Maryland Mommy Blogger | Mommy 2K

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Let Pampers Easy Ups Help Your Family with Potty Training #SPON #PampersEasyUps

Disclosure: I was provided Pampers products and decorations, as well as compensated to host a Pampers Easy Ups party. The views and opinions are my own.
Almost a year ago, I thought my toddler and I had kicked diapers to the curb. I had successfully, or so I thought I had, trained him to ask and use the potty in just a weeks time. For awhile, he was doing great. There was an occasional accident here and there, but nothing to make me think that he wasn't getting the hang of this no diaper thing.

Then, life happened. 
We were always on the go. In the car. In the gym. Hours at a time. Not that it's any excuse to forget my son's potty-training efforts. But I had completely given up on the commitment. It was Mommy who had failed. Yet another thing to add to my enormous list of incomplete parenting.
Potty training is an amazing milestone for toddlers and parents alike, but it can also be stressful. Spring is the time many families kick-off potty training so they are ready for summer fun and then for the start of preschool. Potty training can feel like an overwhelming process, and when minor leaks or accidents occur, it can be a disappointment. Pampers Easy Ups helps makes this journey a little easier by providing better leak protection than the leading competitor.
We decided to do away with diapers and give Pampers Easy Ups a try. I figured this would give my toddler the confidence of wearing underwear while still adding protection from any accidents. It also gave me piece of mind when we were in the car for extended periods of time and did not have a potty break. They served as insurance in a way – not that you wanted to depend on them, but the help was there if necessary. 
Training pants support the diaper-to-underwear transition for toddlers and their families as they have a more underwear-like look and feel while still helping to keep messes off clothing, bedding and other surfaces no matter where accidents happen: at home, on-the-go or overnight. 
When Pampers invited my to throw a potty-training party for a few of my toddler friends, I thought it would be the perfect time to get back into the swing of things. After all, there is strength in numbers. The more toddlers participating in the act, the more likely they would shadow each other and want to try whatever came their way.
First, feed the toddlers. This is a great way to get them all to listen to you talk. We went with a delicious meal of Chick-fil-A nuggets and waffles fries, accompanied with Juicy Juice. I also provided some water. I figured the more liquids they consumed, the more pee pee they would produce.
They were more excited about the balloons though.

The attention span of a toddler is not the greatest. I tried to talk to them about what they say when they need to use the potty. They pretty much have that part covered. Hopefully, they will follow through.

I sent each child home with a Pampers Easy Ups goodie bag for being such great sports. Hopefully, the treats will inspire them in their efforts to potty train.

We did have one toddler who has already mastered potty training. He was there to lend moral support and show his cousins that it can be done with a little practice and patience.
If you are looking for some tips to help you in your mission to potty train your child, here are some from Dr. Laura Jana:

Overall, the toddlers gave a big thumbs up to potty training.

Stay in the know. Follow Pampers on Twitter and Facebook. Search hashtag, #PampersEasyUps.

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Disclosure Information
I was provided Pampers products and decorations, as well as compensated to host a Pampers Easy Ups party. The views and opinions are my own. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hard Rock Cafe has a New World Burger Tour Menu {sponsored} #worldburgertour

Disclosure: The information, gift card, gift pack and giveaway have been provided to me by Hard Rock International.
I have consumed enough burgers in my lifetime to be ashamed...or not. I should probably be walking around with one of those burger costumes on because that is what I will eventually turn into. In fact, me telling you is just not sufficient enough. Here is a visual to assist you with understanding just how much I love burgers:
You can imagine my excitement when I was contacted to try the new World Burger Tour menu at Hard Rock Cafe. I needed zero convincing to take on this challenge. Challenge gladly accepted.

