Thursday, May 26, 2016

I recently got the chance to learn all about Nebraska Wine Tours during a delicious night of sips and eats. If you love wine and taking in the beautiful scenery that Nebraska has to offer, you are going to love the tours that Nebraska Wine Tours offers.


Each tour that Nebraska Wine Tour offers, visits two or three wineries and points of interest along the route. You meet up at a convenient starting point for each trip, and enjoy four to five hours of wine sampling, winery tours, and more.You also get the added bonus of a driver and guide who will share information about the history of the wine industry in Nebraska, as well as answer your questions.



Current Nebraska Wine Tours

Missouri River Trot: Arbor Day Farm | Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery | Slattery Vintage Estates

Loup River Crawl: Moonlight Ridge Vineyard | Prairie Creek Vineyards | Lucky

Platte River Dash: Cellar 426 | Glacial Till Tasting Room | Prime Country Winery

Homestead Hike: Cuthills Vineyards | Nissen Wine

Stateline Sprint: Lucky Lady Tasting Room | Lazy Horse Vineyard | Rose Colored Class Tasting Room

Haymarket Creek Crossing: James Arthur Vineyards | WundeRosa


Cornhusker Cruise: Makovicka Winery | Redpath Gallery & Tasting Room | Junto Wine

Pioneers Pass: George Spencer Tasting Room | Cedar Hills Vineyard & Gardens | Miletta Vista Winery



Nebraska Wine  Tours also offers food to purchase on the wine tours. This isn't just any old brown bag turkey sandwich though. This is food spiced perfectly by Chef Jamil Bah!


We sampled a few items from the Nebraska Wine Tours Food Boxed Lunches and oh my goodness were they delicious! I wish Chef Jamil had a Food Truck so I could eat his dishes on a weekly basis and I wish I could remember what each of the items we sampled were, but I've misplaced my notes since the event so all I have to go on are pictures and memory. Beets - I remember beets and Quinoa and that is was SO good.



Nebraska Wine Tours are great for a couples date, girlfriends outing, company event, bachelorette party, and just because. I can't wait to experience my first tour and encourage you to check them out! Tour price is $125.00 per person per tour and all guests of Nebraska Wine Tours receive:
  • Trip-planning
  • Transportation to and from each location
  • Wine tasting and souvenir glass from each location
  • Reusable six-bottle wine tote to carry additional purchases
Which Nebraska Wine Tour caught your attention?



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Summer is rapidly approaching and with it brings "I'm boooooored!". That usually happens within the first week of Summer vacation. To help you out, I've put together a list of free things to do in town. I will keep adding to this list as I come across events, so check back often!



Free Things To Do This Summer in Council Bluffs 2016

Loessfest

Free events at Loessfest begin May 28th with an Imagination Movers concert and outdoor showing of Inside Out on the big screen. Other free events throughout the weekend include Sprite Night with DJ Hot Scott, Bike the Bluffs, and more!

Council Bluffs Public Library Summer Reading Club and Activities

The Summer Reading Club at the CB Public Library runs from May 23rd - August 15th with the chance to win fun prizes. There are also weekly activities still going on, including storytime, magic show, putt-putt, and more. The Teen Events during the Summer include and Iron Chef style cooking challenge, movie making, escape room, art, and more.

Music and Movies in the Park

Music and Movies in the Park are held every Wednesday from June 15th - August 17th beginning at 6:30. Check out the schedule for concerts, as of this writing the movie schedule wasn't up.

Free Summer Lunch and Breakfast 2016

There are several locations to enjoy free Summer lunch and breakfast from June 20th - July 29th. Children ages 1 - 18 are welcome, and there are also adult lunches available.

Hydrant Parties

Another great way to cool off over the Summer are free Hydrant Parties. Held at various locations throughout the city from June 9th - August 6th from 1:30-2:30 with frozen treats provided by Hy-vee, you can check out the full Hydrant Parties Schedule for 2016 to find some near your neighborhood.

If You Build It Family Event

The first Friday of every month brings a free If you Build It Family Event to the Union Pacific Railroad Museum. The event begins at 5pm and the next one is June 3rd.

