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Leslie

Friday Favorites: Our Last Week in the City, Celebrating My Birthday and Father’s Day Picks

It’s been a week over here! I celebrated my 35th birthday AND we are all very busy enjoying our FINAL week in the city! It’s crazy that after living here for almost a decade, we are turning in our resident pass for a big backyard, a garage and all.the.space.

People keep asking me if I’m sad about it – but honestly, I’ve been packing up the house since January – decluttering, organizing, minimizing, staging – and since we closed on the new house over a month ago, I’ve been slowly moving things over each week. We really only have a few necessities and furniture left to take over. I’m not sad about leaving the city at all – I will miss my friends and the kids friends that we get to walk around the corner or next door and see all the time – and the ease, along with the hustle and bustle of it all – but I’m ready to move. I’m ready for the space and the next chapter. I’ll be doing another post on all that next week, so stay tuned.

So yes, this week I celebrated my 35th birthday. I think it was the first time in almost 15 years we didn’t celebrate it down the beach – but it was so nice to be able to be in the city with friends! I was treated to my favorite meals, a mani/pedi date, flowers and other treats from my favorite – including my cupcake in a cone birthday treat from my mom.

Also as a birthday treat, Charles and I enjoyed our last night out in the city {while we live here} – he took me to my favorite little spot – Talula’s Garden. Here’s a throwback post from my first visit there back in 2013 – it’s still my favorite because it’s in such a great location, tucked away and the food is always incredible. It was nice to be able to get away just us two – especially since we’ve got a crazy week of moving and packing ahead of us.

I mentioned earlier this week on the blog – we’ve got a fun trip to Hershey planned for this weekend. It was sort of perfect how it fell right in between my birthday and also Father’s Day. It’s going to be fun to celebrate there – even though we have so much to do at home – it’s always nice to getaway.

For Father’s Day this year, I’ve partnered with American Greetings – so if you are still in need of a card for good ‘ol dad – head on over to my Instagram for a coupon!

And if you haven’t entered my Hersheypark 8 TICKET GIVEAWAY yet, enter the Rafflecopter link in this post!

Now I’ve got two fun little Father’s Day Gift ideas, for anyone who is still shopping today. Dads {and guys in general} can be so hard to shop for – so I was so excited when I was able to try out the new KeySmart Pro with Tile Smart location.

This is a compact key organizer that can let you track your missing keys on a map – with the free Tile app on your phone. Its so awesome because it can make your keys ring if you are searching for them! It also works the opposite way and can help your find your phone if you’ve misplaced it! I think its a great gift for guys because it can hold up to 10 keys, a flashlight and a bottle opener. I think its an awesome + useful gift for anyone!

Another great gift idea for dad {or anyone really!} are these incredible PaMu wireless slides. These things are incredible for so many reasons – The charging case charges your headphones AND your iPhone – which is amazing and

And my last little Friday Find of the day, not really Father’s Day or Birthday related, but still equally as awesome – TealTrunk – a Silicone Sponge and Scrubber Multipurpose Household Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaning. It’s Eco-Friendly, Heat Resistant, Odor and Mildew Free!

Sort of a little random in this week’s Friday Favorites – but since I’m in the middle of moving and cleaning I’m super into anything that makes any of that a little easier! This sponge is great because it’s super easy to hold, has the fish scale pattern for better scrubbing grip and a mix of scrubbers for a gentle scrub with no risk of scratching your kitchen tools. It’a also SUPER FLEXIBLE to get into all those dirty and hard to reach places!

I’ve been using this thing on everything – for washing dishes, cups, pots, pans, plates and all other kitchen tools. It’s also great to wash fruit and veggies and can even be used to CLEAN your MAKEUP BRUSHES and PAINT BRUSHES since silicone Doesn’t absorb it WON’T STAIN! Another great thing for our home renovations!

Can’t say enough good things about this little scrubber brush! Definitely a fabulous find !

Now I’d love to know what you are loving this week! Please share !

