Written by Role Mommy Wing Mom Danielle Feigenbaum
Last week my family and I had a taste of the fantastic Great Wolf Lodge right in New York City. Great Wolf Resorts is the world's largest chain of indoor water parks which owns and operates its family resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge brand. Even though we were in a hotel ballroom, we were transported to a magical land with holiday celebrations galore. There were crafts, delicious food, cookie decorating and of course the famous wolves, Wiley and Violet. My husband, kids (ages 10 and 7) and I all thought the food was really good, especially the desserts. The kids decorated howl-o-ween bags that they will use to trick or treat next week and my daughter and I were transformed into princesses and treated to some pampering at the "Scoops Spa". Here is an idea of how much fun you can have around Halloween at any of the Great Wolf Lodge locations...
Great Wolf Lodge - North America's largest family of indoor waterparks - presents Howl-O-Ween, a Halloween celebration dedicated to providing "spooktacular" fun for the whole family with rates starting at $199 per night. Available at all twelve Great Wolf Lodge locations spanning Kansas City to New England throughout October, families can participate in a bevy of seasonal thrills and chills when noting the HOWL promo code at time of booking. During Howl-O-Ween, children are free to join a trail of trick-or-treaters as they collect ghostly goodies along a spooky path, don their most frightening costumes for a parade, attend a monster-themed dance party and end the night with some boo-bit scary stories.
Most families are looking for something fun to do during the holidays when the kids are out of school. Look no further...
Snowland, Great Wolf Lodge's month-long winter celebration (available at all Great Wolf Lodges spanning Grand Mound, Washington to Williamsburg, VA), offers up festive activities from visits with Santa Clause to indoor snow showers to a Polar Wolf Walk. For a truly delectable experience, visitors are invited to dine inside the resort's life-size gingerbread house. Great Wolf Lodge has partnered with Just Born, makers of PEEPS, Mike and Ikes and Hot Tamales, to create the edible gingerbread house. Featuring more than 5,000 candies, 600 pounds of gingerbread dough and 1,320 pounds of sugar, the gingerbread house will be baked, iced and candied to perfection, providing the setting for a memorable holiday feast. The appetizing walls of the lodge-baked abode have as much heart as taste as the proceeds for each meal go to charity.
From our little peek at what Great Wolf Lodge has to offer, we are looking forward to visiting a location near us soon!
To avoid the extra weight that I always seem to put on in the winter, I am switching my pasta to a healthier ad more delicious one. I discovered black bean pasta at Costco and am now a convert! 2 out of my 4 kids will eat it as well as my husband and that speaks volumes about it's pleasing texture and flavor. Look for it in health food stores or google it. Try it with whatever you normally eat pasta and you be the judge!
Quick Leftover Pasta with Roasted Squash and Sausage:
8 oz cooked black bean pasta (cook according to instructions))
2 cups already roasted butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cooked chicken sausage , diced into 1/2 inch chunks
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sized frying pan, heat up the oil and butter and saute the minced garlic until wilted.
Add in the butternut squash and coat with the oil and garlic.
Add in the pasta and chopped sausage and stir until heated.
For more great recipes, please visit: takebackthekitchen.com
This coming December will mark the 1 year anniversary of when my wife and I adopted our third child. And similar to how it was when our daughter and son were born 15 years and 12 years ago, respectively, my wife and I have found it difficult to go on vacation without the little one. My two kids might take exception with me referring to our dog Santana as our third child, but it's hard to argue that the amount of time we put into caring for our amazing canine is much less than what we did and still do for our son and daughter. It's not just the basic requirements of providing food and shelter, cleaning up waste and seeking veterinary care when needed, its the countless hours I spend with Santana playing outside, mostly at our amazing nearby dog park. I like to put on a good front for the family that taking Santana to the dog park is a choir and not leisure. The truth though is that I get tremendous joy in seeing the unbridled energy and excitement Santana displays every time she steps foot inside the wide open space of a dog filled playground. So the thought of going on vacation and leaving our little one in the hands of someone or someplace thats does not share the same enthusiasm is an uncomfortable one.
But sooner or later, it's going to be time for me to let go, pack the bags with the wife and kids and leave Santana behind. As much as I love having Santana with me at all times, the reality is that having a dog with you on vacation does limit the number of activities you can enjoy, not to mention the costs of traveling with an animal. Fortunately, we found a service that can put my mind at ease, DogVacay. For pet owners like me that don't want to use kennels, DogVacay allows your dog to stay in a loving home while you are away with the comfort of knowing that you will receive daily updates on how it is doing so you never have to worry while you're gone. And unlike other companies that might offer similar services, DogVacay provides free pet insurance during the stay at the host's home as well as 24/7 customer service.
The part about the service I find most appealing is the ease of use. Pet owners can simply enter their zip code and find a Host nearby who will care for your animal. Despite what the name says, cats and other animals are also welcome. There are over 20,000 hosts in the DogVacay network and all of them must maintain a 5 star review in order to stay in the program. So while there might not be someone out there that can care for my dog the way I do, at least I know its pretty close. And if you are inclined to be a part of the host community yourself and meet the rigorous standards of care that are expected for other people's pets, DogVacay can be a fantastic way for dog lovers with flexible schedules to make some extra money. Watching just a few pets each month can translate into hundreds of dollars in extra income which isn't too shabby.