Kids Fishing Derby

The Kids Fishing Derby is held during Free Fishing Weekend in Iowa, which is June 4th. All kids under 16 can enter the derby, and there are free gifts for kids entered in the derby.

Hitch Hike at Hitchcock

Take the family for a Hitch Hike at Hitchcock Nature Center on Tuesdays. They have a whole series with a different focus each time so you can learn something new each hike!

Night Sky at Hitchcock

On August 12th you can lay out under the stars at Hitchcock Nature Center, for a viewing of the Perseids' Meteor Shower.

Monday, May 23, 2016

If the names Ryder, Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma, Skye, and Everest are familiar to you......you probably have kids in your life. Paw Patrol has been a topic of conversation, regular on our TV, and a frequent a play time for the past two years. My twins LOVE Paw Patrol, and even had a Paw Patrol Themed Birthday this past January. You can bet I will be holding off on telling them about Paw Patrol Live Coming to Omaha until the day of the show!



That's right, the hit animated TV series on Nickelodeon is coming to Omaha. Paw Patrol Live! will take the stage at The Orpheum Theater in Omaha on November 26th and 27th.

PAW Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue” brings everybody’s favorite pups to the stage for an action-packed, high-energy, musical adventure. When Mayor Goodway goes missing during the day of the Great Race, the pups come to the rescue. Join Ryder, Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma, Skye and the newest pup, Everest, when they visit The Orpheum Theater in Omaha

This is sure to be an adventure packed show for all ages, with lots of lessons snuck in. As a parent, I appreciate when my children's favorite characters approach age appropriate topics and open conversations for me to have with my kids.

“Race to the Rescue” shows that “no job is too big, no pup is too small,” and shares lessons for all ages about citizenship, social skills and problem-solving as the characters each use their unique skills and teamwork. 
Paw Patrol Live includes two acts and an intermission. I doubt there will be a dull moment when you have things like innovative costumes that bring the pups to life on stage WITH their vehicles and packs during the all-important rescue mission. Be prepared for some dancing in your seat to up-tempo music and be wowed with a high-tech video wall that visually transports families to popular locations from the TV series, like Adventure Bay, The Lookout, Seal Island, Farmer Yumi's Farm and Jake's Mountain.

I saved the best for last. During the show, guests have the opportunity to participate in the adventure and become a part of the PAW Patrol Cheer Team! How awesome is that?!

PAW Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue” at The Orpheum Theater
When: Saturday November 26th 10:00 AM and 3:30 PM and Sunday November 27th 10:00 AM and 3:30 PM
Tickets: $21.25, $31.25 and $41.25. A limited number of $49.25 Gold Circle and $79.25 VIP (Very Important Pup) Packages* are also available. that features premium show seating, a commemorative lanyard and an after-show Meet & Greet with members of PAW Patrol Live!

Purchase Paw Patrol Live Tickets at TicketOmaha.com or to charge tickets by phone, call 800-434-8587. 

For more information, please visit PawPatrolLive.com, where you can also sign up to receive PAW Patrol Live! Tail Mail with tour updates and other ticket information.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Today's post and giveaway is sponsored by Kwik Shop.

Last weekend I hit the road to Kansas City for a blog conference. A short drive, but just long enough to need some road trip must haves. You know, things like awesome company to chat with along the drive, tasty snacks, a thirst quenching beverage, and a tank full of gas! I got all of that AND earned bonus points for Fuel at Kwik Shop thanks to their new rewards program!


Whether you are planning an upcoming road trip, enjoy getting rewarded, or love saving on fuel, the Kwik Shop Rewards program is for you! Now you can earn cents of a gallon faster, and in a whole new way. Simply stop by your local Kwik Shop to sign up for your rewards card to begin earning those bonus points! Every 100 points you earn equals 10 cents off per gallon and there are some great Bonus Points offers going on right now!



Featured specials change monthly and you can look for bonus points signage throughout the store to find ways to earn. You will see your bonus points earned on your receipt, as well as how many cents of a gallon you have accumulated. Keep note of the expiration date too so you don't lose them!


To celebrate the new Kwik Shop rewards program, one lucky Midwest Mammas reader is going to WIN a $25 Kwik Shop Gift Card!