GIVEAWAY: Get #HersheyparkHappy This Summer – Win 8 FREE Hersheypark Tickets! #SweetestFamilies

Today is THE DAY!

It’s my last day of being 34 and I can taste all the chocolate covered goodness in the air.

Maybe that’s because I am currently snacking on a birthday cupcake {FTW!} OR because I’ve spent the past two days reliving all my Hershey fun over the past few years and I can’t WAIT for our trip this weekend.

It’s going to be super sweet and what’s even more amazing is being able to share the Hershey love with my amazing blog readers and followers!

As a member of the #SweetestFamilies for 2019 {Check out my #Sweetestmom for 2018 journey too!} I’m excited and honored to be able to gift one lucky And Her Little Dog Too reader a 4-pack of TWO DAY tickets to Hersheypark!!

Yes, that’s right – just like last year – the winner will receive 8 Hersheypark tickets!

I’d suggest one way to use these tickets would be to spend two days in Hershey – that way you can really soak in all the chocolate-covered fun.  Use the first 4 tickets to spend the day at Hersheypark and ZooAmerica {which is included with your Hersheypark ticket!}, then use the second 4 tickets the next day for water fun at the Boardwalk inside Hersheypark!

If you do a Friday – Sunday visit, you can get in early on Friday night a few hours before closing for a ‘preview’ without using any day tickets, when you stay on a Hershey property resort! Check out all the benefits of staying at the Hershey Lodge or Hotel Hershey here.

Or if you have a bigger family and want to bring the whole gang {including the grandparents!} for a massive day of fun, this is a great way to do it too, since you get 8 tickets good for the entire summer season!

The winner can use the tickets however + whenever you want {in 2019!}, and I’m here to help answer any questions about planning your trip there if you want!


Enter to Win:

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter your information, but you MUST follow these 3 social channels to be entered to win {I’ll be checking!}

YouTube And Her Little Dog Too / Instagram  / Facebook 

**Tag a friend or Share the Posts on FB/IG for extra entries!**

The giveaway will be open through Sunday, June 30th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to US residents ages 18+.

Winner must reply to my confirmation email within 48 hours to claim the prize.

Tickets will be mailed to the winner.

Hershey’s Unwrapped + Our Top 5 Favorite Things to Do at Chocolate World

It’s going to be a sweet week! Not only do we have a super fun trip to Hershey planned for this weekend – but it’s also Father’s Day on Sunday AND it’s my birthday on Wednesday! Yay! In honor of my birthday I’ve got some fun giveaways planned this week – trust me, you are going to want to stick around for them – they start tomorrow!

Going with the theme of this sweet + celebratory week, I just HAD to share with you all about our recent trip to Hershey for a media visit to check out their brand new attraction – Unwrapped!

Unwrapped is a theatrical experience that everyone will enjoy. We were one of the first ones to check out this new show and let me tell you that if you are visiting Hershey this summer, be sure to add this to your list – the kiddos {and you!} will love it!

Before the show started we were treated to some delicious snacks. As always, Hershey does not disappoint – especially in the chocolate covered snack department!

Everyone who goes into this interactive experience gets to experience the smells, tastes and some fun facts of all of our favorite chocolate treats. You get a Official Chocolate Academy Tasting Kit that you will use {and enjoy!} enjoy throughout the whole show.

A box full of chocolate? We are in!

The show is about 30 minutes long and the characters are brand new to Hershey and wildly entertaining. They pull you right in for a great experience at the Chocolate Academy. We loved it!

So Unwrapped is a brand new attraction at Chocolate World. We came up for the day specifically to check out the new experience, but after that we decided to enjoy some of our other favorite activities at Chocolate World. I don’t think people understand how much there is to do here – you could EASILY spend an entire day just at Chocolate World {which is right outside the Hersheypark entrance} and still not do everything there is to do.

Today I wanted to share with you just what 4-5 Hours at Chocolate World can look like, by highlighting our favorite activities that we love to enjoy at each visit.

