Google Dollops of Diane

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Boston Ballet's Edge of Vision: Ticket Giveaway!


Last month I had the opportunity to attend my first ballet performance and now I'm passing along the opportunity to you!

Boston Ballet continues their spring Perception series with Edge of Vision, a triple bill program featuring three works commissioned by Boston Ballet: Jorma Elo’s highly anticipated world premiere, Bach Cello Suites; Helen Pickett’s Eventide, with new music, choreography, scenic designs and lighting; and Lila York’s rousing Celts which sets classical ballet, jigs, and speedy footwork to a mix of Irish music.  

Boston Ballet's Edge of Vision will run April 30 – May 10, 2015, at the Boston Opera House with tickets starting at $29. For more information, visit www.bostonballet.org or call 617-695-6955.

One lucky Dollops winner will receive a complimentary pair of tickets to the Saturday, May 9, 2015, 1pm performance. Whether you are a ballet veteran or a first timer, you are sure to have a great time! Winner must be able to attend this specific performance so check your calendar before you enter. Winner will be notified by May 3rd and will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. This is a quick giveaway so enter now!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Tickets were generously donate by the Boston Ballet and this post has been written in collaboration with them. As always, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Celebrating Earth Day in the Garden!

For the past few years, we have had a garden. I use the term "we" loosely because I honestly don't do anything with it! My husband has the green thumb in our family and he spends lots of time each spring/summer making sure that the garden is a success. The kids LOVE to help him and it melts my heart a little bit each time I see them working together on it. The excitement that they have when the first vegetables start popping up is so awesome. Getting the kids to eat those vegetables is a whole other story though!

The little gardeners currently have some seeds going in our garden beds and some taking roots in empty Stonyfield yogurt containers that we can bring inside.

 
 
This year, we were lucky enough to receive some High Mowing Organic Seeds to use in our garden. These seeds are 100% certified organic and non-GMO. 

 
 
To learn more about the philosophy of High Mowing Organic seeds, you can click HERE. You can also keep up to date on what they're offering by following them on Facebook HERE.

We can't wait to see how our garden does this year!

*Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with Stonyfield and High Mowing Organic Seeds. As a YoGetter Ambassador,  at times I receive free product and/or compensation. As always, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Nominate Your Favorite Teacher's Classroom For A Makover!

Teachers are a unique breed. They work day after day to shape the minds of our youth. It is HARD work and they often do it on very limited resources. That's one of the reasons that I'm happy to share with you a contest that could make your child's classroom (or any deserving classroom that you know!) a better place.
 
 
Velcro Industries and design expert Sabrina Soto have announced the launch of the inaugural “Classroom Makeover” contest and invite educators, parents, students and friends to nominate a teacher to receive a complete classroom update and makeover. In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8, 2015), the company and its brand ambassador, Sabrina Soto, will select a winning classroom entry then re-design and organize that classroom by integrating VELCRO® Brand products along with other design elements.

Nominations for Pre-K through grade 12 educational rooms are open to educators, students, parents or friends and must be received by April 30, 2015. All classrooms, resource rooms or formal learning areas are eligible for submissions. Entrants must submit two (2) photos of the room with a brief reason the educator and the classroom deserve to win. The winner will be selected and announced on May 5, 2015 – official National Teacher Appreciation Day. For additional rules or to enter, please click HERE.

This partnership and contest is just one way that Velcro Industries is helping with education initiatives around the world. For more information about their commitment to social and environmental work, please click HERE.

Nominations are being accepted now so go nominate a classroom and/or teacher that you think deserves to a classroom makeover!

*Disclaimer: This post was written in partnership with Velcro Industries in which I received complimentary products. As always, all opinions are my own.

Friday, April 3, 2015

UncommonGoods Review: Unique Gifts!

I was recently provided with the opportunity to try out a couple of items from UncommonGoods. Are you familiar with the company? UncommonGoods is a Brooklyn based, privately owned, company that strives to create hand crafted products in an environmentally responsible way. Half of what they sell is made by hand, one third of their collection is made of recycled/upcycled materials, and most products are made in the USA. Pretty cool, huh?

They have so many fun and different products that it was hard for me to pick which ones I wanted to check out. They have gifts for your home, kitchen, jewelry, accessories, men, women, and kids. So many options!  I decided to look through their Gifts For Mom section (which you can find HERE) and their Mother's Day selection (found HERE) to help guide me. Ultimately, I went with one fun item and one practical item.

First, I chose the Nesting Storage Containers because our Tupperware situation is out of control. Containers with no lids. Lids with no containers. Ugh, ugh, ugh. So I decided to take this opportunity to help get us organized. But before we even get to the containers, I just want to mention how fast and easy the shipping was. I'm very spoiled by Amazon Prime's two day shipping and sometimes when I order from another company it makes me feel like I'm waiting forever for the product to arrive. Not the case with UncommonGoods. My package arrived within just a couple of days! So back to the containers, here's a glimpse of their awesomeness:

 So colorful!
Not only do they all fit nicely inside each other, but they are also color coded so you know exactly which lids go with which bottoms. I'm hopeful that this will keep up organized for some time to come!

The other item I chose was the Upcycled Sari Clutch. In addition, to feeling like I always need another handbag, I loved the story behind this item. A group of artisans in a village outside of Rajastan, India cut assorted, old saris and stitch the pieces together to make these one of a kind bags. Really cool, right? I've been using it on nights out and getting lots of compliments! So unique and different.
My new clutch and I took in the ballet recently
So if you're looking for a unique gift for someone soon (Hint...Mother's Day is coming up!), go check out what UncommonGoods has to offer. I don't think you'll be disappointed!

*Disclosure: I received complimentary products in order to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

University Station (Westwood): Now Open!


