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Monday, September 1, 2014

Beat the Winter Blues - our indoor family fun guide for Livingston County

Castaway Play Cafe - Howell
http://www.castawayplay.com/
Address: 1800 North Burkhart Road, Howell, MI 48855
Phone: 517-545-7386
Hours: Mon. - Thur. 10am-8pm
Friday 10am-9pm
Saturday 9am-9pm
Sunday 11am-6pm
Fee: Mon -Thur Children ages 3 and up $7.50
Children ages 2 and under $4.00
Fri - Sun and Holidays
Children ages 3 and up $9.00
Children ages 2 and under $5.00
Parents and adults Always FREE
Infants in carriers Always FREE

Hartland Sports Center
http://www.hartlandsportscenter.com
Address: 2755 Arena Drive, Hartland, Michigan 48353
Phone: (810) 632-7222
Hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, 7:30p - 8:30p
Fee: 5-punch card: $67.50, 10- punch card: $120.00

Kensingston Valley Ice House
http://kensingtonvalleyicehouse.com/
Address: 10540 Citation Drive, Brighton, MI  48116
Phone: 810-494-5555
Hours: Mon, Tue, Thur 11a - 12:50p
Wed: 9a - 10:50 a
Thur: 1p - 2:50p
Sun: 1:15p - 3:05p
Sat: Skate Jam - 8:15p - 10:05p
Fee: $3.00 per skater (All Ages) – (Weekdays)
$5.00 per skater  Sundays (Weekend)
$7.00 per skater for Saturday night Skate Jam
$3.00 Skate Rental

Hartland Ice House
http://kensingtonvalleyicehouse.com
Address: 2755 Arena Drive, Hartland, MI  48353
Phone: 810-632-7222
Hours: Sun 3:15p to 5:05p
Fee: $5.00 per skater  Sundays (Weekend)
$3.00 Skate Rental

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hytail Ponytail Hat Review

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger: Jennifer Wooley -  founder of Any Age Fitness

As a woman in the health and fitness profession I workout frequently.  I have long hair and I've struggled to keep it off my neck and out of my face.  Pony tails get loose, and head bands seem to slip.  Baseball caps stay wet with perspiration and can be itchy and cause break-outs.  I had the opportunity to try a new product called the Hytail Ponytail hat by Tess Rogers, so I put it to the workout test.
The Hytail is similar to a baseball cap but with a few changes.  The back has a thick elastic band and the hole is placed a little higher up than on a regular baseball hat.  I wore the Hytail during an intense 30 minute cardio workout to start.  The thick elastic band makes the hat fit snug so it didn't move during the workout.  It even lasted through burpees and some floor work like crunches.  My ponytail was high enough it kept most of my hair off my neck and the way the Hytail sits on my forehead, a little higher up than a normal cap, I didn't feel itchy or bothered my perspiration.   

Running errands later that day I found the Hytail kept the sun out of my eyes and also allowed enough room to wear my sunglasses.  The Hytail comes in three neutral colors of black, white and pink that will easily match your favorite workout gear.

With all that being said, I have a few things I didn't like about the Hytail.  I found after wearing the Hytail for an extended period of time it was too snug.  Unlike a regular baseball cap I couldn't adjust it throughout the day for my comfort.  Although I liked the functionality of the Hytail, I didn't find it to be very fashionable.   The bill seemed too large for the size of the hat itself and I didn't care for the look of it on my head.   Without a logo or a team name or some bling, the hat was too plain. 
If you're looking for a functional hat for your run outside, or a hike or a bike or a trip to the gym this hat will serve your purpose.  

For more info on the Hytail  info@adactivewear.com, www.adactivewear.com or 409-776-8989

Jennifer (Jenny) is the founder of Any Age Fitness. She's an Independent Beachbody Coach, nurse, wife, and mom of 4. Jenny is passionate about health, nutrition and exercise and helping others achieve their fitness goals regardless of how old they are or how old they might feel. In her spare time she enjoys reading.

Jennifer received free samples of this product in exchange for this promotional post.  All opinions are her own.  Your experience may differ.




