Four Tips For A Great Trip To The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Four Tips For A Great Trip To The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Yesterday, we visited the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The zoo, which offers winding paths, cool shady wooded areas and beautiful exhibits, is a great place to spend a day. Today, we want to share four tips for a successful visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo!

Get Ready To Walk A Lot

Your adventure at the Pittsburgh Zoo will begin with a ride on an escalator from the area where you purchase tickets to the actual zoo entrance. There is also an elevator for strollers and those with mobility limitations. After you exit the escalator or elevator, you will find an area that has a bathroom, gift shops, and a place to get some food! There is also a carousel in that area. Once you pass all that, you’ll go down a path through a tunnel and then the actual fun starts! The Pittsburgh Zoo has a wide range of animals including lions, elephants, giraffes, gorillas and polar bears. The aquarium is home to a huge variety of fish, sharks and other marine life, some of which you can even touch!  If you have trouble walking long distances, you will definitely want to bring or rent a mobility aid.

Arrive Early And Leave Plenty Of Time To Explore

This is not a zoo that you want to visit if you only have an hour or two. There is just so much to see! It was super busy yesterday, so it took us an hour and a half just to purchase and eat lunch. There are also two big play areas that children will want to stop at. A lot of the animal exhibits are very detailed and worth taking time to appreciate!

Take A Lot Of Pictures

There are so many photo opportunities! The very natural looking habitats make this zoo a great please for wildlife photography and there are also plenty of neat places to take pictures of your family! My daughter loved the giant polar bear they have near their amazing polar bear exhibit. She also loved getting to see how tall she was compared to a baby elephant.

Don’t Forget To Pack Sunscreen And Sunglasses

The Pittsburgh Zoo has tons of shady areas, but you’ll be getting a lot of sun exposure too. No one wants to end a fun day with sunburn. If you get extra hot, there are a few fans that spray cool mist located through out the zoo.

We had so much fun exploring everything the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium had to offer. My four-year-old learned a few new things about animals and she really enjoyed the play areas! Don’t forget to check back to read more about our travel adventures in the future!

You Won’t Hear “I’m Bored” With These Fun Summer Activities

You Won’t Hear “I’m Bored” With These Fun Summer Activities

Summer is such a fun time of the year! You can spend a day at a local water park, take a trip to the beach or just enjoy a day with your children at the park. Even with all the fun things your family does this time of year, summer boredom will still likely hit your home at some point. Today, we want to share a list of crafts and activities that will have your preschool aged child learning fun new things all summer long.

Crafts

Dinosaur Fossil Craft

Easy DIY Pipe Cleaner Flower Craft

Lego Crayons

Paper Plate Watermelon Fan Craft

Toilet Paper Roll Bird Feeder

Handprint Sun Paper Plate Craft

Bubble Wrap Butterflies

Educational Activities and Worksheets

Sunscreen Painting

Farm Themed Cutting Practice

Summer Preschool Worksheets

Cleaning Pennies With Ketchup

Twenty Great Blogging Moms You Should Follow

Twenty Great Blogging Moms You Should Follow

Parenting can be a lonely journey at times! Most of us have a support system that includes friends and family, but today, I want to share some amazing blogs that can help moms feel a little less alone! This list is full of twenty real moms who are sharing their own passions and advice in a variety of ways!

