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Event Recap

Event Recap

Supermom Culture Weekend

The first weekend in February was spent in Atlanta at the very first Supermom Culture weekend. Our host was the owner of Supermom Culture, Trina Small. I know Trina from the blogging world and she has become a great business woman.

On Supermom weekend, we danced the first night away with Blue Chair Bay Rum, the sponsor with DJ Ty Alexander and conversations with Myleik Teele.

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Saturday morning we started early with a dance work, led by Renate. OMG, I wish this lady was in Tampa. It was a good sweat for sure. That afternoon, we listened to a panel on motherhood and finances.

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I was also able to speak and share a little about The Knighten Project. Trina chose The Knighten Project as her charity of choice this year, as a portion of the sales tickets will go towards my non-profit. The Knighten Project provides brand new suitcases for teens aging out of foster care and fill them everyday essentials. Trina’s donation will bless so many teens. We are SUPER grateful over here!

Saturday evening, we had so much fun at the Supermom comedy show. Every single comedian was funny! I went to the event alone but knew so many women from my blogging & business years. It was like a reunion for real.

And how can I forget about the SWAG bag! I don’t have pics of it because I had to make room in my suitcase (it was so much) and I was afraid I would have to leave some behind. But, I got it packed and once I arrived home, I just put it up. But OMG – it was massive! Outside of Blue Chair Bay Rum & Band-aids, every product was from a black women owned business.

If you follow Supermom Culture on IG, check out her recap of the event and don’t miss next year.

Event Recap

Our First Le Diner en Blanc (Tampa) Experience

Are you familiar with the whole Le DIner en Blanc experience? When I ask people, it’s usually 50/50. The people that have heard of it, love the experience and have great things to say about it. The people that haven’t usually have the opposite response when you tell them what’s all involved.

I learned about Le Diner en Blanc when I lived in Atlanta through social media. One night I was on FB (or Meta) and saw my friends in all white having a blast in the middle of Peachtree in front of the Fox Theatre, in the street with hundreds of other people. Now when I lived in Atlanta, I was (at least I like to think I was) in the who’s who and was invited to many things. However, when I learned this was invite only and I knew nothing about it – my ears perked up and I went into research mode.

I learned that Le Diner en Blanc was started with just a handful of friends by François Pasquier in 1988, Le Dîner en Blanc® de Paris continues to assemble close to 10,000 guest every year. In 2018 a record 17,000 guests from Paris and around the world gathered at the Esplanade des Invalides to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Le Dîner en Blanc® began as a strictly word-of-mouth event. Today, it has grown to rely on the Internet and social media to communicate with its members and others who are curious about the event. Although the technology behind this fantastic event may have changed over the years, the principles fueling it have not; guests continue to gather at a secret location with the sole purpose of sharing a gourmet meal with good friends at the heart of one of their city’s most beautiful locations.

What are the key rules of the event?

Le Dîner en Blanc® is quite different from other special events. The evening takes place in a crowded public place that was not designed for such a purpose. Dîner en Blanc must necessarily remain controlled in order to continue holding future events.

  • In order to participate, guests must be a member or be sponsored by a member from the previous year, or they must sign up to official website’s waiting list.
  • Once confirmed, each guests’ participation in the event becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions, as Dîner en Blanc is a rain or shine event.
  • Participants arrive and then depart in unison by chartered bus or organized public transportation.
  • They take all of their belongings with them at the end of the night, including leftovers and trash, and they leave the site as clean as it was upon arrival.

My experience

Well, this was the first time they were having this event in Tampa. My husband was my guest, but my friend Jessica came as well with her close friend. My experience started out rocky with communicating with my team lead. Our event was on November 6th. We were able to get our tickets only 3 weeks before the actual event. So time was precious. There are certain things you have to have/do to attend. They also assign you table/group leaders to answer your questions up until the actual event. I emailed my table lead a question about a table, she didn’t respond for 6 days! That’s almost a week. I’m glad we didn’t wait on her or we would have been out of gas.

Our Prep

We had to purchase/bring a table (it had to be a certain size), white chairs, table cloths, napkins, we bought gold silverware, white plates with gold trim (our china) and a centerpiece. Not to mention our outfits. You can bring your own food or purchase it there. We bought it through them. We enjoyed it. Oh, you have to buy your wine through them and only bring coke products if you’re not drinking wine or champagne. 

Here’s an Amazon list for all things Diner en Blanc.