My very first Hard Rock Cafe experience was in Miami, Florida back in high school. Let's just say that was a loooonnnnnggg time ago. I just remember the atmosphere being so fun, upbeat and live. I didn't want to leave. But, for whatever reason, it has taken me this long to get back there. That is about to change...tomorrow. My family and I are visiting the Baltimore, MD location to get our hands on one of these tasty burgers. Just look at the choices:
Backstage Burger Pass

Hard Rock gives chefs at their cafes the freedom to create a unique Local Legendary Burger that captures the flavors of their city. This year more than 160 local burgers were evaluated by Hard Rock’s culinary team with fan favorites selected to headline the World Burger Tour menu. Throughout May and June, Hard Rock Cafe menus* will feature the following World Burger Tour offerings:

English Breakfast Burger (London, England) – a Certified Angus Beef® patty topped with sliced ham, a sausage patty, a fried egg, a portobello mushroom, arugula and garlic aioli and served with a side of baked beans

Java Lava Burger (Seattle, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty grilled and dressed in a house-made espresso rub and topped with lava sauce, crunchy java onions, bacon, melted Cheddar cheese and garnished with a fried jalapeño

Tandoori Chicken Burger (Mumbai, India) – a dark meat chicken patty seasoned with aromatic spices and fresh herbs, topped with mint mayonnaise and served with a side of cucumber

Jamaican Jerk Burger (Montego Bay, Jamaica) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with banana pepper rings, mango jalapeño cream cheese and jerk mayonnaise

ATOMIC! Burger (Las Vegas, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with Atomic beer-battered peppers, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, garlic chipotle ketchup and chipotle mayonnaise

Tango Salsa Burger (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with andouille sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, chips de batata, a fried egg, salsa criolla and garlic aioli

Greek Burger (Athens, Greece) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with arugula, feta cheese and a tomato slice
Aloha Burger (Honolulu, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with Portuguese sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, a grilled pineapple ring with sweet soy glaze, guacamole, pico de gallo, served with Furikake french fries
I've been wrecking my brain over just what to try when I visit. Decisions, decisions. I'm leaning towards either the ATOMIC! or Greek burger. If no one were looking, I'd probably ask the waiter to bring both out, just because I'm a risk-taker. YOLO!

To sweeten this visit, Hard Rock Cafe has also created ADULT drinks that would pair perfectly with one of their burger choices. They come baring a cool, summer vibe being served in Hard Rock's iconic mason jars. Use the pairing suggestions as a guide, but feel free to mix it up a bit and order the drink that tickles your fancy. New cocktails include:
All Jacked Up – created to balance the Jamaican Jerk Burger’s spicy flair, this cocktail features a mix of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, PJ, Orgeat and lime juice, garnished with orange and pineapple wedges and a cherry

Crisp Sipper – inspired by the Aloha Burger’s sweet and savory taste, this cocktail features a mix of Hendrick’s gin, Monin Cucumber, lemon, orange and raspberry, topped with tonic and garnished with rosemary and thyme

MelonPalooza – designed to complement the fresh flavors of the Greek Burger, this cocktail features a mix of Midori Melon Liqueur, Malibu Rum, Hard Rock’s house-made sour mix and PJ, garnished with slices of pineapple and strawberry

Sweet & Fiery – inspired by the ATOMIC! Burger’s spicy flavor, this cocktail features a mix of Absolut Peppar Vodka, Canton Ginger Liquor, Blue Curacao, lemonade and ginger beer, garnished with a red pepper

Black Cherry Melonade (non-alcoholic) – created to complement the rich espresso of the Java Lava Burger, this mocktail features a mix of Black Cherry Real and Monin Cucumber, topped with ginger beer, garnished with a cucumber slice and a cherry
I'll probably go with the MelonPalooza cocktail because it sounds like my speed. I love a drink laced with assorted fruits. Besides, who doesn't want to say, "melon palooza, please"?

Now, I know that in the beginning of this post I said that I loooovvveeeddd burgers a lot. However, there are people in this world who love them a little more than this girl.So much in fact, there is an entire package created for these burger lovers.
Burger Tour for the Roadie

For those a little more hungry, Hard Rock will bring its menu to life and offer a unique burger experience that takes guests’ taste buds on an international journey

Hard Rock, in conjunction with global experience agency Infrared, is offering a World Burger Tour travel package that includes stops at iconic cities including London, England; Athens, Greece; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Seattle, United States. This four-stop, once-in-a-lifetime excursion celebrates the cities that inspired Hard Rock’s World Burger Tour

The World Burger Tour travel package is a private, 10-night trip that includes flights, first class hotel accommodations, ground transportation and exclusive dining and music experiences at Hard Rock Cafe locations in each city not typically available to the public
While you're getting your taste buds together and building up burger excitement, I should let you know that the limited-time World Burger Tour menu is available now through Thursday, June 30, 2016. Hurry in to your local Hard Rock Cafe location to try something great from the menu.