  1. Saving Talents: Tiffany Thomas is a chocoholic former math teacher and homeschooling mom with Crohn’s Disease. She and her husband Phillip (who is an engineer) work together on the blog Saving Talents. Tiffany blogs about parenting and marriage, chronic illness, and faith.
  2. Marley’s Menu: Marley lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband Rob, their baby boy Charlie, and their two dogs Zazu. She thoroughly relishes every step of the cooking process—from sourcing the ingredients, creating beautiful flavors with them, and enjoying the final product as a family. With the environment always front of mind, Marley stands strong in her belief that you can live a modern lifestyle while still making sustainable food choices. At Marley’s Menu, you can expect to find recipes that everyone can enjoy and to learn little green tips along the way to live an attainable sustainable life.
  3. Nina Kneads To Bake: Nina writes a sweet and savoury baking blog. She started the blog when her daughter was about 6 months old. Now she also has a 5 month old son. Work on Nina’s blog has been very part time since she has a toddler and baby at home. Early mornings and nap times times are when she is most productive.
  4. Champagne & Coffee Stains: Ali is from Minneapolis. She is a toddler mom and expecting baby number 2 this summer! She shares her family’s (mostly) healthy recipes, toddler activities and play ideas, fitness for moms and all things peloton!
  5. High Chair Chronicles: Kate is a mom to a wonderful 4 year old boy who was the pickiest eater from the first time he tried solid foods. She worked hard to teach him to enjoy food and started her blog to help other parents of babies and toddlers overcoming picky eating and sensory issues and to share all her tips and advice.
  6. Two Pink Peonies: Audrey of Two Pink Peonies is a mom of two toddlers. She shares easy, family friendly recipes and kids activities.
  7. All About Baby Blog: Linda is the creator of All About Baby Blog. She started the blog as a creative outlet and hobby because she lovse sharing helpful hacks for parents! You can also find lots of information about pregnancy along with fun crafts and printables for your kids on her website.
  8. In The Playroom: This blog written by a team of two mums from the Uk, Anna and Luciana who are best friends. The site covers kids activities and play ideas as well as topics for moms including relationships, health and fashion.
  9. Ugly Duckling Bakery: Joanne is an infectious disease physician who dreams about starting a bakery one day. She has been cooking and baking all of her life, but started sharing more on social media in 2020 during the pandemic. She started the blog in January 2021 to share all of the food that comes out of her kitchen. It’s called the Ugly Duckling because she does not fuss to make things look perfect. On her blog, you’ll find weeknight dinners, weekend dinners and baking adventures of all kinds.
  10. A Dime Saved: Robyn is a millennial mom on a tight budget! She loves sharing tips and tricks to help you live your very best life all while saving a dime or two! She loves reading, spending time with her kids and cooking so check my blog for all the best ways to do that on a budget.
  11. Mum’s Creative Cupboard: Louisa is the face behind Mum’s Creative Cupboard. She has two kiddos and she loves all things creative. She creates simple and fun play activities for toddlers and preschoolers with the focus on less prep, more play!
  12. CulinaryShades: Alpa from CulinaryShades is a mom of two kids. Her blog is all about vegetarian and vegan cooking.
  13. One Fit Mamma: Kallie from One Fit Mamma is a mom to one toddler and two fur babies. Her goal in life is to help other moms be fit and active during pregnancy and after they have their baby.
  14. Homeschooling In Progress: Christy is a homeschool mom of four who enjoys laughing and learning with her kids. She believes a homeschool day can be manageable and enjoyable. Christy shares tips, ideas, and activities to simplify the homeschool day so homeschool parents can feel confident and enjoy teaching their kids.
  15. Everyday Thrifty: Nicole is a mom that will inspire you to be frugal and still have a full life! Her family paid off $68K of debt in just 16 months. And now, she loves to teach other moms practical ways to save money and live a full life even on a budget.
  16. The Craft At Home Family: Sacha is a former teacher and stay-at-home mom of four young kids who loves to cook, craft and create fun activities for her family. She loves to share crafts, activities, printables and recipes on her blog to help inspire parents, caregivers and teachers who are looking for fun things to do with kids!
  17. Our Wabi Sabi Life: Debi and the team from Our Wabi Sabi Life are all about making the most out of this imperfectly perfect life. This blog shares easy recipes for the whole family, simple crafts, DIYs on a budget, and lots of family fun ideas!
  18. A Tiny Trip: Daphna is a homeschooling mom of four kids under the age of ten. A former backpacker, she now helps parents travel and explore the world and their own backyard, with little ones in tow. On A Tiny Trip she shares practical travel guides and positive parenting advice.
  19. Hess Un-Academy: Charlene is a homeschooling mom of seven who blogs about homeschooling a large family. She and her family enjoy having fun and going on adventures together. Her blog focuses on making home education as fun and simple as possible. 
  20. Feels Like Home: Tara is the mom of a tween and a teen who works full time, homeschools, and blogs on the side. Her site, Feels Like Home, features food, family, and faith topics. Since 2007, she has shared over 350 delectable recipes spanning everything from cheesy comfort food to vegetable based healthy fare. In the family section, she shares fun activities for kids as well as parenting advice and encouragement. In the faith section, she shares Christian Bible studies and prayers for moms.

Five Reasons Waldameer Is The Best Small Amusement Park We’ve Ever Been To

Five Reasons Waldameer Is The Best Small Amusement Park We’ve Ever Been To

There is so much to love about one of the oldest amusement parks in Pennsylvania. Waldameer might be small, but it has attractions for the entire family! Today, I want to share five reasons why Waldameer is my family’s favorite small amusement park.

Not only does Waldameer offer rides and water attractions, but it is also free to just walk around and enjoy the old school environment! Guests can choose to buy wristbands or individual tickets, so if you want to just ride a little, you do not have to pay for a full day of rides. It is also free for non-riders to just walk around and enjoy time with their families. The water park does have charge per person to enter.

Waldameer has recently expanded the water park a lot and since we did not visit last year, we cannot wait to try out all the new things! Each year, they make improvements or add new rides. Because of the pandemic, most of the improvements this year were just cosmetic changes, but it definitely looks nice!

