Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa

Recently my family and I had the pleasure of visiting Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL. It was incredible to have our favorite theme park turned into a winter wonderland before our eyes! 
The park was covered in Christmas lights and poinsettias with hot cocoa stations on every corner! We were fortunate to have had a cool night considering we have been battling some extreme heat here recently.


One of the first attractions we stopped at was Snow World. The kiddos were too small to ride the snow tubes, but we were able to play in the snow! Sienna and I made sure to wear our snow boots that night. 




Busch Gardens of course thought ahead and had a designated area for children three and under. This was great so they could calmly play and the parents didn't have to worry about older kids knocking them down in the snow. They just loved it! I can't wait until we can go see real snow someday :)



They had a lot of rides open, but of course we stuck with the train rides for the kids. The Sing-A-Long Train ride was Sienna's favorite part of the night! 


We rode through the Safari by train singing Christmas carols the whole time! It was amazing seeing the silhouettes of the giraffes in the dark while they rested up on the hills!
There were many shows throughout the park to sit and watch as well! Some included the Angels of Peace: A Journey on Ice, Madagascar Live: Operation Christmas Vacation, and the Hallelujah Showcase!

Of course our favorite was found in the "Very Furry Christmas" section of the park which is where you will find all of our friends from Sesame Street!



There is never a trip to Busch Gardens where we can leave without seeing Elmo and friends! It was nice to see a Christmas spin on things too for the Elmo's Christmas Wish show. 

And don't forget to stop by and see the Claus family at Santa's House! His elves and Mrs.Claus are busy getting all the toys ready for his big night!

Photo Courtesy of Busch Gardens

We had such a great time at Christmas Town and are so lucky to have such a wonderful winter wonderland in our backyard. 

See you next year!

Christmas Town will be open until December 23, 2013 and you can find more information here.


Disclosure: Busch Gardens provided my family with two tickets to experience Christmas Town and share my experience, but all opinions are my own. 


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mommy & Me Shoes

To say that Sienna and I have a pair of matching shoes is definitely an understatement. We actually have three pairs and are on our way to number four! 

YES…I am that mom. 

And I love every minute of it!

The hard part about having matching shoes with your toddler is that their feet grow so fast! She is already on her second pair of gold Saltwater Sandals and her leopard flats are about to be one size too small. Mommy is in need of some new ones so maybe we will switch it up to a loafer style next! 

saltwater sandals // leopard flats // hunter boots // yosi samra ballet flats

Can you believe that she actually received her little purple Hunter boots before me? So I made sure Santa brought me mine a few weeks later ;) These will also have to be replaced when she outgrows them because let's be honest, who doesn't love splashing in muddy puddles?

saltwater sandals // leopard flats // hunter boots // yosi samra ballet flats

And now I've started my Yosi Samra obsession! They are the cutest and comfiest ballet flats I've ever had. And guess what?? Yep, you guessed it: they have a fabulous little girl selection! 

Love my little mini-me :)


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Our Photos with Marie Treat Photography & Giveaway!!!



A few weeks ago we were so lucky to work with the fabulous Marie Treat of Marie Treat Photography! She did a family session for us and I if I could climb up to the rooftop of my house I would be up there screaming because I am so in love with her work! 

We didn't have any professional photos of our little foursome and I am so happy to have these photos to cherish forever. I'm usually just setting up the camera on a timer and hoping one will turn out. Marie helped me realize how important it is to take the time every once in awhile and hire someone for professional photos of the family. 





Marie is going to be offering all Tampa Bay area families an amazing deal for a mini session as well!! 

This is a great opportunity to get the family photo done that you have been putting off and have everything ready to send out your Holiday cards!


I am so excited to announce that Marie Treat Photography will also be giving one lucky Life With Les Deux reader a free mini photo session with 2 digital prints!!! 

