Kalamata’s Kitchen Event at Lorelei’s Restaurant in Pittsburgh

Kalamata’s Kitchen is a fun children’s book that encourages children to explore foods. With my youngest 2 children they can sometimes get pretty picky when it comes to food.  We’ve always had a rule in our house though, you’re not allowed to say you don’t like unless you’ve at least tasted it.

The Kalamata’s Kitchen book event and tasting we attended was at Lorelei restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA.  Located at 124 S Highland Ave in Pittsburgh a cocktail bar and beer hall with food inspired from Germany.  The restaurant itself was very airy with lots of natural light and plants.  Located in East Liberty it’s not far from lots of shopping areas, Children’s hospital, and many health clubs.

We ended up being a tad bit late but I was so excited we still had plenty of time to participate in everything.  When we arrived the kids got a VIP pass, a Kalamata’s Kitchen food passport, and an official Taste Bud card.  If the kids at least tried each of the foods they were able to get a stamp on their food passport.

They had interesting and tasty options such as carrot pierogies (which was actually one of my faves), salted caramel mousse, rose-water malaibi with candied kataifi, Frico, and more. Other participating Pittsburgh restaurants included Bar Marco, Casbah, Pie for Breakfast, Cafe Carnegie, and of course, Lorelei.

We also had an opportunity to meet and hear from the team that created Kalamata’s Kitchen including author Sarah Thomas.  Sarah had a book reading with those that participated in the event.  She was so kind and took the time to sign books for those that asked.

We really have some wonderful places in Pittsburgh. I’m so happy that we were invited to the Kalamata’s Kitchen event.  As I sampled with my kids I realized what a wonderful place Lorelei would be for a date or to just slow down in Pittsburgh for a little bit.  I’d love to just sit at the window like my kids did while nibbling on chef’s delightful creations, maybe a glass of wine and just people watch.  I could spend a couple hours there.

My kids have walked away from a new experience.  They got to send their tastebuds on an adventure.  I think they learned a little bit about the work that goes into a book. They did a great job at setting up to really pull kids into the book with the characters and Kalamata’s Kitchen set up.

 

My kids also came home with Kalamata’s Kitchen book and an apron which my kids just love.  My daughter is now talking about wanting to have a restaurant one day lol.

 

For more info on Kalatmata’s Kitchen an events:

Website: https://www.kalamataskitchen.com

Facebook: facebook.com/kalamataskitchen

Instagram: instagram.com/kalamataskitchen

Planning for Emergencies While On Vacation

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links.  Any opinions expressed are my own.

We’re getting ready to head to Topsail Island, NC again this year. We always drive. It’s about a 10 – 11 hour drive with rest stops for us.  The last time we drove down though, I saw something that will forever be blazed into my memory.

It was roughly 4 am and we’re on the beltway near DC.  Not quite as much traffic to deal with at 4 am on the beltway as there would be during the day.  I saw a few cars pulled off to the side, I saw a motorcycle on it’s side and as we drove past I saw a person in a motorcycle helmet on the ground motionless. I won’t describe anymore because it was very shocking to see at 4 am.  I remember looking back at the kids. They had been quiet for a while so I was hoping they were all sleeping and they were. Thank goodness.

 

I’m someone who over-prepares.  But this situation got me thinking about what we would do if we were in an accident while on our way to the beach…or any time for that matter.  I took some steps for preparedness.

  1.  I filled out the health information on my iphone. I wondered if anyone really looked at that but I’ve been told that yes, if they can access it first responders will look at this information.
  2.  I changed some of my important contacts. Instead of having names I put things like husband, dad, etc to make it easier for someone else in an emergency.
  3.  When making a checklist of things to take on vacation, things like: health insurance cards, vehicle insurance cards, dental insurance cards, etc are checked 3 x
  4.  I let a few close extended family members know when we’re leaving or heading back. I do check in on facebook at certain rest stops to help with location finding.
  5.  I have the name and number of trusted law firms like Hunter Law, P.A. in my phone so I could call right away if I’m physically able.  I’d have enough to worry about at that time, I’d rather let the experts handle it.
  6.  Getting our vehicle checked and make sure maintenance is up to date before the big drive.
  7.   Keep a car safety kit in the car with things like road flares, jumper cables, etc
  8.   Take a baggie to keep in the car with things like car sickness medication, Tylenol, anti-diarrhea medication, and any other medication that may be needed individually. Make sure if it’s prescription medication you have it in the prescription bottle or have proof of the prescription.

What tips do you have to plan for a emergency while on vacation?

5 Ways To Save Money On Your Family RV Road Trip

If you’re a frugal person and if you’re planning a family RV road or camping trip, you’ll
probably find this article to be of much use to you.
Even though an RV trip should be cheaper in contrast to other travel options (such as flying and
staying in hotel rooms), that doesn’t mean that it’s an inexpensive endeavor. On the contrary, it
still is expensive.
Fortunately, there are a variety of methods you can use to save money on any RV road or
camping trip, and by using more than just one of these methods your savings can really add up to
a significant amount.