This year, we bought season passes to Waldameer, so the reasonable prices of food in the park is a major perk! They have pretty basic theme park food and sweet treats. There are also plenty of shady places to sit and eat. If you want, you can even bring in your own food!

Waldameer is located in Erie, PA and is super close to the entrance to Presque Isle State Park. If you don’t want to spend a whole day there, you’ll have no trouble finding more to do. We rarely make a trip to Waldameer without taking a drive through Preque Isle while we are there.

I’ve been going to Waldameer since I was a child and I don’t think I’ve ever waited more than a half an hour for a ride! The park can get crowded, but the lines are usually pretty short! We recently visited on opening day and the longest we waited for anything was ten minutes!

While Waldameer isn’t known for record setting rides or a large amount of roller coasters, it is still the best small amusement park that we’ve ever been to! They offer a wide range of family-friendly activities and attractions that keep us coming back for more!

Paper Plate Umbrella Art

Paper Plate Umbrella Art

Recently, we’ve had a lot of rain! I know the saying is “April showers bring May flowers”, but this way it is more like “May showers make for long hours”. To pass the time, we made this fun rain inspired craft!

**This post contains affiliate links and a gifted item. All opinions are our own.**

Materials Used

White Construction Paper

Decorative Paper

Black Construction Paper

A Paper Plate

Glue

Scissors

Crayons

The prep work for this craft will only take a minute! I cut the paper plate in half and then cut out raindrops from the decorative paper. To finish getting ready, I cut a thick J shape from the black construction paper.

Next, I gave my daughter crayons so she could color the paper plate.

After she was done coloring, I helped her glue the J shape on paper. Next, we glued on the paper plate.

This tee was #Gifted. You can get your own here and use code NSCM10 to save on your purchase!

To finish this easy art project, I had my daughter put glue all over the white paper and then glue on the raindrops.

Book Suggestions

Little learners love pairing a craft or learning activity with a book! Here are a few suggestions.

If you like this craft, please share it with a friend!

Ten Strawberry Packed Recipes

Ten Strawberry Packed Recipes

May is National Strawberry Month and in preparation, we want to share some amazing strawberry recipes! National Strawberry Month may not be widely celebrated, but it could easily be one of the most delicious months of the year! Strawberries are bright, juicy and can satisfy your sweet tooth.

Strawberry Heart Pop Tarts

Photo Credit: Ugly Duckling Bakery

Healthy Strawberry Gummies 

Photo Credit: maple + mango

Strawberry Slushie

Photo Credit: maple + mango

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

Photo Credit: All Ways Delicious

Strawberry Jello Parfaits

Photo Credit: Cincyshopper

Tropical Pineapple Strawberry Swirl Smoothie

Photo Credit: Peas and Crayons

Mini Strawberry Shortcakes

Photo Credit: Quiche My Grits

Strawberry Frappuccino

Photo Credit: Milk + Pop

Strawberry Coconut Cupcakes

Photo Credit: Quiche My Grits

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Photo Credit: Little Sunny Kitchen

I’d love to hear from you! Have you heard of National Strawberry Month? What is your favorite thing to make with strawberries?

Are You Looking For Accessible Date Night Ideas? We Have Some Suggestions!

Are You Looking For Accessible Date Night Ideas? We Have Some Suggestions!

There are so many date night ideas on the internet, but there are not a lot of posts written with disabled couples in mind. Even though I’ve been married for twelve years, and we still enjoy the occasional date night! I have a physical disability and several chronic medical conditions and my husband is Autistic, so even before the pandemic, crowded spaces or highly physical activities were not something we could enjoy together. Today I want to share six date night ideas that are wonderful if you’ve been married awhile, are part of the disabled singles dating scene, or even somewhere in between. For even more ideas, you can visit the Single Disabled YouTube channel, which focusses on a range of different disabilities in detail.

**This post is sponsored through Get Blogged. All opinions shared are ours.**

Go To A Local Park

If you want to do something romantic but also want to enjoy some fresh air, a picnic in a public park is the perfect choice. Most parks are wheelchair accessible and there are often areas that are fairly quiet so you can just spend time enjoying each other’s company!

Enjoy A Night In

Sometimes, it can be refreshing not to do anything at all. Order some pizza, watch some movies, and snuggle on the couch! If you have kids, you can do this after bedtime or even get a family member to watch your little ones while you just enjoy watching something that isn’t a cartoon!

Explore A Local Small Town

Many small towns have a downtown district that will make an excellent date night location! You can browse stores full of locally made gifts and find tasty homemade treats. If you have a mobility-based disability that makes it difficult to get in and out of the car, consider finding a town where you can get to everything you’d like to visit without parking multiple times.

