Yesterday, in honor of their recent collaboration with Sanrio Inc., Yogurtland Miami hosted an awesome party! Hello Kitty and Tuxedo (the short round blue penguin whose name I had never known until yesterday) greeted guests on the dance floor and made themselves available for a photo-op with anyone who asked.
Each guest was treated to as much yogurt and as many toppings as her little heart desired or his mom would allow. My family left with cute Hello Kitty t-shirts, reusable bags, bright balloons, big smiles and full bellies.
It was such a great morning and Yogurtland was so generous I wanted to make sure our family showed our appreciation. As the kids colored a few notes for The Cat I found the “Postagram” Ap in the Apple Store on my Iphone.
It’s so cool! I was able to create a customized thank you note using a picture from the party, that I edited in Instagram. My cute little postcard was then addressed and stamped at the Postagram headquarters and mailed directly, via the U.S. Post, to Yogurtland! There was even a gift with purchase- the picture was perforated! We can’t wait to send postcards from our upcoming trip to grandma, so she can hang them on the refrigerator!
My first Postagram was free (and yours could be as well if you download the application now) but after that they will cost me $1.99 each (that includes postage).
Let me stop right there. Have you heard of Instagram (I mentioned above that I used it to edit the picture in the thank you note). I LOVE INSTAGRAM! It is a photosharing AND photoediting site AND IT IS FREE! It is so easy to edit your photos and then post to your Instagram account or another sharing network you might be a part of, and anyone you are friends with can see your picture. I love it because:
1. The editing is super easy and so is either sharing it on Instagram, twitter or Facebook directly from the application. I can post to all, or just one of those networks, depending on the purpose of each particular photo.
2. It has been so fun to see what all my friends have been up to this summer. OK, maybe not all of my friends I have over 800 Facebook friends and only 40 of them are on Instagram… but I’m working on that… really encouraging everyone to use the application.
3. My mom does not like to spend the money on text messages, but I convinced her to download Instagram on her Iphone so now I can send her pictures of her grandchildren straight to her phone (I had to explain that it was much easier than emailing the shots, and she agreed to give Instagram a try… so far, so good).
Proud that I had actually written, addressed and stamped a thank you note on the same day I attended the related event I was feeling a bit ambitious and ready to conquer a few more photo applications. I did a little research, checked-out a few online recommendations, and found some EASY, FREE photo editing tools that I thought you might enjoy too.
1. Instaframe helps you (a) frame your photos and (b) combine multiple sized photos into one frame, AND (3) easily add words on your photos. When finished you have several options of where you want to post, i.e. Instagram, Facebook, email, your “photo album” Check it out:
2. PopBooth, by the company Sincerely, Inc. that produced Instaframe will snap 4 shots and create a photo strip that you can, edit, post to one of your networks OR mail in a perforated postcard for $1.99. This would be so fun to use for birthday party thank you notes! The only problem is that it can only be used as a front sided camera. I believe the makers intended you to use it with a kick-stand in a make shift photobooth. I love the result, but wish I could snap the pictures of other without having to “mess” with a kick-stand
3. From the Top, Photobooth is also free and does have a rear facing camera. It doesn’t allow you to mail them to your friends via the U.S. Post, but you can send via email or post to facebook or twitter AND you can add costumes!! I could play with this all day!
While writing this blog, and re-reading each AP’s description, I realized I had miss the fact that I could add word bubbles to my photo strips and edit single pictures using the From the Top, Photobooth AP. It wasn’t extremely user friendly.. but once I got the hang of it- I had fun playing with some photos I had stored on my phone:
4. BeFunky is a free photo editor with no ads, which is nice and A LOT of creative and, well funky, effects. This is not a sharing site, like Instagram, but will post to what seems like any network that you would like it to post. Look at the fun that I had!
Note: This last picture was taken INSIDE Forever 21 at North Park Mall in Dallas. Did we have you fooled?
I had fun playing with these photo applications today. Did I miss one of your favorites? Let me know and I’ll give it a try.Read More
I’ve always liked baking better than crafting. I have a closet full of craft potentials in the guest room, but when our new friends came over this afternoon while their mom was getting her hair high-lighted I just wasn’t in the mood for scissors and glue. Then I came across this recipe on “My Kitchen Addiction” blog and thought “A-HA” homemade OREOS, much more fun on a rainy day!
I lost a few of my helpers to a lizard hunt outside, but it was a lot of fun!
And the best part is THE COOKIES WERE SO GOOD! EVERYBODY loved them and said they tasted exactly like the real thing!Read More
Over the next 6 weeks I have 5 social events sans-children, on my calendar and they are all happening in the next 7 days! Dinner at 3 fabulous Miami restaurants, the Fashion Bloggers do it Better Miami fashion show on Thursday night, and the Cold Play concert Friday night.
With all this fun coming my way I thought a new outfit was in order.
Lately, I have felt a bit like a cyber-stalker. I have been following the music and fashion blog, My Style Bass and have really enjoyed peaking into the life of its author, Brooke Atwood. Brooke is a beautiful girl from Jackson, Mississippi who recently followed her passion and went back to school at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) to get her Master of Arts in fashion design. In her blog she documents her new career, her favorite fashion and the live music shows that she enjoys.
I love Brooke’s style so when I was ready to shop I turned to My Style Bass to see her latest finds.
