JetBlue to Donate 100,000 Books With Soar With Reading Program

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Disclosure- We received free museum admission to attend the event mentioned below but all opinions are 100% my own.
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Last week my girls attended a special Soar With Reading event at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  We had the opportunity to meet Author Mary Pope Osborne, the author of the beloved Magic Tree House series.  Ms. Osborne is the reason many of my friends’ children found a love a reading so meeting her was an honor.  
DSC_0104 (681x1024)We were treated to a special reading by Mary Pope Osborne of her new book, Shadow of the Shark as well as a performance from Jack and Annie, the lead characters from Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House book series.  The room was packed with children (and parents) on the edge of their seats listening to Ms. Osborne, and then Jack and Annie.  DSC_0110 (1024x681)My girls enjoyed the show and were so excited to talk with Ms. Osborne after the show.  Both of my girls are avid readers so this was especially special for them.  DSC_0146 (1024x681)Make sure to click here to download the FREE Magic Tree House Passport to Adventure.
DSC_0143 (1024x681)The Soar With Reading program is a joint project with JetBlue Airlines.  JetBlue Airlines will be donating 100,000 children’s books to children in need.  Soar with Reading places age-appropriate books in the hands of children in underserved areas while also encouraging children’s imaginations to take flight through reading. Residents of Fort Lauderdale will have the chance to bring books to local children in need through the national Soar with Reading #BookBattle. Five cities – Detroit, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and New York – are currently competing in the first-ever #BookBattle. The city that receives the most online votes by 
August 31, 2015 will receive 100,000 children books.

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Jet Blue and Magic Tree House Present: Soar With Reading on 7/17/15

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My girls and I are so excited to be attending the Museum of Discovery and Science’s Soar with Reading event tomorrow, July 17th in Fort Lauderdale.  Sponsored by JetBlue and Magic Tree House, this event is free with paid museum admission.  This is the fifth annual Soar with Reading program event which is part of a nation-wide tour of the award-winning summer literacy initiative. In honor of its 5th anniversary, Soar with Reading will host a book party featuring Shadow of the Shark, the latest book from best-selling author Mary Pope Osborne.  My girls (who LOVE reading) are so excited to be able to meet Mary Pope Osborne!!!!

Here are some of the fun things scheduled that are included with general admission to the museum:

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–          Reading by Mary Pope Osborne of her new book, Shadow of the Shark

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–          Performance from Jack and Annie, the lead characters from Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House book series

–          Shark-themed interactive activities such as digging for shark’s teeth beneath a 50’ Megalodon shark inside the Museum’s EcoDiscovery center and creating a shark tooth necklace

Soar with Reading places age-appropriate books in the hands of children in underserved areas while also encouraging children’s imaginations to take flight through reading. Residents of Fort Lauderdale will have the chance to bring books to local children in need through the national Soar with Reading #BookBattle. Five cities – Detroit, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and New York – are currently competing in the first-ever #BookBattle. The city that receives the most online votes by August 31, 2015 will receive 100,000 children books.

Join us- July 17 from 12-4 p.m. Museum of Discovery and Science  401 SW 2nd St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

magic tree house soar with reading

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Tackling Clutter With A Professional Organizer

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Disclosure- Michelle Worthington, Professional Organizer of Worthy Spaces provided me with some of her services to facilitate my post.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Tackling ClutterThis post is a long time coming because it has been one of the hardest ones for me to write.  I’ve been putting it off because I was embarrassed.  You see I have been too embarrassed to show what the inside of my house used to look like before I called a local South Florida Professional Organizer, Michelle Worthington of Worthy Spaces.  When things were at it’s worst in my house I was so overwhelmed with the clutter.  I know it effected me on such a personal level.  I was depressed and anxious whenever I was in my house.  It was hard to get motivated or get anything done because I would look around and just see a disaster.  With my fibromyalgia, I am exhausted all the time.  It is very hard to get anything done myself when it comes to cleaning.  And when I am tired I am certainly not motivated to declutter.  One day I finally hit rock bottom and knew I had to do something. It took a lot to swallow my pride and call a professional organizer but I knew it was best for the sake of my sanity and for the sake of my family who had to live in our cluttered house.

I didn’t know professional organizers existed for people like me.  I thought that professional organizers just worked with people like I had seen on Hoarders.  I had no idea that professional organizers can help people with all levels of clutter or people who just need help getting organized.  Professional organizers don’t just deal with garbage and clutter, they also deal with helping their clients use their spaces more efficiently.  They can help people pack, unpack, and so much more.  Professional Organizers can also help businesses set up or organize their spaces to function better.

