Friday, June 28, 2013

Quassy Amusement Park - Seize The Summer in CT

Disclosure – I was invited to Quassy as part of their Media Preview Day. All opinions are my own.


A few months ago, I wrote about all the great things that were happening at Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, CT.  I was really excited to go check everything out! We headed there last Saturday at the begquassyinning of a terrible heat wave.  It was the perfect spot to be on a hot day (and the perfect way to seize the summer in CT)!

My oldest son who is 4 and just over 3 feet tall was able to ride a ton of rides.  I’m pretty sure we rode every ride that he was able to go on! 

His favorites were the Galleon Pirate Ship and The Crazy Cups, which is one of their newest rides.  He of course also loved classics like the Grand Carousel and the Quassy Express Train.


Does he look like he’s having a good time??

After we rode every single ride that we could, we met up with some other bloggers and members of the media for a quick tour of some new attractions.


First we visited the “Quassy Quest Laser Maze” which is located in the redemption arcade building. You have to navigate your way through a web of bright green laser beams in a darkened room while racing against the clock. You receive a time penalty for breaching the lasers. 

Next we headed out to Splash Away Bay.  I loved the “Fish Bowl,” which is a new splash pad area designed just for little kids (a perfect spot for my 2-year-old.) We also got to see their 2 awesome new FreeFALL Extreme Body slides and the new Bullet Bowl! These 3 new slides helped the waterpark area to double in size this year!



After our tour we headed off to grab some lunch at The Quassy Restaurant.  I was happy to see that the menu wasn’t just reheated frozen-food like pretty much every other amusement park I’ve eaten at.  I had a pretty yummy turkey sandwich and I loved that the kids meals were served on frisbees! How fun!




We stopped for a photo-opp with my friends and fellow blogger Wendy, from Weight’s Over before heading back to Splash Away Bay!



We grabbed a seat by, what could easily be, my son’s favorite place in the entire world. The Saturation Station.  He would tell us which color slide he was going to go down and run up to wait in line.  Then once he reached the bottom he would come back and tell us which color was next! It was so cute and we had a blast watching him have a blast! We stayed until he was starting to prune up and turn blue (a sure sign of an excellent time) and headed off to our last stop of the day. The Redemption Arcade!

redemption arcade



The arcade features a great variety of modern and classic games… and while my husband was teaching my son how to play Skee-Ball – I won a t-shirt from the claw machine! Score!


We had a great day and can’t wait to head back soon! He can’t wait until he is tall enough to ride the Wooden Warrior roller coaster and the new water slides. (I told him he had to eat all his veggies to grow taller, muahahaha.)


Fireworks Spectacular

Oh and if you are in the area on the 4th of July, check out Quassy’s 3-D fireworks display! The park will be open at 11 a.m. and will be selling 3-D firework viewing glasses for $1, while supplies last. 

Parking on the 4th will be $7 and the waterpark will be open until 7 p.m.  The rest of the park will be open until the end of the 10:15 firework show!

Fireworks over Lake Quassapaug at Quassy Amusement Park. (Quassy photos)

Visit Quassy’s new website for everything you need to plan your trip!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Zelfs! A Review & Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a medium Zelf for free in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

The Zelfs are the newest brand from Moose Toys andzelf flamy I personally think they are super cute. They are nostalgic of toys I had growing up and I might just have to collect all 12 myself! Of course the one I want the most is Miss Clover (the ultra-rare four leaf clover Zelf) – I must find her!!

Each Zelf comes with a charm, hairstyle accessories and comb.  They are geared towards girls, but my boys had a blast playing with our new Zelf, Flamy the Dragon Zelf!

There are also great playsets available for your Zelf, like the Venus Flytrap Spin Salon! The Spin Salon comes with an exclusive Zelf named Tressa. The spin salon twirls and swirls each Zelf’s hair with just a push of a button and comes with two hair extensions, one hair clip, a tiara, hair brush and a collector’s guide, making it the ultimate place for the Zelfs to hang out…. And you can win one for yourself right here!! MOOSE TOYS - The Zelfs - Venus Flytrap Spin Salon In Package

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mamavation Monday

Happy Summer! mondaysgraphicwbrown1

Last Monday my husband started Crossfit. He goes 3 nights a week with one of his friends and he has really been enjoying it. I’m really proud of him and I love hearing about what he did and the nutrition advice they’ve given him when he gets home. Unfortunately, his gym time has cut into my gym time!

So, I turned to my workout dvds. I had been doing my accelerated pilates dvd almost daily but, I was kind of bored with all of them. Then I came across Tap Out XT. My husband had bought it awhile back but never really got into it. It’s a P90x or Insanity type program. I started last Tuesday and I love it! I’m really surprised since each workout it 45 minutes – and hour long. I’ve made it through 7 days so far and only have 83 more to go! – Ha! I’m hoping I love it enough to make it through all 90 days. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Baby Bullet Giveaway!