Here are our Top 5 things to do at Chocolate World :

#1 – Make Your Own Candy Bar

The Make Your Own Candy Bar is ALWAYS a favorite. They ask for it every time we go – and there isn’t always time to do it {or room – it fills up quick!} but luckily this last visit, we all got to make some sweet bars.

This is probably my #1 activity that I would suggest to anyone visiting for the first time to Chocolate World. They Candy Bar Making Process is really well done, easy for the kids to get involved in and its fun for everyone.

Not to mention, it’s my favorite chocolate at Hershey because its just the way I like it – sprinkles and all!

It’s well worth the cost because it is a great experience and the finished product is a beautiful token to take home with you. Your personalized bar comes in a Hershey container with a personalized wrapper that you get to create.

My classic creations: Milk Chocolate, Sprinkles, Semi Sweet Chocolate, Pretzel Bites, Crisp Rice. It’s the best combination out there. Trust.

The boys like to dive in right away to theirs – this is a solid, big bar – Seriously large enough to have a few bites now and save the rest for later.

I like to save mine to enjoy at home, but check out my sweet personalized label. It’s my favorite I’ve made yet. They are always changing the personalization so if you make them frequently, you can always change it up to something different + seasonal!

#2 – Hershey’s Chocolate Tour

This is a free ride and its always the first {and the last} thing we do during any Hershey visit. I have have done a bunch of videos during our Hershey visits, but I believe this one gives you the best inside look at the Chocolate Tour. Seriously, we ride this multiple times every time we come to Hershey – the chocolate treat at the end always makes it extra sweet!

#3 – The Food!

Taking a minute from all the activities and entertainment at Hershey’s Chocolate World to give a little love to the food. And not just the candy and desserts, but the actual food – there are a variety of places to grab tons of meal options in the middle of Chocolate World. I’ve had a bunch of meals there and each one is better than the next. I thought it was totally worth highlighting today because my last meal there blew me away – Cocoa Charred Brisket sandwich. It was INSANE.

And if we are talking about Hershey food, we can’t forget about all the sweet treats. If you are visiting there, its always nice to pick up something special to bring home for later. They are always so beautifully well done in the pastry department.

#4 – The 4-D Chocolate Movie

My boys LOVE this show. If you haven’t been to Hershey before, but you’ve been to Disney – it’s sort of like the Bugs Life show – where you experience the sight, smells, taste, touch {and more} of the interactive experience. They love putting on their glasses and helping the Hershey characters crack the code of the show! Plus it’s a nice little break for mama to sit down and chill for a minute! Wins all around!

#5 – The Characters!

Brooks and Graham LOVE seeing their favorite Hershey’s characters and they are always out and about in Chocolate World. It’s a great spot for a photo op because its very casual, you can just pop up and greet them, take your own picture and chat for a few. They love it and I LOVE to snap away when their visit with their friends!

So there you have it – our Top 5 Chocolate World Favorite PLUS our first Unwrapped Experience. And like I said, there’s still so much to do we didn’t even have time for – Trolley Works, Chocolate Tasting and tons of other seasonal events always popping up – it’s hard to fit it all into one day. But if you aren’t far from Hershey – Philly is about 1.5 hours – we love to make a day trip out of it to get our occasional Chocolate Fix!

We can’t wait to check out some new fun things that just arrived in Hersheypark for the 2019 season – like the Reese’s Cupfusion – and can’t wait to visit the new Chocolatetown in 2020! It’s going to be a sweet summer and the boys and I can’t wait to start another fun visit this weekend! Stay tuned for a chocolatey giveaway tomorrow!

Best of St. Augustine, Florida – Sharing Our Favorites for Kids & Families

So I am finishing up our recap of our recent visit to St. Augustine, Florida today with a jam-packed post highlighting all our favorites from our time there. We did a little bit of everything and we had the kiddos with us every step of the way. I know so many of you have Florida trips coming your way this summer, so I wanted to showcase what we really enjoyed while we were there – if you check out any of these places, be sure to let me know what you think!

Now grab a coffee or a tea {poolside, if you can!} and buckle up! This is a long one, folks! But hopefully if you are planning a trip here, well worth it!