Michelle and I met by chance a few years ago but I think it was fate honestly.  She told me all about what she did as a professional organizer but it took me several years to actually bite the bullet, get over my nerves of someone from the outside seeing my house, and call her.  Making that initial call was a little scary.  I wasn’t sure if Michelle would judge me or if she would even be able to help my craziness.  Within a minute of talking to Michelle, she really calmed me.  She reassured me that everything I was going through was totally normal.  We all think that everyone else has perfect houses behind closed doors but Michelle insisted that having clutter and getting behind in keeping things neat and organized, especially with an autoimmune disorder and 2 kids, is very common.  We set a date for Michelle to come assess my house and get started helping me to get it decluttered and organized.

I was really nervous and I canceled several times before I even let Michelle come over because I was so embarrassed at how my house looked. It was such a disaster.  There was clutter everywhere and not a horizontal surface that wasn’t covered with stuff.  Right before Michelle was about to knock on my door, my anxiety level was through the roof.  What would she think of my house? Would she be able to help?  Would she think I was the biggest slob she had ever seen?  But I knew things had to change.

I had no idea what to expect when Michelle came over.  I was as nervous as I was excited.  Michelle assured me that she had seen it all but of course in my mind I thought, “No way, my house has to be the messiest she had ever seen.”  We hadn’t had a cleaning person over in at least a year because there was too much to “clean and declutter” before I could even let a cleaning person in my front door.

Michelle walked through my front door and was instantly reassuring.  I felt so calm and at ease with Michelle.  She was so comforting and told me that it wasn’t my fault and everything I was feeling was totally normal.  As we walked through my house and I showed her all the nooks and crannies she took some notes and started getting ideas on how we could get the clutter under control.  I say we because I was part of the process.  She was there to help and make suggestions but I was in control of deciding what changes we made and what things we got rid of.

Once Michelle and I went over her ideas we both got to work.  I wanted to be a part of the process but clients can choose to let Michelle work by herself, too.  Michelle made sure to show me EVERY little thing she was putting in the garbage to make sure she had my approval.  Things that could be donated were separated and bagged up for donation.  We put on some tunes and the afternoon flew by.  Michelle and I got so much done.  She really helped me decide what I wanted to keep and what I needed to let go of and donate or throw away.  The whole process was actually kind of fun and I had such a feeling of accomplishment.  We had lots of laughs and chatted the day away as we worked.  Michelle gave me lots of guidance and tips as we went along.  She was so comforting.  I can’t say that enough.  By the end and even now I can hear Michelle in my head when I go to put something where it doesn’t belong, when I try to decide if I should purchase something or decide if I should keep something.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and my house didn’t get cluttered in a day so of course my whole house wasn’t organized in just a few hours but after only 1 day it was noticeably better.  When my husband came home he was surprised how much we had gotten done.  It took 2 days for Michelle and me to get most of my house in order and a third day for us to tackle our garage with my husband.  There are still a few areas that we still need to tackle (like the top of our closet) but it is a work in progress.  When Michelle left I kept on asking myself “Why did I wait so long?” as do most of her clients.

One of the most important things I took away from having Michelle here is that Professional Organizers are not be judgmental and do not make their clients get rid of stuff.  Everything was on MY TERMS and what I was comfortable with. If there were things that my husband or I weren’t ready to get rid of then Michelle didn’t push us.  Plus everything is confidential.  We have a mutual friend and Michelle (just like any other professional organizer) would never tell our mutual friend or anyone else that she knows me professionally because she’s worked in my house.  The whole experience was amazing and I loved that I was able to donate and pass a lot of items on to charities so people can put them to use.  You can tell that Michelle truly loves what she does as do so many other organizers.  Anyone can say they are a professional organizer but make sure they are really a professional with the NAPO- The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) which has about 4,000 professional organizers and almost 40 chapters across the United States.

Here are the before and after photos of my house.  Please don’t judge. 😉

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Here are some tips from Michelle:


How Michelle Worthington got started:  The Amanda’s TV show really opened my eyes to the profession of Professional Organizing.  It helped to show people in need of help … outside of what I had only seen on “Hoarders” and “Clean House”.   Amanda and her team were very polished and professional – I was excited to see more about a possible industry and how broad the client base and needs truly are.   I started googling and reading books to find out more about the profession and worked up the courage to make a call to a local professional organizer.   She invited me to an upcoming NAPO South Florida meeting… I went … I loved it and decided to go for it.

What Michelle does:  Simply put … I help people.   I enjoy residential organizing – I am honored to be invited into people’s homes and to help them work through their clutter or chronic disorganization issues.  I help with all sorts of projects including paperwork, home offices, closets, kitchens, playrooms, whole home organization just to name a few type of projects.  Having a corporate background I am also able to do small business or corporate organizing projects.


Mention this post and Michelle will take $25 off your first sessions booked!!!

Interested in getting organized, ridding your life of lost items and wasted time, and overall being increasingly productive?

