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    8 Things You Need to Know Before Going to Hersheypark

    June 22nd, 2017
    This post is sponsored by Hershey Entertainment  & Resorts as part of my participation in the Hershey’s Sweetest Moms ambassador program.  All opinions are 100% our own.

    We just got back from a little 3 day mini-vacation at Hersheypark. I grew up going to Hersheypark almost every summer and I have fond memories. Like when I rode my very first rollercoaster, the Comet, because my dad tricked me into thinking I was getting on bumper cars. Or the time we left our car windows down and a torrential rainstorm rolled in.

    I am so glad that I have the opportunity to create new memories with my own family. During our latest stay, I picked up a few tips and tricks to help you maximize your trip to Hersheypark. Before you hit the road, here are # things you need to know before going to Hersheypark.

    8 Things You Need to Know Before Going to Hersheypark

    Get a season pass. If you live close by or planning to go to Hersheypark multiple times throughout the year, you need to get a season pass. Enjoy unlimited year-round visits to Hersheypark and ZooAmerica, plus sweet perks like FREE parking, early access to select rides, and more with your season pass! For me, free parking was a huge bonus to me and you get to park pretty close to the park. Other perks? 15% off food and beverage purchases. Which leads to me too…

    Purchase the all day drink deal. Buy an All-Day Drink Deal complete with a Souvenir Cup for $13.99 and get free refills throughout Hersheypark all day! But wait, theres’s more….

    Check out the All-Day Dining Deal, too. Purchase an All-Day Dining Plan for one low price ($29.67), and dine all-day long at more than 10 tasty locations throughout Hersheypark! Meal includes an entrée and side.

    Even more season pass holder benefits. If you purchased the season pass like I told you too, you can skip the all day drink and dining deals and get your very own drink and dining deals! Season pass holders can purchase a souvenir cup for $29.97 that allows them FREE refills for the entire season! And if that wasn’t amazing, purchase a Season Pass Summer Dining Plan for $106, and dine all summer long at select locations throughout Hersheypark!

    Download the app. Almost every major amusement park these days has an app. And it’s totally worth it to have it for your visit. You can check wait times, find food, and figure out exactly where you are in the park. This is helpful when planning out your next stops to maximize your time in the park.

    Don’t forget about Chocolate World! There are so many things to do at Chocolate World. From taking the iconic Factory Tour (complete with singing cows) to making your own candy bar, plan to spend a few hours learning everything there is to know about chocolate!

    Visit ZooAmerica. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the thrill rides but you have to visit the zoo when you are Hersheypark. If you have a younger child that isn’t into rides, split up for an hour and take them to the zoo while the older children ride the coasters. The best part? It’s free with your Hersheypark admission.

    Take advantage of the Preview Plan. When you purchase a regular full-day admission ticket, you can enter the night before your big day for 2 1/2 hours prior to Park closing. Just show your ticket at the Front Gate and you can start enjoying the fun early! Purchase parking the evening you are using the Preview Plan and keep the parking stub, along with your admission tickets, to use the following day.

    And now for the fun part…

    Hersheypark Ticket Giveaway!

    One lucky winner will receive a Family 4 Pack of tickets to Hersheypark! Enter below.

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    Chicken Fried Pierogies

    June 17th, 2017
    This is a sponsored post for Mrs. T’s Pierogies. All opinions are my own.

    Would you believe me if I told you I remembered the first time I ever ate pierogies? I do! I really do. I was about 12 or 13 at my BFF’s house when she pulled a box of Mrs. T’s out of the freezer and made us pierogies. I never ate a pierogy in my life up until that point. But we were hungry and they looked pretty good.

    I don’t know why I haven’t introduced my own kids to pieorgies until now but it was time. After all, I have one kid who eats just about anything and another who loves anything with cheese.

    From delicious finger foods to crave-worthy dinners, Mrs. T’s Pierogies has you covered. Real, quality ingredients like sharp Cheddar cheese and savory onions, combined with creamy whipped potatoes are folded into a pasta shell, exciting your senses and quickly becoming your favorite go-to dish. Available in 16 flavorful varieties – including mini pierogies! – Mrs. T’s Pierogies are the perfect canvas for all of your favorite ingredients and spices.

    When I heard about Jose Garces serving up serving Chicken-Fried Pierogies at his Froman’s stand at Spruce Street Harbor Park (through June 30), I knew we had to check it out. The recipe features deep-fried Mrs. T’s Classic Cheddar Pierogies, fried pickles and a chive-buttermilk dip.

    For every Chicken-Fried Pierogy dish sold, Mrs. T’s Pierogies will proudly donate $1 to the Garces Foundation, committed to helping Philadelphia’s underserved immigrant community.

