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Mandy Carter attends Fort Myers Dave & Busters Media event getting a sneak peek before opening day on April 8, 2019!

I attended the Media Preview of the newest business to reside at the Bell Tower in Fort Myers: Dave & Buster’s. During this private sneak peek event, I had the opportunity to try out a variety of the menu options, one-on-one interviews with management and staff, a guided tour and free gameplay in this 40,000 square feet entertainment complex!

Located in the mall space formerly occupied by Saks Fifth Avenue, Dave & Buster’s will officially open Monday, April 8. (On Monday, there will be a grand opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m., and the doors will open at 11 a.m. to the public).

The menu at Dave & Buster’s includes a great selection of chef-crafted food, inventive drinks, hundreds of the newest arcade games and the state-of-the-art D&B Sports Bar filled with dozens of HDTVs.

TACOS!!!!

I  am already a fan of their creative cocktail menu…starting with the delicious ‘Backwoods Blueberry Lemonade,’ which was a combination of Tito’s vodka, blueberry puree, house sweet n sour and a sidecar of Firefly Strawberry Moonshine. Other cocktails of interest include Jameson Long Island Tea, Dangerous Waters Island Punch, and the Strawberry Watermelo Margarita.

This is the perfect place for a Date Night, Girl’s Night, Family Fun Day and Birthday Parties…. you could spend hours here!

DETAILS:
Dave & Buster’s Ft Myers
address: 13499 S. Cleveland Ave., Suite 400
website: https://www.daveandbusters.com/locations/fort-myers
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DnBFortMyers

The post 8th Florida Dave & Buster’s location opens in Fort Myers! appeared first on A Cupful of Carters.

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Florida is not all theme parks and beaches.

The Sunshine State is full of great family-friendly activities, from alligator hunting to rocket launches. Here are five of the weird and wonderful family adventures that you can try in Florida.

1. Go alligator-spotting in the Everglades

If you visit Florida and don’t get to see an alligator, you’ll feel like you’ve missed out. With a wealth of locations to choose from, we’d recommend the Fort Lauderdale Everglades. From here you can take a guided airboat ride through the mangrove swamps and learn first-hand about the staggering numbers of creatures that make their home here – including manatees, dolphins and ospreys. And if you’re feeling brave enough, you can try a bite of alligator meat before they get a chance to take a bite out of you.

2. Kayaking in the mangroves

Located on an island just off the Gulf of Mexico and the previous winner of ‘The Best Beach in the United States’, Caladesi Island State Park is home to a wealth of leisure activities for all the family. Visitors can take part in snorkeling, kayaking, boating and fishing all in one day.

But the real draw is the three-mile kayak trail that curves through the depths of the nearby mangrove forests. With multiple stop-off points, your family can easily go on land to take photos of the local herons, black skimmers owls and take a guided tour of the local pelican colony.

Just be sure your travel insurance covers your activities before you set off. A week’s stay in a US hospital can cost $140,000, so its importance can’t be underestimated.

3. Watch a rocket launch

Spend a day at the Kennedy Space Center and learn all about the history of the space race – you can even experience a shuttle launch simulation, and meet real-life astronauts! If you’re really lucky, you could even get to witness a rocket launch up close. Just check the launch schedule on the Space Center website and plan your visit accordingly.

4. Swim with dolphins

The warm, calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico are beloved by dolphins, porpoises, sea turtles and manatees all year round. Head to the Florida Keys or Panama City Beach for your best chance of seeing these gorgeous creatures in the wild. Choose a reputable tour company and your whole family can experience the sheer joy of swimming with dolphins in the wild.

5. Ride all the rollercoasters

Let’s face it, most families travel to Florida to visit the world-famous theme parks, and there is no greater adventure that a family can have than a week of wild rollercoaster fun.

Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom is probably the most famous rollercoaster in the world, and as long as every member of your family is taller than 3’6”, you can all enjoy the ride together.

At Universal Studios, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is a high-speed, white knuckle bonanza, while Busch Gardens’ iconic Montu is one of the tallest and longest rollercoasters in the world. Just don’t eat lunch right before you board.

Or if you just want to relax one Florida weekend check out this secluded Florida Beach Resort.

The post 5 unusual family adventures to try in Florida appeared first on A Cupful of Carters.

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PlayWithPlaymobil #CollectiveBias

I believe that is important for kids to be kids and to have plenty of hours of play time. Play develops many cognitive and emotional skills by using their imagination and creativity. One of the biggest challenges raising children today is the amount of time they spend in front of screens, whether it is  the TV, video games, computer, tablet, etc. It is a huge part of society and day to day life for all ages, so encouraging playtime is important. 