When we arrived, we called our group leader. WRONG NUMBER. The person that answered the phone gave me another wrong number, then never picked up when I called back or returned my text for help. So, once we parked we walked to a couple different spots looking for our table lead. No one could help. It was frustrating. Not only was the number wrong, our table/group lead was not doing anything to find her people. She could have put something in the message boards and/or walked around to find us (her people). It was a mess and I thought my night was going to suck if this event is starting out like this. We finally found her after walking around with a wagon full of things for 30-40 minutes. PISSED. **It would be one thing if it were just us that were lost, but it was almost her whole group that was lost.**

One cool thing is you don’t know where you’re going to be dining until you get to the spot. When we arrived it was the Tampa zoo parking lot. We just figured we’d be in the zoo because once you park, you never walk farther than 6 minutes, so it had to be the zoo. It was the zoo.

Let me also say this, they told us our outfits has to be papercopy white. No ivory, cream, nude … but WHITE WHITE. We were at home stressing hard. I even bought another white outfit because my original dress was a tad darker than copy paper. When we got there … people had on ALL TYPES OF WHITE!! SMH! One girl had on a straight nude dress with snake skin boots! There was NO white in it! 99% of people had on white white, but for the few that tried it, they got by because no one was checking looks or anything else. I was kind of disappointed in that because we went to great lengths to do all the right things and no one was making sure everyone did what they were supposed to do.

Once we finally got in, we set up our table and the fun began. It didn’t take long to set up. My husband got our food and wine and we started taking pics. Tradition is, you do the napkin spin then eat. Luckily, we had a lady sit next to us that has been to multiple Le Diners and she told us all of tips and tricks. After we ate, we did the infamous sparkle light, then it was time to dance the night away. (Video footage below)

I promise that DJ must have known I was coming because he played all of my hits. I danced like I was in college or right out of college. We had a ball. Everyone had great energy and it was just a great night. We left around 9:30. It really was a night to remember. Would I do it again, absolutely. Would I do it in another city. Yes.

I hear DC is the best! I’ve had friends tell me about their experiences in Atlanta, Dallas, Orlando, Jacksonville, Chicago, and New York. If I get the opportunity to go next year, sign me up!

Have you been? What’s your experience?

Event Recap Family

Our First NBA Experience at Disney Springs (Video & Pictures)

nba experience_Bernettastyle 2

I will be honest, I sit with my husband and watch football but it’s not my jam. I know what a touchdown is, but outside of that, I have questions. Now basketball is my sport. I love it. I fell in love with the game in high school, in the peak of the Micheal Jordan era. It helped that I am from Chicago. 

This past Saturday, my family was invited to the NBA Experience that recently opens in Disney Springs. I knew my kids would have a blast, but secretly I was excited for myself too.

What is NBA Experience?

From pre-game prep and behind-the-scenes training to game day and the incredible excitement of being crowned a world champion, you’ll discover what it’s like to be a professional basketball player!

Check out our video:

When you enter, it’s an NBA store featuring jersey’s, hats, bags and many other things with a basketball, NBA & Disney theme. If you want to experience more of what the NBA is actually about, you pay a fee, to enter the NBA Experience.

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The NBA Experience is a two-story extravaganza full of 13 different interactive games, trivia, films, and more opportunities to learn about the NBA but be fully immersed in the basketball culture. We left learning more about behind the scenes of the NBA and personally more appreciation for the players of the game. 

Price

$34 per ticket ages 10+ and up
$29 per ticket ages 3-9 

Games

We spent about 3 hours here trying every single thing and a few things twice! We are a competitive bunch so of course, we play to win, over and over again.

Games that test your physical skill:

  • Dribble
  • Dunk 
  • Combine

Interactive games:

  • Slingshot
  • Trivia

Photo opportunities that make you feel apart of the NBA Experience:

  • Champions
  • Game Day

More about a few of our favorites at the NBA Experience:

bernettastyle_nbaexperienceCombine – Stand out from the Crowd
Explore the science behind the sport as you put your skills to the test through a series of Combine drills. You’ll get real-time feedback on your performance to see how you measure up to an NBA or WNBA player.

Trivia – Get your Brain in the Game
Test your knowledge of the NBA and all of its leagues—past and present—in a competitive game of trivia. The heat is on as you compete against up to 24 other players, as well as the clock.

Champions – That Winning Feeling
Relive the NBA and WNBA’s rich history in the Hall of Champions, from buzzer-beaters to championship victories. The history of these organizations is at your fingertips—so you can follow the journeys of legends whose names have been etched into NBA immortality.

Replay – Be the Ref!
Championships are made not only by super-human player abilities and razor-sharp coaching acumen but also by the split-second decision-making of officials. All it takes is one call to shift a team’s momentum and be the difference between a win and a loss; those who go home with a championship trophy, and those who just go home.

Do you have what it takes to make the right call? Correct calls will earn points and, more importantly, bragging rights among fellow “couch refs!”