  • Why hire a professional organizer? Like a coach, a professional organizer provides the motivation, support, encouragement, and direction necessary when getting and staying organized.
  • How can I find a professional organizer? Finding a professional organizer is no different than choosing any other service professional. The “right choice ” for you will be a professional organizer who has the expertise, skill set, and personality that best suit you and your goals.  If you are in South Florida, please check out Michelle Worthington of Worthy Spaces.  You won’t regret it.  No matter who you choose, make sure it is someone you feel comfortable and I highly suggest finding someone who is a member of the NAPO.
  • What can a professional organizer help you do?  With the help of a professional organizer in your home or office, one can: accomplish more at work and home, meet important deadlines, find things faster, gain control of surroundings, reduce clutter, create streamlined processes, improve your quality of life, and reduce stress.

Even if your space isn’t as cluttered as mine was I highly recommend hiring a professional organizer to help you get organized.  You’ll be glad you did!

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Summer Learning Fun at IMACS Hi-Tech Summer Camp- Enter to Win a Week of Camp!

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Disclosure- We received a week of IMACS Summer Camp for each of my girls to facilitate our review.  All opinions are 100% our own.

P1220608For over 20 years, IMACS has been giving South Florida students an outlet for reaching their highest potential in math, computer science and logical reasoning and they have the success stories to prove it.  They have five locations, three of which – Boca Raton, Plantation, and Weston – offer the IMACS Hi-Tech Summer Camp.  My girls and I had the opportunity last summer to experience the IMACS Summer Camp for ourselves and it was an amazing experience.  IMACS Summer Camp is made up of 3 different academic programs- Logic Puzzles, Electronics, and Computer Programming and Virtual Robotics.  Logic Puzzles has team games, group interactions and friendly competitions.  Electronics is “hands-on” as students build projects that they keep.  Computer Programming and Virtual Robotics contains self-paced, virtual challenges.


The Electronics class is a self-paced class in which students follow the lessons of the workbook in order and complete various projects.  There are worksheets after each project to check for understanding of concepts.  During each lesson there are also stopping points where the students must stop and have the instructor check their work up to that point.  workbookThe students learn real world symbols for electronic components to make circuit designs such as the symbol for battery, light bulb, and wire.  electronics chartsI love that the students aren’t just putting together cool projects but they are learning and gaining real world experiences.  The projects are all engaging and I was amazed at all the skills my girls were learning.  I never would have thought my 10 year old would be using wire cutters and other tools.  She gained so much confidence from this class.  All of the tools and parts are provided for the students and care is taken to keep the students protected as they are monitored and must wear protective gear such as goggles to keep their eyes safe.  toolsI really enjoyed watching the students interact with each other and help each other with their projects.  It was nice seeing students not only learn from the instructor and self-discovery, but also by teaching concepts to the other students.  Older students get to do more advanced projects that include learning skills such as soldering.

Logic Puzzles

In the Logic Puzzles class the students work in teams, groups, and pairs to complete various types of logic games and puzzles.  They start off with 2 “String Games” as a whole group.  A string game consists of two strings on the white board that overlap like a Venn Diagram.  There are several pieces that get put on the board either in one of the sections of the string or on the outside of the string.  The students take turns trying to figure out what the “rule” is for that game based on where the items are placed.
String game2In the logic puzzles class they also play board games that require logic and thinking skills such as Othello.  They play these games usually in pairs for about 30 minutes of the class as the teacher walks around the room and instructs the students on game play and strategy.othello2Another part of the class are the critical thinking puzzles that are shown on the overhead projector.  This is usually about 45 minutes of the 2 hour class.  Here’s an example of some critical thinking puzzles:
critical thinking puzzles

Computer Programming and Virtual Robotics

In the Computer Programming and Virtual Robotics class students learn introductory programming and problem-solving skills.

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turtle computer game

IMACS sessions run from June 8 through August 21, 2015 with weekly sessions (Monday through Friday). Students can enroll in one or more weeks of full-day camp or individual 2-hour classes. IMACS has classes to accommodate almost all students, from first graders through even the most talented 12th graders. Students can choose to enjoy a full day of camp in which they would take all 3 classes or they can choose to enroll in individual classes.  Each session is one week long for both full day camp and individual classes.  Costs for the full-day camp range from $420 to $564 per week and individual class costs range from $90 to $289.  Parents who enroll their child by April 1st will receive a 10% early registration discount.  Multiple class and sibling discounts of 10% are also available for any full day and individual programs within each session.

why IMACSIMACS camp is flexible.  You choose the weeks you want and they do not need to be consecutive.  This is great for scheduling your summer the way you want.  New campers are welcome each week.  There is no registration fee and no supply fee. Need to drop your child off early?  For campers starting at 9:15, early drop off is available from 8:00 to 9:15 at no charge!

shirtsFull Day Camp

Entering Grades 3–8: Campers benefit by participating in all three IMACS summer academic programs: Logic Puzzles, Computer Programming & Virtual Robotics, and Electronics. Campers are totally immersed in fun-filled academic pursuits such as playing strategic logic games, designing and building electronic devices, and programming computers.

