Monday, April 21, 2014

Medieval Times - Nutritional Data & Calories

Thanks to Medieval Times for providing my family with free admission to the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.

I've been watching my calories like crazy lately. So, when my family decided to go to Medieval Times, the number of calories was one of the first things I thought about. I know that a diet isn't ruined in one day, but is the result of making healthy choices throughout your life. At the same time, I'm still very much watching every calorie I eat. I want to know what I'm putting into my body. I looked online, and I wasn't able to find out the information I wanted. So, I pulled some strings, and I'm excited that I was able to get the official calorie counts from Medieval Times for their adult standard meal as well as for their vegetarian 3-bean-stew and hummus meal.

As suspected, calorie counts for both meals were quite high.

Dinner Show Full Meal - 2,673.7 calories

Dinner Veg. (3-Bean Stew) - 1,078.4 calories

If you're watching your calories and want to go to Medieval Times, there are a few things that can easily help you cut your calories.

  • Chose the vegetarian option. You'll save 1595 calories.
  • Don't eat the full meal. Use the calorie info below to pick what items to eat and what items to take home for another day. For example, the tomato bisque soup, garlic bread, and bbq pork rib is only 566 calories.
  • Just eat half. If you want a bit of everything, go for it. But, eat half at the show. You'll also cut your calories in half! Not only that, but you'll save some of that delicious feast to enjoy an other day.
  • Pre-eat. Don't go in starving. Before you leave for the show, snack on some healthy, filling food. it seems silly to eat before gong to such a big meal, but you're likely to eat less when you're not completely starving.  

Menu Item Serving Size Caories (kcal) Calories from Fat (kcal) Total Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Trans Fats (g) Cholesterol (mg) Sodium (mg) Carbo-hydrates (g) Dietary Fiber (g) Sugars (g) Protein (g)
Tomato Bisque 8 oz. 55.6 17.8 2 0.2 0 0 766.4 9.2 1.4 6.9 1.2
Garlic Bread 1 slice 140 75 8 2 0 0 215 14 0.5 0 2
Oven Roasted Chicken Half 1 serving 1597 818 90.9 25.3 0 588.1 2335.9 0 0 0 182.5
BBQ Pork Rib 1 rib 370.4 274.9 30.5 9.2 0.2 103.9 1291.4 2.9 0 2.3 20.7
Herb Basted Potato 1 serving 284 194.3 22 1.6 0.1 0 407.5 21.1 2.1 1 1.8
Apple Pastry 1 serving 226 81.2 9 5.4 0 0 112.8 33.9 2.1 18.7 2.8
Oven Roasted Chicken Quarter 1 serving 1065 129.5 60.6 17.5 0 392.1 1557.3 0 0 0 121.7
Sweet Corn Cob 1 serving 205.7 74.5 8.3 1.6 1.6 0 144.5 28.1 3.2 6.1 4.6
Chocolate Chip Cookie 1 cookie 250 110 12 6 0 10 190 35 1 20 3
3-Bean Stew / Hummus Plate 1 serving 998.3 347.5 39.1 3.7 0.1 0 2502.6 135.2 26.4 12.3 31.5
Pasta Salad w/ Vinaigrette 1 serving 400.1 200.2 22.3 4.3 0 3.7 627.3 44.7 3.4 10.5 8.9
Fresh Melon Salad 1 serving 66.2 2.9 0.3 0.1 0 0 23.2 16.4 1.4 14.3 1.3
Italian Ice 1 serving 80 0 0 0 0 0 7 20 0 15 0
Beverage (Soda-non diet) 12 oz. 95 0 0 0 0 0 10 25 0 23 0

Dinner Show Full Meal 1 serving 2673.7 1461.4 162.8 43.7 0.3 692 5129 51.2 6.1 28.8 211
Dinner Veg. (3-Bean Stew) 1 serving 1078.4 353.9 39.8 3.7 0.1 0 2629.1 152 26.6 12.7 36.7
Educational Matinee Meal 1 serving 2014.7 1019.8 113.8 27.1 1.7 402.1 2504.2 107.2 6.9 32 133
Educational Matinee Veg. Meal 1 serving 1416.1 678 75.7 14.6 1.7 13.7 1597.4 168.3 11.6 56.8 21.6

So, have you ever  been to Medieval Times? What did you think? Leave a comment below! :)

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Our Chicago Vacation: Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament in Schaumburg

Thanks to Medieval Times - Chicago Castle for providing my family with free admission to facilitate this review.

Without a doubt, the highlight of our trip to Chicago was experiencing the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Phoenix and Ariana were both very excited to go to a castle, see real knights, and watching the tournament. The massive castle entrance was massive and beautiful... and a great spot to take a picture. :)

As you can see, Phoenix and Ariana both arrived in full cotume - Ariana as a princess, and Phoenix as a knight. They both got a lot of nice comments about their costumes that made them feel very special. The lady that checked us in even asked Phoenix if he was going to be fighting in the tournament! ;) 

We arrived 75 minutes before the show started, just as our ticket stated, which was good, because there was plenty to do before the show started. We were able to buy a few cool souveniers, watch a few people get knighted, and even check out the horses that would be in the tournament.