Introducing kids to the right toys can be a bigger part of the challenge since options or practically endless! I was recently re-introduced to PLAYMOBIL toys. Do you remember these toys from your childhood? They are a classic toy that can now be found at your local Walmart at a great price!

What I loved about PLAYMOBIL as a kid are the same reasons I love the toys as a mom! They are high-quality toys that have such attention to detail, and are made to last through years, even decades of play.

The detail and realism of the toys bring out so much creativity and imagination from both my 4 year old daughter and 7 year old son. They have had endless hours of fun through authentic play play time. 

How to Encourage Creativity & Imagination Through Play

Have the right toys for bringing out creativity and imagination
Since my son is really into doctors and currently discussing community helpers at school, I brought home the PLAYMOBIL Rescue Ambulance for him and since my daughter just started school I thought the PLAYMOBIL School Bus would interest her the most. I was right! As a mom, when you overhear the conversations and adventures taking place with the toys in the next room you know you have provided the perfect toy for expanding imaginations and building their creative side. PLAYMOBIL brings you imaginative play sets focused around iconic figures from a variety of worlds, both realistic (police, firemen, etc.) and fantastical (modern day dinos).

A place to play
Provide your child with the space to play creatively. It could be a separate room , a corner of a room or even just a cleared off table. It needs to be a space where they can takeover for an hour or a day.  The imaginative play area should be changed regularly with different props and toys to keep children stimulated by it.

Give your kids the freedom to really enjoy playing
There is a time and a place for structured play but there is great value in letting them create their own version of playing. Just give them the time to play how they want…you will see their creativity, happiness and energy soar!

I truly believe that kids should be allowed to be kids!  In our world today, we get caught up in our schedules of activity after activity that we forget to have fun. Encouraging our children to play creatively and have fun exploring their imagination will develop their skills and help them build healthy relationships in life. You can start this learning process by buying the right toys.

Have you seen the PLAYMOBIL toys at Walmart yet? I found them on the end of one of the toy aisles. There are so many cool sets to choose from –a realistic ambulance and firetruck to a fantasy dino set and the perfect gift for the young child on your holiday list that will provide them with hours of fun and creative learning through play. 

Interested in PLAYMOBIL toys. Hover over the image below to shop for them yourself.

The post Creative and imaginative play time is a necessary part of the learning process appeared first on A Cupful of Carters.

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I received compensation from Bayer Consumer Health, makers of MiraLAX® to write this post. MiraLAX® is a laxative used to treat occasional constipation. All opinions are entirely my own. #ReliefMadeEasy #CollectiveBias

If you are like me, traveling can disrupt normal eating and fitness patterns which can have a negative impact on my digestive system causing occasional constipation. The good news is that you can do little things to help ease occasional constipation.

Combat and create relief from occasional constipation.

Many adults don’t talk about their occasional constipation problems, especially when it comes to the topic of travel. It is never fun to deal with occasional constipation while on a trip but it happens to many because of the routine and diet change. Here are three tips that will keep you comfortable and happy on your next trip!

  1. Exercise for 30 mins a day on your trip.

Simply getting up and moving can help with occasional constipation. Exercise helps with occasional constipation by lowering the time it takes food to move through the large intestine. At minimum do 10 minutes of stretching and take a 10 minute walk or bike ride and do 10 minutes of pelvic floor exercises.

  1. Incorporate MiraLAX® into your travel packing.

MiraLAX® works with your body’s natural process to provide gentle, effective relief from occasional constipation with no harsh side effects which is very important when you are trying to enjoy a vacation! You can take the MiraLAX® Mix-In Pax® or MiraLAX® bottles easily with you anywhere.

  1. Drink lots of water.

Since occasional constipation is often related to dehydration, you need to make sure you are drinking lots of water. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of occasional constipation. Watch the amount of fluid you drink, drink more liquids during travels, especially hot weather.

  1. Be prepared

It is always good to have everything you need in case the occasional constipation arises at some point on your trip, so I suggest packing a small bottle of MiraLAX® or the MiraLAX® Mix-In Pax® for easy carrying in your purse or carry-on. Also make sure you have a refillable water bottle with you at all times and a healthy snack.

You can find all sizes, including the Mix-in Pax® on the laxative aisle of Publix. Save on any MiraLAX® product with this coupon.

The post Stay on track while traveling appeared first on A Cupful of Carters.

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If you’ve ever played video games, you know just how much fun they can be. Over the past twenty years, video gaming has evolved from a mere time sink into a passion and even a profession for many people.