Tuesday night I was invited to attend a sneak preview of Smashburger which opened this week at University Station in Westwood, MA. Perhaps, I've been living under a rock, but I had no idea that University Station even existed. I looked it up online and before even stepping foot on it's property, I knew I was in love. University Station is a mixed use (retail, commercial, and residential) location adjacent to the Route 128 MBTA/Amtrak Train station. Stores and restaurants just started opening in March so everything is brand new.

Currently, the following stores are open:

Target
Home Goods
Charming Charlie
Nordstrom Rack
David's Bridal
Petsmart
Dress Barn
Sports Authority
Famous Footwear
Ulta
Kay Jewelers
Marshalls
Michael's
Yankee Candlee

You can also grab some food or refreshments at:

Panera
Starbucks
Smashburger

Many more stores (including Wegmans) and restaurants (including Not Your Average Joe's) are opening throughout the spring, summer, and fall so you'll definitely want to check back often. You can click HERE for the most recent store updates.

So after finding this place and falling in love, I got to make all my dreams come true by sampling MANY burgers and shakes at Smashburger. Talk about a dream night!

Yum!

Double Yum!
This is Smashburgers second location in New England with plans on the horizon for more. The burgers start with 100-percent—fresh, never frozen, All-natural Certified Angus Beef and is smashed on a 400 degree flat grill to sear in the juicy flavor. The burgers are then served on toasted artisan buns and topped with a selection of fresh produce, real cheeses, and high-quality condiments. My favorite burger was the BBQ, Bacon, & Cheddar because, really how can you go wrong with that?! I also loved the Oreo Hand Spun-Shake as well as the Peanut Butter and Jelly one. Really there was deliciousness all around that night! You can check out their full menu (including regional specialties) HERE.

So if you're like me and didn't know that University Station existed, you should go check it out!

*Disclaimer: I attended a media preview event at Smashburger with samplings and received assorted goodies from University Station stores. As always, all opinions are my own.*

Monday, March 30, 2015

Big Apple Circus Metamorphosis: Review and Discount Code!

Isabelle, Daniel, and I headed to Boston yesterday to see the Big Apple Circus. It was supposed to be a fun, entire family trip but poor Henry has been sick since Thursday night and wasn't up for the big show. Luckily, Henry was able to go all by himself with me last year and the kids and I brought him home a souvenir this year to help soften the blow.
Camel Clown
Neither Isabelle nor Daniel had been to the circus before so they were beyond excited when I broke the news to them in the car. They were thrilled to enter the tent and take in all the magic and excitement. Before heading to our seats, I picked them each up a box of popcorn from the concession stand. One of the things that I like about the Big Apple Circus is that the food, concessions, and even (some of) the souvenirs are not as outrageously priced as at other big events. Boxes of popcorn (which are plenty big enough to share except I was having them eat it in lieu of dinner!) were $4/each. Not nearly as bad as some other shows (or even the movies!). 

We then headed to our seats and Isabelle nearly died when we realized that they were in the front row. We couldn't have been closer to the action if we tried! No matter where you are though, you are not far from the show. Each seat under the tent is no more than 50 feet from the ring. It is close and intimate! Daniel (age 4) was a little nervous about Francesco the Clown because he was doing silly things with people in the audience and bringing some people (including my friend Sharon's family members!) into the ring. I assured Daniel that I wouldn't let the clown touch him or bring him in the ring and that seemed to be enough for him.

The whole show was amazing though. Isabelle said her favorite act were the Anastasini Brothers when they foot juggled EACH OTHER. Yes, why juggling bowling pins when you can juggle your own brother on your feet?



Daniel's favorite act was when the Aniskin Troupe did twists and turns at ridiculous heights on the trampoline. They were also the same guys who did the trapeze act. Seriously, no fear of heights (or falls! with them!



My favorite act this year was probably Vladimir and Olga Smirnov who did a crazy costume change act. Although it doesn't sound like much, Olga seriously changed costumes in the blink of an eye. She must have had at least 15 different outfits on in a 5 minute time period and changed them all right in front of us! How did she do it? Where were all the costumes hidden? More importantly, can I teach my kids to get changed that fast?!


Oh, and the animals this year! So, so many! I am pretty sure last night was the closest I will ever be to a camel in my life. At one point when a horse was running around the ring, he stuck his head out and Daniel and I both jumped back in our seats because he was so close. We then both burst out laughing. Really, I think that's what the whole circus is about - unexpected moments and lots of laughter!


Big Apple Circus presents METAMORPHOSIS in its annual Boston engagement at City Hall Plaza from Tuesday, March 24 through Sunday, May 10, 2015Save 20% per order for select performances, use the code APPLE* when buying tickets online at http://www.bigapplecircus.org/  or by phone at  888-541-3750, and at the box office.

  *Limited availability. Offer good on select seats and shows. Other conditions apply. Children under 3 are free on the lap of a paid adult, one child per lap.

**Disclaimer: My family was provided complimentary tickets to the show to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Boston Ballet's Shades Of Sound Review!

Last week, I had the opportunity to head out to opening night of Shades of Sound performed by the Boston Ballet. The show consisted of three different works featuring Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, George Balanchine’s Episodes, and Hans van Manen’s Black Cake that were all amazing in their own right.  It was my first trip to the ballet (ever!) and a great night out. 

Here are some pictures of just some of the amazing moves that we saw...

Chroma
Episodes
Black Cake
You can check out my full review of the show HERE over at the Family Friendly Boston website. Shades of Sound will perform at the Boston Opera House until March 29th. Get your tickets HERE!

*I received complimentary tickets in order to facilitate the review for Family Friendly Boston. As always, all opinions are my own. Photos courtesy of Rosalie O'Connor and the Boston Ballet.

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