Monday, April 27, 2015

Cedar Lakes Woods & Gardens {Williston, Florida}

 Looking for a beautiful Florida Wedding Venue?  Or maybe an escape with some natural beauty for a day of relaxation?   Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens is a beautiful botanical garden in Williston, Florida.  You will discover numerous water falls, KOI ponds and gorgeous gardens in a 100 year old retired lime rock quarry.

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Cedar Lakes Woods & Gardens 

The quarry walls are lined with concrete planters and benches.  You will find plenty of places to stop and enjoy the scenery, catch a breath and if you choose enjoy a beautiful picnic .  Definitely a breath of fresh air from every day life when you escape to this setting.
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rope bridge at Cedar Lakes Woods & Gardens

You may wander around from small garden to garden. Or venture into the woods on the 54 acre conservation easement.  Park hours are from 9:30 AM to 5PM Tuesdays, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Group tours are available by appointments and guided tours for the general public are available at 10AM and 2PM Call Lori to set up your tour.

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Beautiful Cedar Lakes Woods & Gardens

Future brides have their choice of where they would like the ceremony held at Cedar Lakes.  They can set up in front of the water fall, or on Palm Tree Island, a small chapel , there are so many different locations one might choose.   I think this would be a beautiful choice for a Florida wedding venue. Complete with swans  Lancelot and Guinevere.

Cedar Lakes is also ideal for company retreats , reunions or special events.  Call Lori for pricing and a tour. (352) 529-0555
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I enjoyed the swans, turtles, and fish that we saw at Cedar Lakes Woods & Gardens. 

Admission into the gardens is $12 for adults , children 6 and under are FREE but must be supervised by adults, children 6-13 are $7.00. It is recommended that you wear non skid shoes.  Also, remember if you are visiting during the summer months the temps are hot so dress accordingly.  

Find more about Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens on Facebook

Do you have a favorite garden or place to escape to?  We'd love to hear all about it. Comment below. Thanks!
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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Making Bath Time Easier with New Products from Dial

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New From Dial 
Bathing a young child can be challenging on some days.  Bathing a child on the spectrum with sensory issues can be super challenging.  Just imagine your child screaming at bath time every time.  Anything dealing with his hair has always been an extreme issue for my son.  He is hypersensitive and we have shed a lot of tears when washing the hair.  Thankfully with therapy and a lot of work it has gotten to be a doable process.  I'm always looking for ways to make it easier on him and me.  One of the things I always look for in a product for him is that it is sensitive on the skin and tear free.  The New Dial Baby Body & Hair Wash is tear free, hypoallergenic, ph balanced, fragrance free and even more.  Everything I Look for!

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Some products boast tear free and well the just aren't .  Sometimes you can't tell if its the product or just the kid.  We put Dial Gentle Baby Wash to the test and saw just how gentle it was.  We're in between haircuts right now so his hair is a bit longer than usually and he is blessed with one thick head of it .  That means more washing.  I'm happy to be able to say the Dial Baby Wash is truly Tear Free.  Yeah! That made my job 100 times easier in one step.  Thank you Dial!

5  Steps to Make Hair Washing and Bath Time Easier:

  • allow them to hold a clean wet wash rag over their eyes
  • have a cup handy for hair rinsing 
  • be fast about it no need to linger at the task at hand 
  • tell them what you are doing and allow them to help you if they will 
  • Use an all in one product like Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash
We are always working on good hygeine and talking about germs.  This Spring both my son and myself have been sick several times.  Being in school and working with kids we come in contact with plenty of icky germs.  Plus he is a busy little boy  So of course I'm always talking hand washing and reminding him as well as my students to do so.

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The Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash is perfect.  The foam lets them see what they are doing and they love the way it feels.  I love that I don't have to fuss he actually puts it on his hands because he wants to.  This product is also sensitive which this mom appreciates.  I hate kid products that have a lot of chemicals (scary).   Dial Kids Hand Wash is paraben free, hypoallergenic , has no artificial dye and is ph balanced.  This makes hand washing more fun! Thank you again Dial we LOVE this kids soap.

Stay up to date on the newest from Dial Connect with them on Facebook & Twitter.

WIN:  Win a coupon pack and try the Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash & Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash  . Just fill out the giveaway form below. Good Luck! (US only)
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Living at the Whiteheads Zoo was compensated by free product. The Dial Brand provided me with a sample of Dial Kids Foam Hand Soap and Dial Baby Body & Hair Wash in exchange for a product review. All experiences and opinions shared here are my own.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

New Smyrna Beach Balloon & Sky Fest Review

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New Smyrna Beach Balloon & Sky Fest 

This past weekend I had the chance to stay in New Smyrna Beach, Florida for the annual Balloon and Sky Fest.  I was super excited about the ballooning part of the event.  Ballooning has interested me for a while now.  The Balloon and Sky Fest was a three day event with air shows, and also balloons weather permitting.  Balloons can't go up in high winds.