However, with the growth of video games, there is also an increasing incidence of video game addiction around the world. An addiction to video games doesn’t have to be severe to disrupt your day-to-day life or alienate you from your friends and family.

What is video game addiction?

Experts describe video game addiction as the compulsive, excessive or uncontrolled use of video games. Over the past twenty years, as video games became more commonplace in our lives, addiction to video games has become a mounting concern for parents and educators worldwide, as video games are often targeted toward children and young teenagers. However, addiction can affect adults and older teenagers just as easily.

Video game addiction often affects players of video games in the multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS), Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) and Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) genres, but it can affect players of virtually any video game.

What are the signs that you may be addicted to video games?

The most common signs that you may be addicted to video games are:

  • If you find yourself feeling restless and/or irritable when you are unable to play.
  • If you find that you’re preoccupied with thoughts of playing.
  • You’ve begun struggling with personal hygiene issues.
  • If you spend a lot of time thinking about video games outside of playing.
  • You lie to family, friends or others about how much time you spend playing video games.
  • You suffer from migraines or eye strain from staring at a screen for excessive periods of time.

If you believe you’ve become or are on your way to becoming a video game addict, don’t worry. Here are three ways you can begin to curb your playtime, starting today:

If video games are a pastime for you, find another hobby or rewarding activity

A hobby can be as simple as having a stamp collection, or it can ask for a little more time and dedication, like a sport. In any case, you shouldn’t try to replace video games as a pastime completely. Instead, you should try to find a balance of varied hobbies. Physical activities like jogging/running, exercising at a gym or even just taking walks around the neighborhood can be an excellent use of your free time. You can also sharpen your mind and creativity. Try reading books, learning a musical instrument or even conducting science experiments in your home! Use the opportunity to explore the world!

If you’re not sure what to do or can’t find a hobby that interests you, consider a similarly rewarding activity, like gambling. Gambling isn’t safe for minors, but for adults, it can be a safe and exciting pastime, not unlike gaming. In New Zealand, where video game addiction has become a growing problem in recent years, there are a number of websites that can help you find the safest and most rewarding online NZ casinos.

Force yourself to play in moderation

This part can be the most challenging one. However, in people struggling with video game addiction it’s often seen that they tend to lose track of time while playing.

A simple solution is to set the alarm on your phone. Set it for a reasonable amount of time, like an hour. When it rings, force yourself to sit up and stop playing. That is easier said than done, of course. However, try to remind yourself why you’re doing it in the first place. Think of all of the problems excessive playing has caused you in your life.

It’s okay if you’re in the middle of an online match and can’t quit right away. Promise to yourself that you will stop playing as soon as the round is over.

Don’t quit cold turkey

Unlike other common addictions, video gaming often serves as the primary pastime of video game addicts. Quitting video games outright can open a void in your day-to-day activities. With a lot of free time suddenly on your hands, you’re bound to become bored. Boredom carries an increased risk of depression and, of course, relapsing into your old addiction.

Find other rewarding activities, like online gambling

In severe cases, compulsive gamers may find it hard to find an activity that can mimic the rush of excitement one gets from fast-paced, intense video games. In such cases, it may be helpful to try a similarly rewarding activity, like online gambling.

Gambling and gaming are very similar in the way they can reward you psychologically. Of course, gambling isn’t recommended for minors, but for adults, online gambling can serve as a similarly exciting and safe pastime, if done in moderation.

However, it’s important to find a safe environment first. For example, websites like Mobilcasino can help you find the safest and most rewarding mobile casinos. For a similarly safe entry into online gambling if you happen to live in the United Kingdom, consider visiting https://www.wildwins.com/

The post Spending Too Much Time Playing Video Games? 3 Ways to Kick the Habit appeared first on A Cupful of Carters.

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Do you love learning about mom hacks, makeup tricks and beauty tips?

Yes?! Then you should come FLAMINGLE on Facebook!
(This is a private, invite only group, so to get approved answer the question with “MANDY CARTER” as the distributor who invited you)

It is a one-day Beauty Bash on Facebook. This beauty extravaganza is taking place in a private Facebook group where you need an invite from one of the hosts! And guess what, I am one! So JOIN US FOR FREE and you can even win some Fabulous prizes.  Think MacBook, YETI Cooler…

Think of it as a one day MEGA Facebook Party with fun and engaging live videos throughout the day. 

You’ll see “live videos” on everything from self tanning routines, morning skin care routine, how to get perfect beach waves, healthy summer snacks, and date night eye looks, just to name a few! There will be a full run down of the schedule in the actual group! So JOIN THE GROUP NOW!