Last week she reported on a new line she loved Clover Canyon. I followed her “links” to the Fall 2012 collection and loved it. I was so glad to see that a South Miami boutique that I have been wanting to explore carried the line- Kristine Michael.
I had so much fun at this Miami boutique trying on at least 6 pieces of Clover Canyon’s new line (except Brooke’s awesome statement pants, which they did not carry) and settled on this skirt.
It is stretchy, with no zippers, super comfortable and just thick enough to show no bulges that linger underneath. For my night out to dinner with friends, at the absolutely yummy Michael’s Genuine Saturday night, I paired the skirt with a new Ramy Brook blue silk top, my black Kenna-T cropped tuxedo jacket (probably my favorite item in my closet) and my leopard cuff by Worth Collection.
The skirt was so comfortable I plan to wear it to all 5 of my social engagements this week and can’t wait to play in my closet and come up with different looks for each event.
FYI: Shopping in Miami? I highly recommend Kristine Michael boutique in South Miami at 57th and Sunset. The large selection of clothes and interesting pieces of jewelry and shoes was so fun to look through and the ladies that worked there were so lovely and welcoming. This isn’t always the case in Miami… customer service is just not the same as it was in Texas. I was very greatful to the lovely ladies that helped me and made me feel right at home, even though I came into shop with no make-up and dressed in old jeans and my hot pink running shoes!Read More
Last Spring an old friend called with an idea. She and her family were leaving from Tampa for a Father’s Day cruise but planned to stop first at the new Legoland, Florida. Wouldn’t it be fun to surprise our boys with a day together at the park? Breaden and Charlie were fast friends on the first day of kindergarten and we knew they would love a fun day together.
We made a date! There are not very many places to stay in Winterhaven, where Legoland is located, so my husband and I booked a 3 night stay at the Wyndahm Reunion Grand Resort just outside of Orlando (check back later this week for a post on this resort- we loved it!). Orlando is about 40 miles from Winterhaven; it was a very easy drive!
We told the kids we were going to play at a resort for three days- they were thrilled. Friday morning I woke Charlie up and had him change in clothes I picked out the night before. I explained we were going for an adventure and to please quietly get in the car before the girls woke-up. In the car I told him we were headed to Legoland for the day! Just about the time Charlie started to wonder why the rest of the family wasn’t with us we arrived at Breaden’s grandparents house, just around the corner from the park. Checkout the boy’s surprise in this short video:
I think we could have turned the boys lose in a shopping mall with a map and they might have had just as much fun, they loved navigating around the park!
But what made the day even more fun were the kid friendly roller coasters- there were 5 of them. The coasters seemed to be just scary enough to take your breath away but not too scary that the 6 year old in our group could not ride. The clickity-clack up the first hill of the wooden coaster was the scariest moment of my day!
The park also included (1) flying school, (2) driving school and (3) boating school. On the two latter the children were actually in control of the car and boat and they thought this was super fun.
We spent a good hour in the racetrack. Here the kids were given Lego pieces to build cars and then they were able to race each other down multiple ramps.
There were rides that required strength and games that required creativity and the kids really enjoyed every moment of our day.
1. We did the park in 1 day but did not have enough time to pay the $12 extra and try out the new water park that opened last month. If you make the trip to Legoland I would allow 2 days.
2. I also liked this park because it seemed a lot less expensive than Disney. I spent $75 for the two of us to enter, with a buy an adult ticket and child enters free coupon, and I think the price would have almost been double if we had ventured to Orlando. I used a Pepsi coupon but I have seen that deal multiple places if you would like to use it- yesterday, I noticed it printed on the back of my Nature Valley Bread.
3. The sign says no outside food or drink so we did not bring any inside. I did however notice that lots of other people did bring in snacks so next time I might stash a few crackers for the kids.
4. The good news is that there are many healthy options for the kids to eat. We did treat the kids to slurpees, but were able to provide them with a healthy lunch that we purchased at the park.
5. Buy your tickets on line! We were able to go straight to the turnstile and enter the park, but those that were buying their tickets at the gate had to wait in a long line.
6. Legoland was a 4 hour drive from Miami- an easy road trip.
The Queen of the Flowering Trees… the Royal Poinciana.
I took this picture in Coral Gables at Riviera Park, in front of my son’s school in early May. I have never seen anything like it, have you? I watched as a few red flowers began to grow then … POW, the tree erupted in red!
I had to get a better look!
I had just enough time before school let out that day to walk under the tree and feel what it was like to be engulfed in red flowers; to almost be wrapped in her arms.
I went straight home that day and did a little research (GOOGLE!). This flowering tree can be found in tropical climates all over the world. It is also called the Flamboyant tree, which seems more appropriate than the regal alternative. After my discovery of this red goddess in early May, I was shocked when I woke-up a week later to find she has strutted herself all over this town. Red flowers bloomed from a tree on every block. As time marches on toward summer she seems to show her beauty for anyone that will notice, without regard for the mess of leaves and pods that she leaves behind.
Nevertheless, last week, when the little red flowers began to sprout in my yard, it didn’t matter how many others I had to share her with- I am in awe and am willing to pay a high price for the mere moments (or maybe a month or so) that I get to spend in her presence.
Next weekend is the 75th Annual Royal Poinciana Festival in Coral Gables. And although its not exactly the red double decker bus that my 6 year old has been dying to climb aboard, I think we’ll jump on the free trolly to get a grand tour of Miami’s Loveliest Ladies.Read More