Another puppy in the snow video! Woof woof.

Another day, another snowstorm, another puppy in the snow video.

I do believe this is what you skiers call freshies! First tracks in the powder. I thought I was going to lose him for sure.

Jojo the goldendoodle.

read more

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical – A review

Rudolph1

Yesterday I posted to my Facebook page that we were headed “Off to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer- The Musical! “She thinks I’m cute. She thinks I’m cute!” The TV show on stage.”

To which someone replied “How do you all do this on weeknights? I won tickets but had to turn them down because I fear my kids would be dysfunctionally tired the next day.”

Perhaps my kids ARE dysfunctionally tired the next day. But they’re at school. I have no idea :-) I keed, I keed!

My oldest frequently stays up MUCH later than we were out last night. My middle is a trooper, like all the time. She is a classic no drama middle child. My youngest rests on me during the whole show and promptly falls asleep as soon as he gets home.

Are they tired the next day? Yes. Dysfunctionally? No. They all got up and did everything they were supposed to do and off they went to school. Will it effect their school day? Perhaps. But I think it’s worth it. I do ticket giveaways and reviews specifically so my kids have the opportunity to go to these events. And they LOVE it. I love that I’m am instilling in them an appreciation of theater and cultural events. They’re learning to be entertained by live performances and not just over the top special effects 3D ninja movies (although we love those too).

I will admit I did not have high hopes for this production. I don’t know why, call me a cynic, a pessimist. Whatever. I just did not think it was going to be good. I grew up watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It’s a classic! I had no idea how that would translate to the stage as a musical. I was….skeptical.

It was SO cute and SO much fun! My kids loved loved it and I thought it did the original TV show much justice. They didn’t try to change it, which I think was my biggest fear. That the producers would try to re- interpret the show. It’s stayed true to the much loved 50 year old classic TV Christmas special. The story, sets, characters, and songs were all familiar. Even the voices were spot on! The crowd of parents delighted when Rudolph squealed “I’m cuuuuuute!” and broke out in applause when the Prospector first bounded on stage! Because it was familiar. We were connecting to it on a memory level. And it ended with a bouncing snow flake sing a long!

After it was over and we got in the car and noticed we’d be home before 9:00 I was even more pleased. Then I thought of Julia, the woman that commented on my status. I was sad that she didn’t get to go. They would have been home much earlier than she imagined!

To that point I think that it’s a great starter musical theater show. For kids who have never been to the theater or for moms afraid of keeping littles out too late – it’s perfect. The show starts at 7 and is over at 8:30. The theater is full of kids being kids. It’s a great place to teach your littles about how to behave in the theater without the fear that they will ruin the experience for others. Try taking a 4 year old to the Nutcracker and you’ll know what I mean :-)

Rudolph2

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical plays at the Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theatre
Tuesday, December 9 – Sunday, December 14, 2014
Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:00 pm; morning matinees on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 am; and afternoon matinees at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are priced at $28.00 – $68.00 at www.citicenter.org or by calling (866) 348-9738. For more information, visit www.citicenter.org.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Disclosure – I was provided with complimentary tickets to the performance. All opinions are my own.

read more

Swan Lake at the Boston Ballet

Boston Ballet is not just The Nutcracker. Although it is a time honored holiday tradition and we LOVE it, there is so much more going on at the Boston Ballet!

I was invited to go to a performance of Swan Lake and I was beyond excited. Because this…

And that's a wrap on #BBSwanlake! What was your favorite Swan Lake moment?

A video posted by Boston Ballet (@bostonballet) on

“Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake follows the Swan Queen Odette and Prince Siegfried in a tale of romance, sorcery, and deceit. The second act, created by Lev Ivanov, is historically considered the finest piece of classical choreography for the corps de ballet. The production is set to a luscious score by P.I. Tchaikovsky, and will be performed by The Boston Ballet Orchestra.”

Swan Lake is back at the Ballet after a six year hiatus. The sets and choreography were redesigned and reimagined. But the story remains the same. A true classic ballet.

It was beautiful and wonderful and everything I hoped it would be.

As an aside, it also left me feeling like I wasn’t as kind to my body as I could be. These dancers are truly amazing. What their bodies look like is simply stunning, but what they’re bodies can DO is mind blowing. The twists and turns and jumps. Sometimes I can’ get up off the floor!

Swan2

The Swan1

I invited my mom to come with me because I didn’t think any of my kids would like it. And my husband was all bah humbuggy about it. So wouldn’t you know it, after getting comfy in our seats we see a man my husbands age with a boy my sons age sit down a few rows ahead of us. I was impressed and also a little jealous that I didn’t forced of my male brethren to come with me. The ballet is NOT just for girls I repeat the BALLET IS NOT JUST FOR GIRLS.

But we made a GNO of it anyway. And we had FUN!

Swan4

All that being said, truth be told, we’re off to opening night of The Nutcracker tonight!! Woooooooohooooooo and dancing bears!

Want to see what else is going on at the Ballet?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Disclosure: This post (and my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a program by the Boston Ballet. I was given complimentary tickets to the performance. All opinions are my own Image used with permission.

read more

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical – Giveaway

I know, I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet and I’m going to talk about Christmas. But I have something super fun to give away so… sorrynotsorry!

image001

The beloved TV classic RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season.

Join us in celebrating Rudolph’s 50 years on television and come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius  and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in the all new RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL.

It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special.  Don’t miss this wonderful new holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us.

KAP_2601

 The original television classic comes to life!