Saturday, August 30, 2014

I'm so nuts over this coconut juice! @AmyBrianNatrual #BeBetter #Giveaway {ends 9/20}

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger: Robin Slawnyk - CrunchyGoddess.com

You put the lime in the coconut and shake it all up.....
sing along with me, you know you want to!



In my house, we are coconut crazy.  We use coconut oil for absolutely everything and it is so nutritious, and aside from water - coconut juice is all we drink!  I recently tried Amy & Brian's Coconut Juice with Lime and I am totally hooked!  This refreshing juice tastes just like limeade and my whole family loves it.  I poured my first glass today and shared it with my kids - who drank it gone and asked for more!  I just placed an order to stock up our pantry.
  
What's so awesome about coconut juice (or coconut water) you wonder?  I am so excited to tell you.  This potassium rich treat is so crisp and refreshing, full of nutritious benefits and a total miracle drink. It's packed full of electrolytes and so much better for you (and your littles!) than traditional, sugar-packed juice drinks.
I am so pleased that Amy & Brian Naturals confirms that their product is grown and produced free of GMOs and pesticides.  This is very important to my family!  They also use a method called flash-pasteurization which is the best way to go, maintaining all of the nutritious benefits for us!  I also love supporting small family businesses, such as this.  I am so excited about this product and I wont think twice about offering this wonderful drink to my children!  They loved it as much as I did.
In addition to the Lime flavor, Amy & Brian Naturals offers a traditional flavor and one with pulp.  You are sure to find one that your family loves!  One can is enough to give both of my children a beneficial serving!
Check out the FAQ directly from the source, here:
Awesome deals on your future favorite drink, here, here, and here.
(and if you now have that song stuck in  your head, you can listen here... you're welcome!)
Bottoms up!  Cheers!

Robin is a busy Wife and Mom of 4 and owner of CrunchyGoddess.com . She considers herself a stay-at-home Mom even though she is a Photographer and Holistic Practitioner working in her community. Robin homeschools her children and leads a very natural and organic lifestyle. You might consider her the "crunchy" one of the group, as her focus will be on the natural products and services available to us and like-minded families.

Robin received free samples of this product in exchange for this promotional post.  All opinions are her own, your experience may differ.  

Use the form below to enter to win a sampler pack from Amy & Brian!!!!

Bottle Bright Review


Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger: Jennifer Wooley -  founder of Any Age Fitness

I have a very active family of six.  We are constantly on the go and grabbing water bottles for sporting events, coffee mugs for work days or early morning games and shaker cups for after workout protein drinks.  These beverage containers are sometimes difficult to clean, especially when they have been forgotten in the back seat of the family car or bottom of a gym bag.  They also take up precious space in the dishwasher and are my least favorite things to hand wash.  I was given a sample of a new product called Bottle Bright that states "Cleans drinking containers safely and easily" and tried it out on our numerous beverage containers.


Bottle Bright's purpose is to promote reusable drinking containers.  I like that with each purchase of the product, the company Clean Ethics give the same amount of Bottle Bright to people in need of clean water containers.   This product is formula certified safe, natural and sustainable.  It's chlorine free and has no harsh chemicals.  It is an effervescent tablet that you place in your drinking container and mix with water.   So after reading all the literature about it I just wanted to know, will this really get my bottles clean?

I gathered my water bottles and coffee mugs and sippy cups and put it to the test.  I followed the instructions and put the tablet in the containers and filled it with warm water.  I disconnected the valves from the sippy's and the straws from the camel backs and placed them in the bottles to soak.  After five minutes the tablet is dissolved and you're instructed to mix the solution by shaking the container.  Once you shake, the directions then state let stand another fifteen minutes.  Once the fifteen minutes are up you discard the solution and rinse clean.

I was amazed with the results.  The long standing coffee smell and stains were removed from the coffee mugs, the sippy cup valves were spotless.  I didn't notice any smell associated with the solvent or any taste after we refilled with water.  The Bottle Bright tab seemed like an excellent solution for hard to clean drinking containers.   The only downside I see to this product is that it cannot be used if you are in a hurry.  It takes at least fifteen minutes for it to be clean.  With all the extra containers I have though this wouldn't be a problem for me.   I plan on taking Bottle Bright on road trips when I don't have the capacity to wash them out, to take camping and  to bring to sporting events.  My husband is already planning on keeping some at work so he can clean his travel coffee mug each day.

