Thursday, August 17, 2017

Celebrate National NonProfit Day By Voting For Kids In Flight

August 17th in National NonProfit Day. Here is a quick and easy way to celebrate and help out a great cause! Have you heard of Kids in Flight? Kids in Flight was founded in 2003 and is a non-profit organization that uses aviation related activities and airplane rides to give children with serious illnesses or disabilities an opportunity to escape by soaring above their crises, complications and struggles. The organization serves children and families that mostly reside in the Cleveland and Akron areas or are served by a local hospital.

Kids in Flight is a finalist for a $25,000 grant from State Farm Insurance Neighborhood Assist. They are one of 200 finalist. 40 finalist will be awarded the grant in September. This grant amount covers the entire annual budget for Kids in Flight's Wings of Wonder (WOW) event, which is their pinnacle event of the year. For 10 years now, WOW has provided 750 children with terminal illnesses and their families the unique experience of flying in a private plane over the city of Cleveland. The funds are used to provide food, entertainment, and insurance on the event as the volunteer pilots fly the families at no charge in their private planes with the child co-piloting the flight.

This is where you come in! In order to win one of the grants, public votes in support of Kids in Flight will be counted by the State Farm Neighborhood Assist voting link. 10 daily votes from a legitimate e-mail address may be cast each day for the 10 days the voting is open from August 16th through August 25th. Click here to vote! It's that simple! A couple of clicks can mean so much to a seriously ill child and their family! So please take the time to vote and share this with others so they can also help Kids in Flight!

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ice Cream Rolls Come to Town At Sweet Freeze

I was so excited to learn that ice cream rolls and liquid nitrogen ice cream were coming to my little neck of the woods in North Olmsted, Ohio! Sweet Freeze opened on Saturday, August 12th at Great Northern Mall and from this point forward I will never look at ice cream the same way again! It is the smoothest and creamiest ice cream I have ever tasted!!

Sweet Freeze offers a plethora of tasty treats from floats and Macarons to awe inspiring liquid nitrogen ice cream. But what I was most excited to try were the ice cream rolls. What are ice cream rolls? Ice cream rolls are a popular dessert on the streets of Thailand. Ice cream base and flavoring is poured on an icy cold plate and mixed together. Then this tasty mixture is spread out, flattened, rolled, squished into a cup, and topped with sweet treats such as candy and fresh fruit. The result is ice cream like you've never tasted! It is so delicious, smooth and creamy! It's texture is amazing due to how fast it freezes on the plate limiting the amount and size of ice crystals created. It is a truly amazing process. Take a peek at the video below. They are true artists!

For the ice cream rolls you can mix and match your own flavor and toppings or you can go with one of their creative mash ups. They have so many flavors and toppings to choose from including fresh fruit, cookies and candy. I love strawberries so I went with the Strawberry Dream which is strawberry roll ice cream topped with strawberries, waffle squares and chocolate waffles and I had them add whipped cream just to gilled the lily. It was so good! Not super sweet but full of fresh strawberry flavor. It was creamy, dreamy heaven!

So if you get a chance check out Sweet Freeze and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.They are such an amazing bunch of talented people creating fabulous ice cream!

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Family Fun in Fort Wayne

We were so honored and excited when we were invited by Visit Fort Wayne to come spend the day with them. We knew it was going to be a blast! What we didn't realize is how much there really is to see and do in Fort Wayne, Indiana. If you follow us on social media, you've gotten a sneak peek of all the action. It really is a perfect family fun and friendly town.

We woke up super early, got the car all packed and headed out for all the fun! What I didn't realize is how close we really were to the fun. On their website, Visit Fort Wayne says they are "In the Heart of it All" and they really are. Just 197 miles from Cleveland we were there in no time. And look what was waiting for us. A lovely goody bag. So nice of them!!

We started our day at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. It is one of the Top 10 Zoos in the Nation. It is a beautiful zoo and so easy to navigate. The animals were amazing!

 Jude and Joel got to feed the giraffes! It was the closest we've ever gotten to these beautiful creatures!

We took a little time to hatch out of our shells! Then we were off again for another adventure on the Sky Safari Ride.

The views from the top were amazing!!

This is the view of the African Zoo Safari Trail. Breathtaking right?!?

In the Australian Adventure we got to meet a Tasmanian Devil!

And hang out with some kangaroos. Yes they really are that close!

In the Indiana Family Farm we celebrated Sonya and Sarah's Birthdays.