    And if you can’t make to Froman’s by June 30th, you can go ahead and recreate this amazing dish at home!

    Chicken Fried Pierogies

    Chicken Fried Pierogies

    Ingredients

    • 1 (16-ounce) box Mrs. T’s® Classic Cheddar Pierogies
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 2 cups flour dredge (see recipe below)
    • Canola oil for frying
    • Buttermilk Ranch sauce
    • Fried pickles

    Instructions

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place pierogies in boiling water until they are no longer frozen in the center, about 2 minutes. Remove pierogies from the water and cool in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
    2. Place buttermilk, eggs and flour dredge and in 3 separate bowls. Working one at a time, dip the pierogies in the buttermilk, then in the eggs and lastly in the flour dredge. Once all the pierogies are dredged, fry at 350°F in canola oil for approximately 3 minutes until golden brown.
    3. To serve, place fried pierogies and fried pickles on serving plate. Serve with Ranch sauce.

    Missed the Chicken Fried Pieorgies at Froman’s? Chef Jose Garces is also serving up Mrs. T’s Chicken-Fried Pierogies at his brand new pop-up, Balcony Bar. Located on the second tier outdoor balcony of The Kimmel Center, Balcony Bar offers great food (pierogies!), music, fun and great views of Broad Street. Balcony Bar will be open WednesdayFriday starting June 14 through September 1.

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    Bug Repellent Mason Jar Luminaries

    June 17th, 2017

    One of my favorite things that I like to do during the summer is sit out on our deck. There’s nothing better than drinking your morning coffee on the deck. Or hanging out with friends after a BBQ.

    But there is one thing that can turn it into a nightmare. Bugs! Ok, maybe I am exaggerating about it being a nightmare but it’s not pleasant. And for some reason, the mosquitoes love me. Everyone else can come out unscathed and I end up with 50 bites. Never fails.

    And while I can light some citronella candles and call it a day, the smell of citronella can put me over the edge. Trigger a migraine. And put me out of commission.

    So I had to come up with something else. I knew there were herbs, plants, and essential oils that would naturally repel bugs and insects. We planted some on the deck but I needed something a little more.

    Bug Repellent Mason Jar Luminaries-4

    I came up with these Mason Jar Luminaries that combine some fresh scents that will keep the bugs away without the strong smell of citronella.

    Bug Repellent Mason Jar Luminaries

    Here’s what you need:

    Bug Repellent Mason Jar Luminaries-2

     Ball Pint Regular Mouth Jars and Lids BPA Free, 16 oz, Set of 12 Lemongrass – 100% Pure, Best Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil – 10ml Mega Candles – Unscented 1.5

    You will also need:

    • fresh lemons or limes
    • sprigs of fresh rosemary, basil, or lavender (you can use all 3!)
    • water

    To Assemble:

    Start by slicing your lemon and limes. You can mix these in your mason jars or keep them separate! I have found that 2-3 slices in each mason jar is enough.

    Place two sprigs of your favorite herb in your mason jar. For mine, I chose basil. Fill each jar 3/4 of the way full.

    Add the lemongrass essential oil. Try not to add more than about 10-15 drops! A little bit goes a long way. Swirl to mix.

    Bug Repellent Mason Jar Luminaries-1

    Add more water until the jar is filled. Place a tea light candle on top. These will last a few days! When the herbs and lemons and limes start to look sad, it’s time to replace!

    These are perfect for your next party, picnic, or deck night with friends! You can actually enjoy your deck or patio without the hassle of pesky insects!

    2 Comments "

    Amazon Prime: Discounted Monthly Price

    June 16th, 2017
    This post was sponsored by Amazon as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

    Hi, my name is Stephanie and I have an Amazon problem. It all started about 5 years ago when I signed up for my Amazon Prime membership. And I have been hooked ever since. Forget to get a birthday present? I can have it at my front door in two days with free shipping. Need it sooner? I can pay a small shipping fee and have it the next day.

    You have no idea how many times Amazon Prime has saved the day in this house. While it’s great to have, it does come at a cost. And, for some, that cost is a little steep.

    Amazon Prime: Discounted Monthly Price

    Recently, Amazon announced that customers who participate in government assistance programs can access Amazon Prime at a discounted monthly price. Currently, customers who have a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card qualify for the discounted membership.

