Rockin Mama™ https://rockinmama.net Motherhood, Giveaways and Product Reviews Wed, 20 Feb 2019 14:07:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://rockinmama.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cropped-Rockin-Mama-Logo-32x32.png Rockin Mama™ https://rockinmama.net 32 32 111966601 Disney’s Aladdin at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts https://rockinmama.net/disneys-aladdin-on-broadway/ https://rockinmama.net/disneys-aladdin-on-broadway/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 14:07:17 +0000 https://rockinmama.net/?p=73642 My father introduced me to a myriad of films as a young girl. Aladdin was one of his favorites, and I remember watching and singing along to the classic Disney film numerous times as a child. This winter, Disney’s Aladdin will perform live at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Disney’s Aladdin

Disney’s Aladdin is a musical based on the 1992 Disney animated film which became the highest-grossing film of the year. The film also won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song “A Whole New World,” which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Princess Jasmine and Aladdin

Set in the imagined Arabian city of Agrabah, it tells the familiar story of a poor young man who is grated three wishes by a genie in a lamp. Unable to court the princess because of his social status, Aladdin uses his three wishes to court Jasmine and thwart the sultan’s evil Grand Vizier.

Arabian Nights Men Aladdin

Aladdin opened on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre to critical acclaim on March 20, 2014, quickly establishing itself as one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years. The musical broke 13 New Amsterdam Theatre house records and welcomed nearly 10 million people worldwide.

Disney’s Aladdin is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions and features music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken, lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman, three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice, and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin. The musical features a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw.

Major Attaway as Genie

Aladdin was adapted from the Academy Award-winning animated film and centuries-old folktales including One Thousand and One Nights. The musical will sweep audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, comedy, and timeless romance. The production includes five songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack along with a score specifically written for the stage.

Friend Like Me Aladdin

Disney’s Aladdin Tickets and VIP Packages

Disney’s Aladdin will perform at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts March 6 through March 23, 2019. Tickets are priced from $26.50 and can be purchased at the Box Office, online, or via phone. Showtimes are as follows:

Tuesday – Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 7 and March 21 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday at 1:00 and 6:30 p.m.

VIP Ticket Packages include a prime seat location, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item.

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626

For more information, visit SCFTA.org and AladdinTheMusical.com/Tour.

Images: Segerstrom Center for the Arts

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LEGO Movie Days at LEGOLAND https://rockinmama.net/lego-movie-days-at-legoland/ https://rockinmama.net/lego-movie-days-at-legoland/#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 13:46:04 +0000 https://rockinmama.net/?p=73625 My kids’ toy interest has waxed and waned over the years, but their interest in LEGOS continues to persist. With drawers filled with LEGOS, both of my kids still have the latest sets on their wish lists. When the original LEGO Movie was announced, we were one of the first audiences to see it, captivated by the innovative way the filmmakers brought their favorite toy to life. This winter, Warner Bros. released a sequel to the film, and The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part once again tugged at our heart strings, compelled laugher, and reminded us exactly why we love those colored bricks. Timed for the film’s release, LEGOLAND California announced the opening of a brand new experience for families: The LEGO Movie 2 Experience. Additionally, guests can celebrate all-things LEGO Movie during LEGO Movie Days at LEGOLAND.

The LEGO Movie Experience

Consideration provided by LEGOLAND California Resort. 

The LEGO Movie 2 Experience

The LEGO Movie 2 Experience offers families a unique opportunity to experience movie magic by stepping onto an actual LEGO set as seen in the latest film. See Emmet, Lucy, and their LEGO co-stars in their hometown of Apocalypseburg in miniature scale.

Bricksburg

THE LEGO® Movie 2 Experience features more than 500,000 LEGO bricks and took Master Model builders more than 960 hours to assemble for the blockbuster film. The new attraction offers guests an up-close look at Apocalypseburg and models from the Systar System. Fans can stand in the same place as characters from the film and imagine being in the action!  

LEGO Movie 2 Experience

Six members of the Model Shop Team at LEGOLAND California Resort have been reconstructing the set from the blockbuster motion picture for five months, working with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and sets designers to ensure the details are as accurate as possible in both the basement scene and Bianca’s room. Bianca’s room highlights the fanciful DUPLO city and cake palace she was building in the movie, along with the film’s memorable characters such as Queen Watevera Wa-Nabi, ruler of the faraway Systar System, and General Mayhem, a masked space pilot.

Biancas Room

When LEGO Movie writer and producer Chris Miller was asked what guests can expect, he stated that they will “get to feel like they’re inside the movie and notice all the detail work that the set designers, prop designers and everybody else put in.”