Entering Grades 9–10: Students will have the tremendous benefit of studying three IMACS courses: Computer Science, Logic for Mathematics, and Electronics. This is an intellectually stimulating program for outstanding students. An aptitude test is required to properly place your child. Call IMACS to schedule an appointment.

The Full Day camp is 9:15 – 4:15. Early drop-off for full day campers begins at 8:00am at no additional charge. Lunch is 11:15 – 12:00. There are small breaks within each class and between classes.

Individual Classes

Entering Grades 1–12: Campers may enroll in individual classes. Each class meets Monday through Friday for two hours each day (except for campers entering grades 1 or 2).

Logic Puzzles- (Entering Grades 1-8)
Entering Grades 1–2: Games! Puzzles! Fun! (But don’t tell your kids that they are learning how to reason and are developing a love of mathematical thinking.)

Entering Grades 3–8: Mysteries of pure logic are presented in fun, compelling stories. Painstakingly designed, this class leads campers from elementary deductive reasoning to skills that exceed those of most college graduates! Team logic games, exciting tournaments, and, as in every IMACS class, new challenges each week!

Computer Programming & Virtual Robotics (Entering Grades 3–9)

Campers don’t merely use the computer in this course. They write computer programs! Using the programming language LOGO, developed at MIT, campers are challenged by projects designed by the IMACS Curriculum Development Group. With individualized guidance, campers develop basic programming and problem-solving skills. Campers can also apply these skills in the IMACS Virtual Robotics Lab, where programmable, configurable robots exist in a virtual world that contains the physical realities of friction, acceleration, and conservation of momentum. Campers showcase their triumphs on their personalized IMACS web pages.

Electronics (Entering Grades 3–10)

These classes introduce campers to the fascinating world of electronics. Campers learn about electrical components such as resistors, diodes, LEDs, capacitors, transistors and integrated circuits and use them to design and construct fun projects. Courses are tailored according to age and ability so that each camper is able to advance as far as his or her interests and abilities allow. Campers may keep the electronic devices that they build.

Computer Science (Entering Grades 7–12) Aptitude Test Required

Students pursue an academic, university-level computer science course. The IMACS curriculum has been used in prestigious programs such as Duke University’s Talent Identification Program and Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. Students work with interactive tools available only at IMACS and are taught by highly qualified and trained professionals. This class goes well beyond a traditional introductory course, introducing advanced concepts such as recursion, functional programming, object-oriented programming, and artificial intelligence. Contact IMACS to find out if this class is appropriate for your child.

Logic for Mathematics (Entering Grades 8–12) Aptitude Test Required

Logic for Mathematics is an unparalleled course in pure mathematical logic. Designed for the most talented secondary school students, it is the envy of university mathematics courses everywhere! This multimedia class improves upon our world-renowned Elements of Mathematics curriculum. Contact IMACS to find out if this class is appropriate for your child.

games for saleWant to Learn More About IMACS?

Students and parents have an opportunity to experience IMACS for themselves at free IMACS Summer Camp Open Houses in Boca Raton, Weston, and Plantation.  Open House attendees have a chance to win a raffle for a free week of full-day camp. At every open house, IMACS will hold two raffles–one for a free week of Full Day camp (for students entering 3rd grade and above) and one for a free week of Primary Logic Puzzles (for students entering 1st and 2nd grade).  For more information on the raffles and to RSVP for an Open House in Boca Raton, Weston, or Plantation, visit
Attend an Open House:
March 14 – Weston
March 28 – Plantation
April 11 – Boca
April 18 – Weston
April 25 – Plantation
May 9 – Boca
May 16 – Weston
May 30 – Plantation

For more information go to to learn more about their summer camp.  You may also reach IMACS at 954-791-2333, 561-470-1178, or

IMACS is giving away a week of full-day camp to one of my lucky blog readers.  This is a $564 value!!!

