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Leslie

VIDEO: Springtime in Hersheypark, All the Kid Friendly Rides, Chocolate World + a Hersheypark Giveaway Coming TOMORROW!

It’s Hershey Week here at And Her Little Dog Too! As a part of this year’s Sweetest Moms for Hershey, PA I’ve been lucky enough to visit The Sweetest Place on Earth a BUNCH of times over the past year with my family. Each time gets better and better – especially as the boys get bigger! Hershey has quickly become their favorite place – EVER, and I have to admit, it’s one of mine too! We always have such a blast as a family and are constantly discovering new things to do.

I created a video from our last visit, about a month ago – during the Spring. We had no plans on a random Saturday and decided to pick up and go to Hersheypark to meet up with some friends. It turned out to be the most perfect day – the weather was perfect, the crowds were light and the boys got to go on all their favorite rides.

Here’s a look at our Springtime fun in Hersheypark in May, check it out and let me know what you think:

Almost a month later, the day after Brooks’ last day of school – I asked him what he wanted to do on his first day of Summer. His request: “Hersheypark!” 

Tomorrow I’ve got another fun video with a look at our time at The Boardwalk area in Hershey {all the water fun!} plus some new rides too…along with a GIVEAWAY! 

I’ve got FOUR Hersheypark Tickets to giveaway to my fabulous readers – that is going live TOMORROW, but if you want to get a head start, follow along these social channels:

YouTube And Her Little Dog Too / YouTube Leslie Brinkley / Instagram 

And here’s a look at some other fun from our Springtime in Hershey:

outfit details:  top / denim / sunglasses  / jewels 

King Size Shake: perfect for sharing!

post Chocolate World Treat? the new Cookie Layer Crunch!

The Lemonade at Hersheypark is a MUST HAVE.

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My Green Thumb in the City – Updating our Backyard Patio with Kids!

Don’t just Garden – Harvest

Each and every Spring the one thing I most look forward to, as soon as the weather starts to warm up – is upgrading my garden.

Having a garden in the city isn’t easy. There isn’t much space, sunlight can be an issue and it can be tricky to maintain. We were lucky enough to buy a house with a bit of green space in the back patio area – it’s nice and rare to have that living in the city – but it’s one of my favorite spots in our home. It’s like an extension of our house, from the back of our kitchen – the doors open and we have sunlight, fresh air, it’s great. The boys LOVE spending time out there – we have a sprinkler, water table, all the bubbles, chalk and a little kid table where they enjoy dining al fresco. Ha.

BUT since we live in Philadelphia where we get to truly enjoy {or NOT – I’m looking at you long winter} all four seasons, we don’t get to take advantage of the outside space all year long. It’s always super exciting when it’s FINALLY nice enough to spend time out there every day. YAY, SPRING!

We’ve been in our house 5 years now and each spring I do a little bit of an update and refresh to the back patio area. New plants, fresh mulch – to change it up a bit, and also to see what made it through the winter.

I was so excited to partner with Harvest Organics this season while I work on my garden. Being outside and spending as much time in the fresh air with my kids is so important to me – and I’m lucky we get to do it right outside our back door, but I want it to look nice too! Harvest Organics means planting with “clean” dirt – ensuring the garden grows without any added chemicals, pesticides or preservatives! Their soils are made from a variety of compostable materials rerouted from landfills which helps reduce waste to create a greener planet. I was very excited to get my green thumb on this season!

Our first stop for our garden upgrade – Lowe’s

A few of the essentials to refresh our garden and flower pots for the season.

With two little boys, I’m pretty sure that it goes without saying thay they like to get dirty, so with this project I put them to work.

We cleared out the mess of a garden that was the result of a crazy long, cold winter here in Philadelphia. Lots to pull out + remove before we could see what we were working with.

Here’s the before – not cute:

Once we cleared everything away, it was wonderful to see new life making its way up through the ground. Now, we just needed to give it a little bit of a boost.

With some fresh organic garden soil +  mulch along with some new plants, it was a fun transition to change up our back patio area, and so much nicer to look at through our back windows and doors – check it out:

I can’t wait to see all the flowers and the rest of the plants popping up! It’s so much cleaner + greener. The boys were a fan too and got right to work with their construction toys. #boymom

And just for fun, here’s a side-by-side:

Next, it was time to get to work on the front planters.

I had a little sidekick to assist.

For this job we put to good use the Harvest Organics Potting Mix, and gave these pretty flowers a new home.

Here’s the finished product, I think it turned out really nice and I can’t wait to see the flowers grow a bit as the season moves on!

I will for sure keep you posted on how our garden grows {ha!} with our new organic soil and potting mix, but we are a few weeks in and i can already see the plants thriving.

Now I’d love to hear – Do you have a green thumb? Please share!

