, pub-8087192757053655, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Director Jewels: 2021

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Sea Creatures...We're On Our Way!

 Disclosure: I received press passes to visit this location. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Sea creatures…yes please.

We’re longtime fans of all the swimming creatures in the seas and oceans (remember our Octonauts party?), and there’s never a good reason to miss out on an opportunity to see them in action. We were invited to visit the new Aquarium at the Boardwalk in Branson, Missouri - and we can’t wait to tell you all about it after we’ve been! 

Here’s what we’ve heard about the new aquarium: 

Be thrilled and mesmerized by an undersea journey that takes you through worlds teeming with colorful fish, sharks, stingrays, seahorses, and so much more. Along the way, you'll be delighted by playful photo ops, activities, and adventures including exploring a jelly infinity room, climbing through a kelp forest, and petting a shark. From the moment you splash below the surface on an exciting Submarine Adventure to your final glorious view of the Coral Reef, you'll feel like a part of the ocean life all around you. You'll leave enchanted with a new appreciation for what we can do together to keep our oceans thriving.

What else is cool about Aquarium at the Boardwalk? Check out these fun facts:

* An impressive 55-foot-tall, 34-ton stainless steel sculpture of a Great Pacific Octopus greets you when you arrive at the Aquarium. It was designed to reflect its surroundings, mimicking how a real Great Pacific Octopus is able to camouflage itself in its environment.

* More than 7,200 individual sea animals and 250 species make the aquarium their home.

* A Trompe L'oeil (trick-of-eye) mural was created for the aquarium by world-renowned artist John Pugh. Check it out on the exterior wall of the Aquarium that faces Glory Road.

* Inside the Aquarium's Bloom Room, you'll experience an immersive experience in which mirrors give the illusion that fish are swimming around you in every direction.

* Original music for each of the worlds in the Aquarium was created by Emmy-nominated composer Jay Flood and makes each zone an even more unique experience!

* Dozens of seahorses live at the Mermaid Palace. The aquarium has a much larger collection of seahorses than nearly all other aquariums!

If you're planning a trip to Branson, check out to learn more about this fun aquarium and purchase tickets.

Thank you to Aquarium at the Boardwalk for providing our tickets and family memories! All opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Around the World in One Summer: Worlds of Fun is OPEN AGAIN!

Disclosure: I received press passes to attend this event. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own. 

I have lived in Kansas City my whole life, but I've only been to Worlds of Fun a handful of times and surprisingly - never with my kids! When I heard that Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun were reopening this summer, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to remedy that situation. My kids, of course, were thrilled to check it out! 

We haven't been to an amusement park in a long time and I wasn't sure what to expect, given how things have changed drastically everywhere due to Covid. Good news: we felt safe and easily able to enjoy our experience the whole day. 

Before we headed to the park, I downloaded the Worlds of Fun app on my phone. This made our whole day so much easier! Worlds of Fun has switched to a cashless system inside their parks, and the app allowed me to easily stash my park tickets, meal deal tickets, and drink tickets all in one place. We took advantage of the souvenir drink bottles - refills were free all day during our visit, and when we go back again, they will cost just $1 each (tax included)! 

My kids are 8 and 10 years old. Their favorite part of the park was definitely Camp Snoopy! Even though many of the rides are aimed at the very youngest park guests, there was still an abundance of options that my kids enjoyed (and begged to ride repeatedly). Our very favorites were Lucy's Tugboat, the Kite-Eating Tree, and Sally's Swing. I enjoyed the nostalgia that the Peanuts Gang created, and thought the whole Camp Snoopy area was very well-designed. There was just one entrance/exit into this zone, so I wasn't concerned about watching multiple entry points to keep an eye on my kids. 

The day we visited was VERY warm, but the staff kept kids smiling even while waiting for rides. We only covered a small amount of the 235 acre park during our afternoon visit, and we're thinking that a season pass may be in order for our family! We want to have time to go back and explore many, many more times. I'm not sure anyone could get through every single activity in one day....the park has over one hundred rides, water slides, and live shows - plus seven world-class roller coasters! It is called WORLDS of Fun after all, and no one has ever made it around the whole world in just one day! 

We are really thrilled to see this Kansas City landmark back in operation again after the uncertainty that Covid-19 has caused for the entertainment industry as a whole, and we can't wait until things get even more "back to normal." Our family was delighted with our Worlds of Fun adventure, and we can't wait to go back this year or next for future special events like Halloween Haunt and WinterFest! 

Want to go check out Worlds of Fun, too? The very best place to buy tickets is at! Make sure you check the website and social media pages for the latest operating calendar updates. 

Thank you to Worlds of Fun for providing our tickets, meals+drinks, and family memories! All opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Post-Quarantine Shopping? Support Independent Artists and #ShopRedBubble!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sivan Social. All comments and opinions are my own.

If there's one thing an ongoing pandemic has taught me, it's to stop taking things for granted and to look for silver linings through hardship. Many people turned to online shopping during the pandemic - but for me, part of the fun of shopping is being able to make a conscious choice about where my money is being invested. I love finding hidden gems in the local business community and supporting them whenever possible! As a small business owner myself, I can't imagine doing anything else. So where can you find a silver lining in a pandemic-shopping world where all the local shops are closed? 

At the beginning of the 2020 quarantine, I was looking for face masks that would fit my personality as a theater teacher. I have a vintage/eclectic sense of style and that is not something that is always readily available in a big box store! So I googled "Broadway masks" and stumbled across a wide variety of options in a hidden gem of an online store - RedBubble.

Not familiar with RedBubble? It's a little corner of the internet where over 700,000 independent artists and designers have joined together to share their passions with the world. The company, founded in 2006, is located in Melbourne, Australia - but artists around the globe use the platform to gain exposure and offer their creations for sale.

My mask-searching was actually not my first experience with RedBubble - I have purchased several items from them over the past few years, including my very beloved stained glass window phone case. This case has held up to my incessant mistreatment of my phone (I drop it routinely) for years now! I wasn't planning to buy a new phone case, but when I saw this one, it was instant love. 

RedBubble is a fantastic place to shop since they are able to offer a variety of extremely unique items. Hundreds of designs can be printed onto just about any product that you could dream up - t-shirts, notebooks, stickers, laptop cases, clocks, name it, they've probably got it! I have ordered from RedBubble multiple times in the past and have always been pleased with the quality of their items. I was so thrilled to pick out a few favorite things to share!

I've been obsessed with stickers since I was a child, so I gravitated toward the selection of stickers very quickly! A few favorites that I snagged include this plant sticker, an "I can't - I have rehearsal" sticker (#dramateacherlife), and this absolutely adorable bike sticker. Now if only I could find that purple bike cruiser in real life and keep it in my garage! I also could not resist this Together in Paris sticker, and plan to use it to continue to spread love for the greatest movie of all time. is giving away six $50 e-gift codes and one $100 e-gift code to spend at Redbubble! Contest is open now through May 20, so get your entries in fast! And let me know what you find when you #ShopRedBubble!

Win a $50 or $100 e-gift code from Redbubble!

Thank you to Sivan Social for sponsoring this post. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

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