On Your Feet – The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan

ON YOUR FEET! is the inspiring true story about heart, heritage and two people who believed in their talent—and each other—to become an international sensation: Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

On Your Feet! opened in 2015, at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre and closed in 2017. It is now reopen and crossing the country with a 70 city nationwide tour. I was lucky to be invited to The Kravis Center, in West Palm Beach, to see opening night.

Gaby Albo and Samuel Garnica will star as Grammy winners Gloria and Emilio Estefan in the new, non-Equity national tour of On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan, launching November 15 at West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center for the Performing Arts before visiting 70 cities nationwide. – Playbill.com

Whether you are a fan of Gloria or just a fan of the theatre, you will enjoy the upbeat and familiar songs. A score that includes such hits as “Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” “Conga,” “Get On Your Feet,” “Don’t Want To Lose You Now,” “1-2-3,” and “Coming Out of the Dark.”

Should I take my kids to On Your Feet!?

As I was watching, I wished I would have brought my oldest son (who is currently 10). It is a perfect theatre experience for younger audiences. The music and lights keep the show upbeat, even during some of the more somber moments. There were other kids in the audience bopping along to the music. I would say anyone 8 and up would be an appropriate age, just be mindful of the length of the show.

There were no moments during the performance that I thought wouldn’t be suitable, so if you are looking for a show to introduce your kids to, or involve them in a theatre night out…this is a good one. There are even moments where the actors are dancing in the aisles… that’s a fun moment no matter how old you are.

If you are considering taking your kids, start listening to some of the songs before hand, that way they are familiar with the songs on stage.

If you aren’t able to make any of the shows in West Palm, the tour finds its way back to Florida in March with quite a few stops.

If you are local to South Florida and looking for other shows that are stoping in, make sure to checkout The Kravis Center lineup for updates.

Out of the Box Advent Collections

Once the “official” officials start of holiday season begins, I usually am so crazy with plans and activities that finding a cool new advent calendar slips my mind, we forget to do a few days here and there and at the end of December I feel guilty for not adventing the right way. Does that even make sense?

Since there aren’t official rules, I figured I would start my first advent calendars with the kids in November. Still counting down toward Christmas, but before all of the other things start happening. We did our first doors last night, with nothing else going on. I feel less overwhelmed and more sure that we might just be able to get through these calendars the right way.

If you are looking for some fun and different advent collections to surprise your kids, or to do with the whole family – here are a few that I thought would be fun to try out.

If you’re a traditionalist – this chocolate one is the way to go. There are a variety to choose from, but I would of course choose the classic Mickey feel.

I tend to gravitate toward what my kids are currently excited about. In previous years we have done Hot Wheels, Legos, PlayMobile, Grinch and Elf. Think about what your kids will be excited about and start your search there.

Hot Wheels Advent

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Advent

I also like to look for advent calendars that have toys I can incorporate into decorations in future years, or that the boys can play with. That way I don’t feel like I am “wasting” money. I know that it is about the excitement and experience, but I also want it to add on to our collection.

Polly Pocket Advent

Jurassic World Advent

As you think about an advent calendar to add to your holiday festivities this year, don’t get stressed. This is something to be fun… not another chore to add to your day. I love how excited my kids get to open each door, and I know it’s a tradition they will enjoy for years… so I absolutely love it.

It’s not just about them though… grab one for you too.

Take a look at other advent calendars that you might like here.

A Christmas Story Advent

The Office Advent

Howl -O-Scream at SeaWorld Orlando

I don’t like being scared. It makes me angry. My blood pumps and my heart races. I figure it comes down to control. I can’t control what I’m feeling or what comes next.

Actively walking into scary situations is confusing to me. You want to be scared, you don’t want to be scared. What is it?

Howl-O-Scream 2022, Sea World Orlando

We were invited to Sea World for Howl-O- Scream, and I am not one to say no to new adventures. Although I may have second guessed it…

A Birth Experience Like No Other – Good Samaritan Medical Center

Lily Pulitzer Birthing Suites at Good Samaritan Hospital

Looking for a completely different birthing experience for your self or someone you know? You have to take a look at the renovated Lilly Pulitzer rooms at Good Sameriatan Medical Center.

Good Samaritan Medical Center is partnering with iconic resort wear brand, Lilly Pulitzer, creating the ultimate Palm Beach experience with the design of its new Lilly Pulitzer Birthing Suites and family waiting room.