Giveaway Hosted by: Elitemama and Sponsored by: Capital Brands

The Baby Bullet Care System has revolutionized the way you'll feed your baby for the first 3 years of life. Jarred baby food is a big expense compared to homemade food and jarred food contains unhealthy sugars, fillers and also preservatives. Even those jarred foods that are labeled organic! With the Baby Bullet, you can make and store an entire weeks worth of food that is healthy for the little ones in under 5 minutes.
The all-new Baby Blend Blade is specially designed to blend fruits, vegetables and a combination of meals from baby's first "stage one" purees to stage 3 toddler meals. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mamavation Monday

This post is sponsored by ChopChop Magazine and Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway

In a typical summer fashion, all of the weeks since school let out have been mondaysgraphicwbrown1melding into one.  I can’t seem to remember what I did last week and what I did 3 weeks ago.  Every time I sit down to write my Mamavation Monday post, I really have to think hard about what’s been going on!

Okay, so, this is what I think has been going on in my life for the past week. It’s been unseasonably cold and rainy. I went to the gym to run one time last week & I ended up running 2 miles in just over 17 minutes! I jumped back on the pilates train sometime around Thursday-ish.  I had planned on running outside on Saturday morning but I wasn’t feeling that great.  However, later in the day, I took my kids for a walk to see the new playground being built by The Sandy Ground Project in memory of local hero Victoria Soto.  On the way home my 4-year-old was “too tired to walk” and “felt like he was melting” so I made the walk home with a 40+ pound child on my back while pushing a stroller.  That was awesome.

Oh, and on Wednesday, I took the kids to my older sons kindergarten orientation! I can’t believe he is going to be starting kindergarten in the fall. I’m really excited that it is within walking distance.  I look forward to being able to walk him there every day.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blogger Opp–Baby Bullet Giveaway

Sign-ups are open for the fabulous Baby Bullet Giveaway
This event is free to join with an announcement post.
For participation, you will receive 2 free links (Facebook and Twitter)
Sign-ups for the event closes on June 26th
Sign up for the event Here

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mamavation Monday


This post is sponsored by Lifesize Portions and Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway

I can’t believe it’s June already! I’ve been spending my time keeping my boys busy so they don’t go stir-crazy.  This week we took a hike, went for a boat ride, visited the zoo, sampled treats at a fellow bloggers new bakery for Connecticut Open House day and went to a birthday party at a lake. Oh, and my husband and I managed to escape for a couple hours for a date night on Saturday! Whew, I’m exhausted just typing that!

I actually can’t remember if I made it to the gym at all this week! I only did pilates one time and I ran the Mamavation 5K on Sunday.  Despite the lack of actual “workouts” I was definitely active.

mamavation5kAs for the Mamavation 5K, I set a new Personal Record!! 32:45. I’m getting closer to that 30 minute or less goal.  The app I use includes a 5 minute warm-up and cool down (I made it home before the last 5 minutes was up.) So I actually went just over 3.5 miles and even though I walked for the warm-up and cool down it had me thinking that maybe I could run more than a 5K. Maybe I will even sign up for a 10K before the end of the year! We’ll see, we’ll see.

Happy Summer!

Friday, June 7, 2013

DESPICABLE ME 2–Prescreening & Prize Pack Giveaway!–AMC Plainville


Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s worldwide blockbuster, Despicable Me, delighted audiences around the globe in 2010, grossing more than $540 million and becoming the 10th-biggest animated motion picture in U.S. history.  In Summer 2013, get ready for more Minion madness in Despicable Me 2.  Chris Meledandri and his acclaimed filmmaking team create an all-new comedy animated adventure featuring the return of Gru (Steve Carell), the girls, the unpredictably hilarious minions...and a host of new and outrageously funny characters.



Despicable Me 2 hits theaters on July 3rd, but if you are in Connecticut you can enter here for a chance to win one of five (5) family 4 pack of tickets to a pre-screening AMC Plainville at 7PM on Thursday, June 27.  Along with your tickets, each winner will also receive a Despicable Me 2 prize, each containing t-shirts, grocery bags, activity sheets, minion stress toys, and posters.



Want to win?

All you have to do is leave a comment below and let me know your favorite Despicable Me character. (required)

For additional entries (leave a comment for each):

Giveaway ends on Wednesday, June 19th at midnight!

Disclosure: Seating at the screening is NOT guaranteed, and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are a winner, please plan to arrive early.