Enter below:

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Save Money With The New Couwalla App

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couwalla app
Last weekend I attended a media event with several other bloggers at the Brio Tuscan Grill in Plantation and the Westfield Broward Mall to learn about the new Couwalla coupon app.  We started our afternoon enjoying on the amazingly delicious appetizers at  Brio Tuscan Grill, a new restaurant in Plantation.  There were 3 types of bruchetta, calamari, and spinach dip.  The Beef Carpaccio was my favorite but I really liked everything I tried.  I ordered a steak for my lunch and it was cooked perfectly and the sauteed veggies and diced sweet potato were a nice accompaniment.
brio tuscan grilleAnd the desserts!  Oh the desserts!  Full disclosure, I’m dieting so I ordered a cup of fruit but my oh my the desserts looked delicious!brio tuscan grille dessertsWhile we ate we had the opportunity to talk with the creators of the Couwalla app as well as coupon guru and Miami Dolphins player, Keith Sims.  Keith gave us some couponing tips and shared with us how he saves money with coupons.  With his money savings skills, Keith is the perfect spokesperson for Couwalla.
couwalla signSo what is Couwalla?

Couwalla App is a free application available for iphones and androids.

Right now Couwalla is only available in South Florida but they are quickly expanding to other markets and will have over 45,000 coupons to save on apparel and restaurants by next month.Screenshot_2015-01-25-00-48-36

Download the Couwalla app to your smartphone.  Open up the Couwalla app on your smartphone and it will show you all the coupons available in your area.

Screenshot_2015-01-25-00-49-16You can also search for coupons by category.  
Screenshot_2015-01-25-00-50-14Add the coupons you like to “My Coupons” and then simply have the cashier scan them when you get to the register.  Nothing to clip.  No searching for coupons online.  Easy peasy!  In just the last week since I stared using Couwalla I found several coupons that I hadn’t seen elsewhere.  Love that!  

Couwalla prides itself on it’s integrity- find a coupon, show it, use it, done!  No need to worry about coupons not working, expired coupons, etc. like with some other coupon apps.  


With Couwalla the consumer is in control, not the advertiser.  Another great feature of Couwalla is the “Wallet” where you can store all of your store loyalty card numbers.  No more carrying around a keychain full of scan cards.  With Couwalla you can store them all in the app and simple show the app to the cashier to scan your loyalty card.
couwalla walletAnother one of my favorite things about Couwalla is “Couwalla Cares”, a philanthropic program in which Couwalla will donate money to charities per download of Couwalla. Couwalla chooses a different charity each month to give money to.  This month they are donating to the Alzheimer’s Family Center Inc. located in South Florida.  In February Couwalla’s Couwalla Cares charity will be St. Jude.
Couwalla EventHere we are posing with Keith Sims (far right) and several other ex-Miami Dolphins players.  We’re a cute looking bunch, aren’t we?

Text “Couwalla” to 30241 to download the app to your smartphone.

Make sure to check out Couwalla on Facebook.

Disclosure: I was invited to Brio Restaurant in Plantation and the Westfield Broward Mall for a media event.  I received a gift card to faciliate my review but all opinions are 100% my own.  

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Meet Peyton List From Disney Channel’s Jessie in Miami on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2014 #TheFallsHolidayParade

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Tis the season!  On Saturday, November 22, The Falls will ring in the holiday season with the 18th Annual “Miracle on 136th Street” Holiday Parade, led by Celebrity Grand Marshal Peyton List.

Before the parade starts, the first 100 guests visit the American Girl® store on Saturday at 11 a.m. will have the opportunity to meet and greet Peyton List of The Disney Channel’s Jessie series, and receive a signed photo of the star.  Make sure to get there early to reserve your spot in line for the meet and greet!  My girls and I are going to see you there!

She has also starred in the film 27 Dresses, where she played the younger version of Katherine Heigl’s character, Jane, and in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series.  Additionally, the American actress and model appeared alongside Robert Pattison in the film Remember Me.

This year’s “Miracle on 136th Street” Holiday Parade promises to be bigger and better than ever with many new & exciting elements including giant puppets, several floats, holiday characters on stilts, and many local dignitaries, TV anchors, & local celebrities riding in Lexus of Kendall convertible cars as well as vintage cars during the parade.

Following the parade, List will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. in the Center Court to perform joyous holiday music. Guests will also enjoy entertainment, including a magical “live” snow globe performance, belly dancing and more, near Macy’s & Bloomingdale’s.

Spectators are strongly encouraged to arrive as early as possible in order to secure their parking space and ensure a birds-eye view of the parade before the 4:00 p.m. kick-off. The parade route, which is located on the Boulevard in between the center and the parking lot, will start at the east end of The Falls, in front of Bloomingdale’s and traverse the entire length of the center, west to Macy’s.

WHEN:          Saturday, November 22

  11 a.m. – Meet and Greet with Peyton List

4 – 5:30 p.m. – Parade

6:30 p.m. – Live performance with Peyton List

WHERE:        The Falls

 8888 SW 136th Street Miami, FL 33176


INFO:             Please find additional details at and our website

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Peppa Pig Coming to Westfield Broward Mall November 1st

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Peppa Pig, star of the hit Nick Jr.® TV series, is coming to town for a FREE, fun-filled play date on Saturday, November 1 from noon to 5pm!  Kids and families are invited to the Westfield Broward to meet Peppa and, in addition, Macy’s will be offering very special interactive activities from All in 1 Kid Entertainment!