I'm not quite sure when our next family vacation is going to be, but I think it has to be one where I take a break from the local dog park at the chosen destination. Santana, I feel very guilty for even thinking that way. But I know your DogVacay vacation is going to be just as fun as mine and when we get back, we can talk about the great time you had getting those non-stop belly rubs. On second thought, maybe I'll join you.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by DogVacay.com. However, all opinions expressed are 100% are own!
Want a very quick and easy Thai curry recipe that will serve 2-3 people and takes just a few minutes to prepare? Well, look no further! I substituted the sugar I usually use in curries with dates and it worked out great. Enjoy!
Easy Pumpkin Thai Curry:
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (can use canned)
2 tsp Thai red curry paste (can get in most supermarkets)
4 dried dates, pureed in a food processor
Splash of fish sauce (found in most Asian food stores and some supermarkets)
Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Heat in a small sauce pan over medium heat until it starts to reduce a bit, approximately 10 minutes.
Serve with rice, vegetables, meat or whatever you like.
For more great recipes please visit: takebackthekitchen.com
Written by Rolemommy contributor, Kristin Flannery.
Ever wonder what it would be like to reconnect with your long, lost love? I have to say that this Rolemommy contributor found out but alas we figured out why it didn't work in the first place. This wasn't the case with Nicholas Spark's THE BEST OF ME which opens in theaters on Friday October 17, 2014.
Rolemommy sat down with the films stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan to find out what it was like during filming and if they ever found their own lost loves.
This isn't the first time that James Marsden has been in a Nicholas Sparks movie (he played the ditched fiance in The Notebook) so we were wondering if he was promised a happy ending...
James Marsden filled us in "Yes, he's a sadistic, isn't he? Oh, I have to be careful. You're recording this. I didn't mean that, Nick. Which is going to be a slow progression over the next 10 years, when I'm in the next Nicholas Sparks movie.Something else is going to happen right before I get the girl. No, I didn't actually meet Nicholas until "The Notebook" premiere. So, he's obviously is a presence in these movies. But, when we're out there filming the scenes and working with Michael (director Michael , it's pretty much just us." Michelle Monaghan thinks "he is writing the next 10 books, basically, while we're out shooting."
We thought that this one was the most violent Nicholas Sparks movie, book, that we have seen yet so we wondered how was it on the set.
James Marsden confessed "It's pretty intense. I mean, I know that Luke got the brunt of all of that, and dealt with that more than I did, except that I, you know, I'm sort of the product of that down the line. But, I think, there's an edge to this movie. And his upbringing, love and someone defining that for him at a young age was very absent in his upbringing. And so, that's what I think when he meets Amanda. It's like he comes alive, you know. It's the first time he's ever felt these emotions for somebody else, and what it feels like to be cared for and to care for somebody else. It was a very serious thing that he was dealing with, and in having an abusive father."
It's a really nice story, I think, as somebody in middle age to see you come back and you have a second chance in there. And are there anything that you guys would want to have second chances at now in your life?
Michelle Monaghan believes "It's funny because you can sort of look at your life and go, "Okay. Well, maybe I would have made a different decision," or something like that. But, I guess regrets are kind of hard because every single one that I've made, whether they've been good or bad, they've informed my life in some way. So, I can't say, "Oh, dear, that was maybe not the right thing to do." But, I learned something from it, or I have grown from that. And I think that's where people in general just grow."
We wondered have you really been in this kind of love, like in this love, because it's lovely to see these kind of movies, but thinking in real life?
James Marsden replies "Not everybody is lucky enough to find it. I like these characters so much in this movie because there's so much goodness about them, and they're so unselfish with the love that they give to one another and how they show it. And I think you can better your chances at maybe finding that by nurturing it as well. It's not just like love at first sight, and the universe has these two people. And then, for some reason, just them, they're the only ones allowed to experience it. I think that it's what they do with their initial reaction to one another and how they treat one another that it's that that love is then nurtured, and then it becomes that sort of timeless love, I think.
In closing we wondered if they found those emotional moments a lot when they were filming, where you were so drawn into it that you were off-set or on-set like--.
Michelle Monaghan believes "Yes. Well, I think that's the beauty of these sorts of films, it's like a privilege to be able to go there, because I think we're so used to shooting a lot of films, like James was saying yesterday, there's a lot of bells and whistles, and a lot of special effects and things like that. And this really is just about the emotion. And it's about these scenes. So, you're invested in these characters, and you really want to bring as much emotional truth as you can to it. And so, James and I, along with Michael, we really spent a lot of time in creating this emotional arc, and making sure that it made sense, and that it was truthful and based in reality, and it was grounded, and that the emotional responses were earned and deserved. There is joy behind heartache. That is so Nicholas Sparks. There really is joy behind heartache."
Don't miss Nicholas Sparks' THE BEST OF ME in theaters October 17th and for more information follow them on twitter at #thebestofme.
Check out the special trailer here.
Rolemommy has not received any gifts yet
Posted on April 18, 2009 at 9:30am — 2 Comments
Posted on February 28, 2009 at 6:00am — 1 Comment
Posted on February 17, 2009 at 5:02am — 17 Comments
Posted on February 6, 2009 at 8:30pm — 3 Comments
Posted on January 30, 2009 at 3:00pm — 22 Comments