For more information on the product you can go to www.cleanethics.com

Jennifer (Jenny) is the founder of Any Age Fitness. She's an Independent Beachbody Coach, nurse, wife, and mom of 4. Jenny is passionate about health, nutrition and exercise and helping others achieve their fitness goals regardless of how old they are or how old they might feel. In her spare time she enjoys reading.

Jennifer received free samples of this product in exchange for this promotional post.  All opinions are her own.  Your experience may differ. 


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Broadway's Biggest Blockbuster, WICKED, is returning to the Detroit Opera House

After breaking box office records and selling out in record time in 2011, WICKED, Broadway’s biggest blockbuster, will return to the Detroit Opera House, December 10 – January 4.  Tickets go on sale Friday, September 12 at 10 AM at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online at www.ticketmaster.com/wicked or www.broadwayindetroit.com and at the Fisher Theatre  and Detroit Opera House box offices.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell, Academy Award®-winner for Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt) and book by Winnie Holzman (“My So Called Life,” “Once And Again” and “thirtysomething”), WICKED, the untold story of the witches of Oz, is directed by two-time Tony® Award winner Joe Mantello (Take Me Out, Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Vagina Monologues) and features musical staging by Tony® Award winner Wayne Cilento (Aida, The Who’s Tommy, How To Succeed…).

Based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, WICKED, winner of over 50 major awards, including a Grammy® and three Tony® Awards, is the untold story of the witches of Oz.  It is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone.

“I’m very pleased that we have secured a return of WICKED for Detroit, especially during the holiday season when many families are looking for an extra special way to enjoy quality time together,” said Alan Lichtenstein, Executive Director, Broadway In Detroit.  “In my opinion, the national tour is even better than the Broadway production, which I also loved. The producers of WICKED should be complimented for sending out such a high-quality show.”

Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz.  One – born with emerald-green skin – is smart, fiery and misunderstood.  The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular.  WICKED tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, and how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.

WICKED has been declared “A Cultural Phenomenon” by Variety and “The Best Musical of the Decade” by Entertainment WeeklyWICKED currently has nine productions around the world, in New York, London, Japan, Australasian Tour, South Korea, Latin America, a U.K. Tour, and two concurrent North American National Tours.  Since its New York premiere a decade ago, WICKED has grossed over $3.4 billion worldwide and has been seen by over 42 million across the globe.  WICKED has been performed in over 100 cities in 13 countries around the world (U.S., Canada, England, Ireland, Japan, Germany, Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, The Philippines, and Mexico) and has thus far been translated into five languages: Japanese, German, Dutch, Spanish, and Korean. 

Performance times for WICKED appearing December 10 – January 4 at the Detroit Opera House, located at 1526 Broadway St., in Detroit, are:

-        Monday through Saturday evening performances at 8:00 p.m.
-        Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.
-        Sunday evening performances at 7:30 p.m.
-        Matinees at 1:00 pm on December 11, 23, 30 & 31
-        No performances on December 15, 24 & 25 and January 1
-        Sunday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m. is a special open captioned performance

Tickets for WICKED start at $49 (includes facility fees) and go on sale Friday, September 12 at 10 AM at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online at www.ticketmaster.com/wicked or www.broadwayindetroit.com and at the Fisher Theatre  and Detroit Opera House box offices. Tickets for the special open captioned performance may be purchased at the Fisher Theatre box office or by phone at 313-872-1000, ext.0.  A limited number of premium seats will be available through Ticketmaster and at the box offices. For group sales (20 or more) please email groups@broadwayindetroit.com or call (313) 871-1132. Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice.

Grammy Award-Winning Cast recording available on Decca Broadway. For more information about WICKED log on to www.wickedthemusical.com or visit www.broadwayindetroit.com.

The Broadway In Detroit Series at the Fisher Theatre is sponsored by Chrysler.  As part of this sponsorship, the latest and hottest Chrysler vehicles will be on display at the theatre.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Michigan Renaissance Festival

My family was granted free admission to attend this event in exchange for this promotional post, all opinions are my own.  Your experience may differ.


