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#TravelTuesday Gaylord National Hotel Review

Everyone and their mother (including my own) knows how much I LOVE holiday decorations!  LOVE them.  They mean so much more to me than having a pile of stuff under the tree.  In fact, my oldest son is really remembering my love of decoration.  

It's awesome because when I ask him what he wants for Christmas, he never knows..but for 3 weeks in November he BEGGED me to put the holiday lights up!  Super cute.  So, the weekend before Thanksgiving we started to put things up.  That's what I love about the holiday.  And something that carries over from my childhood. 

Decorations and experiences are always my favorite - so to get the chance to take a trip with the kids to explore ICE at Gaylord National was a no brainer!  When I first heard about ICE!, I was going to college in Kentucky.  Nashville, TN was our closest hot spot city and there is a Gaylord Hotel location there as well.  My girlfriend shared with me that she was going there and I became obsessed with getting there for a visit myself!

So, I did!  Quite a few times!  And what's great is that each year has been just a little bit different. 

This year, their them is Frosty the Snowman. It brings a whole new meaning to Christmas on the Potomac!


Top 5 Holiday Faves at Gaylord National

1) GINGY!!  We make a gingerbread house every year.  It's something Boston mentions all year long too!  The price for the Gingerbread House is a little high (approx $50) but the experience is well worth it!  Not to mention - they are GOURMET holiday houses. Yum!

A photo posted by Joey Fortman (@joeyfortman) on

2) THE ICE! Yes!  Believe it - these awesome artists (40 of them to be exact) fly in from Harbin, China to make this spectacular! Seriously!  They work an entire month to rock this exhibit of awesome!  This year they have a new live carving zone, called The Frostbite Factory.  Brrrrr right?  To say the least, 5,000 blocks of ice weighing in at 2 million pounds.  Yeah.  Cold is an understatement!

Yeah! One of my Top 3 Fave Family Holiday Escapes! #RealMomTravels #Philly

A photo posted by Joey Fortman (@joeyfortman) on

3) THE SCAVENGER HUNT!  Ok, so the true 'competitive' person comes out with this one.  I LOVE these Instagram/event scavenger hunts.  This one was adorable to see many of the kids get excited when they found the Reindeers in random places.  My fave was the one in the ceiling where you check into the hotel!  Look for it in the loops! 

4) THE GLASS MEGA-TREE!  So where do you get a 60 foot tall, 7,000 pound glass tree?!?!  Have someone make it of course!  It's only the world's ONLY suspended synthetic glass Christmas tree made of 108 hand creafted pieces of green holly leaves, 11 red berries and one big mega gold bow on top!  There is a nightly tree lighting show that families can love & the tree rocks the fountain show beautifully too!  It's a must see.

5) THE CHARACTERS!  Gaylord National has a partnership with Dreamworks and so many of your favorite characters come to life everyday!  There is a 'DreamWorks' Madagascar Crack A Lackin' Cook-in Character Breakfast available for about $30 for adults and $20 for kids 3-12.  Under 2 is free.  Yes, it is a little pricey, but your kids get entertained by King Julien, Alex the Lion and their friends!  We didn't do the breakfast - but we did see the characters walking by.  That was pretty cool to see Hudson my almost 2 year old have a light up face!! So cute.  The other times we went, I went NUTS over the GREEN chocolate fountain.  Granted, everything was Shrek I get it - but they didn't have green chocolate this time.  BUMMER, right?  Cause of COURSE this mama goes for the chocolate fountain!!! It still tasted amazing green or brown. ha

A photo posted by Joey Fortman (@joeyfortman) on

Ok, so those are my Top 5 Faves on this trip.  Have you ever been to Gaylord National?  Where is one of your favorite places to travel to take in the holiday festivities?

A video posted by Joey Fortman (@joeyfortman) on

Coming up next:  Christmas in Hershey!  As an ambassador we get to go there again!  I sure love to travel.  And add Christmas awesome to it? HEAVEN!