General Giveaway Rules: No Purchase Necessary. This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older. Ends on 6/19/2013, at midnight EST. The email addresses that are collected for this giveaway will only be used for the purpose of contacting the winner and will never be given out to anyone nor sold. The winners will be randomly chosen and contacted via email. The winner will have 72 hours to respond. Only one winner per household. Please make sure you check your junk mail folder.

Cascade® Platinum Pacs - Review

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I have a confession.  I am a double washer.  Sometimes even a triple washer. If I open the dishwasher and there is a dish that isn’t completely clean, I will leave it2013-06-03 18.46.48 in the dishwasher until it is clean. I mean, really, who has time to scrub? I prefer to get my arm workout at the gym, not in front of the kitchen sink.

I always assumed it was my dishwashers fault that the dishes didn't some out sparkling the first time around.  The thought that it could be the detergent I was using never even crossed my mind.  So when I got a package of Cascade® Platinum Pacs in the mail to try out, I was a little skeptical.  How much better could it really be?

I had the perfect storm of dishes in the sink when the Cascade® Platinum Pacs  arrived.  A glass dish that I made ooey, gooey, dark chocolate & walnut brownies in and a dutch oven that I had seared and baked chicken in.  These dishes were going to be in for the long haul.

beforeGross, right?

Now check out the after:


Pretty awesome, right?

So, what is it that makes Cascade® Platinum Pacs a great product?

  • Delivers Cascade’s ultimate clean for dishes
  • Scrubs away tough, 24 hour stuck-on food
  • Eliminates the need to pre-wash dishes
  • Provides exceptional dishware shine
  • Contains the Grease Fighting Power of Dawn

I will obviously be purchasing these again! I tend to take a lot of pictures of my food, whether it’s a recipe for the blog or to share on facebook or instagram.  Top Chef judge and editor of Food+Wine magazine, Gail Simmons, has partnered with Cascade to discuss why presentation is just as important as preparation. People eat with their eyes.


You can check out more videos from Gail on Cascade’s facebook page or on their YouTube channel.

Now you can share pictures of your meals and sparkling dishware to win prizes!

The Cascade “My Platinum” contest is a four week Instagram contest encouraging fans to upload photos related to the weekly contest themes. Show off how sparkly Cascade makes all your pots, pan and plates!

Visit the Cascade “My Platinum” contest page for more information on how to enter and check out the great prizes!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Walk at Gristmill Trail–Seize The Summer in CT


This morning it was a beautiful 70° out.  The skies were clear and there was a slight breeze.  It was the perfect day for a hike.  I kids hikingwanted to bring the boys (who are 2 & 4) somewhere that was easy for them to walk.  I want them to enjoy hiking as much as I do and I knew if it was a difficult hike, they might get tired and miserable and have not-so-great memories of hiking.

Gristmill Trail in Shelton, CT was the perfect spot.  It’s a short 0.30 mile trail (just over a half mile there and back.) It’s a mostly flat trail that follows Far Mill River and is part of the Shelton Land Conservation Trust.  It was a really beautiful and peaceful and my boys had a great time!

brother hugs

“Brother hug!”

falling tree

Trying to un-lean the “Leaning Tree of Pisa,” as he called it.

gristmill trail


far mill river

Tossing some rocks into the water.

trail markers

The trails were well-marked with white rectangles on every few trees.  My 4-year-old was excited to learn about the trail markers and happily exclaimed that we were going the right way every time he saw one!



Do you have a favorite hiking spot in Connecticut?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mamavation Monday–5K Number Four


This post is sponsored by Radiantly You and Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway.

It’s been hot.

I’m pretty sure the temps reached 90 or more every day last week.  We were also under an air quality alert.  I kept up with pilates and I got one treadmill run in before my 5K on Friday. 

Luckily, the 5K was at night time after the sun went down.  It was one of the smallest races I had ever participated in, there were only about 50 people there! It was a glow run so we had glow-in-the-dark shirts and glow sticks.  So fun! The course was really hilly and I was feeling pretty proud of myself around 2.5 miles for running the whole time.  Then, the hill came.  It was steep, really steep and about a half a mile long.  I am used to running up hill, it’s kind of unavoidable here in New England, but not like this one! I made it about half way up and had to walk.  I still ended up finishing in 34:38! Which is a really good time for me.  My PR is 34 something…. I should keep track a little better! So I was excited. 


This is the only picture I took and my eyes are closed!!

On the agenda for this week will be more pilates and more running.  I would also like to take a hike, but it seems whenever I have a day in mind to go hiking, it rains.  My oldest son also wants to start running with me, so I will be going on some little runs with him.  Is there any way to teach a 4-year-old to pace themselves? He goes full bore all the time!

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