You can enter below! This giveaway is open to residents in the Tampa Bay area. The giveaway will end Tuesday November 13, 2013 at 12:00am. 
Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mommy's Drugstore Make-up Must-Haves

A couple of months ago I was turned onto the world of YouTube Beauty Gurus by my fabulous sista-in-law, Kelly, and it has forever changed my life. I realized everything I was doing wrong in the make-up world and had to do a major revamp of my make-up collection! I could have easily walked into Nordstrom and purchased all the necessities, but I don't know what Danny and I would be on the same page about that ;)

So as any stay-at-home mom does, I researched and found a lot of drugstore dupes that would work just fine. Now don't get me wrong, I do have my department store must-haves, but I will save that for another post!

Here are a couple of products that I really won't ever be able to live without! I don't necessarily use them daily, but they are definitely a drugstore staple in my make-bag these days...




1.  My first item I love is my Revlon Colorstay Lipstick Ultimate Suede Lipstick. I have this in a red and a pink and it's the perfect lipstick for a busy mom who doesn't have time to constantly be reapplying. I know there is nothing worse than a red lip that isn't bold and beautiful at all times! These can tend to be a little drying so I just whip out the Aquaphor that this mom always has on her and it gives the perfect amount of moisture needed!

2. Next I have the Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. This is THE best eyeliner I have ever used. It comes with the perfect brush to apply it and always turns out flawless! The only reason I don't use this is if I am in a hurry and realized I forgot to clean the brush after my last use, in which I then use my felt-tip Physician's Formula liquid eyeliner. Beauty Guru, Jaclyn Hill, is the one that turned me onto this one so check out her videos for some tips!

3. Next I have another Maybelline product, The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara. Kelly told me about this one day because she really is my go-to when I have a make-up questions! Before using this I was a Dior Show snob so it was very hard to break away, but this mascara really gets those lashes up there (I rarely curl too)! I've also heard from many that the Loreal Voluminous mascara is another drugstore staple for your make-up bag. I will have to try it, but as you saw here, I am well stocked in the mascara department.

4. Now I rarely ever use foundation, but there are those special occasions when you really want flawless skin so that is why I went the drugstore route for this next one. I ran in one day and grabbed the Revlon PhotoReady foundation and never looked back. It gives me great coverage and matched my skin perfectly considering I wasn't able to test it in the store. It's very lightweight which is an added bonus! I've seen a lot of beauty gurus use whipped foundation as well! Maybe if I am feeling adventurous one day I will try it :)

5. For awhile I had been set on purchasing the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and when I mentioned it to Kelly she told me I should look into a BB cream. I decided to try the Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream. It's the perfect alternative for someone who doesn't like a heavy foundation and needs a little more coverage than powder can provide. It also is good for your skin!

6. And last, but not least this fabulous Love & Beauty nail polish in the gold glitter. Now I didn't actually get this at drugstore, but it caught my eye while at the register paying in XXI. It was in one of those little bowls sitting in front of you so you add on all these unnecessary things. Well I am very glad I decided to throw this one into the mix because it is simply fabulous! Now with this polish I actually pat it on the nail bed to get a thick layer of glitter on. After a couple of coats and a clear coat over, you will have a stunning mani that shows no imperfections! Now the downside to this 99 cent polish is that within three days it was chipping, but this is usually a polish I will put on for a special occasion like this one. It's simply fab!

So there you have it! Some of my make-up must-haves that you can find at your local drugstore! There are a lot more, but these are just the essentials. 

And stay tuned for a post on this mommy's Department Store Must-Haves!!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Life With Les Deux GIVEAWAY: Little Hip Squeaks Maya Headbands

I am so excited tonight I can't stop dancing like I have ants in my pants! haha ok, but really... Tonight I am launching Life With Les Deux's first-ever Instagram giveaway! If you haven't heard of the brand Little Hip Squeaks I don't know where you've been, but they have the cutest ultra-modern clothes and accessories for your little ones! They have blankets, leggings, headbands and so much more!