The Michigan Renaissance Festival is in full swing.  You can travel back in time to the 16th century and enjoy a jousting competition, comedy and theater shows, music, games, rides, food and lots of shopping.

There is plenty for the children to do, if you decide to bring the family.  There is plenty to do if you decide to leave the kids at home too!  This festival is for everyone.

We brought Rosa and Carlyn and let them wear their Elsa and Anna costumes from Frozen.  They both had a blast.


The Children's Realm (with free kids crafts daily) is packed with a ton of fun for the children including The Little Globe Stage (we watched a puppet show), Fantasy Castle Playscape, and Petting Zoo.


I took the kids and headed over to the Children's Realm while the other adults in our party wandered around for about an hour, then we met up for lunch.

Lunch was fantastic.  We decided to try out the Dragon's Lair Restaurant, which is the newest sit down dining location.  We had four adults and two children in our party and we all shared the Guiness Pot Roast, the Lobster Mac and Cheese and the Meatloaf Sandwich.  The meals were $14 each and included one drink (with refills).  I have to say, I was so impressed with everything.  The food was great, the service was attentive and the portions were so big that we had leftovers.



We didn't get to try this, but we ran into one of the girls who was a personal servant for the Renaissance Romance package.  This was the food that was to be served..  Looks yummy, right?


We attended the Joust.  I have to say, this bit was not as exciting as I remember.  Way over the heads of my five and two year old.  Although the nine year old boy behind me seemed to be in his element.  If you have never seen it, it's a cute show with a lot of pomp and circumstance.  There is a jousting competition with real contact and a bit of melee at the end.  It's cheesy and PG.


Our program listed over fifty fun activities for the children on the day we attended.  Some of the activities that are offered every weekend include: live performances just for the kids, face painting, hair braiding, make and take crafts, and a ton of fun rides and games.

Here is Rosa and Carlyn enjoying the Seahorse Swing:


Overall we had a grand time.  Rosa said it was great and would love to go again.
You can get more info about the Michigan Renaissance Festival on their website.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Losing Weight - the one Secret you Already Know and a few more...#Giveaway

As you know, I have been struggling with my weight for years, many many years.  I have tried everything from Adkins, to SlimFast to Shaklee, and while programs are successful while they are implemented, as soon as I got off of them, the weight slowly came back on.



I have to tell you, I know why I am overweight.  It's called food greed!  I don't understand it, it doesn't make sense, but it is the way it is in my mind.  Maybe you are the same, maybe not, but for me, I have to break this thinking process.

A few weeks ago I was given the book "Diet Enlightenment: The Real Secret to Weight Loss" to review.  First, I should say, I have been doing a ton of reading about weight loss and fad diets.  In this book, Rachel Pires will tell you (and show you) how you can lose weight by following one simple rule, count your calories.  It is that easy, and it isn't easy!  I had the most success at weight loss when I counted my calories.  Many of you followed me in 2013 (Jan to Aug) as I lost 60 pounds.  I stopped counting calories and over the past year, gained 25 of it back:(

So here I am again, ready to start anew and commit to losing weight.  Are you with me?  Great!  Let's get started.

First, can you please check out Rachel's book "Diet Enlightenment: The Real Secret to Weight Loss"?  It is a quick good read that will give you some great ideas and inspiration about how to get going with your weight loss.


If you are interested, you can follow Rachel on her Facbook Page here: Diet Enlightenment: The Real Secret to Weight Loss

Second, join me on My Fitness Pal - it's a FREE app for your phone or computer that will help you track your calories!  You can use a bar code scanner to enter product info, search their database for food, or enter in your own food.  for extra motivation, add me as your friend on MFP:  http://www.myfitnesspal.com/profile/amberlouchart

Third, if you are one to walk, dance, or want to track your calories, please check out the FitBit.  I have the flex and I love it.  It syncs with my smart phone or my computer... and it works with MFP!  Awesome!



So are you all set?  Leave a comment below and let me know you are with me.  Let's do this!

For a bit of added fun, we have a giveaway for Rachel's book: "Diet Enlightenment: The Real Secret to Weight Loss".  Just use the widget below to enter for a chance to win!