ENTER USING THE RAFFLECOPTER BELOW
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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My twins turn three this month and what better way to celebrate than their first show at The Rose! Thanks to The Rose for providing us with tickets to see A Child's Garden of Verses and if you have little kids you don't want to miss the latest Pre-K show to hit their stage!



A Child's Garden of Verses is an adorable show featuring the classic poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson in a turn of the century garden where young children are welcome to explore and interact with our actors as they grow their imaginations.



Making up the cast of A Child's Garden of Verses are a few actors, a musician, and puppetry. I'm a big fan of puppets in kids shows, especially when they talk! One of the things that makes this a great show for young kids is that it is multi-sensory and highly interactive. Audiences will help grow a garden, and their imaginations, as they frolic in the leaves, feed a bird, sing in the rain, dance with the wind, build a boat and discover treasures, including the greatest of them all – friendship. Doesn't that sound like a great time to enjoy with your kiddos?!


You can get tickets to A Child's Garden of Verses at The Rose now. Single Tickets are $12.00 each and $10.00 for The Rose Members. Shows are filling up fast so if you are thinking about this show, you may want to check it out now.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

The first speaker in the 2016 National Geographic Live! Series at Holland Performing Arts Center will be taking us on the search for Big Cats! We're talking Cougars, Snow Leopards, and the world's most endangered big cats, Tigers. Thanks to Omaha Performing Arts, we received complimentary tickets and I'm super excited to take my oldest two kids!



(Photo Credit: Steve Winter)

I'm not quite sure where my love for big cats came from. Courage the Cowardly Lion gaining back his courage, Tony the Tiger giving me a grrrrreat breakfast, or the actively roartastic lions and tigers at the zoo. That love for big cats has been passed onto my kids who love heading to see the tigers at the zoo, sport their tiger masks during playtime, and snuggle up with their lions at nap. Do you have a love for big cats too?

(Photo Credit: Steve Winter)

Whether you love big cats or not, you don't want to miss Omaha Performing Arts presents National Geographic Live’s “On the Trail of Big Cats: Tigers, Cougars, and Snow Leopards” with Steve Winter on March 22nd 2nd at 6:30. Loaded with images and footage from his journey, Winter will take us around the world in search of big cats during “On the Trail of Big Cats”. Including stops in Asian jungles where resilient tiger populations persist, to the Himalaya where the rare snow leopard calls home, and even the iconic "Hollywood" sign in pursuit of the American cougar.

(Photo Credit: Steve Winter)

National Geographic Live! offers family friendly shows with both dangerous and lighter moments. This will be my first National Geographic Live! and I'm looking forward to the conversations it sparks with my kids, and sporting my Big Cats TOMS that I received as a National Geographic Kids Insider! I'm almost betting everyone is going to leave the show wanting to learn more about big cats and how to help save tigers. Especially the kids. If that ends up being your kids, here are some ideas and resources for teaching kids about big cats!

(Photo Credit: Steve Winter)

Mark your calendars for National Geographic Live’s "On the Trail of Big Cats" with Steve Winter on Tuesday, March 22nd at 7:30 p.m. at Holland Performing Arts Center. You can purchase tickets at TicketOmaha.org today and save $5.00 off tickets when you use Promo Code CATS through February 1st!

Other National Geographic Live! shows for this season include:
  • National Geographic Live’s Untamed Wild with Cory Richards (March 8th, 7:30 p.m.)
  • National Geographic Live’s The Search for Life Beyond Earth with Kevin Hand (April 12th, 7:30 p.m.)



Friday, November 20, 2015

It's about darn time! Council Bluffs is getting their first art studio with a bar, and I for one am very excited! I've experienced Corky Canvas and Vino Van Gogh in Omaha and loved every minute of it. Having a painting bar in our own backyard means I'm going to need more wall space to hang my creations! You?



Owned by Jodi Quakenbush of Council Bluffs and Janet Vittitoe of Council Bluffs/Cedar Rapids, Canvas Concoctions Art Studio is scheduled to hold their grand opening on November 30th from 4-5PM! Same night as the weekly trivia night at Barley's so stop by before you start drinking and thinking. You can now book classes at CanvasConcoctions.com and I'm seriously loving the Heart Tree on Wednesday, December 2nd. Anyone want to join me?!