Here are five ways you can save money on your family RV road trip:

1 – Actually Plan Ahead
There’s just no better money saving tip than this one: actually plan ahead. Those who plan ahead
have much greater odds of saving cash versus those who just rent the first RVs or campgrounds
they see.
This means actually doing your research and learning about every RV that is available to rent so
you can compare rates. The same goes for renting campgrounds. A seemingly minuscule
difference of ten or fifteen dollars for daily rent can really add up, especially if your trip is going
to be a long one.

2 – Travel During Shoulder Season
‘Shoulder season’ simply refers to the time of year when travel costs, including rent and fuel,
tend to be much lower. It’s also known as the ‘off season.’ As an added bonus, you’ll also have
to contend with smaller crowds, which can always help make your trip more enjoyable.
Examples of shoulder season include late spring or early fall, when the large crowds are less
likely to travel than they are during the summer. Yes, this means that the weather may not be
quite as nice, through it may be worth to you if it means saving a lot of money.

3 – Avoid RV Parks and Campgrounds
Who says you have to stay at RV parks and campgrounds? Not only are RV parks often very
busy, which means you may not get all the privacy you desire, they also cost money.
A night at a decent RV parks with amenities such as laundry and Wi-Fi should cost between $30
to $50 a night. That’s cheaper than most hotel rooms, but it’s still an expense that can add up. A
week long stay at a RV park priced at $35 a night will cost you $245, for example.

In contrast to this, boon-docking (or parking your RV on public parks outside of RV parks)
doesn’t cost you anything. Sure, you don’t get all of the same luxuries that certain RV parks
come with, but what you do get is more space alone to yourself and possibly several hundred
dollars of saved cash in your wallet. Is it worth it? That’s up to you.

4 – Don’t Eat Out (At Least Not Often)
Eating out constantly is one of those seemingly harmless expenses that can really start to add up.
If you’re serious about saving money on your trip, then bringing your own food and preparing it
in the kitchen your RV provides you with will be a much more cost efficient option.
Not only that, but you can also prepare foods that are already cheaper to make. For example, it’s
probably cheaper to make chili and soup that feeds everyone versus making cheeseburgers for
each individual person.

5 – Compare Fuel Stations
Fuel is one of the largest expenses of any RV trip and you simply can’t avoid the fact that
motorhomes are not the most fuel efficient vehicles on the planet.
But what you can avoid is paying for fuel at a gas station that is priced higher than another gas
station just around the corner.
When the time comes to fuel up, use a fuel app to research all fuel stations within a certain mile
radius. Even if the difference between stations is only one to two cents a gallon, that can really
add up when you consider the fact that RV’s hold a lot of gallons (as in around a hundred and
fifty on average)

Saving Money On Your Family Trip
These are just a handful of the ways you can save money on your RV trip. Using each of these
methods together, you should easily be able to save several hundred dollars, if not over a
thousand, for the trip.

 

Guest Post by Susan Melony

I Attended The Mother of All Baby Showers in Pittsburgh and Boy (or Girl) Was It Ever

I received free VIP ticket to the event.  Also received free products and samples while attending the event. No other compensation has been received.  Any opinions expressed are my own. This giveaway is sponsored by LuvSavingMoney.com and not the businesses mentioned in this post. 

 

I’m a mom of 4.  My children range in age from 4 to 15 years old.  I was invited to attend The Mother of All Baby Showers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on July 27.  The Mother of All Baby Showers is geared towards those expecting up to parents of preschool age children.  My hubby and I have completed our family so I wondered what info I could get out of attending The Mother of All Baby Showers. The answer would be, opening my eyes to the resources, products, and information out there in my area. Even for a mom of 4 like me.

 

My hubby and I received a VIP couples ticket to go.  VIP tickets allowed us entry into the MOABS 30 minutes before general ticket holders. When we walked in we were greeted warmly by the staff.  It was hard deciding where to start. There were so many tables with vendors available to talk to.  Everything from services, to products, to clothing, and even food.   I could highlight all the vendors but this blog post would turn into a small novel rather than an easy to read post lol.

As my hubby and I walked around checking things out and talking to people. The first service that really jumped out to me was Jeremiah’s Place.  Lisa Perry MPM and Executive Director of Jeremiah’s Place was so nice to talk to. As she told me about the services they provide at Jeremiah’s Place I just thought “Yes, yes we need this! Why aren’t there more places like Jeremiah’s Place!”

You can get plenty of info on their site but it’s Pittsburgh’s only crisis nursery providing FREE childcare for children ages 0-6 yrs for a few hours for up to a few days depending on the situation. It could be used when a parent is hospitalized, when you need someone to watch a child for an interview, when a parent just needs a break, homelessness, domestic violence situations and more.   If you’re in the Pittsburgh area definitely check out Jeremiah’s place or donate.  You can call or visit to do an intake with them so when you do need them they’ll have your info.

When I talked to Lisa you could just tell how caring she is and how passionate she is about the services they provide.

Twitter: @jeremiahsplace

Facebook: facebook.com/jeremiahsplace

 

 

The next service that really stuck out to me was from First Comes Love in Pittsburgh.  Daria Minton is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She provides workshops for “Bringing Baby Home”, “Emotion Coaching” and “7 Principles” workshop for couples.