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER™: THE MUSICAL TO PERFORM AT BOSTON’S CITI SHUBERT THEATRE!

One Week Only!
Dec. 9 – 14, 2014

 

Rudolph Soars from Screen to Stage in Family-Friendly Adaptation of Highest Rated Christmas Special of All Time

GIVEAWAY!

I’m giving away 4 tickets to the show on Tuesday, December 9 at 7:00 pm!

Who wants to come with us??

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This post (and my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a program by Rudolph and Citi Center. I have been given free admission to the show for this post. Image used with permission. All opinions are my own.

read more

Family Photo Fun! A fundraiser for FWR

A couple of weeks ago we had our first family photo taken in a few years! It was a fundraiser for Fertility Within Reach, a nonprofit that aims to empower infertile individuals to advocate in order to build their family. A dear friend of mine is the founder and she does amazing work. Tracey Rodriquez Photography agreed to come on, was paid for her time and part of the proceeds go to FWR! Win Win Win. :-)

There was MUCH discussion about what to wear for our picture. Matchy matchy or not. What colors? On and on. We shopped in our closet and did not buy anything new. We took an hour and decided and did not sweat it after that. My baby girl helped me and we settled on something that I think looks pretty great.

This is the shot that will make it on to the wall.

View More: http://tracyrodriguezphotography.pass.us/fwr_reilly

But the following series made it into our hearts!

Right in between these two shots Theo decided he should try to moon us to make us laugh.

That is why everyone is howling and incredulous at the same time.

View More: http://tracyrodriguezphotography.pass.us/fwr_reilly
View More: http://tracyrodriguezphotography.pass.us/fwr_reilly
View More: http://tracyrodriguezphotography.pass.us/fwr_reilly

And here are my gorgeous kiddos.

View More: http://tracyrodriguezphotography.pass.us/fwr_reilly
View More: http://tracyrodriguezphotography.pass.us/fwr_reilly
View More: http://tracyrodriguezphotography.pass.us/fwr_reilly
View More: http://tracyrodriguezphotography.pass.us/fwr_reilly
View More: http://tracyrodriguezphotography.pass.us/fwr_reilly

And there’s one more that I LOVE, but I may actually make a holiday card this year (as well as a video, of course) so you’ll have to wait!

Do you get your family photo taken every year? Or just once in a while? We may start doing it every year. They are getting so big SO FAST!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PHOTOS BY Tracy Rodriguez Photography

read more

Red Jacket Mountain View Resort Review and Giveaway

Redjacketinn12

Last weekend the Red Jacket Inn Mountain View Resort hosted the ViolaCay family! The kids were um, excited to say the least.

And natch, we made a video…

The Red Jacket Mountain View Resort is in North Conway, New Hampshire. The White Mountains are beautiful, there is outlet shopping , and of course Storyland is there.

For the last couple of years we’ve gone to Storyland and looked up the hill longingly at the pretty hotel that sat way up there. The kids knew there was a water park up there too. But alas they had been too little to go. Fans of the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, and there are many, will tell you it’s quaint. Critics will tell you it’s a little dated. It’s both really. It’s quaintness shined through and it’s datedness fell to the background for me. Yes it’s true, there are lots of stairs and there are LONG hallways with lots of doors. But, that didn’t phase me much. I just loved it. What, or who rather, really shines at the Red Jacket Resort is the people.

From the general manager checking in on us all the way through to the cleaning staff. Just good people.

  • As soon as we got to our room we could see that we needed a rollaway or another mattress or something for child #3 up in the loft. The kids wanted to go to the water park like, RIGHT NOW. My husband called down and they said they’d take care of it. When we returned there was a mattress in between the beds, all made, with his blankie and stuffed Nemo perched on the pillow.
  • The front desk gal Teresa who assured my daughter that “Of course the tooth fairy comes to the Red Jacket, honey” after her brother knocked her tooth out in the water park (Daddy saved the tooth)!
  • The poor boy at the water park desk who couldn’t find a bandaid right away for me. He was clearly the maintenance guy that I had caught off guard while the regular desk person had stepped away. I made him blush when I said I could just a hold one of those tampons on the boy’s skinned knee as I pointed to the other supplies on the shelf. :-) He rushed away quickly to the supply closet to get more band aids.
  • The very patient staffer who lead a group of kids in a craft on a rainy day as they waited anxiously for the water park to open!
  • The waitstaff at breakfast who took care of us, and took our boy’s allergies seriously. Getting a chef to come out and take Theo’s breakfast order personally and then went to make it herself. Toast and sliced apples made to order :-)

We loved our stay and hope that you do too! Yes, that’s right one of you lucky ducks is going to win a 2 night stay at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort! Woooo hooooo!

Red Jacket Mountain View Resort & Kahuna Laguna Viola Cay Family Vacation Giveaway!

Includes: Two-night stay for a family of four at Red Jacket Mountain View Resort in North Conway, New Hampshire and passes to Kahuna Laguna Indoor Water Park. Restrictions:  Not available on holidays, holiday weekends or school vacation weeks. Valid through October 2015. Other terms may apply.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please visit my lovely cohosts at
Diane at Dollops of Diane
Kim at Family Friendly Boston
Jodi at Family Travel Magazine

Redjacketinn11
Redjacketinn10
Redjacketinn08
Redjacketinn07
Redjacketinn05
Redjacketinn04
Redjacketinn02
Redjacketinn01
““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`

Disclosure: This post (and my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a program with Red Jacket Resorts. I was given a complimentary stay at Red Jacket Mountain View Resort. All opinions are my own.

read more