Formula Feeding Freenzy with Moozi

Motherhood is a LOT of hard world.  There are so many things that deter us from our to do each day.  And I remember when my boys were babies how much stress it is to get up and feed them in the middle of the night.  

I have a Nespresso maker in my house.  It's heaven for coffee, I tell ya.  We've had it for years.  I go through phases.  Usually drinking it more in the winter than the summer. But having that easy access to make a pod anytime I want is heavenly!

One of the fun things about my job is being able to bring new products out to the market and sharing their information for you to make conscious consumer choices about products!  A new kickstarter campaign hit my inbox.  (I get a LOT of kickstarter pitches and sadly I just don't have the time to share them all. Someone should create a website like that though! lol)  But this one I couldn't pass up because it's my motherly duty to tell you that, for sure!

Moozi is the one-button solution for perfect baby formula bottle temperatures!  All under a minute.  Can you believe that?  I know.  I thought those wipe warmers were laughable when they didn't even work.  But this one?  BETTER WORK. lol Just kidding.  The wipe warmer I could do without  - but if this can really heat your baby formula and have it ready for that screaming fit at 2am?  I'm all for it!

So how does this whole thing work?

Safety is key with Moozi. Water sensors ensure there is water in the tank and that the water temperature is regulated at body temperature. The bottle sensor alerts parents if there isn’t a bottle in position.  Plus Moozi’s unique patent-pending dry release system keeps the formula and water separate until they mix in the bottle.  This reduces bacteria growth and keeps the system running smoothly. 

Unique to the Kickstarter campaign, Miravan, LLC wants to help families in need so for every $100 donation they will deliver a free Moozi to a family in need at local shelter and support organizations located in Massachusetts. A tax donation receipt will be sent to each contributor for this pledge.

The idea for Moozi was conceived and developed by mompreneur Miriam Kutcher, a mother of two daughters now ages 8 and 10.  Looking back, she wished there was a one-step, simple solution that would warm and dispense the perfect temperature bottle simply by pressing a button.  It was years later that she decided to bring her idea to life and now she is ready to introduce Moozi.  

“When my girls were infants, making a formula bottle was a time-consuming process that involved rushing down to the kitchen in the middle of the night to try and measure, warm and mix a bottle as quickly as possible. Listening to them cry while doing all of this was stressful. I wanted my focus and attention to be on them, not the prep work,” says Miriam Kutcher, president and founder. “So I came up with the idea of Moozi and after three long yet gratifying years, I’m proud to bring this product to the market.


Shane Co $1000 Photo Contest

I just spent an absolutely amazing getaway in Turks & Caicos at the All Inclusive Beaches Resort.

I really don't know if I can talk about it outside of completely drooling today after being home for a day to compress.

So, let me just tell you about one of my favorite things to do!

TAKE SELFIES!! Yeah, you don't need a party posse to get great selfies!

Shane Co has always had a beautiful piece of my heart on my hands.

Or should I say my hands have sang the joy of Shane Company for the past 7 years. Whoa. I've been married for SEVEN years? That's pretty insane to think about it.

Well, originally my husband was going to go with me on this trip but his work trumped travel and he had to stay back. I was heartbroken about it since his work has basically taken over our lives and this was one trip that I couldn't wait to do with him.

I will tell you though. I did find a piece of him constantly shining on me.

My wedding rings.

Yes, he got them at Shane Co. years ago. So, when I was playing with my iphone and the time and took this shot? I knew this was the shot I was going to be putting in this post.

No, you can't see the shiny diamond in there. But you can see the shine on my face. I was smiling big because I was thinking about my wedding day. On a beach in Key West.

Doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Well, take a shot of yourself wearing your piece from Shane Co. for a chance to win $1000 Shane Co. gift card! Post the pic on their Facebook Contest page. Contest ends on October 27th. See contest rules for full details.


Enter the Contest on Facebook here:

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shane Co.. The opinions and text are all mine.



Check out our latest Real Mom Media Back to School Guide.  We're proud of our guides and this one is no different!  From organization to shoe strings to lunch with allergies - we covered every corner of a moms journey with back to school time.