Theaters
The NBA Experience is home to 2 custom-made theaters showing new, short films that will draw you into the world of the fan and the player. Here, you’ll be connected to the game through immersive storytelling and unique visual and audio methods.

bernettastyle_nbaexperience2NBA Highlight

One of the highlights of the day was meeting former NBA Star, Quentin Richardson. He was there enjoying the experience with his two sons. I learned that he is from the Chicago area just like me. He also currently lives in Florida (just like me!)

He shared that he thought the NBA Experience was amazing and his boys were having an amazing time.

nba experience_bernettastyle3More fun!

My husband and I enjoyed that our children could enjoy the NBA Experience regardless of their age or basketball level. Regardless of my basketball level too! Hahahahah!!

experience_bernettastyle4nba experience_bernettastyle5bernettastyle_nba experiene7bernettastyle_nba experiene6There is so much to show and share about our day that you really have to experience this for yourself. Disney Springs is one of my favorite places and to be able to enjoy shopping and eating with some interactive basketball fun adds to the experience. 

Follow the #NBAExperience on social media to see all the fun other families and influencers are having. 

Get your tickets and more information HERE. 

Event Recap Family

Our First Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

If you love food and wine, plus live in Florida you’ve definitely heard about the Epcot Food and Wine Festival which is taking place in the park from August 29 to November 23, 2019. It’s one of those must-attend once in your life type of events. It’s hard to believe it’s been around for 24 seasons. It takes place every fall and goes for 87 days! 

My family was invited to attend the festival and enjoy everything it had to offer. They gave me four passes and we took the two youngest children. They enjoyed it because they are so used to going to the Magic Kingdom, so Epcot was refreshing with amazing rides and new experiences. 

However, if we get invited back next year, we’re bringing 2 adults with us. Why? So we can try the wine! Joking, but serious.

Why should you attend the Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Here are a few reasons:

It’s International!

If you’ve ever visited Epcot on a general visit, you know that you actually are immersed in the culture from many different countries. One minute you’re in the Netherlands, the next you’re in Paris. They literally make you feel as if you’ve gone around the world. At the food and wine festival, it’s the same experience but now you get to experience food (including desserts) and spirits from those areas. You’re tasting amazing dishes from around the world. 

You do have to pay for what you want to try. They are food stations in every country with prices ranging from $3- $12, so it adds up in addition to paying full price to enter. 

Entertainment

All food and no music is no good! Disney gives you a full concert nightly throughout the run of the festival. Each night there is something fun to do. The day we attended, they had:

  • Disney Du Jour Dance Party
  • Eat to the Beat Concert Series (you enjoy a concert with different guests nightly.)
  • IlluniNations Dessert Party
  • IlluniNations: Reflections of Earth

Rides

Now although you want to enjoy food and wine, you can’t come to Disney without enjoying the rides. I was sharing with my husband that I love that Disney gives you an experience when you ride.

They pay attention to every detail so even when you’re standing in line, you feel like you’re entering a new world. It’s so much fun. We rode Soarin’, Nemo, Living on the Land, an Earth Ride, and another Space ride. A few were new for all of us. 

More Information 

The 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, takes place in the park from August 29 to November 23, 2019. If you want to attend the Food and Wine Festival, here’s a map to help you plan out where you would like to start.

epcot food and wine map

They have special events (some free with reservations), like food and wine pairings and celebrity chef visits. You need to check the listing for times. 

I think the best way to make the most of the experience is to go with people that want to try a variety of things. That way you all can taste test each other’s dishes. You personally can’t try everything. There are over 40 countries to visit, you would be full by number 20! However, try everything you can. That’s part of the fun. 

There is also still time to visit Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and then Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas. Disney has everything covered! 

Follow the hashtag #TasteEpcot on social media to see how other families are enjoying the festival. 

Event Recap Family

I Shared My T1D Story at the Motivated Mom Retreat

My second time attending the Motivated Mom Retreat in Dallas was just as amazing as the first time. Maybe even more amazing!

The Motivated Mom Retreat created by LaToyia Dennis was held at the Omni in Irving, Texas from Friday through Sunday. All three days, we enjoyed relaxation, impartation, and restoration. I was even allowed to share my story on Sunday morning in the Momeries segment. 

Here are a few favorite highlights from The Motivated Mom Retreat:

Pajama Party

motivated momFriday night we were all given Bamboo pajamas (which feel amazing on my skin by the way) and had dinner while watching a documentary on entrepreneurship. After dinner, we had a karaoke party! Of course, I had to get up there and perform Mary J. Blige, Just Fine! 

Yoga

I’ve done Yoga before, but never with friends. I’m glad my high school friend Julie who attended the retreat with me was able to enjoy trying something new. We got up early Saturday morning and did Yoga with the other attendees and found our zen. Julie mentioned she has never felt so good and when she gets back to Chicago she will start doing Yoga.