Then we brushed a few goats. They were super soft!

Finally Jude took some time to chillax in the rain forest before heading to our next stop. Lunch!!!

We went to Lunch on the Plaza in Downtown Fort Wayne.

It is located in Freimann Square which is so nice! There were so many food trucks to choose from.

We couldn't pass up the grilled cheese and fried cheese curds from Who Cut the Cheese.

 There was plenty of grassy areas and tables to relax and eat.

After lunch we were ready for some more fun this time with science! That meant Science Central time! Science Central opened in 1995 and is located in the iconic former City Light and Power Plant, built in 1929. The building itself is really cool! It has the distinction of being the only science center in the region and most-visited Fort Wayne museum.

It is three floors of pure fun with 35,000-square feet of exhibit space, temporary exhibition area, three classrooms, demonstration theater, gift store, exhibits repair shop and offices. The kids even learned a few things without even knowing it. Bonus!!

After our visit Jude was literally left dizzy with excitement!

So where to next you ask? Well we once again worked up quite an appetite. So when in Fort Wayne what should you do when you need something sweet? Head to Yummi Bunni!

What's Yummi Bunni you ask? Well it's only about the most amazing thing ever. Imagine that a donut and a scoop of ice cream had a baby. Yep that's a Yummi Bunni! Look at that. It's almost as big as his head. And yes he ate it all (well minus a few bites from me)!

Too stuffed to move, we then decided to check into our room at the Hilton Fort Wayne at the Grand Wayne Convention Center. As you can see the kids made themselves right at home. The hotel is in the perfect location. Central to everything in downtown Fort Wayne.

The rooms are so spacious and comfortable. The Hilton had such a nice assort of toiletries.

We felt so welcomed. Given our recent trip to Yummi Bunni we saved the pastries for breakfast the next day. They were delicious!!

The hotel felt very family friendly. With a spacious lobby.

And a very nice restaurant centrally located across from the front desk.

The fitness center is well equipt. After all that we ate, I probably should have spent some actual time on the machines.

Up next was a canal boat tour on the Sweet Breeze thank to Fort Wayne Outfitters.

It is an amazing time for the riverfront in Fort Wayne. It will be going through an unprecedented transformation in the next few years. This effort is being spearheaded by Riverfront Fort Wayne.

The the Maumee, St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers converge in the middle of Fort Wayne. Riverfront Fort Wayne has a vision to evolve and develop the area to become a center of activity. The plan is develop areas of retail as well as wildlife to make it a multi-use prosperous area for the community and its visitors.

After our relaxing boat ride it was time for some TinCaps Baseball.

The Fort Wayne TinCaps play at Parkview Field. It is a wonderful stadium.

There truly isn't a bad seat in the house.

The stadium is super family friendly. They have a great food selection. The stadium itself was so clean. It was very easy to maneuver through which means a lot when traveling with kids. They have family restrooms. They even have a private nursing room in the ladies restroom. Such a nice touch!

We had a blast! We had to unfortunately cut our visit short due to some pretty nasty rain that moved in. But not before we got in a few more family photos to commemorate such a fabulous trip to the ballpark!

But we used our time wisely and snuck in a trip to the hotel pool before bed. Another reason why we loved the Hilton Fort Wayne.

We were up early the next day to explore a little more of the City before we headed home. The weather was perfect for a walk around town! There really is some photo worthy architecture. Above is the Allen County Courthouse,

This is the Indiana Michigan Power Building. Can you find Jude in the picture?

A little blurry but there he is! He had so much fun taking this picture. It was his Where's Waldo moment!

We had one final stop before we headed home. DeBrand Fine Chocolates.

Yes it was like I died and went to chocolate heaven. There was so much wonderfulness to choose from! This is a little sample of what we took home. The Black and White Truffle was my favorite. It was so smooth and luxurious. It just melted in your mouth! Yum!!!

So that was our mini trip to Fort Wayne. Time had come to load up the car and head home. It was so packed full of family fun activities, I can't even pick a favorite. I am sure this will not be our last trip to Fort Wayne. We have so many more activities on our list to try out like the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, And we definitely need to see all the wonderful updates to Riverfront up ahead!

Have you been Fort Wayne recently? If so let us know all about the family fun you had. Haven't been there yet. Well then I think it's time for you to Visit Fort Wayne!

*This trip was provided to us by Visit Fort Wayne but all the opinions and reviews are ours.

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