Beauty Bash Details:

Wednesday, July 11th
8:45am – 9:00pm
***Live videos will happen every hour on the hour***

It’s a Private Group, so request to join here
AND to get approved answer the question
with “MANDY CARTER” as the distributor who invited you

The post Let’s Flamingle: Beauty Bash Facebook Party with MEGA Giveaways appeared first on A Cupful of Carters.

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This post was sponsored by Hood as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

I tried Hood Calorie Countdown for the first time a few months ago and am happy to say that it is now a regular item on my Walmart shopping list! Read how I introduced this milk replacement into my family’s healthy diet. Hood Calorie Countdown is a dairy beverage that has 42% fewer calories, 75% less sugar and 67% fewer carbohydrates than milk AND my kids love it! The consistency is smooth and milky; the taste is creamy and delicious. 

Now I use Hood Calorie Countdown daily

First thing first: I add Hood Calorie Countdown in my coffee every morning. The Calorie Countdown Fat Free has replaced my old creamer. Calorie Countdown blends ultra-filtered milk with water, cream and some other ingredients for a delicious and creamy taste with fewer calories, less sugar, and fewer carbohydrates than regular milk. By this simple swap I have saved calories and lessened the sugar in my morning pick me up without sacrificing the taste. 

Secondly, I serve it to my kids. In recipes, with a snack and with their meals. Hood Calorie Countdown has became their go-to dairy drink. Another reason I like Calorie Countdown is because I can happily serve them their chocolate drink request now and not feel like I am ruining their supper. The Reduced Fat Chocolate is only 80 calories per 1 cup serving, which is 56% fewer calories than traditional chocolate milk! And ONLY 3 grams of SUGAR!!!

Save Calories, Save Money

No excuses not to try it because it is easy to find at a Walmart in your hometown. And they are offering a great —> coupon <— So print it off before you visit Walmart to try it for yourself. 

Always Good, Always Hood

Calorie Countdown comes from Hood, which is a leader in high quality dairy products. For more than 160 years, the name Hood has been synonymous with fresh, quality dairy products that taste great. Also, as I have mentioned before, I think it is great that Calorie Countdown is made with milk from farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormones.

Follow Hood on Facebook and Instagram!

Get some really great recipe ideas from their Pinterest Boards. 

The post Hood Calorie Countdown replaced milk in my home! appeared first on A Cupful of Carters.

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This post was sponsored by Hood as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

As a mom to two young kids, I am always looking for healthier swaps of the foods we love. Achieving total wellness is a goal of mine for myself and my family, and one component is healthy eating but with kids we all know you have to introduce changes slowly and that must also taste great in order to get the little one on board for the change. 

My kids drink a lot. I cannot keep milk and juice stocked in the house and I am always looking for healthy beverages to replace our current norm. If you peruse the milk aisle of your local Walmart you will see tons of dairy drinks. I decided to try Hood Calorie Countdown as a replacement for our usual milk purchase this month.  I am happy to say that Hood Calorie Countdown is a dairy beverage that has 42% fewer calories, 75% less sugar and 67% fewer carbohydrates than milk AND my kids love it! The consistency is smooth and milky; the taste is creamy and delicious.

Here is a COUPON in case you need extra incentive to give this dairy beverage a try! Soon you will be counting the ways you got to a better lifestyle. 

Easy ways to incorporate Hood Calorie Countdown into your family’s diet for a healthy lifestyle change. 

Add to cereal. I love with any low calorie cereal and my kids like it with their fruit loops!

Use to make a Chocolate Protein Smoothie Post Workout

Serve with an afternoon snack. My daughter loves the strawberry with her fruit, nuts and muffin snack. 

Calorie Countdown comes from Hood, which is a leader in high quality dairy products. Also, I find it worth noting that Calorie Countdown is made with milk from farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormones. You can check them out on Facebook and Instagram! Get some really great recipe ideas from their Pinterest Boards. 

Don’t forget to grab this —> coupon <— before you visit Walmart to try it for yourself. 

The post Hood Calorie Countdown: a dairy beverage we love for a healthier lifestyle + a coupon appeared first on A Cupful of Carters.

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Life is busy and sometimes it gets overwhelming. This is no secret, and it happens to everyone.

However, instead of letting the stress take over, why not work with some expert techniques to help you to deal with the stress? Believe it or not, there are ways to effectively reduce your day to day stress for the long run, and they are surprisingly simple. So, the next time that you feel stressed out, don’t pine for the spa day that will never come. Instead, employ some practical techniques that are simple and effective for helping you to reduce your day to day stress.