Fashion Show

I’m officially a Motivated Mom Model. I’m just joking, but Julie and I were selected to model for the fashion show during lunch. I loved my outfit so much, I bought it afterward. My outfit was from www.HandBagsULike.com

Cocktails and Converse

Latoyia has a non-profit called a Chance to Learn. On Saturday night, her non-profit hosted a Fundraiser called Cocktails and Converse. How does it work? You were your cutest cocktail dress with your most fly converse. During the dinner, Dondre Whitfield, (The Cosby Show, Queen Sugar, and Black Love) was our keynote speaker.

He was amazing and dropped so many nuggets about relationships, parenting, and life. I actually got a chance to meet him afterward, he was such a sweetheart. I didn’t let him know he was my first celebrity crush though! He’s still so attractive. 

Paddle Board

Ok! So, I really wanted to do this activity but I thought they said paddle boating! We were all ready to get into the boat! When we arrived, we learned it was paddle boarding and honestly I was just nervous about falling in that water.

However, it was so fun watching the women who did get on the boards. If it was at the beach or a pool, I would have done it easily. 

  1. I had crochet hair in my head. 
  2. That canal water was GREEN from algae. So that was a NO.
  3. Two women did fall in.

Momories

In this segment, 6 moms were selected to share a personal story that has shaped who are they are now. These stories ranged from how it feels to not be able to be a mother to a mother who recently lost her teenage child.

When I tell you it was tears running down our faces, omg! What I will continue to reinforce, you will never know a person’s story or what’s behind their smile, frown or tears. Be kind.

Here’s my story. 

motivated mom 4

Overall my time in Dallas was so much fun. The retreat was a much-needed event for me. My friend Julie shared how much this experience changed her life. I’m crossing my fingers that Latoyia does this again next year. From what I experienced, Dallas is a beautiful city and so are the people.  

Btw, my dress was designed by Whitney Mero. I just love her handmade dresses.

Event Recap Motherhood

Our First Disney Villains After Hours #VillainsAfterHours

Disney is known for having events after the parks close to give park goers a different experience. We’ve been blessed to experience quite a few of those events:

Last week was a first for us as we attended Disney Villains After Hours. 

What is Disney Villains After Hours

Disney Villains After Hours is a specially ticketed event that invites a limited number of guests to experience the park for an additional three hours after it closes. Yes, you will be at Disney World until 1am.

We experienced all the wicked fun of this special event, including specialty food & beverage and the new “Villains Unite the Night” stage show, featuring Hades, Meg, Jafar, Dr. Facilier, The Queen and Maleficent. We were also caught off guard when a certain fire-breathing dragon came roaming through the middle of Magic Kingdom.

There were also villainous enhancements to classic attractions and special photo opportunities. We saw so many guest dressed up as their favorite villain! 
 
Things to Know:
  • Disney Villains After Hours occurs on select nights from June 6 to Aug. 8 and requires special admission.
  • Annual Pass-holders and Disney Vacation Club Members receive a $30 discount on event admission.
  • Admission opens at 7 p.m. with the event beginning at 10 p.m. and ending at 1 a.m.
  • Ice cream novelties, popcorn and select bottled beverages are included in the price of admission.
  • Villain character greetings are not part of this event.

#VillainsAfterHours

What makes #VillainsAfterHours Different

If you’ve never been to an after hours event, I would suggest if you’re ever in Orlando get a ticket. Here are a few reasons why we love going at night. 

  • Weather -Florida is HOT! During the day, especially in the summer time it feels unbearable. Night time brings a nice comfortable breeze which allows you to enjoy the park. You don’t feel rushed or drained, especially if you take advantage of the early hour accommodations. 
  • Fireworks – If you come early (around 7pm), you can still the final firework show around 9:30pm right before the after hours activities start. It’s the perfect way to start the evening. 
  • A Brand-New Disney Villains Stage Show – Hades and Meg from “Hercules” will set the castle stage ablaze in this all-new stage show, Villains Unite the Night, which will also feature appearances by Jafar, The Queen, Dr. Facilier and Maleficent.
  • Specially made food and drinks – A variety of special food & beverage offerings will also be available for purchase, including tasty desserts, drinks and dishes inspired by The Queen, Cruella de Vil, Maleficent, Hades, Dr. Facilier and even Emperor Zurg.

  • Spot Maleficent the Dragon –  Maleficent the Dragon, with her Steampunk style and signature wicked grin, will be let loose for the first time at night – breathing fire as she creeps through the park as a one-of-a-kind experience for party guests.
  • Short lines! Let me say it again, SHORT LINES! We were able to ride rides back to back because the lines were so short. You didn’t need a fast pass. 

#VillainsAfterHours_BernettaStyle#VillainsAfterHours

Disney Villains After Hours tickets cost $139 plus tax in advance, $144 plus tax on the event night. 