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Re Max one of the balloons at Sky Fest

One of the things that I liked about the event was seeing the balloons starting up from start to finish. I learned a lot of different things about the set up process. Plus it was very exciting to see them go up after all of the work put in to getting them air bound.  The balloons need the wind to fly but also not to much if winds exceed  8 miles an hour they can't go up.  Wouldn't you know the wind was an issue for us this weekend and apparently also in the past.  They say that they have better luck first thing in the mornings.  Some of the Saturday morning balloonist said that due to winds one balloon ended up on a roof and the other ended up on an island and had to call for assistance. Yikes so happy that didn't happen to me.

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The event had both night and day air shows.  I'd never seen an air show at night so I thought that was pretty cool.  I tried to get into it during the day but it was HOT.  You need to bring a blanket or your own chairs when you come there is not much available sitting unless you upgrade to a VIP pass.  The VIPs have a tent and chair section.

The event also had a section with fair like rides and games set up and live entertainment.  Aaron Tippin took the stage for concert Saturday night.  For entrance into the concert you had to have a concert ticket which was an additional charge .  In addition to all of this fun there was also an animal exhibit .

There were also quite a few vendors and displays set up.  There were some great items to fill your goodie bags as you walked through. One of my FAVORITE stops was Inspiration Village.  This area had robotic radio controlled helicopters and planes. It also hosted a NASA display and much more.  NASA totally hooked me up with goodies for the kids in my class.  I was so excited to share them this week.

 photo ballooning3.jpg Now for the nitty gritty what did I think and would I go back next year?  No!  This was one of the most unorganized events I have ever been to.  Every single person working gave you a different answer not just during the night glow experience but all weekend long.  It was frustrating.  I know that the event is run largely by volunteers but it would be nice to get everyone on the same page.  We had a run in with one volunteer at the helicopter rides that was borderline ridiculous. Wow is all I can say (People Skills) .   On a positive note there was ample parking at no additional charge. The facility was clean and like I mentioned above you got lots of FREE goodies at the vendors.  Even though unorganized and chaotic the balloons were definitely the highlight for me.  Would I attend a different ballooning event? You bet I really would love to visit the one at Callaway Gardens later this Fall (Labor Day weekend).

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jill Cooper YA Series Celebration and Giveaway

jill ya celeb giveaway

I am so looking forward to summer break and more time to read.  Yes, more time to read.  Some times when life gets to busy it just doesn't seem like there is time in the day to pick up a book which is just terrible.  I just counted and we only have 44 days left until summer break.  This girl is looking forward to a lot of pool days during summer with a good book in hand.  Need a new idea or two?

Author Jill Cooper just released her second novel in the Rewind Agency Series, Plugged and is currently writing the third novel, Detached. To celebrate her awesome YA series she decided to giveaway a fantastic Lit-Cube that is YA themed! If you haven't heard of Lit-Cube its a very fun company that feeds a hopeless book geek who needs a monthly fix! As the owner says: because book geeks deserve awesome subscription boxes too!
IMG_0860-0.JPGLara Crane is stuck in her mind, in an indefinite stream of timelines where her life is perfect, just the way she wants it to be. But it's not real. It's all made up to give those who want to use time travel for their own personal ambitions. To give time to finish their experiments and turn Lara into a deadly time travel assassin.
If Lara wants to survive and to stop them, she needs to risk her own mind and soul to get out of a prison so perfect it completes the one dream Lara has always had.
Order on Amazon for $2.99! Read book 1 - 15 Minutes DS banner
Order the Dream Slayer Series on Amazon, Book 1 is Free!

jillcooperAbout the Author:

I could write this in the third person. I could tell you what I like, where I was born, and what my favorite things are.

But instead, I'll say I don't want to write like everyone else. I don't want to craft stories you've read a thousand times before. I want my novels to be a cinematic experience, blending themes, genres, and situations unlike any you've ever read.

I want to break the rules. I want you to break out in a cold sweat as you read my books out of fear, love, and excitement. I want my books to be an experience. When you finish, I want you to feel something. Good or bad.

If you do, then I'll have succeeded. If not, I'll keep trying. Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Literary Addicts | Goodreads | Tsu   Giveaway ends 4/28/15 at 11:59 EST. Continental US only please, 18+ to enter. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disney's TOMORROWLAND - New Trailer and IMAX Sneak Peek Announcement!! #TomorrowLand

A brand new trailer from Disney’s TOMORROWLAND starring George Clooney has been released!  a special presentation of the film, featuring more than six minutes of footage to be introduced by director Brad Bird, will screen exclusively in IMAX® theatres domestically and in select international markets beginning May 1st, 2015. The extended first look of TOMORROWLAND will screen directly prior to Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and will play for the duration of that film’s run in IMAX.  Are you looking forward to Tomorrowland this summer?  


From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s riveting, mystery adventure “Tomorrowland,” starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.

Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.


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In Disney’s riveting mystery adventure “Tomorrowland,” a jaded scientist and an optimistic teen embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space.

The film also stars Hugh Laurie as brilliant scientist David Nix, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Robinson.