Details about Canvas Concoctions:
  • Prices range from $25 - $35 per person, depending on canvas size
  • They do host birthday parties 
  • Special events are in the works, including a New Years Eve Party with painting, drinking, champagne toasting, and food catered by Lo Sole Mio.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Come one, come all and celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Holland Performing Arts Center at the Holland Stages Festival! Coming up on Saturday, October 17th from 11AM - 11PM is a free all-day event for everyone to enjoy!  Some of Omaha’s most talented musicians, singers and artists will be performing and these are performances you don't want to miss!



 Holland Stages Festival: Free All-Day Event for Everyone

The schedule for Holland Stages Festival includes performances all day long on various stages including the following, and many more!

BANDALOOP: An aerial dance company who will perform a special work on the east wall of the Holland Center. You can the BANDALOOP Performance at 1:00 PM, 2:30 PM and 4:00 PM. I shared a bit of the BANDALOOP Performance that we saw during the Omaha Performing Arts Announcement Party and it was AHmazing!



Daniel Bernard Roumain Omaha Area Youth Orchestra and UNO Marching Band: Head to the Kiewit Concert Hall at noon and enjoy the show, or even participate! That's right YOU or someone you know can participate in in this improvisational structured performance led by Roumain!

If you've ever wanted to perform on the Kiewit Concert Hall Stage, here’s your chance. All ages are welcome and you register to participate by sending an email  with your full name, age, unstrument, and email address to: HollandCommunityEnsemble@omahaperformingarts.org (Event organizers will contact you with more details. Participation in the ensemble is first come, first serve.)



Conor Oberst: At 8:30 PM in Kiewit Hall, Conor Oberst takes the stage! If going to an Oberst Concert is on your bucket list, this is a great opportunity to check it off your list! Special Notes about the Conor Oberst performance:

  • Tickets are not required to attend the majority of the Holland Stages Festival, though performances after 5 p.m. will require a wristband for entrance. 
  • Wristbands will be distributed on a first come, first served basis beginning at 3 p.m. at the 12th Street Arrival Plaza of the Holland Center. 
  • All-access wristbands will be distributed first, which will allow a patron entrance into any space in the Holland after 5 p.m., including Kiewit Hall for Oberst's show. 
  • In the event that available all-access wristbands are completely handed out, wristbands for a simulcast will be distributed to the remaining patrons. Simulcast wristbands will allow a patron to gain entrance to any space in the Holland but the Kiewit concert hall. 
  • Patrons can view Oberst’s show on simulcast screens set up indoors in the Scott Recital Hall and ConAgra East lobby, as well as outdoors in the courtyard.
  •  Only one wristband per person; you must be present to receive your wristband for the headliner concert. 


Holland Stages Kids Zone: Grab the kids and head to the First National Lobby from 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM.


Behind-the-Scenes Tours of the Holland Center: This is an awesome opportunity to get a look at a side of the Holland Center you don't normally get! Tours will last about 30-45 minutes and they will take place at noon, 1 PM, 2 PM and 3 PM. If you want to take this tour, meet in front of the box office at the time you want to go, and look for the guide wearing a “Newsies” hat with a “Tour Guide” card stuck in it.

What shows are you looking forward to during the Holland Stages Festival?

Friday, September 11, 2015


I really look forward to story time with the twins. They LOVE books and I like to credit that love to the varying voices I portray while reading. Really it's probably the characters, fun colors, animals, and everything inside those books. One thing we all love about books is the hilariousness that many kids books offer. Like Pete the Cat!

(I was provided with tickets for myself and tickets to giveaway. Any opinions are 100% my own.)



Jump outside the pages and experience Pete the Cat on stage at The Rose Theater! From September 11th - September 27th you can catch Pete the Cat: The Musical and join Pete on his first day of school. You can bet Pete the Cat will encounter several mishaps , and even some anxiety like many kids do.