A little more about Harvest Organics: Parent company, Harvest, is the largest processor of yard and food waste in North America, managing to keep nearly 2,000,000 tons of waste from ending up in landfills.  By recycling these scraps, Harvest turns waste into organic gardening products that then feed the earth to, in turn, feed people (e.g. vegetables, fruits, herbs, grasses, trees, flowers) to create a more sustainable planet.

Don’t just garden, Harvest.

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Things to do at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with Two Kids {4 and Under!}

We’ve been lucky enough to have a few visits to Disney over the past year – this was our THIRD trip to “Mickey’s House” this year! Woah!

Here’s a look back at a few our previous visits:

A Day at Walt Disney World’s Epcot with Two Kids A Day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom / Magic Kingdom with the Kids

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So here’s the deal – over Mother’s Day week my friend and I {along with her son} went down to her parents house in Sarasota, Florida to spend the week. Since that’s only a hop, skip and a jump away from Disney – whenever we go there, we like to spend a day or two at the parks. When we were there in January we hit up Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Epcot – for this trip, we decided to hit up Hollywood Studios.

// dress / shoes / rose gold ears /

// boys shirts / boys shoes

At first I was a little skeptical about Hollywood Studios – I wasn’t convinced that there was enough things to keep them entertained for a whole DAY! We didn’t want to spend the extra money for a Park Hopper {or waste time going from park to park} and wanted to commit to a park for a whole day, or a long as the littles would last.

My boys LOVE the rides at all the other parks and I knew going into Hollywood Studios, there wouldn’t be many {or any!} rides for the, but I wanted to change it up and try out a new park – and I’m so glad we did!

Here’s a breakdown of our day and all the things we did at Hollywood Studios:

First up, we made our way over to the Animation Courtyard as we had a Fast Pass for the morning. We were able to meet a few of our Disney Junior Pals because there were pretty much no lines.

Graham was obsessed with meeting Jake from the Neverland Pirates and I got some cute pictures of them together.

So sweet.

We then made our way across the Courtyard to see Voyage of the Little Mermaid – which was one of the best shows we got to see all day! It was Live and interactive, not to mention a throwback to my favorite childhood show! Ursula was slightly terrifying, but the boys didn’t seem to mind – they have also never seen the show, so they didn’t quite know what was going on. I’m going to have to change that.

We need a Little Mermaid movie night ASAP. 

Next up we hit up Star Wars Launch Bay because it was right next door – here you can meet a BUNCH of Star Wars characters, pretty much everyone. BB8 had the longest wait time, but we did manage to have a meet & greet with Chewbacca!

I have to say, I thought they boys would be slightly terrified – even though they totally know who Chewie is & Graham has a stuffed animal of him he sleeps with – this dude was LARGE. But Brooks and Graham were into him and not scared at all – G slightly more into him than B.

I was proud they enjoyed it so much!

Next up, we had a Fast Pass to see Disney Junior LIVE! I was pumped about this for the boys, because they really enjoy some of the Disney Junior characters – but this show was super lame for me. Everyone had to sit on the floor and very small puppet characters came on stage to sing and dance. Since we had just did a meet and greet with the live characters outside, I assumed they would do the performing – but not the case. The small puppets weren’t very engaging for the kids – in my opinion – and it was a huge space and stage for some large characters to get in there!

The show itself was cute, I think there was room for improvement on it though!

After that we made our way over to check out some more of the Star Wars scene.

Side Note: I have a photo of my husband + myself on this very same Star Wars Speeder Bike – I need to find that picture and make a cute collage! 

The boys got their first look at Darth Vader + Kylo Ren as we watched the Jedi Training – next time I will TOTALLY sign them up ahead of time. This was so cute to watch.

 

We took a break for lunch + I was able to try a beer sampler at Baseline – lots of local and interesting brews to choose from. Right in the Star Wars area and a great spot to cool off from the heat.

 

Then Brooks and I made our way to use our next Fast Pass – Star Tours! An amazing and classic ride, which they have updated a bit, so much fun to be on, Brooks LOVED it and doesn’t stop talking about how awesome it was!

Side Note: While B and I did this, Graham saw Muppet Vision 3-D and had a great time.

On the way off the ride, obviously you are dropped into the best Star Wars merchandise store of all time ever. Brooks played with the ‘Make Your Own Driods’ for a while – such a cute idea.

His special treat for the day he picked out was ‘Make Your Own Light Saber’ – He personalized it to the max and it’s a really cool toy. Something I’m sure he will keep forever.

They even made him take a Jedi pledge {and I had them add in it that he can’t hit his brother with it} – worked like a charm! #DisneyMagic

Have you had enough Star Wars yet? We haven’t!

We then made our way over to the “A Galaxy Far, Far Away‘ show on the main stage. It was AMAZING and is on every hour.

We got to see all our favorites in a really cool show. They have done an amazing job with adding in all the Star Wars fun to the Disney Magic – its a great throwback with the old and the new.

After the show was the March of the First Order – a parade down Main Street.

Storm Troopers as far as the eye can see – magic for this little 4 year old.