Follow Hard Rock Cafe on Twitter, @HardRockCafe, for all the latest updates.
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Disclosure Information
The information, gift card, gift pack and giveaway have been provided to me by Hard Rock International.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Disney Kids Preschool Playdate Brings the Magic of @DisneyWorld to Your Home #spon #DisneyKids

Disclosure: I received free products in order to host the Disney Kids Preschool Playdate. The opinions expressed here are my own.
Pixie dust is probably the only thing that can be sprinkled around the house that does not require a vacuum to clean up the mess. In fact, it is a welcomed guest. It brings the most magical experiences whenever it lands in your life. Somehow, smiles are sizable, moods are merrier and laughs are louder in its presence. And the magic of pixie dust is noticeably present on any occasion that involves children. Our Disney Kids Preschool Playdate was graced with the magic of Disney World and helped carve out a moment in the day to celebrate the beauty of play.
As the mother of a toddler, I know that my son requires a lot to hold his attention. He is easily distracted by the tiniest of moments and needs to be entertained to a certain degree to maintain a level of happiness. What this all means is – he needs to have fun with a lot of stuff!

When Disney sent us over a generous package of their goods, I was thrilled to dig in and explore the magic. It felt like Christmas in March as I unboxed all of the goodies and laid them out on the floor to get a better look. Disney sure does know how to cover all the details and make hosting a playdate a breeze, especially for busy families with tight schedules.
March was extremely "mad" and finding the perfect moment to host this event was difficult. So, I made sure to get it in before all the Easter fun so that the children would not be overwhelmed. I made our playdate as simple as possible – food and fun. I've learned that toddlers are never really concerned with details; they like to see the bigger picture. A lot of the stress of party-planning is self-imposed. Do what you can and have fun. I managed to incorporate a few Disney-themed inspirations to help the playdate feel special to the children. At the end of the day, your guests (even the tiniest of ones) will appreciate your efforts.
Finger foods are perfect for the little ones. I thought of the classics that most preschoolers enjoy. Using a Mickey Mouse waffle iron (a birthday gift from my cousin), I made the perfect grilled cheese sandwiches. They were quick to prepare, easy to hold in tiny hands and darn cute.
To add a more nutritional element to their meal, I mimicked Minnie Mouse's hair bow (or Mickey Mouse's bowtie) by placing two strawberries with a blueberry center on a popsicle stick.

I also made miniature "pig in a blanket" bites using crescent rolls to wrap around cocktail wieners. It was inspired by the hot dog song that is played during Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I caught myself humming the tune a few times while preparing them.
Special goodies always make any playdate more exciting. The Mickey Mouse Oreos were so simple to make. I just pressed the mini Oreos into the double stuffed Oreos to create the shape. I also filled the provided Disney "Frozen" GLAD bags  with popcorn as a snack for later. There were also CARS fruit snacks available to the preschoolers.
Since there were only a few playdate-goers, I was able to use some of the materials provided to embellish a few items. I used the ring from the Walt Disney World Resort Preschool maps to wrap around the bottles of water. This is a trick that I like to use to get the toddlers to notice and desire water more than usual.