Here in his house I am proud to say we own a set of the recently retired headbands from the Maya Collection. And this week, two of my lucky Instagram followers will be the proud owners of a set for themselves...

YES!! Thats right!! I will be giving away TWO sets of Little Hip Squeaks Headbands from the recently retired Maya Collection for YOU and A FRIEND!! (Sorry about the caps, you can probably tell how excited I am)




Here is everything you need to do to enter:

1. Follow @lifewithlesdeux on Instagram
2. Like the INITIAL photo announcing the giveaway on Instagram
3. Tag a friend in the comments under the INITIAL photo on Instagram (You may tag as many friends as you'd like, but only one friend per comment please)
4. You AND Your friend that you tagged will each win a pack of headbands (3 in a pack) from the retired Little Hip Squeaks Maya Collection

Additional Rules:

This giveaway is open to US residents only.  Again you can tag as many friends as you would like for additional entries to the giveaway as long as you keep it to one tagged friend per comment. This giveaway will be open for entry until 11:59pm on Monday, October 21, 2013. You must have Instagram to enter. This is a Life With Les Deux giveaway! The winner must follow @lifewithlesdeux on Instagram, have liked the giveaway photo, and tagged a friend to win. Headbands will be separately shipped to the winner and their friend!

Don't forget to spread the word and repost on Instagram is you'd like :)

Good Luck!!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Theme Park Essentials With Toddlers

One of the reasons we love living in Florida is that we literally have multiple amusement parks in our backyard.  We have annual passes to Busch Gardens and the zoo, so I often take the kids to the parks alone for just a morning play date. With our annual trip to Disney World coming up as well our first trip to Sea World, I thought this would be a great time to fill you in on what essential items we need when going to a theme park. 




1. BOB Duallie- I can't say how much I LOVE my BOB! It is the perfect stroller for the theme park because it rides smoothly, reclines so the kids can nap if they need to, and has huge sun shades for those hot Florida days! You don't need this exact stroller for the park, but I would definitely recommend something a little more comfortable than an umbrella stroller. 

2. Thirty One Thermal Tote- This tote is not only a theme park essential, but an every day essential. Since a lot of theme parks don't allow coolers, this is the perfect tote to throw a couple of ice packs in and load it with a few snacks or drinks! Definitely check the rules before taking this into a park because some do have their restrictions, but whenever attendants see two toddlers or babies they never usually mind the snacks. 

3. Sunscreen- Living in Florida sunscreen is just another item I have to keep in the diaper bag. For a day at the theme park I make sure to put it on the kids (and me too) at the beginning of the day and reapply depending on how long we are there for.

4. Bathing suit & Towel- (and swim diapers if needed!) Most of the theme parks we go to have splash areas that the kids can play in so I always have a bathing suit and towel just in case. It's usually the day I don't have it when we really need it! 

5. Hand Sanitizer- This is another diaper bag essential that we need at the parks since the kids are pretty much touching everything! And theme parks are usually filled with tourists so I get nervous about a lot of germs in one area :)

6. Camera- A camera is a necessary to catch all of the cute moments, but I usually just have my iPhone for a casual play date at the theme park. If we are going to Disney or a park we don't often go to I won't hesitate to bring my DSLR. I brought it to Disney for the first time last year and was able to capture such beautiful moments with it! I had no problem bringing it on all of the rides with me either since they were all toddler friendly.  Most theme parks have lockers as well if you need to store it for a bit. 

6. Water Bottles- It came as a surprise the first time I learned that most theme parks allow you to bring in sealed water bottles (even Disney!). Not only can you save a buck, but it never hurts to stay a little extra hydrated. You can even freeze one and it will serve as an icepack :)

You can find some of these items in my Mommy Must-haves post here. You can also see our trip to Disney I referenced here. And if you still don't believe me on how much I love my BOB stroller click here.

Happy theme-parking!