Activities sure to produce loud snorts of laughter from fans young and old, include:

·         Adorable opportunities for the whole family to pose for pictures with Peppa

·         A chance to win special Peppa Pig prize packs

·         Peppa Pig coloring sheets for families to take home

·         Balloon twisting and face painting

·         Interactive games and music

·         An awe-inspiring bubble show

·         Treats from a Cotton Candy machine

·         …and more!

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Dadeland Mall is collecting gently used Halloween Costumes through Operation Candy Corn, while will benefit Neighbors 4 Neighbors and the Branches organization. Costumes can be donated until October 20 at Simon Guest Services.  

WHAT:             Do you have costumes your children have outgrown? Dadeland Mall will be collecting gently used Halloween Costumes through Operation Candy Corn, which benefits Neighbors 4 Neighbors and the Branches organization. Neighbors 4 Neighbors is a nationally acclaimed non-profit organization based in Miami Florida and founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The scope of work done by Neighbors focuses on connecting diverse populations, planning for and responding to disasters and building community resources. We connect those who can help with those in need. It’s that simple. Using a combination of resource development, collaboration with service providers and the power of media, through a partnership with WFOR and WBFS television, we empower our neighbors to use the talents, time and money they have to help others.

Branches mission is to serve, educate and inspire people thorough student, family and financial stability services in partnership with our communities.

WHEN:            Donations are accepted until October 20.
          Dadeland Mall – Simon Guest Services 7535 N Kendall Dr.  Miami, FL 33156

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Family Shows at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts- Box Office Opening Sept. 6- Cinderella Show Tickets Giveaway

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Looking for some great family entertainment in the Miami-Dade area?  Look no further than The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.

The Center’s official 2014-2015 Box Office Opening begins Saturday, Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. and includes a wealth of family programming including Sesame Street Live Make a New Friend,” Cinderella, Disney’s Newsies, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Peter and the Starcatcher and Into the Woods.  Further information regarding additional shows in the upcoming 2014-2015 season may be found here.

The Adrienne Arsht Center and VEE Corporation present SESAME STREET LIVE “MAKE A NEW FRIEND”

October 11, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

October 12, 2014 at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Tickets: $24, $34.50, $45, & $78.50*

$10 for lap seating for children 12 months old or younger.

Ziff Ballet Opera House – Adrienne Arsht Center

South Florida fans are invited to see the all-new SESAME STREET LIVE “MAKE A NEW FRIEND” show and make wonderful memories with friends and family! Elmo, Grover, Abby Cadabby, and their Sesame Street friends welcome Chamki, Grover’s friend from India, to Sesame Street. Together, they explore the universal fun of friendship and celebrate cultural similarities, from singing and dancing to sharing cookies!

SESAME STREET LIVE “MAKE A NEW FRIEND”offers a fun-filled, interactive learning experience, including up-close and furry interactions with the audience! Like television’s Sesame Street, each SESAME STREET LIVEproduction features timeless tunes and lessons for all ages. The universal appeal of each Broadway-quality musical production continues long after preschool. Adults will appreciate the high-tech stagecraft, cleverly written script, and music they’ll recognize and enjoy sharing with children, such as “Count Me In,” and fun new parodies of “Hot and Cold” and “Moves Like Jagger.”

Tickets to SESAME STREET LIVE “MAKE A NEW FRIEND”will be available to Arsht Center members August 8 and to the general public August 15.

The Adrienne Arsht Center presents Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA

October 28- November 2, 2014

Ziff Ballet Opera House- Adrienne Arsht Center

Tuesday- Friday: 8 p.m.

Saturday: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Sunday: 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Ticket: $26-96*

“THRILLING! Never underestimate the power of a ball gown and glass slippers!” – Entertainment Weekly

Part of the 2014-2015 Broadway in Miami series

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA is the Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale.

This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments audiences love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists! Fans will be transported back to their childhood as they rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream… or a really great pair of shoes.

The Adrienne Arsht Center presents DISNEY’S NEWSIES

February 3- 8, 2014

Ziff Ballet Opera House- Adrienne Arsht Center

Tickets: $26-$96*

“An irresistible, high energy winner… a surprise sensation!” – Entertainment Weekly

Part of the 2014-2015 Broadway in Miami series

They delivered the papers, until they made the headlines. Direct from Broadway comes NEWSIES, the smash-hit, crowd-pleasing new musical from Disney. Winner of the 2012 Tony Awards® for “Best Score” and “Best Choreography”, NEWSIES has audiences and critics alike calling it “A musical worth singing about!” (The New York Times). Filled with one heart-pounding number after another, it’s a high-energy explosion of song and dance audiences should not want to miss.