Also, if you take a look under their plates, you can see a colorful placemat. I used a square sheet of construction paper and chose different pictures out of a poster book. Then, I each picture onto a square and the children chose which character they wanted.
I don't think I had any complaints. The food was enough to keep this active crew in their seats for a few minutes. It was just enough time to capture pictures of them at the table.
It's easy to entertain preschoolers (a cardboard box can hold their attention for quite some time). In keeping with the whole simple theme, we played one of the games supplied in the package that was sent by Disney. An over-sized cutout of Mickey's head with a missing smile used similar rules as the classic game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Instead of a tail, I cut a red smile out of construction paper to be pinned onto Mickey's face. The preschooler who came the closest to placing the smile in the correct place became the winner. They were all a little reluctant of the blindfold, but still played along.
The Mickey Mouse cutout was so cute, I thought, "why not turn it into a backdrop for pictures?!" So, I did. I used wrapping paper that was lying around the house to add a pop of color.
Those handy drawstring bags worked perfectly as decor for the back of the chairs at the table. At the end of the playdate, I stuffed all the items from the party (snacks mainly) into the bag to be sent home with the children. Worked like a charm.
The preschoolers attempted to make puppets out of lunch bags. It didn't go so well. It may  have been too close to nap time to hold their attention. They did manage to scribble a few designs onto their bags. But, that's as far as it went.
The funny part about entertaining preschoolers is the fact that you can say something as simple as, "Mickey", and they will go nuts over it.
The children wanted so badly to play with bubbles. It was the perfect way to end the playdate just before they all got ready for a nap. A little outdoor air on a pleasantly warm Spring day was most inviting to the tots in the backyard.
Our Disney Kids Preschool Playdate was awesome. I did not go over-the-top with games, decor and food. Instead, I kept it simple and made adjustments that catered to the preschoolers. It's quite similar to planning a vacation at Walt Disney World Resort – you are equipped with the proper tools to help facilitate in the planning of a memorable vacation that works best for your family. This is what makes the Disney brand so personal; there is always an opportunity to individualize your experience. And somehow, the magic always finds a way to appear, creates a ton of memories and never leaves your heart.
Thank you, Disney! Let's hope I can look back on this playdate and say, "remember when we imagined that we were at Disney World?" we're on a plane flying to make our dreams come true in sunny Florida. Fingers crossed.

Play on, preschoolers. Play on!

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Disclosure Information
I received free products in order to host the Disney Kids Preschool Playdate. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Chick-fil-A Cow Flash Mob Rocks Baltimore to Encourage Families to "Get Mooo-ving" together + {Giveaway} #showusyourmoooves

My bucket list includes, "Participate in a Flash Mob Dance". I have yet to cross it off of said list. I should probably step my game up if I am considering competing with all the cool, fitness fun that took place recently in Baltimore, MD. The Chick-fil-A cows filled Pratt Street, along with 120 dancers, to encourage families to “Get Mooo-ving” together.
Baltimore bystanders were surprised & delighted this weekend when a herd of 23 Chick-fil-A cows marched down Pratt Street in Baltimore. Crossing the street and waving to amazed drivers, the bovine were joined at the Trans America Plaza by 120 parents and children for a dance through the decades to songs like Rockin Robin, the Twist, Staying Alive, Footloose and You Can’t Touch This. The final song, the well known Cupid Shuffle allowed everyone to join in on the fun. The fitness flash mob was part of the debut of the Baltimore Chick-fil-A dancing cows. Their message is to encourage families to “Get Mooo-ving” together.


The flash mob was sponsored by the 36 Baltimore Area Chick-fil-A restaurants. Lisa Scott, Baltimore Area Marketing Director said “Chick-fil-A cares about a healthy lifestyle and is dedicated to providing a balanced menu with lighter options and healthier choices. The new kale & broccolini Superfood Side is a great example. Exercise is also an important part of healthy living and the “Get Mooo-ving” message is a fun way to encourage families to spend time together being active. What is more fun than dancing and who can resist a group of big dancing Chick-fil-A cows? ”
Look for the Chick-fil-A Baltimore Dancing Cows at events throughout Maryland this spring and fall. Check your local Chick-fil-A Facebook page for updates where you can also #showusyourmoooves.
Who: (4) lucky Mommy 2K readers
What: (1) Chick-fil-A Meal Digital Offer Card {Chick-fil-A Sandwich Meal or Nuggets Meal)
When: Starts >April 7, 2016 and Ends > April 13, 2016 (12:00 AM EST)
Where: HERE
How: Rafflecopter form below

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Disclosure Information
I am apart of the Chick-fil-A blogger group. I was provided complimentary digital offer cards for my time. Opinions and views are my own. 

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