The two VIP suites are redesigned with the signature Lilly Pulitzer aesthetic, to give new moms and their families a joyful and luxurious feel when they deliver their babies. The suites art and design elements have all been donated by Lilly Pulitzer.

The rooms have been fully renovated with bedding and window coverings in Lilly Pulitzer print fabrics along with coordinating decor.

Between the waterfront views, concierge service and VIP food and beverage menu this truly is a completely unique and special experience. The stress and pressure of a standard hospital stay are taken away and families are at the center of the whole experience. Mom and baby also receive matching Lilly Pulitzer swaddle sets – how sweet is that!

To schedule a tour or to make a reservation, please visit

https://www.goodsamaritanmc.com/services/obstetrics

Fresh Bruschetta – A Crowd Pleasing Appetizer

For years, one of my favorite go to snacks has been bruschetta. There are so many different ways it can be made, but the one I love best takes only a few minutes, has fresh ingredients and fills your house with amazingly yummy smells.

Now the great thing about this recipe is that you can customize it with the ingredients that you love. The freshest ones available to you. If you ask me, there can never be enough onion and garlic, but I know that’s not everyones favorite, so make a few different varieties.

One thing that doesn’t change though is a quality olive oil. There are hundreds of varieties of olive oil, and we are loving this Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Flavor Your Life. The higher quality oil you use, the better the flavors come out in any recipe.

The Flavor Your Life campaign aims to educate North American consumers about authentic extra virgin olive oil from Europe. Flavor Your Life is empowering consumers by educating them about the rich history and delicious properties that these oils display—and sharing the delicious extra virgin olive oil culinary culture that’s been harvested in Europe for generations.

The best part of this, is that you are making this from the heart, so there are no exact measurements. Handfuls of fresh tomatoes, a bunch of basil, grated cheese of choice, finely chopped onions and garlic… and of course extra virgin olive oil to incorporate all of it together.

We used a food processor for this, but a blender works or simply chopping all of your ingredients together too. Now some bruschetta is much chunkier than this, and it is complete based on preference. I enjoy mine like a spread, that I can add more cheese and tomatoes on to. Each bite is a little different. Sometimes I want more basil, other times more tomato.

Most of the time this never makes it onto a plate. The family going around as I make different batches and we eat it off of the cutting board. Dip it, spread it, eat it off of the spoon. Just enjoy it.

Finding recipes and meals that use fresh foods make me feel like I’m making better choices for myself and my family.

Of course, find your favorite bread and enjoy. Don’t worry so much about the rules of cooking…and focus more on your favorite flavors.

Spend the Holidays at Fantasy World Resort – Kissimmee- Florida Snow and Ice Skating

Fantasy World Resort pool.

One of the best things about spending the holidays in Florida is that you can really experience multiple seasons in one day. My family and I recently spent the weekend at Fantasy World Resort in Kissimmee, Florida and went from ice skating and drinking hot chocolate to relaxing in the pool. The best of both worlds.

Ice Skating at Fantasy World Resort

We have stayed with Fantasy World Resort a few times now, and each time there is something new to experience. The staff really does feel like family now, and during our entire stay they do whatever they can to keep the kids entertained. That means parents can actually relax for a bit, which means the world this time of year.

Check out all of the fun from my Instagram stories on property here.

This year, along with the ice skating and tons of Florida snow, they added fun photo ops. If you know me, you know I love a fun photo location.

There are four different to choose from, including this one from The Christmas Story. Which happens to be one of Billiam’s favorites. I personally loved the large tree and twinkle lights, but I’m a classy kinda gal. Hehe.

Photo backdrops at Fantasy World Resort

Fantasy World Resort goes all out for my favorite holidays: here is a post about their Halloween activities too!

As the property has grown, there really is no reason to leave throughout your stay. Each time we go, there are new activities to explore. Mini golf, volleyball, basketball… the lazy river and water slides.

Plus, they are pet friendly, with a dog park too!

Poolside cotton candy at Fantasy World Resort

Pool games, cotton candy, teddy bear building, pool side tie dye. Only a few of the activities they offer, and each hour there are more surprises. Let’s not forget trivia, which is my personal favorite.

Living Room at Fantasy World Resort

No matter what your plans are for the holiday season, make sure to include a stay at Fantasy World Resort. You may just want to make it a tradition (like we do).

No time to go until after the holidays? No worries…their Winter fun is available until January 2nd. 2022.