Based on true events, NEWSIES tells the captivating story of a band of underdogs who become unlikely heroes when they stand up to the most powerful men in New York. It’s a rousing tale about fighting for what’s right…and staying true to who you are.

NEWSIES is brought to the stage by an award-winning creative team. It features a score by Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast) and Jack Feldman (The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride) and a book by Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), with choreography by Christopher Gattelli (South Pacific) and direction by Jeff Calhoun (Big River).

The Adrienne Arsht Center presents DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

December 30- January 4, 2014

Ziff Ballet Opera House- Adrienne Arsht Center

Tickets: $26-$96*   

 “One of the most enchanting love stories of all time, and this touring production rocked my world!” – DC Theater Scene

Part of the 2014-2015 Broadway in Miami series

Tale as old as time, true as it can be. Based on the Academy Award®-winning animated feature film, Disney’s beauty and the beast is an eye-popping spectacle that has won the hearts of over 35 million people worldwide. This classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers including “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song.

Disney’s beauty and the beast is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

The Adrienne Arsht Center and University of Miami Department of Theater Arts present PETER AND THE STARCATCHER by Rick Elice – Regional Premiere!

October 9 – 26, 2014

Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Carnival Studio Theater

Tickets: $45*

“Miraculous! Spectacle, wit, and joy spill out of this production like treasure from a magic pocket.” – New York Magazine

Winner of five Tony Awards, Rick Elice’s PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is the innovative and imaginative play with music based on the best-selling novel by Miami native Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. In this high-flying adventure, twelve actors play more than 100 unforgettable characters – plus most of the scenery and furniture – in an exhilarating journey to answer the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up? This epic origin story proves that one’s own imagination is the most captivating place in the world!

As part of the multi-faceted collaboration between the University of Miami Department of Theatre Arts and the Adrienne Arsht Center now in its fourth year, this production will serve as a professional learning experience that offers the theater majors at the University an opportunity to work with seasoned professionals in creating a professional production. Miami’s hottest regional theater actors join UM’s talented student actors to create more than 100 characters. Students majoring in technical theater and design will work side-by-side with the Adrienne Arsht Center/UM production and creative team to create a professional set, costumes and lighting design and will assist the production manager, stage manager and other key production staff members.

DreamCatcher Theater and the Adrienne Arsht Center present INTO THE WOODS        

January 22 – February 15, 2015

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by James Lapine

Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine

Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick

Carnival Studio Theater

Tickets: $50*

“It will take you somewhere wonderful!” – The New York Times

“Do you know what you wish? Are you certain what you wish is what you want?” Once upon a time, in the fairytale kingdom of the Brothers Grimm, a baker and his wife were sent on a quest into the woods by a mysterious witch. Thrust into a world of magic and adventure, they find their story intertwined with a whole group of legendary characters including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and a certain young man named Jack who happens to have some very magical beans. Sondheim’s dazzling lyrics and sumptuous melodies, paired with Lapine’s captivating plot, make this Tony Award-winning Broadway musical about wishes, chasing your dreams, and the importance of the stories we tell our children at once deeply touching and laugh-out-loud funny. This is a show for all ages, and for all time!

DreamCatcher Theatre, led by Miami native brother-sister team Natalie and JJ Caruncho, is South Florida’s newest regional theater company making its Miami debut with this wonderful production at the Arsht Center.

Visit for more information.

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GIVE YOUR CHILD AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE WITH IMACS- Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science #IMACS #CoriReviews

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Disclosure- This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IMACS.  All opinions are 100% my own.IMACS logoComputer programming. Bio-medicine. Financial Services. Engineering.  All of these high paying careers have one thing in common. They require a mastery of mathematics and the ability to apply logic, critical thinking and creative reasoning.

Unfortunately, most schools don’t teach students HOW to think logically or creatively. Instead the focus is on teaching to standardized tests that only require memorization of formulas and facts.

The good news is that, at the Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (IMACS), they offer an alternative where your child can develop strong logic and reasoning skills used to solve complex problems.

IMACS LEARNING 2IMACS is not tutoring.  So how does IMACS differ from tutoring?

Here’s the answer from the IMACS Curriculum Development Group: “Unlike tutoring, IMACS doesn’t drill what your child is already learning in school. We understand that your child will learn certain mathematical ideas, including arithmetic and math facts, in school. IMACS aims to take your child’s knowledge deeper and teach him or her how to develop critical thinking skills and a genuine understanding of the logical reasoning process required to solve real problems, math or otherwise.”

Here’s the answer from our students: “IMACS is fun!”