Take A Trip To The Zoo

Adults can have a great time at the zoo! Since most zoos use a portion of the money they make towards conservation efforts, so it is also an environmentally friendly date choice. Zoos do tend to get busy with on weekends, so if you need a more sensory friendly experience, weekdays are often the best time to visit!

Go To The Movies

You might want to save this one for after the pandemic ends, but a trip to the movies is a wonderful date night idea! My husband and I went to the movies all the time when we were dating. Some theaters are more accessible than others, so don’t forget to check ahead of time if you are visiting somewhere that is new to you.  

Enjoy Some Time At A Theme Park

Most theme parks are wonderfully accessible. If their main lines can’t accommodate a wheelchair or other mobility device, they will have a program that allows for an alternative entrance. We always look at the website of the place we are visiting ahead of time for the information we will need.

Date nights can be more complicated when you have to factor in accessibility or sensory needs, but I hope you can use this post as inspiration for your next romantic adventure! Are you a single disabled person who is currently looking for date night ideas? Do you have a creative date night idea? I’d love to read about it in the comments!

Ten Spring Cookie Recipes

Ten Spring Cookie Recipes

Spring is in the air and our part of the world is bursting with color. It is time to break out the spring cookie recipes!

Confetti White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Photo Credit: Sense & Edibility

If you love traditional chocolate chip cookies, then you’ll also adore these multi-colored cookies!

Strawberry Sugar Cookies 

Photo Credit: The Toasty Kitchen

These sugar cookies are soft and chewy! They’re made from scratch with no dyes or artificial flavors. 

Iced Lime Shortbread Cookies

Photo Credit: The Toasty Kitchen

If you are looking for an easy and refreshing recipe, these lime cookies only need five ingredients to make.

Lemon Bars

Photo Credit: My Kitchen Escapades

These lemon bars makes a great warm weather treat and kids love them!

Lavender Coconut Tigernut Flour Cookies

Photo Credit: Strength and Sunshine

If you are looking for a sweet, but nutty cookie, try this delicious treat! These cookies are gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and major allergy-free.

Spring M&M cookies 

Photo Credit: Vibrant Guide

These cookies are the perfect dessert for a beautiful spring day! They are soft and delicious!

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Sugar Cookies

Photo Credit: Strength & Sunshine

If you are looking for a cookie recipe full of veggies, then you’ve come to the right place! These carrot-shaped cookies are vegan and major allergy-free!

Strawberry Shortbread Cookies 

Photo Credit: The Six Figure Dish

These easy shortbread cookies are packed full of fresh strawberries! They only require six very simple ingredients!

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Photo Credit: The Six Figure Dish

Do you love mixing fruit and chocolate? If so, you’ll love this amazing combination!

Gluten-Free Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Photo Credit: MOON, Spoon, and Yum

These simple shortbread cookies are the perfect combinations of spring flavors!

I hope you enjoyed this small collection of recipes! I’d love to hear from you in the comments! What is your favorite spring flavor?

Homemade Easter Candy

Homemade Easter Candy

Easter is coming soon! If you are looking for some sweet and colorful Easter candy ideas, this is the blog post for you! We’ve gathered a few amazing Easter candy recipes that you can easily make at home. If you make any of these treats, please leave us a comment and let us know how you liked them!  

Easter Bunny Bark

Easter Bunny Bark is so easy to make!

Homemade Chocolate Turtle Easter Eggs

These homemade chocolate turtle Easter eggs can be made in your own home.

Homemade Cadbury Eggs

You will love this Copycat Cadbury Egg recipe!

Homemade Reese’s Eggs 

This recipe will amaze you!

Easy Cracker Candy

These Cracker Candy Bars are a festive and delicious treat.

I hope these recipes can inspire you to get in the kitchen and make your own Easter candy! If you like this list, please share it with a friend!

Painted Easter Bunny

Painted Easter Bunny

I love this bunny craft we made today! It was so much fun to watch my daughter scrape the paint off of the paper and create a unique work of art. This wonderful art project is perfect for preschoolers, but older children will also love this painting technique.

** This post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional charge to you, for purchases made from our links. All opinions are ours. **

Materials Used

White Paper

Something To Draw With

Scissors

Paint

A Plastic Knife or Some Other Flat Tool

I started by drawing a bunny shape on the white paper.

Next, I had my daughter cut it out.

After the bunny shape was cut out, I helped my little one squirt paint onto it. This got messy! This is not a craft that will have a quick clean up. You’ve been warned!

After all the paint was on, I had my daughter use a playdough knife to scrape the extra paint off of the bunny.

The finished product is a unique piece of art!

Book Suggestions

Little learners love pairing an art project with a book! Here are a few suggestions!

If you like this craft, please share it with a friend!