Here are the event dates for Disney Villains After Hours:

  • Thursday, June 6, 2019
  • Thursday, June 13, 2019
  • Thursday, June 20, 2019
  • Thursday, June 27, 2019
  • Monday, July 1, 2019
  • Thursday, July 11, 2019
  • Thursday, July 18, 2019
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019
  • Thursday, August 1, 2019
  • Thursday, August 8, 2019

#VillainsAfterHours#VillainsAfterHours#VillainsAfterHoursHave you been to Villains After Dark or any other Disney After Hours event? I’d love to hear your experience and what your favorite part of the night. 

Check out my IG highlights on my IG Page – Look under Disney Villains. 

Event Recap

The Refillery is Open for Business!

The Refillery

Doing laundry is really not my thing anymore. Seriously, my husband has been in charge of the laundry in our home for the last seven years. THANK YA GOD!

When I was pregnant my husband wanted to take something off of my plate and told me he would start doing the laundry. Now 7 years later, he is still doing it. I have no complaints!

Recently, we were invited to visit The Refillery in St.Petersburg, Fl. to learn about Molly Suds and what actually is a refillery. After we did our research, my husband was EXCITED and here’s why… 

What is The Refillery?

Bring your own containers (or purchase an empty container with them) and refill your laundry detergents, household cleaners, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen and more.

Products & Brands available for refill: 

  • Molly’s Suds Delicate Laundry Liquid (for sweaters, swim and other delicates)
  • Molly’s Suds Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • Molly’s Suds Oxygen Whitener 
  • Molly’s Suds Powdered Laundry Detergent (Peppermint and Unscented)
  • Molly’s Suds Sink Scrub (Citrus, Beach, and Lavender) 
  • Stream2Sea Sunscreen 20SPF
  • Stream2Sea Tinted Sunscreen 30SPF
  • Stream2Sea Conditioning Shampoo & Bodywash
  • Stream2Sea Leave-In Conditioner
  • Castile Soap – Unscented, Lavender, and Tea Tree
  • Baby & Kid Body Wash
  • Unscented Shower Gel
  • Carina Organics Shampoo, Conditioner, Leave-In Conditioner, and Hair Spray
  • Lufka Lotions, Scrubs, Toothpaste, and Soaps
  • Dish detergent pods (lemon)
  • and more!

We were given a tour by the owner & creator of Molly’s Suds/The Refillery, Monica Leonard, as she shared her story of how Molly’s Suds was created. 

Molly’s Suds was started in 2008 by Monica, a pediatric nurse & mother of four, inspired by the loss of her stillborn daughter, Molly. During her research, she learned:

In the United States alone 80,000 chemicals were approved for use by the TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) and yet only 200 of the toxins were tested for human safety. Each year the list of chemicals change. Furthermore, a report by the US Department of Health and Human Services proves that mothers pass chemicals to their babies via pregnancy and breast milk. Newborn baby cord blood and amniotic fluid had multiple non-natural toxins detected in it! Traces of nearly 300 of the chemicals were from toxins in food, personal care, environmental and household products. She knew right then, they had a responsibility to teach others about these toxins, and to make a difference. Source.

With the refillery, you will have access to many non-toxic items for your home that you use everyday. Just bring your jar and refill what you need at an affordable cost that will keep you coming back. We live one hour from the refillery, but agreed that it’s worth the drive to come and stock up on these items. 

More Cool Things About The Refillery:

They also other eco-friendly brands they carry:

  • Balm Baby
  • Brush with Bamboo (Bamboo Straws)
  • Elevated by Taylors
  • KOOSHOO Organic Hair Ties (without plastic)
  • LunchSkins Reusable Sandwich Bags
  • Molly’s Suds – Wool Dryer Balls, Glass Spray Bottles, Stain Brush
  • Strawesome Glass Straws
  • UKonserve
  • WooBamboo
  • and more!

Visit their DIY Bar where you can purchase the following products by the ounce/mL to create your favorite DIY recipes: 

  • Epsom Salt
  • Bath Salt
  • Himalayan Bath Salt
  • Citric Acid
  • Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
  • Activated Charcoal
  • Bentonite Clay
  • Witch Hazel
  • Aloe Vera Liquid
  • Dried Flowers
  • and more!

Their GRAND OPENING is Earth Day, April 22nd! 

Go forth and REFILL with amazing non-toxic items for your home and body! 

Check out more about the Refillery here:

Social Media:
Event Recap

3 Little Movie Lessons That Are Actually Huge!

When we first saw the previews, we (my children and I) knew we wanted to see the movie Little, starting Marsai Martin, Regina Hall, and Issa Rae. I was happy to be able to get tickets to screen it a few days early.

If you’ve seen the trailer,  you know that Little is about a take no prisoner boss who steps on everyone in her path. One day she says the wrong things to the wrong little girl and she puts a curse on her. The spell basically turns Jordan (Regina Hall & Marsai Martin) back into a 13-year-old girl. 

