was a fun class – especially for Brooks. We’ve actually been back again since, this time without Graham and Brooks still had a great time. I love this age because he can do so much and it’s so much fun trying out new things together.

Plus it’s fun to have another yogi in the house AND it’s a nice little reminder of something fun and athletic we can do together, to keep moving on a rainy day!

Do you have a little that does Yoga?

I’d love to hear what age he/she started and what they think!

And don’t forget to enter my TOBI Giveaway! $75 Store Credit to shop some amazing Spring looks is up for grabs!

Outfit Details: Leggings / Bralette / Top / Boots

Spring is in the Air, a Floral Look + TOBI Giveaway

Spring is in the Air! Can you feel it?

I don’t know what it is, but I could really sense it this weekend. I could seriously smell the spring scent, does that sound a little crazy? Maybe, but it’s true! It was a little chilly in Philly {#rhymes} but it was definitely more mild than it has been and there is that whole spring-like air about the days now.

Spring is JUST around the corner and I am SO ready for it!

Outfit Details: Dress c/o | Denim Jacket {similar} | Covet Bag | Block Heels {on sale!}| Hammered Hoops | Dark Pink LipSense 

Photo Credit: Ashley Ringelberg Photography

And I’m pretty sure nothing gets me more in the mood for spring than some gorgeous floral prints in my wardrobe. Not sure what it is about the navy, pops of pink and a hint of green – with a flower of sorts – that gets me all exited.

I’ve always been a fan of floral – and it’s all sorts of trendy now so I’m finding amazing clothing pieces with my beloved floral all over the place. I love it.

I enjoy the floral print the most when I can mute it a bit with more neutral pieces around it. Like a classic denim jacket + a gorgeous leather bag. Pieces that never go out of style, or out of season really.

Fun Fact: I’ve had this jean jacket since high school {whhaaattt??} and I pretty much wear it on the regular {as you can tell on Instagram}. Yes, that’s a long time ago and it’s still going strong! Invest in a good one ladies and it will last!

And can we talk about this shift dress for a second? I love the adjustable shoulder straps which add a cute little bow feature to the look.

And the low back silhouette is perfect for spring + summer date nights.

Did I mention it’s under $20?!

The tie straps on the shift dress make it the perfect piece to transition from the seasons. It’s so cute alone, with a denim jacket or I even plan to wear it with the ties up high, to raise the dress and wear it as a tunic over leggings or skinny jeans and a chunky sweater with boots for the fall. Belted would be awesome too!

Cute right?

I’m really into pieces that are versatile, able to be changed up a bit, things you can make your own as the seasons change and still be comfortable in something you love.


And guess what? As a little treat – my friends at TOBI are giving away one lucky And Her Little Dog Too reader a piece of your choosing from their current collection {up to $75!} So if you are looking to spruce up your spring + summer wardrobe, now is a good time!

To enter to win, check out the Rafflecopter below. To be entered you must like my And Her Little Dog Too Facebook Page +follow me on Instagram.

Bonus Points for tagging your friends on FB or Insta to enter too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And be sure to leave a comment letting me know what TOBI piece is your favorite that you would pick if you win {up to $75!}

Not a bad way to start a Monday if you ask me – Enjoy your week, friends!

Photo Credit: Ashley Ringelberg Photography

Friday Favorites: Statement Sleeves Under $50

It’s Friday! We made it!
I’ve got another fun weekend on the horizon, and I hope you do too! Stella + Dot Trunk Shows, date night, hanging with friends, a visit to the Easter bunny – it’s gonna be a fun ‘lil weekend. I hope it doesn’t go by too quick!
 I’m also excited because we are doing a spring family photoshoot in a few weeks, and obviously I’m already outfit planning. I am sort of really loving all the fun statement sleeves out there at the moment – I’m thinking about working that into my wardrobe and it might be cute for our photos, right? Clearly, I need a new outfit because #rules -the boys are getting new clothes, so it only seems fair. You got to keep it fair, ladies.
SO! Here are some of my favorite statement sleeve picks at the moment, and they are all under $50 so that’s pretty sweet. I was going to just tell you my top two favorites, but looking at them all again, I really love them all. Plus they all look so comfortable! Going to have to try a few of these one for research!
Check out my picks and let me know what you think!

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight 

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Are you a fan of the statement sleeve trend?

Yes, No, Maybe So?

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