The Fountain of Youth

One of the first things that came up for me to check out in the St. Augustine area when I was researching our trip there was the Fountain of Youth. This park is likely 1513 Florida landing site of Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, {although no evidence has been found to substantiate this claim.}

We didn’t go inside the actual park, but the streets outside the park are GORGEOUS. Definitely do a drive by of the gorgeous Spanish moss covered trees and snap some picks. We actually did a family photoshoot here which was great!

Flagler College

What was once the Ponce de León Hotel, Flagler College is right in the middle of downtown St. Augustine. It’s an active college but beyond gorgeous to take a stroll through or around. Simply gorgeous and a great little area for the kiddos to run around and stretch out their legs!

St. Augustine Lighthouse

Climb 219 steps to the top 165 feet above sea level – this was a great activity for my 5 year old! My 3 years old stayed down below and enjoy the cool pirate shop playground! Great views of the area and lots of other Maritime activities to enjoy while you are there.

Castille de San Marcos

The oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, the Castillo de San Marcos is a large Spanish stone fortress built to protect and defend Spain’s claims in the New World. It’s a National Monument and, at over 315 years old, it’s the oldest structure in St. Augustine.

Graham + Charles went into the fort to explore while Brooks and I went around the entire fort outside. It was really cool to walk the wall along the water and take in how big this fort is, right in the middle of the downtown area. It’s definitely worth a visit with the kids because of the great views, proximity to so many great restaurants and shops and they do various cannon firings and activities for kids throughout the day.

Project Swing Park

This was a complete treat to stumble upon. One morning we were exploring, looking for somewhere that the kids could run around and we found ourselves here. It is SO BIG with so many fun structures to run, jump and climb on. It was fantastic and amazing for all ages!

Caps on the Water

We went here for a birthday dinner one night and I was blown away by the incredible views. The food and drink were top notch, but the views simply can’t be beat. Definitely a MUST to have a meal or a drink at!

Swillerbees Donuts

These donuts are BEYOND amazing. If I was able to, I would have had one of each – and there were SO MANY to choose from. But aside from the incredible sweets, the decor and vibe at Swillerbees can’t be beat. It’s downtown right across from Flagler College – treat yo self if you find yourself in this area!

The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops

Another downtown MUST. All the flavors and combinations of these ice pop treats are insane, especially on a hot summer day. Loved it here and dreaming of going back for another pop!

Beachcomber Restaurant

This spot was recommended to us by a local as a great spot for kids – which it totally was! Beachcomber is a laid back spot right on the beach. They have chairs and toys for the kids set up right in the sand – so adults can enjoy a meal or a drink while the littles play. It was perfect and a beautiful spot for great beach views with a breeze.

Ancient City Brewing

We did our fair share of trying out local brews during our trip – and loved being able to pop into Ancient City Brewing, right in the heart of the downtown area. Great sips and you can BYO eats!

St. Augustine Distillery Tour

This was something we did on an afternoon without the kiddos, but it’s totally worth recommending because it was awesome. The tour was free – about 40 minutes and you get to sip some incredible cocktails and taste all their spirits they are currently serving. It was so much fun. We then went upstairs after the tour and tasting for lunch at the Ice Plant, which was another really cool spot!

Maple Street Biscuit Company

Best Breakfast Spot for sure! This little hidden gem is LEGIT – it serves incredible food, in massive sizes and they taste like heaven. As expected, the biscuits are out of control. Dreaming of another meal at this place as well.

St. Augustine Alligator Park

I did an entire post on this place yesterday that you must check out. It was worth an entire blog post because beloved it so much! Definitely a must do with kids!

So there you have it – a few of our favorite stops along the way during our week in St. Augustine, Florida. We also enjoyed the beach, spent lots of time at our rental in the pool and enjoyed all that glorious Florida sunshine!

If you’ve ever been to St. Augustine, I’d love to know what you thought and if you did any of the same things we did!

Thanks for following along for this long recap! We had a blast – as you can see – and hope to visit St. Augustine again one day!

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