I spoke with her and her husband at The Mother of All Baby Showers. They were super sweet people. Definitely someone I would feel confident calling when in need of these services.

Check out First Comes Love Pittsburgh for services and locations.

Find First Comes Love on Facebook: facebook.com/firstcomeslovepgh

 

 

If you’re a parent in Pittsburgh you’re gonna want to know about Kidsburgh.org a resource for parents to find everything kid related in Pittsburgh: playgrounds, child care centers, events, and more.  They also have an app for those living in or visiting the Pittsburgh area to help you find things in your part of Pittsburgh!

Twitter: @KidsburghPgh 

Facebook: facebook.com/KidsburghPgh

Instagram: instagram.com/KidsburghPgh

 

 

At the Mother of All Baby Showers Pittsburgh attendees could take advantage of free chair or table massages provided by ELEMENTS Massage from Wexford, PA.  Even after a few hours of giving massages and dealing with the droves of people they still were smiling and happy to help.

Facebook: facebook.com/ElementsMassageWexford

Twitter: @ElementsMassage

Instagram: instagram.com/elementstherapeuticmassage

 

 

Of course there was all the new products and services from companies like DIONO, Combi, Baby K’tan, Enfamil, Goldfish Swim School, and so many more.  It was cool to see the newest things on the market, be able to touch and try, and ask questions to the experts.  The women I talked to from DIONO was very helpful in helping me understand the best types of car seat for my 4 yr old and why. I was ready to put her in a booster but her taking the time with me really opened my eyes.

Oh and speaking of experts they had several speakers you could listen to. Experts in their field for everything from pregnancy to the working parent.

Of course, I can’t talk about The Mother of All Baby Showers without talking about the $20,000 in giveaways they did.  Everyone was given door prize tickets when they walked in. They called numbers throughout the evening with people winning everything from gift baskets, to strollers, car seats, and gift certificates.

As a VIP ticket holder I also received an amazing VIP swag bag with a Baby K’tan diaper bag absolutely stuffed with things from treats, coupons, baby items, formula, a travel wipe warmer, pens, and other swag.  Y’all I looked up that baby K’tan diaper bag. It retails for $50 just by itself!  VIP couple tickets were $60. With all the things it was stuffed with and all the things you got to try and experience I would absolutely say buying the VIP ticket is totally worth it!

Check out the Mother of All Baby Showers site to see if a MOABS is coming to your area!  I’m gonna leave you with a few more pics from MOABS Pittsburgh at Heinz field.  I will definitely go back next year if they come back to Pittsburgh!

Oh and one more thing. Because they were all so generous and I got some awesome stuff for babies I’m gonna do a giveaway for my LuvSavingMoney readers. I’m going to give you some swag too!

GIVEAWAY

1 Luv Saving Money reader will win some MOABS swag that includes

  • The Bump reusable tote
  • DIONO travel wipe warmer
  • Dr Brown’s natural flow Options 4 oz bottle
  • Dr Brown’s 0-6 month pacifier 2 pack (blue)
  • bib
  • digital thermometer
  • Camilia Homeopathic teething relief
  • Babee Talk stroller toy
  • coupons and samples

The Mother of All Baby Showers

Brickfest Live in Monroeville Pennsylvania

I received free tickets from US Family Guide to attend Brickfest Live in Monroeville, PA to complete this post.  No other compensation was received.

We are definitely a LEGO family.  Any LEGO event that comes within a 50 mile radius, we’re there. Actually I heard about them opening a LEGOland near Philadelphia and my hubby and I were considering a trip with the family .

LEGOs spark creativity, problem solving, pre-engineering skills, and more for little ones.  And heck, I enjoy creating with them with the kids.  Brickfest Live at the Monroeville Convention Center was the perfect place for our LEGO loving family to have fun for all ages.

We got there about 15 minutes late but we got right in.  The staff was friendly and entry was pretty streamlined. We were greeted by Woody from Toy Story built entirely out of LEGO bricks.

LEGO Toy Story

The brick pit was made up to look like a swimming pool. The kids played for a while in there. They had tables set up around it so if the kids created something they could put it on a table to display for the day.

LEGO play pit

There were impressive LEGO sculptures from the Pittsburgh area adult LEGO user group and several builds in the monochrome build sections, and glow-in-the dark build sections. Here are just some of the favorites we had:

There was so much to do. The kids got to try out some LEGO video games in the gaming section, we got to play LEGO mini-golf, We got to meet several characters, they did plenty of builds, and watched some LEGO car drag races.

Another area the kids really enjoyed was the Make-A-Wish area. They had Star Wars characters there. For a small donation the kids got to choose a Nerf gun and shoot at Star Wars characters. The staff there was super nice and very patient with the kids.  They let me take several pictures. Even though they were being shot at repeatedly with nerf guns they were all smiles.  I was more than happy to donate to such a great cause and the kids had a good time.

We always have a good time at these Brickfest Live! events. It’s hours of family fun . If you ever get the chance, I definitely recommend it.