Just watching 13-year-old Jordan trying to navigate an adult world as a 13-year-old is hilarious. April (Issa Rae) is her assistant that basically helps her navigate through this strange time in her life. However, there are a few bumps in the road along the way. 

Here are three BIG lessons we learned from LITTLE:

Every Bully has a Reason “Why” they Bully.

Nobody loves a bully for obvious reasons. How many people take the time to see why he/she is actually well – bullying. Many times its deep-rooted issues that they can’t fix, so they take it out on other people. 

In the movie Little, the main character, Jordan, was bullied in middle school, so when she grew up she bullied people. She hurt people before they could hurt her again, and anything that remotely felt like niceness was considered weak.

Fear Can Paralyze You.

Fear is a big reason many people don’t do the things that they want to do. Even I have been crippled with fear. I’ve had to help people get over the fear and vice versa. The sad thing is fear is all in our minds. When we realize that we are more powerful then we give ourselves credit for, we can/will soar!

Little, shows us how Jordan’s personal fear allowed her to build a wall around her. This wall kept people out who wanted to love her and genuinely see her succeed. She looked around and learned she had no healthy relationships because of the fear of letting people get too close.

When You Get a Second Change Take it.

Not everyone gets a second chance at life. When the chance comes take it! Do you need to apologize to someone? Do you need to make something right? Or do you just need a good old do-over? 

Jordan got an unexpected chance to redo 13 again and her middle school years. This also happens to be the period that changed her life. This was her opportunity at a second chance. She almost let history repeat itself. 

Little

Have you seen Little yet? My children LOVED it and can’t wait to see it again. I enjoyed looking over at them laughing with big smiles on their faces. I loved that they had parts they could relate to as tweens and teens, in addition to things I could relate to as an adult. 

There are a couple of sexual references and April (Issa Rae) is constantly telling men in the movie, “You can get it!” In addition to a brief comment about it being dried up “down there”. If you can get past those things, your tweens should be fine. 

If you’ve already seen this movie, I’d love you hear your thoughts! What did your children think? What was your favorite part? 

Event Recap

More than Just Rides: The Florida State Fair 2019

When I was growing up we didn’t have a state fair. If we did, I didn’t know about it. We had what we called a carnival to come to town and set up in our local plaza shopping center.

Our carnivals had rides, games, and food. We really looked forward to going to it because the closest amusement park to us was Six Flags Great America. And with that being about 1 hour away, I can count on one hand how many times we went there (Six Flags).

Fast forward umpteen years, I’m now living in Florida and finally attending the Florida State Fair. When you have your states name in the title, you know you have to represent. You really must go big or go home. I’ve never been to anything like it. Last year was my family’s first time going and I think I wrote a post about how I wore the wrong shoes. I learned the hard way.

This year, I was prepared for the walk, fun and the food!

OMG the Food!

The only way they won’t suck you into eating at the fair is if you eat right before you come and get totally full. Otherwise, you’re going to want to buy and try everything you pass.

Our kids weren’t that adventurous and decided on hamburgers and chicken tenders. Right before we left the fair, they tried a funnel cake.

I didn’t eat anything because although they say, “Leave your diet at the door” when you go to the fair. I have body goals I’m trying to reach by next month.

Here are price and dates for the Florida State Fair:

Dates: February 7th – 18th

Adult – Monday through Thursday $11
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday $13

Children – ages 6-11
Monday through Thursday $6
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday $7
Parking is FREE!

Midway Ride Armbands
Weekday Armband – $25 at the gate.
Good for use only on February 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 

Any Day Armband – $35 at the gate.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

History of the Florida State Fair

Food and rides are great, but the Florida State Fair has so much more to offer.  That first Fair was in 1904 and had simple attractions that was held in a single building on a 27-acre plot. In 1915, the South Florida Fair and Gasparilla Carnival were officially incorporated with the Secretary of State office in Tallahassee. This new Fair became known as the Florida State Fair. 

In February of 1977, the first Fair was held at the location it’s still held today, near Interstate 4 and U.S Highway 301 in eastern Hillsborough County. The 330-acre site sits just seven miles from its original downtown Tampa location. Today, the 12-day Florida State Fair attracts up to 500,000 guests. Each year, Florida residents create exhibits to show off their skills in agriculture, horticulture, crafts and more. Source

More than Just Rides

The fair is an experience. If you never get on one ride, you will still have a great time. There are so many different types of shows and entertainment, that you probably couldn’t fit it all in one day. Check out the entertainment page here.

What I hate that I missed the most was the Wine and Juice competition! Who knew?! I’m so there next year.

If you’re in Florida in February, visit the Florida State Fair. Take the full day and experience everything. Oh! Wear good shoes!