    For a discounted membership, more people can access Amazon Prime and the many benefits. Prime members receive unlimited fast, free shipping on more than 50 million items with Amazon’s low prices, as well as unlimited access to the following benefits at no additional cost:

    • Prime Video: Unlimited access to tens of thousands of movies and TV shows
    • Prime Music: More than two million songs and thousands of playlists and stations
    • Prime Photos: Unlimited photo storage to preserve family memories
    • Prime Reading: A rotating selection of free e-books and magazines
    • Audible Channels for Prime: Premium original podcasts, audio series and audiobooks exclusively from Audible
    • Kindle First: A free pre-release e-book each month
    • Twitch Prime: In-game loot on Twitch and 20 percent off pre-release digital games
    • Early Access: Exclusive early access to select Lightning Deals
    • Savings: Discounts on select products including 20 percent off diaper subscriptions
    • Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery: One million products, order by noon and get them today in eligible zip codes
    • Prime Now: Free two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items in eligible zip codes

    Customers can qualify every 12 months up to 4 times. Amazon will be adding other ways to qualify in the future for customers participating in government assistance programs that do not utilize EBT. There is no annual commitment and members can cancel anytime.

    Now almost anyone can benefit from having Amazon Prime. From groceries to clothing to school supplies, everyone can access the convenience of order through Amazon and having it delivered quickly. This can be so beneficial to people who may be home bound or with limited access to a car. Or a busy family who just may not have time to get to the store in time.

    Customers can learn more or sign-up for a 30-day free trial at amazon.com/qualify.

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    Summer Schedule for Kids

    June 15th, 2017

    Many years ago, I started the summer off with a simple summer schedule for kids. Although it was simple, it didn’t really stick. Now, 5 years later, I decided it was time to try another summer schedule. The boys are old enough to understand a schedule and, in fact, schedules are really helpful! They know what we are doing and at what time with no arguments.

    So on our first day of summer vacation, we came up with our new summer schedule. I took their input and went with it. And came up with a schedule that we all are on board for.

    Do I think this will last all summer? Of course not! The schedule is meant to be flexible. It is summer for crying out loud. I am not going to let the schedule dictate every day but it will help us on most days.

     

    Summer Schedule for Kids

     

    My mission this summer is to have the kids finally help me out with the housework…without whining. My deal to them? The more they help me out around the house, the more time we have to do fun things!

    Want a copy of your Summer Schedule for Kids? You can grab it by clicking here or on the picture above! 

     

    Looking for the old summer fun schedule? Here is it!

    summer schedule for kids

    Want a blank schedule for yourself? Download a free printable.

    Now that I have the days categorized it’s time to find the activities to go with them! You didn’t think I would just share the schedule and that was it, did you? Below are just some of the activities that I am planning this summer.

    Make Something Monday

    1. Marshmallow ShootersThis craft comes from Come Together Kids. I know E would just love this and will have hours of fun shooting me with marshmallows.

    2. Make Your Own CrayonsWe have been saving the broken bits of E’s crayons with the intentions of making crayons. The Party Dress has a great post on how to make your own crayons.

    Make Your Own Crayons

    3. Egg Carton Sea CreaturesE is obsessed is with anything that is related to the ocean. I know he will love making these sea creatures out of egg cartons that I found on Parents magazine.

    Egg Carton Sea Creatures

    Get Outside Tuesday: Sure we could just go out and play in the sand and water table but here are some outside activities for kids.

    1. Make a Bird Feeder – I have been meaning to make one of these with E for a while now. Why not now? This bird feeder from Disney Family Fun looks incredibly easy!

    2. Backyard Toy Car Wash – This genius idea comes from No Time for Flashcards. Not only do the kids get to have fun with their toys and water. But their toys get a good cleaning that they probably desperately need.

    Backyard Toy Car Wash

    3. Egg Carton Scavenger HuntWe have a great nature trail by our house that, sadly, we barely utilize. This idea from Nature Preschool would be a great way to get out and explore!

    Egg Carton Scavenger Hunt

    What’s Cooking Wednesday

    1. Dixie Cup Popsicles – Popsicles are a summer time staple. Why not make your own? Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom shared how to make easy dixie cup popsicles so that you freezer is always stocked this summer!

    Dixie Cup Popsicles

    2. Kid Size Pizza E loves pizza {and so does Benny}. These kid size pizza from Taste of Home will be a big hit. I also see us making these a lot for lunch over the summer.

    Kid Size Pizza

    3. S’MoresYou know we love our S’mores!

    HERSHEYS CAMP BONDFIRE

    Time to Read Thursday: Thursday is story time at our local library. We used to visit the library weekly but then life got hectic. This will help us get back into the routine of visiting. Bonus? The library is about 3 blocks from the house so we can walk there!

    Go Somewhere Fun Friday:  On not-so-hot days, we will visit the zoo and some local arboretums and farms. When we need to beat the heat, we will go to the aquarium, the Natural History Museum, kid’s museum, and science center.

    What’s on your schedule this summer?

    16 Comments "