Then it was threatening rain, so we made our way over to the Toy Story area to get out of the rain and see some more of our favorites – Buzz and Woody! 

We waited a bit to see them, but the boys entertained themselves and we stayed out of the rain. Plus it was more pure Disney Magic when they got to meet their two favorites.

Toy Story is the BEST.

And for even MORE Disney Magic – after meeting them we were able to ride Toy Story Mania THREE TIMES IN A ROW. I had been trying to get a Fast Pass for this ride for weeks, but day of there was nothing. With the rain I guess people got scared away and we were able to get Fast Pass after Fast Pass after Fast Pass.

It was a nice treat because the boys wanted to get in some rides and this is one of the only ones the littles can go on all together.

The boys were in HEAVEN and I was too.

The ride is fun, we got to sit down and we were out of the rain – win, Win, WIN!

After that we made our way over to see a Frozen Sing-Along – which was SUPER LAME. Basically it just showed the songs in the movie on a big screen and at the end for one minute the characters came out and it snowed. The characters should have been out the whole time, sort of a bummer but it was nice to sit down and get into the A/C. 

Other shows which I had seen before that were on my list were: Beauty and the Beast LIVE on Stage, Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular {which I know the boys would have LOVED} but we ran out of time. I also would have liked to take Brooks on the Tower of Terror – Because you ONLY have to be 40 INCHES TALL to go on it – but the lines were too long.

Next time.

We had a FULL DAY at Hollywood Studios with the kids and had a BLAST. Initially we planned on staying to see the fireworks – because Fantasmic! is incredible and I was dying to see the new Star Wars Light Show too – but figured it was better to get the kids home, spend a few hours in the pool at the hotel and quit while we were ahead. It worked out for the best and everyone enjoyed a relaxing + fun pool night!

Side Note: If you go to Disney make sure you get the popcorn bucket. $10 for the first one and only $1 to refill after that – we took FULL advantage of this.

And now its a sand bucket for the summer!

Hollywood Studios, you were so much fun and a great place to spend the day with two small kids {who are Stars Wars + Toy Story Obsessed!} I can’t wait to come back soon and see the new Toy Story Land + Stars Wars Galaxy’s Edge!

Be back SOON!

What’s your favorite Disney Park + thing to do there?

Please share! 

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VIDEO: A Day on Isla Mujeres, Mexico – Catamaran Sailing, MUSA Snorkeling + Golf Cart Tour of the Island

It’s our 7th Wedding Anniversary! I can’t believe it.

For a look back at wedding photos + recaps, check out this post. As a little treat for our special day, I wanted to make sure I had this Isla Mujeres video up today, to show the fun we had there on our trip.

I had so much fun putting together a video all about our stay in Mexico at Playa Mujeres, along with the amazing Light + Fire show we got to see. I had so much footage from our Mexican Getaway I had to split everything up into different clips – like our day trip to Isla Mujeres – which I’ve had a TON of questions about,  so I hope to answer them all here.

One of the days of our vacation we got up and made our way to board a Catamaran for an early morning ride to MUSA: The Underwater Museum of Art, which is right off the coast of Isla Mujeres. This contemporary museum is home to 500 sculptures which are down at the bottom of the ocean – they are meant to be a new place for tourists to dive, away from the struggling coral reef in the area that has been destroyed from various hurricanes in the past years. This museum has damaged coral reef placed throughout it with the hopes that a new reef will form eventually. It was very cool to see.

After our snorkeling excursion we made our way over to Isla Mujeres to check out the island. We rented a golf cart to go around it – which is around 4 miles tip to tip. We hit up the South Shore, which is home to a small Maya temple, along with amazing views and then we hit up the North Show beach, which is beautiful.

Here’s a look at our day, check it out and let me know what you think:

 

And here are a few snaps from the day:

The view from our Catamaran, which was such a great time. Cancun Sailing – I highly recommend!

Cancun in the distance.

On our snorkel adventure.

A first look at Isla Mujeres

In Pre-Columbian times the island was sacred to the Maya goddess of childbirth and medicine, Ixchel. When the Spanish arrived in the 16th century they named it “Isla Mujeres” because of the many images of goddesses – Spanish for “Women Island”

Views from the Southern Tip of the island, home to small Maya temple

And a jump shot, because it’s what I do. 

The views here are BEYOND.

The golf cart tour of the island takes about an hour if you don’t stop, we made a few pit stops to take some photos – it was nice to just explore. I think we spent around $30 US to have the golf cart for 2-3 hours on the island.

After our golf cart journey we hit up the North Shore area for lunch. I was recommended to me to check out Jax Bar + Grill. It was perfect – great views, drinks and the tacos were AMAZING.

Views from the North Shore Beach

outfit details: swim top / swim bottom

 

If you get the chance to visit Isla Mujeres – DO IT! It’s beautiful with lots of great things to see and do. We felt safe the whole time and had a really fun day. I hope you watch the video to see the rest of our trip!

Can’t wait to hear what you think – Thanks for watching!

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