Buddy The Elf Spaghetti Snacks – For Someone Special

I remember going to the theatre ages ago to see Elf in between college classes at FAU. I had a huge gap on Mondays and always popped in to see something new. I honestly had no idea what to expect and had probably seen every other movie they had to offer.

@thisfloridamom

Love the movie #Elf? This is the yummiest snack to make. It’s just like a rice crispy but with chow mein noodles. #baking #christmascountdown

♬ Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – Michael Bublé

I don’t remember any of the other movies I saw then…but I remember Elf. Of course, it is one of our favorite holiday movies and we still watch it every year. Multiple times.

“Buddy the Elf, What’s Your Favorite Color?”

This was the easiest treat to make, and the boys ate half of it while we were making it. I did too. We will probably make it a few more times in the next few weeks too. These are a great and fun surprise at holiday parties or neighbor cookie swaps.

Depending on what you want to add to yours, you might have most of the ingredients already.

Of course, there are no real measurements with this and it’s only a hyped-up rice crispy treat. Minus the rice crispies.

2 cans of Chow Mein noodles

1 bag of chocolate chips

1 bag of white chocolate chips

1 stick of butter

1 bag of small marshmallows

1 canister of Freeze-Dried marshmallows bits

M&M’s

sprinkles

Anything else you may want to add.

Melt half stick of butter with a full bag of marshmallows.

Melt other half of butter stick with bag of white chocolate chips. When bother are completely melted incorporate them together and stir.

Pour into a bowl of chow mein noodles. Mix well and pour onto a cookie sheet or other flat surface.

Pour chocolate chips on the top while still warm. The chocolate will start to melt as well.

While everything is still warm flatten the noodles and add your toppings.

Once the treats come to room temperature and harden, cut, and serve.

Make for someone special of course.

Screen Free Minecraft Gift Ideas – Get these before Christmas

Both of my sons are obsessed with Minecraft. I’m not really sure how it started with the oldest, my youngest of course loves what his older brother loves. With that in mind, I wanted to find a few things they would enjoy for Christmas without it actually being more video games.

Continue reading “Screen Free Minecraft Gift Ideas – Get these before Christmas”

Both of my sons are obsessed with Minecraft. I’m not really sure how it started with the oldest, my youngest of course loves what his older brother loves. With that in mind, I wanted to find a few things they would enjoy for Christmas without it actually being more video games.

Continue reading “Screen Free Minecraft Gift Ideas – Get these before Christmas”

Disney Inspired Gifts – Ages 4 – 8

I absolutely love the magic of Disney… I can say the same thing about toys. When I’m able to find toys that tie in with our lifestyle and get the boys excited about the next trip I grab them. I’m also “that” Disney aunt. You know…the one that always gives Disney gifts… guilty as charged and not one regret about it.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t find any new one though, or run out of ideas for them. As I was looking for holiday gifts I can across a few that I wanted to share in case you might be looking for some too.

One gift that never gets old is a game to add to our game night rotation. These came in perfectly during quarantine and now that the world is a little back to normal, we’ve decided to keep our game nights. Finding games that all of our family can play and enjoy can sometimes be a challenge, but these are two I was excited to add to our collection. Mad Tea Party and Meme the Game.

I wasn’t sure how the Doorables would go over, but after I grabbed the Villans set for Halloween, I knew I needed more. My youngest loves little figurines and the fact these are all different versions of Mickey is awesome. Again, depending on what your child is into — there are probably Doorables for that.

I love Melissa and Doug toys because they are a quality product and hold up well for years. My boys love spending time in the kitchen and have a play kitchen too. These pizza and cake slices are amazing for little hands.

Bath toys are great for siblings. Either they can play with them together in the tub or one on one – but there is no fighting with them outside of the bathroom. I actually grabbed both of these sets for my nephews. Here is the Finding Nemo bath set – and the Mickey Mouse Basket Ball set.

Something that drove me crazy is that I could never get LEGO bricks that were Disney unless it was a princess. I wanted classic Mickey but non in DUPLO form. I was so excited when I saw these. There are actually quite a few to choose from. I’ve put these on our holiday wishlists for other family members to grab too!

Egg Nog Blondie Bites – Fun Festive Food

I asked my husband what his favorite holiday flavor was going into the Christmas season… and was a little surprised when he said Egg Nog. Now, I absolutely love Egg Nog — always have–but I try not to buy it because I will non-stop drink it. Do you have any food like that?

So when he mentioned Egg Nog, I was glad I could buy some and use it to bake with.

Continue reading “Egg Nog Blondie Bites – Fun Festive Food”