Monday, September 30, 2013

My Ipsy & Benefit Cosmetics Lash Bash


I couldn't be more excited to share that I was one of 1,000 women across the United States to have been chosen to host a REALvolution Lash Bash soiree by Ipsy & Benefit Cosmetics! It couldn't have been more perfect since a couple of months ago I started my 'mommy time' section on the blog! Every mommy needs a little makeup to help her feel extra beautiful!


Ipsy & Benefit sent me some fabulous swag bags full of Benefit goodies for nine of my closest friends and I broke out the raspberry champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and more! 



After some eating and schmoozing we got down to business! The lash bash was meant to showcase Benefit's They're Real mascara and  some other products! I gave the girls a quick tutorial on correctly applying the mascara and then they were off to try.


Each guest received a swag bag with luxury sized samples of Benefit's They're Real mascara, Liquid Benetint lip and cheek stain, their Sugarbomb lip gloss in Ultra Plush, and some fabulous coupons to use. They also sent some full sized products that a few lucky winners took home after we played a some games!



We all had such an amazing time at the Lash Bash! It's not every day that we get play with make-up while drinking champagne and eating chocolate covered strawberries!

Thank you Benefit Cosmetics & Ipsy! I was already a fan, but you definitely gained 9 more!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

End of Summer Fun

Recently we decided to take another trip to the Guy Harvey Outpost in St. Petersburg, FL. As you know we are big fans of the Hotel Tonight app so there is nothing better than a spontaneous one night stay at the beach! Since it's the slow season, we preactically had the entire resort to ourselves which was a nice treat! It's these moments that make Florida's long summers oh so enjoyable :)









I'm hoping we can get one more beach stay before our 'winter' comes :)

Be sure to click here to see our last visit to Guy Harvey Outpost!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

GIVEAWAY: 2 Entries to the Chick-Fil-A Fall Stampede


September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and I couldn't be more excited to team up with the Children's Cancer Center in Tampa and Chick-Fil-A to help promote and raise awareness for a great cause! On Saturday, September 28, 2013, Chick-Fil-A will be holding their second annual Fall 
Stampede benefiting the Children's Cancer Center. 

This year it will be held at Tampa's Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park! What make me even more excited about this event is that it is fun for the entire family so the kiddos can join in on the festivities. There will be a 5k Run for the serious runner and a 1 Mile Fun Walk for the whole family! There will also be some family friendly activities going on throughout the event. 

You can click here to see details or register for the Fall Stampede or click here to check out their Facebook page. 

Thanks to the Children's Cancer Society, I am excited to share I will be GIVING AWAY 2 runner entries to the race! You can enter through the Rafflecopter widget below! There are a lot of opportunities for entries, but it is mandatory to share the link to this giveaway on the social media platform of your choice. The giveaway will be open until Sunday September 16, 2013. 


Good Luck!!



Disclosure: All opinions are my own in this post. My family was given entry to the race in exchange for writing this post.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Our Mini Family Getaway



Recently we took a mini getaway to Orlando. Danny had business to tend to so the kids and I came along for some fun in the sun. We love...love...LOVE Orlando! It's only a little over an hour away and there is always so much to do with the little ones. This time around we stayed at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World and the kids had such an amazing time. The resort had a it's own R Aqua Zone Water Park where we spent two days basking in the sun and splashing away. It really made me realize that there is nothing more relaxing than vacationing somewhere that is super kid-friendly!

When we arrived to the hotel room for the first time I did a quick scan of our luggage and hoped that a mother's worst nightmare wasn't happening...the Minnie Mouse luggage was nowhere to be found! And in that luggage was every single article of clothing I packed for the kiddos. So instead of rushing down to the water park we had to run to Target and shop the clearance racks! It all worked out and we had such a blast!  (And look at Daniel-son's little suit we found, ha!) We already have plans to go back before we experience Florida's frigid winter weather ;)






I'm gonna miss you summer! Even though it doesn't get too cold here, nothing beats splashing away in that Florida heat! 


Do you and your family have any special getaways?