Have you been to the Florida State Fair or even your local fair? What do you like most about attending?

Event Recap

Yes, Seeing Trucks Crush Each Other is a Family Fun Event! Monster Jam 2019

If you would have told me a few years ago, I would be in Florida enjoying watching trucks crush cars and doing backflips, I would have laughed a deep belly laugh. Family fun

However, here I am 2.5 years in (living in Tampa) and at Monster Truck Jam enjoying every minute of it. It is funny how when you move to a new area, you adapt to change.

Sometimes, it’s actually fun.

This is my 3rd Monster Truck Jam and my family still likes going to these events.

Monster Truck Jam Winter dates were Jan. 12th and Feb 2nd. We attended the Feb 2nd show (this past Saturday).

What is Monster Truck Jam?

Monster Jam®, is the most action-packed live event on four wheels where world-class drivers compete in front of capacity crowds around the globe. Monster Jam features high octane spontaneous entertainment and intense competition, featuring the most recognizable trucks in the world.

Each Monster Jam truck is approximately 10.5 feet tall, 12.5 feet wide, 17 feet long and weighs 12,000 pounds. The truck bodies are custom-built and constructed of fiberglass. Each truck is transported in specially prepared trailers, which can include spare parts and as many as two trucks. Source

To get the full experience, you need to do these 3 things:

  1. Tailgate – just like at a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, bring your coolers, mini grills, drinks (if that’s your thing) and games for the kids.
  2. Enjoy the Pit Party – This is where the magic happens. Many Monster Jam events start with a pre-show Pit Party, which gives fans the best opportunity to meet the drivers and get autographs or pictures. These Pit Parties require a separate admission ticket, along with a ticket for the Monster Jam show.
  3. Be engaged in the event and ready to vote for your favorite performance on www.JudgeZone.com. The entire event is a contest with one major winner. After each contest, you get to vote with a score between 1 and 10 and it shows immediately on the screen.

On this last visit, it started to pour down raining during the freestyle competition. We had to quickly run inside and watch a good portion on the tv screens inside the Raymond James Stadium.  When it stopped raining, we wiped off our seats and watched the rest of the show.

Three competitions in one:

There are three different contest. There are individual winners in each category, but overall there is one winner. 

  1. Race
  2. Two-Wheel Competition
  3. Freestyle

My favorite part of Monster Jam is when I see a truck driver do something I’ve never seen before. I’m always looking for a creative trick. This year, there were two trucks that actually did a backflip and landed on its 4 tires without crashing or turning over. It was perfect.

Bernetta Jackson-Knighten on Vimeo.

When Monster Jam comes to your town, take your family. I promise it’s a different type of fun. Also, don’t think it’s just for boys either. My daughter was the main one voting after each performance.

You can check the Monster Jam website for dates, times and prices. Also, check out the #MonsterJam on social media. You might just see a familiar family on Twitter! 

Event Recap W.I.F.E

Why #DisneyAfterHours & Date Night are a Good Combination

Do you remember the first time you went to Walt Disney World?

I do.

My husband actually took me to Walt Disney World for our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife. We visited Magic Kingdom & Hollywood Studios. I felt like a big kid then, and I felt like a big kid this past Friday night when we visited Hollywood Studios again 15 years later #kidfree. 

(These are pictures from our first time at Walt Disney World & Hollywood Studios)

Although over the last few years, we’ve visited Disney World (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot) – every single time our children were with us, of course!

A few weeks ago, I received an email invite to #DisneyAfterHours and thought it was the perfect opportunity for us to leave the kids at home.

What is #DisneyAfterHours?

What’s different about Disney After Hours is that it gives a limited number of Guests access to unforgettable experiences on select nights through April 2019. The purpose is to keep the crowds light so you can enjoy every aspect of the park without long lines or major wait times. 

Disney After Hours starts at 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm, but you are welcome to come as early as 7 pm. So that’s 3, maybe 4 hours that you have to enjoy 3 of the 4 Walt Disney Parks:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Hollywood Studios

Ride exciting attractions, meet your favorite characters and play BIG at Toy Story Land! You’ll enjoy little-to-no-wait times at*:

3 Reasons I Enjoyed #DisneyAfterDark

1. No lines & Mickey! You didn’t need a fast pass because there were no major lines for rides. You could walk right on and ride multiple times. We also got to take pictures with Mickey and Minnie with ease. 

2. Free popcorn & ice cream. Yes, there are stations all around the park with treats for you. You get popcorn, ice cream, fruit bars, and assorted drinks. There are some restaurants open, but those come with a cost. 

3. Great for Date Night. With only 3 hours to enjoy #DisneyAfterDark, it was perfect for me and my husband. We have three children, so it was great to be able to move around and not worry where the kids are. It was perfect for us to experience so much of Disney in the given time frame.