Then, we were off to be seated. Perhaps getting there early paid off, because we totally lucked out, and got first row seats on the 50 yard line. :)

As far as food goes, I'm normally not easily impressed. Food has to really be something special in order for me to really like it. That said... the food at Medieval Times was amazing. I ordered the vegetarian meal, which included pita chips, carrots, celery, and hummus as an appetizer (pictured partially-eaten because mama needed some food!;)

A delicious bean & rice stew was the vegetarian main course.

Dessert was a crispy, light, and delicious apple pastry.

The other meal looked delicious as well. Omnivores were treated to garlic bread, tomato bisque soup,
herb-roasted potato,spare rib, oven roasted chicken, and an apple pastry. Check out part of the meal below, pictured with a bit of my vegetarian stew. Oh, and don't be fooled by the camera angle. This is truly an enormous amount of food. Oh, and fun fact: this photo was taken from Phoenix's plate - kids get the same full-size portions as the adults do! :)

Once we started to dig in, it was time for the entertainment. The show started out with an amazing horse demonstration, the royal falconer's performance, and an introduction of the knights. Watching each knight rid out with their flag in the air was a very cool moment. The knights were truly proud to be there fighting to win the Battle of Champions. It was at that moment that we truly felt we were back in the medieval times. 

The first contest was for the the knights to grab a flag while they were riding on their horse... and our red & yellow knight nailed it.:)

Spectacular weapons battles and jousting matches followed. We were on the edges of our seats... this was more than just an act. The weapons were real. The strength and agility were real. The action was real. Everything about the tournament was real.  

In the end, our knight, the red and yellow knight, emerged victorious!

I suppose that one of the things about our trip to trip to the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament in Schaumburg is that photographs don't do it justice. The video I took below with my ipod - front row, center, doesn't do it justice. Only attending the show can really do it justice. Being there is truly an experience you will never forget. You leave feeling like a different person than you were when you walked in.

If you've never been to Medieval Times, I highly recommend it. If you've been there before, go back and experience it again. We're already planning our next trip... this time to the Myrtle Beach castle. :)

So, have you ever  been to Medieval Times? What did you think? Leave a comment below! :)
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Win FREE Tickets To The Cleveland Parenting Expo! #Cleveland #ParentingExpo #Sponsored

This content has been compensated as part of a promotion for the Cleveland Parenting Expo. However, all opinions remain my own.  #parentingexpo

Parenting Expo Cleveland is the one event that is all about parenting. Located at the IX Center in Cleveland, this two-day family-friendly event will give parents, grandparents, caregivers and educators an opportunity to receive up-to-date information on what’s important to them right now – from prenatal care to raising teens. In addition, attendees will walk away with meaningful coupons, giveaways, goody bags full of products from exhibitors, and opportunities to win prizes throughout the expo. Parenting Expo Cleveland will feature a keynote presentation by Jim Tressel and is sponsored by national and local organizations, including Akron Children’s Hospital.

  • Adult tickets are $ 10.00 per person when purchased online before Noon, April 25, 2014. 
  • At the door, tickets are $12 per person. 
  • Children under 14 are free.
  • You can also purchase advance tickets at DrugMart for $10.  

Admission includes:
  • All events and activities
  • All workshops and programs
  • All the exhibitor provided coupons and offers
  • Eligibility for prizes and giveaways

The International Exposition Center
One I-X Center Drive
Cleveland, Ohio 44135

Saturday, April 26, 2014 - 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday, April 27, 2014 - 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Fun For The Whole Family
We're planning on going to the parenting Expo as a family. I'm excited for the giveaways, SWAG from exhibitors and activities throughout the exhibit hall. I'm also definitely looking forward to all of the free activities for the kids! Check out some of the family fun below. :)

Face Painting 

Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 – 3:00
On the Exhibit Floor
2 Talented face painting artists offer dozens of creative choices, from elaborate to simple, including cheek art, full faces, and arms or hands. Your kids will love the look … and so will you!

Balloon Artists

Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 – 3:00
On the Exhibit Floor
Our 2 balloon artists will amaze children and adults alike with outrageous balloon hats, wearable costumes, animals of all kinds and just about anything you can think of that can be twisted into balloon art.

Parenting Specialists Park and Playground

Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 – 4:00
Meet the Parenting Specialists in a safe and secure play area where you can keep an eye on your children while sitting down one-on-one with our parenting specialists to get the information you need – right away.

Story and Craft Time

Saturday and Sunday
Demonstration Station
Usbourne Books will read a children’s book that's about a friendly monster. Kids will be encouraged to participate in a craft that goes with the reading  -  making the monsters ears for the kids to wear.