Whether it’s a full inbox, morning traffic, or getting the kids to school on time, everyone endures stress. The issue is when the stress begins to feel like it’s too much to handle. So, the next time that you are feeling stressed, try these 4 simple methods to help you reduce it.

1. Get Enough Sleep

 This may seem like a given, but the fact of the matter is that most people do not get enough sleep. It might seem like it’s smart to stay up late working on a project or clearing out your inbox, but when you do this, you are actually inadvertently adding to your own stress. Instead, put the work down a couple of hours before bedtime and focus on getting enough sleep.

Not sleeping enough is a vicious cycle, because when you are tired it leads you to becoming more stressed, thus interrupting your sleep even further. Take a deep breath, read a book, and drink a nice cup of non-caffeinated tea. Use the hours before bedtime to clear your brain and focus on nothing but getting enough sleep. Trust us, you will feel so much better in the morning.

2. De-clutter Your Life

 If your physical space is cluttered, then that means that your mental space will be cluttered as well. In a busy daily life, it can seem frugal to skip tidying up for that day in order to conserve time for tasks that seem like they are more important. However, this will only cause you to become more stressed in the long run.

Taking 15 minutes out of your day every day to tidy up your space will allow you to breathe easier and feel better overall. This way you won’t lay awake at night making a mental to-do list of all of the chores you have to do when you can find the time, and it will make the stressful parts of your day such as getting ready in the morning all that much easier.

3. Get Your Finances in Order

 Financial stress is one of the most common forms of day to day stress, so it’s important to realize that you are not alone in this one. One of the best things that you can do for yourself in order to reduce stress is to take the time to get your finances in order. This means balancing your accounts, working on a plan to pay off your debt, and, if needed, rebuilding your credit. This will make an enormous difference in the way that you feel about your life in the long-run and will help you to reduce a lot of the stress about your financial situation.

There are a lot of options for people who need help with figuring out their finances. In many cities there are cheap or even free financial coaches that people can visit in order to help them work out the best decisions for them and their wallets. This is a great option for people who feel overwhelmed by the notion of figuring out their finances, because it is an avenue through which to get constructive professional help.

4. Eat Healthily

 If you are busy and constantly on the go, then it can be very difficult to eat healthily. While you may not think that this makes a difference in your stress levels, it most definitely does. Giving your body the nutrients that it needs to function properly will make a huge difference in your stress levels.

For example, vitamin B is directly linked to anxiety, and is found to help reduce stress levels when consumed in the proper and recommended amount. Although your body may crave junk food when you are stressed, it is actually healthy and balanced meals that will you to reduce your stress levels.


Reducing your stress does not have to be difficult. Just follow these simple tips to help you achieve a better balance in your life.

The post 4 Simple Ways to Reduce Day to Day Stress appeared first on A Cupful of Carters.

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I had a fantastic getaway with my kids to #DiscoverMartin on Hutchinson Island. During our visit we explored the area and my kids really enjoyed the time we spent at Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center, so I wanted to share all the details of this great little Florida attraction hidden in this beautiful beach town.

RELATED: Read all about our Spring Break stay at the new Hutchinson Shores Resort and Spa on Jensen Beach

Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center

KIDS CAN FEED STINGRAYS

The stingray tank was my son’s favorite part because he was able to hand feed the stingrays all by himself. Be sure to look at the daily schedule before you go so that you plan to attend this feeding.

HIDDEN TRAILS TO WALK ON HUTCHINSON ISLAND

At the beack of the Coastal Center there are some trails that are fun to walk. On these trails you can get to the Indian River lagoon or take a loop around the mangrove swamp.

HANDS ON OUTDOOR LEARNING

Throughout the facility there are a number of fun hands on activities where kids learn in a play like setting from pretend fishing to stamping animal tracks in the sand.

EDUCATION CENTER

The Florida Oceanographic Coastal Education Center is located on Hutchinson Island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon. The center educated thousands of kids yearly through the on-site programs. With its coastal hardwood hammocks and mangrove swamp communities, the natural site is perfect for education and research giving visitors’ new knowledge about these unique coastal environments.

Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center
890 NE Ocean Blvd. | Stuart, Fl 34996
772-225-0505

HOURS:
Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

ADMISSION:

Adults $12
Children (3-12) $6
Children under 3 FREE
Members FREE
website: www.floridaocean.org

 

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The post Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center – A must visit Florida attraction with kids appeared first on A Cupful of Carters.

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