Join the hilarious and very chill Pete the Cat as he makes his way to the stage in this world premiere production! It’s the first day of school, which brings with it a sense of excitement and anxiety for some of Pete’s feline friends. Luckily, Pete knows how thrilling and funny small mishaps can be. After all, he can’t seem to stop stepping in everything from blueberry juice to paint in this energetic new musical making its world premiere on The Rose stage.


Of course, there will be no shortage on music in Pete the Cat: The Musical. Some of the songs include Brand New Groove, Faraway Places, Rhythm in the Noise, Squishy Squashy Sneaker Song, and more!



If you want to grab tickets to Pete the Cat: The Musical at The Rose Theater, single tickets start at $18.00 OR you can grab a Family Membership to The Rose Theater for $95 and you will get four tickets to every regular season show, which includes Pete the Cat: The Musical. 

Pete the Cat: The Musical Showtimes:
  • Friday's at 7 PM
  • Saturday's at 2 PM and 5 PM
  • Sunday's at 2 PM



Check out Mom Saves Money's Review of Pete the Cat: The Musical and enter to win her giveaway. Then, enter to WIN my giveaway below! 

(Photo Credits: The Rose Theater)

One Midwest Mammas Reader is going to WIN Four Pete the Cat: The Musical Tickets! 

Tickets can be used to book any show for the Pete the Cat: The Musical that you would like to see. 
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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

(I was provided with tickets to this event. Any opinions are 100% my own.)

Wine. It enjoys our favorite TV shows, entertains our friends, and coming up on October 8th wine will be helping the community. The Fall 2015 Gathering of the Bacchanalian Society of Omaha is coming and there are so many reasons you don't want to miss this competitive wine tasting event in Omaha. Five to be exact.



5 Reasons to Attend the Fall 2015 Gathering of the Bacchanalian Society of Omaha

1) Wine

Yep, I'm starting with the obvious. There will be wine and lots of it. Each person or team brings a bottle of wine to the event. This year's theme is white blends. During the event, everyone goes around sampling the wines that each person/team brought. Voting takes place and winners are awarded with prizes......wine!

2) Making a Difference in the Community

All proceeds from the Fall 2015 Gathering of the Bacchanalian Society of Omaha benefit the Literacy Center of the Midlands. Not only are you having a great time with friends, meeting new people, and trying new wines, but you are also making a difference. The Literacy Center offers free services to help adults improve their reading skills.



3) Food

You're going to need to some food go with all that wine and Nothing Bundt Cakes, HyVee, and Flagship Restaurant Group have you covered. Hang around after the wine tasting is done and enjoy yourself some delicious eats.

4) Chance to Win Prizes

There are lots of great prizes to win besides wine. First, anyone who purchases Fall 2015 Gathering of the Bacchanalian Society of Omaha Tickets before midnight on September 10th will be entered to WIN tickets to the Elton John live in Omaha. Plus, if you bring anything on the list below to the event with yo, you will be entered into a raffle to win some awesome prizes like Creighton baseball season tickets, Wine.com gift basket, Infusion Brewery Gift Basket, and a Omaha steaks gift card!

Wish List Items (Each items brought = a raffle ticket)

  • Reader Glasses - all strengths
  • Pens & Pencils
  • Reams of Paper
  • Notebooks
  • Dry Erase Markers & Erasers
  • Pocket Folders
  • Accordion Expanding Files with 5 Pockets or more
  • Face Tissue
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Jump Drives

5) Spirit World in Aksarben Discount

Spirit World in Aksarben is offering 10% off for all Bach attendees who purchase their competition wine there! All you have to do is mention Bacchanalian Society of Omaha to get the savings.



Fall 2015 Gathering of the Bacchanalian Society of Omaha Details

When: October 8th Doors Open at 7 PM and Bottles Popped at 7:30 PM
Where: Hot Shops Art Center
Tickets: Purchase Tickets Individually or Teams starting at $20.00
Theme: White Blends
Event Details: Each person/team brings 3 bottles of wine, all of the same kind. Two bottles are opened for tasting and one is left unopened for the prize. The 5 highest ranking people/teams split up all the unopened bottles of wine that were brought. You can read the rules here

Get your tickets, grab your wine, and I'll see ya there!