No rote learning, no dry concepts, and no drill-and-kill!
The focus is on creating understanding of the essential tools used to solve interesting problems.  For over 20 years IMACS has been giving children a competitive edge by teaching them HOW to think critically, how to solve problems, and how to use logic and reasoning.

IMACS TRIAL CLASSWho are IMACS classes for?
IMACS is for students who desperately need a challenge worthy of their ability and for those with untapped and unseen academic skills.  IMACS classes are not just for mathematically gifted children; however, those who are talented in math will find that IMACS classes will help them reach their highest potential.

IMACS challenges each student by ability level, not by age.  A free, one-hour placement class is used to determine the starting point. The placement class is fun and does not involve any kind of testing.

IMACS classes are interactive and fun because the curriculum uses games, puzzles, virtual robotics, and other engaging activities; IMACS doesn’t bore children with repetition and memorization.

IMACS emphasizes the development of strong logical reasoning and creative thinking skills needed to solve the kinds of complex problems found in virtually every career field. IMACS is NOT just for students planning to pursue STEM degrees and careers.
sign-kidsDoesn’t your child deserve The IMACS Advantage?  
While IMACS graduates find themselves with more knowledge than their peers, the real advantage is in their ability to apply that knowledge.  As IMACS graduate Zachary K. said, “College was so much easier with the logical thinking skills I learned at IMACS. While classmates tried to memorize each type of problem, I was able to strongly grasp core concepts and use them to solve any problem, even if it was different from those I had seen.”

What Programs Does IMACS Offer?
My girls attended a placement class for the Mathematics Enrichment (1st-6th grade) which is the core program at IMACS.  They had a great time while it challenged their logic and thinking skills in a fun way with games.  IMACS employs lively and innovative methods of teaching higher level math and advanced logical thinking skills to elementary and middle school students.  Each lesson is carefully crafted by the IMACS Curriculum Development Group to combine games, logic puzzles, mathematical problem-solving and other intellectually exciting activities that help students develop logical and critical thinking skills and the ability to deal with abstractions.

IMACS offers several other programs (student grade level estimate in parentheses)- Computer Programming and Virtual Robotics Enrichment (3rd-8th grade), University Computer Science (7th-12th grade), and University Logic for Mathematics (8th-12th grade).

IMACS also offers a Hi-Tech Summer Camp (students entering 1st-12th).  Students can choose from individual classes (Logic Puzzles, Computer Programming & Virtual Robotics, and Electronics) or a full day program that includes all 3.  My girls will be going to the IMACS full day camp program for a week this summer.  Keep an eye out to see what they did and how they liked it.  

Do you homeschool your child?  IMACS has a Homeschool Program (1st-9th)- Logic Puzzles, Computer Programming & Virtual Robotics, Electronics, Beginning Chess, Serious Fun, Right-Brain Combo.  The homeschool program is offered at the Boca and Plantation locations.

Find an IMACS Class near you:
South Florida IMACS locations
Boca Raton
Fort Lauderdale

In-School Classes
IMACS holds pull-out or after-school classes at the following schools:

  • American Heritage (Plantation)*
  •  Pine Crest (Boca Raton)*
  • Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale)*
  • The Sagemont School (Weston)
  • University School (Davie)*
  • St. Mark’s Episcopal School (Fort Lauderdale)
  • Hochberg Preparatory (Aventura)
  • Weston Christian Academy (Weston)*

* classes only available for students who attend this school

If you aren’t near an IMACS location, they also have two distance learning programs, eIMACS and Elements of Mathematics: Foundations, for middle and high school students.

Ready to have your child take a FREE placement class to see just what all the fun is about?
Sign up now for a FREE PLACEMENT CLASS.

*****Exclusive 20% Discount****
Please make sure to tell them that you heard about IMACS from Cori’s Cozy Corner.
This will give you an exclusive 20% discount on first quarter classes if you are a new student to IMACS.

IMACS is also giving away an 8 week class session to one of my lucky winners.  Read below to see how to enter.  
Good luck!

  • IMACS is giving away one enrollment in the first quarter of its Mathematics Enrichment program described at Depending on location, this 8-week quarter generally starts during the second week of September 2014. Exact schedules can be found at Any student, currently enrolled at IMACS or not, may qualify for this giveaway.
  • The winner may choose to attend classes at any of IMACS’ five South Florida teaching centers (Aventura, Boca, Ft. Lauderdale, Plantation, and Weston).
  • The winner will need to attend a placement class so that IMACS can place them in the correct level of instruction.
  • In addition, a new family who enrolls a new student in the first quarter of Mathematics Enrichment this Fall and indicates that they learned about IMACS from the sponsored post will receive 20% off their tution for this first quarter. This discount may not be combined with any other discounts including, but not limited to, the standard sibling discount.
  • To qualify, entrants must complete BOTH of the mandatory entries on the Giveaway Tools Widget below:
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