My Date Night!

When we arrived and walked through the gates, I immediately felt the nostalgia that is Disney. Hollywood Studios was decorated with beautiful Christmas decorations. 

The night was clear and the weather was perfect. All we needed was a light jacket. We rode every ride we could, a few of them twice. I finally got to experience Toy Story Land. I’ve seen videos and pictures, but it’s amazing in person. It really makes you feel like a kid again. 

Don’t let the name Slinky Dog or the fact that this roller coaster seems to be a kid ride! It’s FAST. At least it was for me. I screamed quite a few times, but my husband said I was overdoing it. However, he wanted to ride it again. I did not. 

There were literally no lines for the majority of the rides. We walked right on most of the time. How many times have we been to Disney and had to leave without experiencing everything because there are just so many people?

What would Christmas be like without snow? 

If you walk near the Tower of Terror, you will see and feel snow falling. It’s beautiful, especially if you live in Florida and have never seen snow. You get the winter experience without the frigid temps. However, I’m from Chicago so I don’t miss it at all. 

The shops are open too! The bows always draw me in! Always!

 

Disney After Hours will run for a limited time and cost $125. You can get more information HERE. Check out #DisneyAfterHours online for all of the fun others are having on their date night!

Event Recap

3 Lessons From The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Raise your hand if you saw the Nutcracker as a child? Raise your hand if you understood what you were watching? 

When I was a child, I believe I took at least 3 -5 field trips to see the Nutcracker on ice. There is a strong possibility that I saw it as a stage play as well. This story has been told so many times, as a ballet by Tchaikovsky, as a novel by Dumas, and as a Christmas cartoon by Barbie.

Every time I saw the Nutcracker, I really just didn’t understand the story. 

Fast forward to 2018. Disney recreates the Nutcracker into a film and I feel like I understand everything more clearly. My daughter initially didn’t want to go screen the movie with me, but I made her go.

My favorite quote from her after the movie was, “I’m glad I came or I would have missed out on a really good movie!”

I have to agree with her. Due to my childhood experiences, I thought it would be another event associated with the Nutcracker that I wouldn’t understand. Quite the opposite.

I really enjoyed watching The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and learned a new story that I’m sure many children and tweens will enjoy. 

Is the movie exactly like the original? No. Is it entertaining? Yes. 

nutcracker

What is The Nutcracker and the four realms about?

Young Clara needs a magical, one-of-a-kind key to unlock a box that contains a priceless gift. A golden thread leads her to the coveted key, but it soon disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. In that world, she meets a soldier named Phillip, a group of mice and the regents who preside over three realms. Clara and Phillip must now enter the fourth realm to retrieve the key and restore harmony to the unstable land.

It’s directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston and written by Ashleigh Powell and Tom McCarthy. It’s actually a retelling of E. T. A. Hoffmann‘s 1868 short story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and Marius Petipa‘s The Nutcracker Balletabout a young girl who finds a Nutcracker doll among the family’s gifts and is charged by her parents to take special care of it. Source

In this movie, the Nutcracker, Jayden Fowora-Knight, is an African American. In the past, the Nutcracker was always the charming prince. He’s Clara’s sidekick in this 2018 version. You can almost feel an attraction between the two characters, but you don’t see that develop into anything.

Nutcracker and four realms

Based on the title, I always thought the Nutcracker was the star of the movie, well not in this one. Clara, (Mackenzie Foy) who is a smart young teenager needs to find a key to unlock a gift her late mother, Marie (Anna Madeley), left her. She finds her way into a different dimension, where apparently her mother once visited (and became Queen) when she was young as well. The Nutcracker helps Clara along her journey, but the movie has nothing to do with him. Honestly, anyone could have helped her. 

During her time in the four realms, she learns more about her mother and her own personal power. The fantasy of it all is that our favorite toys can come to life and bring us joy. 

What 3 Lessons Did My Daughter Walk Away With

Everything you need is within you. Clara learned that she possess the power she needs to make her dreams come true. Confidence and execution are key.

Friends don’t hurt each other on purpose. There was a character that smiled and cheered on Clara the entire time until she got what she wanted. Once she had the key, her smile turned into a smirk and her true colors were revealed. My daughter mentioned that she had always seemed fake towards Clara. I advised that people are like that in real life sometimes. People will eventually reveal their true colors. Always pay attention. 

Being Who You Are is 100% Ok! We live in a world where everyone wants to be like someone else, but being who God created you to be is just perfect. Being different is where the magic is. It’s ok to be smart, inquisitive and creative. 

The film stars Keira KnightleyMackenzie FoyEugenio DerbezMatthew MacfadyenRichard E. GrantMisty CopelandHelen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman. Do you plan on seeing this film? I’d love to know what you and your children think?