Gaurdians Advocating Child Safety and Protection

Sunday, 11:00 – 4:00
Safety Station
Gaurdians Advocating Child Safety and Protection (GASP) delivers child safety education and outreach programs free of charge.  Parents can get a free computer-generated disc that includes a front photo of your child, a side photo of your child digital fingerprints and pertinent information that you provide. The whole process takes about 5 minutes and is invaluable if the unimaginable happens. While unsettling, It is a good idea to have this updated information available to provide to law enforcement if your child goes missing. 

More About The Parenting Expo Cleveland
  • Very full speaker program. Topics include early intervention services, kindergarten readiness, college savings plans, talking to tweens/teens, summer camps, college admissions, and on and on. There is something for parents at every stage!
  • Variety of hands-on workshops for parents such as newborn care, potty-training, reading food labels, talking about sex, handling bullying, financial aid applications, etc.
  • There will be a Safety Area, where parents can learn about car seats, fire safety, home poisonings, etc.
  • The Expo will include vendors displaying and selling some of the hottest new baby products–many of whom will be offering great discounts on these products!
  • Want to stay up to date about Parenting Expo? Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ and Pinterest.

Win Tickets!
I'm excited to be giving away two "Family Four-Packs" of tickets to the Parenting Expo Cleveland. To enter, just use the easy Rafflecopter form below. :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Our Chicago Vacation: A Day At LEGOLAND in Schaumburg

Thanks to LEGOLAND Discovery Centers for providing my family with free admission to the Chicago/ Schaumburg LEGOLAND.

The first day of our Chicago vacation was packed with something my whole family loves... LEGO! When we walked in, we were immediately greeted by Albert Einstein. As you can see in the photo, the detail that went into creating this piece was amazing. And, I'm sure it's no coincidence that his nose was at the perfect height for the kids to dig their hands in!

As we waited in line for our tickets, Phoenix checked out the map of LEGOLAND. 

Upon entering LEGOLAND, we were greeted by Miniland Chicago which features famous Chicago landmarks built from almost 2 million LEGO bricks! Highlights include Willis Tower, Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain and the Wrigley Building. 

Next, we trekked through the Jungle Expedition. This stunningly-beautiful LEGO jungle brought us face to face with some incredible life-size LEGO jungle animals! From tigers, to hippos and monkeys, we followed the quiz trail to learn fun facts about our LEGO jungle friends.

The LEGO® STAR WARS™ MINILAND Model Display Episode IV was next on our visit. At this beautiful display, we were able to experience the epic duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader and watch in awe as the Millennium Falcon rises from the deserts of Tatooine. We explored the bustling city of Mos Eisley and took in the busy cantina where the band plays its familiar tune and dangerous characters lurk in dark corners. And,we saw the fortress-like depths of the mighty Death Star as it rises ominously above the dusty planet, and even tested our skills in the interactive model display to destroy the Imperial base or bring down the attacking X-Wings. 

Next, it was off to the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride. Our family hopped in a dragon car, armed with laser zappers, and rode through the forest to help destroy some evil villains! We got points for each skeleton and troll that you zap, and a few bonus targets that really helped boost our score! Our individual points tally was recorded on the dragon car, so we could see who got the highest score. You can ride Kingdom Quest as many times as you like, and the ride is included in the standard admission price.

As we headed upstairs, our first stop was the LEGO® 4D Cinema, which I thought was absolutely amazing!
This movie theater take the fun of 3D and add special effects, like wind, rain and snow, so that you really feel like a part of the story! We saw LEGO Clutch Powers, but there is LEGO Legends of Chima too. Both movies are family friendly and run for approximately 15 minutes. The movies run on rotation throughout the day.

The LEGO® Factory Tour was our next stop. The LEGO fun factory is where kids learn all about how LEGO bricks are made. Professor Brick-a-Brack will took us through each step of the brick creation process, starting with the plastic granulate, all the way through to printing and distribution. The kids also get a special souvenir LEGO brick to take home with them. 

After such a busy day, it was definitely time for some free play for the kids. Luckily, the LEGO® City Construction Site was our next stop. The LEGO City jungle gym is the perfect place for kids to burn off some excess energy! As well as climbing slopes and slides, the jungle gym also features soft LEGO bricks which are perfect for building big walls and houses. The jungle gym is located next to the cafĂ©, so adults are able to keep a close eye on their children while they play.

Our last stop at LEGOLAND in Chicago was the Technicycle Ride. The Technicycle is a fun pedal bike ride – as you go round in circles, pedal as fast as you can to fly up in the air. As soon as you stop pedalling, you’ll fly straight back down! This is a family friendly ride, and is especially popular with younger children. Ariana was not tall enough to ride, but Phoenix was, as long as he was accompanied by an adult. Like with everything at LEGOLAND, you can go on the ride as many times as you like, and the ride is included in the admission price. :)

And that, my friends,sums up our trip to LEGOLAND in Schaumburg - Chicago. If you have the opportunity to go, I highly recommend it! The memories we made there will certainly last a lifetime. :)

Have you ever been to LEGOLAND? What was your favorite part? Leave a comment below :)

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