“Tomorrowland” is produced by Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird and Jeffrey Chernov and directed by Brad Bird, with John Walker, Bernard Bellew, Jeff Jensen and Brigham Taylor serving as executive producers. “Tomorrowland” opens in U.S. theaters on May 22, 2015.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Charming Children's Story " The Labyrinth by Thomas and Peter Weck" #BookReview

" This post was sponsored by Lima Bear Press . Even so the review and opinions below on the story The Labyrinth by Thomas and Peter Weck are completely my own. Thank you." 

It’s L. Joe Bean vs the Mean ol’ Bean… Who Will Come Out Ahead? Jealousy is something that everyone faces no matter how young or how old. Unfortunately, children become familiar with jealousy very early since almost everything can seem like a competition—from what toys you are playing with, to who gets picked for which team, to having the coolest backpack. However, children do not always know the best ways to deal with jealousy because most of the time it stems from something they did innocently. It isn’t the child’s fault if she gets picked for a certain team and others are jealous of her position. This is the situation in The Labyrinth by Thomas Weck and Peter Weck, with captivating illustrations by Len DiSalvo (©8/2012,, $15.95 dust-jacketed hc).

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The Labryinth A Children's Book Review

Our thoughts:

The illustrations were fun and cheerful.Full of imagination.  We liked the extended learning page and activities ideas at the back of the book. These are very helpful for extensions in a classroom setting.
The story was a little bit longer and wordy for my younger toddler class.  They really loved the rhyming through out like this " Oh, Mean ol’ Bean How he did scheme. To be rid of the Queen, That was his dream" .   My son is six and he enjoyed the story and was cheering as L.Joe Bean came up with a plan  to save the queen.  As a mom and teacher I really appreciate the positive message that The Labyrinth shares . Jealousy is a tough emotion to deal with sometimes.  I also love all of the problem solving and life lessons. The Labyrinth.  (ages 4 to 8)  and I think that is an accurate age recommendation. 

The Labyrinth is the fourth title in The Lima Bear Stories series from Lima Bear® Press, LLC. Also available are The Megasaurus, How Back-Back Got His Name and The Cave Monster. The publisher’s mission is to publish children’s stories that are engaging, imaginative, and humorous while carrying an important life message such as tolerance, honesty, courage, forgiveness, etc. The stories are entertaining and meaningful both to those who listen as well as to those who read them aloud.''

Meet the Authors and Illustrator : 

Thomas Weck is a creative and captivating national award-winning author of children’s books. He has traveled extensively in the U.S. and in foreign countries including teaching children through the Peace Corps. With four children of his own and a passion for observing children’s behavior, he has distilled these observations into stories that excite the imagination of young minds amidst peals of laughter and learning. The Labyrinth is the fourth title in the award-winning The Lima Bear Stories series. Peter Weck grew up enjoying the wonderful stories his father told about Lima Bear and his friends. Now that he is the father of three young girls, Peter has teamed up with his father to capture these and other stories in print. His goal is to help children foster a love for creating, reading, and listening to stories. He currently serves on the board of the Menlo Park Library Foundation and is CEO of StoryJumper, a web-based company that enables anyone to create and illustrate children’s stories. Len DiSalvo is an illustrator and animator for a wide range of print projects and award-winning computer games. He currently teaches art illustration and animation at the Art Center Design College in Tucson, Arizona.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Purex Crystals Scent Splash Review & Giveaway #IrresistibleFreshnessThatLasts

"The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex Crystals ScentSplash in exchange for a product review.  All the opinions expressed below are my own." 

 I just added something new to my laundry routine.  I have added the New Purex Crystals ScentSplash to my daily wash routine.  It is an in wash fragrance booster.  The new Purex Crystals ScentSplash infuses your clothes with the power of liquid freshness.  Simply add a little or a lot into your washer and then wait to see the end result.

Purex Crystals scent splah photo photo 5_1.jpg Purex Crystals Scent Splash is available in  3 great scents.

1.  Fresh Spring Waters
2.  Fresh Lavendar Blossom - this is the one I tested out and I love it!
3.  Fresh Mountain Breeze

It is super easy to use. Just  measure it out in the cap and then add a lot or a little right into your wash to give you that liquid freshness you want. This in wash fragrance booster works right along side with your regular laundry detergent.  It leaves with fresh laundry and does wonders to eliminate odors you don't want hanging around.

 photo photo 2_1.jpg I've been really sick this past month.  I mean seriously how does one body make so much snot?  Have you ever asked that?  Like I said I've been super sick.  From stuffy nose , to runny nose and then back to stuffy.  Life has not been super fun.  This isn't a whine fest.  Trying to rid my home of the germs that are plaguing me and I've washed all of my bedding several times now.  This past weekend I added in the Purex Crystals Lavender Blossom Scent Splash when washing my comforter and sheets.  Later, when I was curled up resting trying to get better I had my comforter pulled high and inhaled. What do you know I could actually smell the Lavender and it was fabulous.  You forget how much smell and taste and all of those things really matter until you loose them for a while.   It made me feel so much better knowing that my bedding was nice and fresh.

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Win it! 
Connect:  Connect with Purex on Facebook & Twitter 

WIN :  Win a manufacturers coupon pack from Purex for 2 full sized Purex Scent Splash products.  Just fill out the entry form below for a chance to win.
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