LEGO Ninja

LEGO Movie Days

To celebrate the release of the film, LEGOLAND California Resort will host LEGO Movie Days February 16-18, 2019 and February 23-24, 2019. Guests can expect the following LEGO movie-themed activities:

  • The LEGO Movie 2 Character Meet & Greets: Meet Emmet, Lucy, Benny, and the stars of the latest film
  • The LEGO Movie 2 Dance Party: Show off your favorite dance moves as you party with Emmet and his friends.
  • Miniland Scavenger Hunt: Emmet and his friends have lost their way. Your job is to find them in Miniland U.S.A. to save the day. Once you complete your entry form, you will be entered to win The LEGO Movie Prize Pack.
  • The LEGO Movie 2 Mystery Mosaic Build: Work together to build a LEGO mosaic. This experience is first come, first serve.
  • WB Family GameSpace featuring The LEGO Movie Video Game: Join Emmet and his friends on their quest to thwart Lord Business’ evil plans.
  • The LEGO Movie 4D: A New Adventure: Follow Emmet and his friends as they are forced into the middle of an evil secret plot.
  • The LEGO Movie 2 Giveaway: Pick up The LEGO Movie 2 poster, while supplies last. T

LEGO Movie Days is included with admission to LEGOLAND California. For more information, visit LEGOLAND.com.

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The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay In San Diego https://rockinmama.net/the-hyatt-regency-mission-bay-in-san-diego/ https://rockinmama.net/the-hyatt-regency-mission-bay-in-san-diego/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2019 06:45:03 +0000 https://rockinmama.net/?p=22473 Two weekends ago, I had one glorious weekend to myself, sans children.  I take my children everywhere, and the number of evenings they have been away from me can be counted on two hands…maybe.  I don’t use babysitters or nannies (although I am not opposed to either) and my son didn’t go to preschool until after his second birthday.  Thus, I reveled in the short time away at Hyatt Regency Mission Bay In San Diego, even though it was truly bittersweet.

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay In San Diego

No compensation was received for this post. I was invited to spend an evening at the resort and was provided accommodations which helped facilitate this review.

If I could live anywhere in the world, San Diego would be on my top 5 list of places.  Despite the fact that the coastal metropolitan city is only an hour from our home, it always feels like we’re much further. Because I often work in San Diego, we visit regularly.  But this weekend was different…this time my children were with my mom and it was vacation which did not require a single meeting or client dinner.  It was wonderful.

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay In San Diego

I stayed at the newly transformed Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina located near Sea World.  I am very familiar with the Hyatt brand of hotels, as we regularly stay at the Manchester Grand Hyatt adjacent to Seaport Village.  I know to expect quality, luxury, and attention to detail and their Mission Bay location did not disappoint.

Location:  The hotel is located in close proximity to SeaWorld and for families, this is ideal.  The hotel offers a water taxi to their VIP entrance so that you don’t have to worry about parking or transportation to and from the park.  Having frequented SeaWorld during the busy summer months, I know first-hand how crowded the parking lot and the entrance gets.  The Hyatt’s Water Taxi runs daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day Weekend.  Please note that you must purchase park admission tickets in advance to use the water taxi.  They hotel also offers a SeaWorld Package which includes full breakfast for two in Red Marlin Restaurant each day, two tickets to Sea World each day, complimentary self-parking each day, and 2:00pm late checkout when available.  If you’re planning on visiting other San Diego attractions, you’ll need to drive or take public transportation since the hotel is at least 10 minutes from the downtown area.

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay In San Diego

Accommodations and Amenities:  The rooms at the Mission Bay location were recently redesigned and feature super comfy Hyatt Grand Beds, an iHome Stereo with iPod dock, a generous work desk, a 32-inch flat screen TV, and balconies with views of either the Pacific Ocean, Mission Bay or the gardens.  The rooms are open and spacious, perfect for a couple or a family.  You can select from either a King or two Queens in a variety of layouts including the option of booking a suite.

One of the things I learned while on a recent media tour of the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach is that the brand offers Hypo-Allergenic Rooms on request.  Respire by Hyatt rooms undergo an additional six-step process to reduce airborne particles and minimize the presence of irritants.  Allergy sufferers, in particular, will benefit from the state-of-the-art air purification system and treatment of all fabrics and surfaces in the room.  To learn more about the specifics of Respire by Hyatt rooms, visit their website.

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay In San Diego

The Property:   With views of the Pacific and the Bay, the 8-acre resort is truly idyllic.  I only left the property during those two days to check out some of the local restaurants in the area because there truly is a lot to do.  The resort offers three pools, complete with water slides, a waterfront health club, and a full-service marina with jet skis, sailboats, kayaks, sports fishing, and whale excursions.  If you’re looking to relax, the Blue Marble Spa features a couples suite, a wet sauna, and was named one of the top ten spas around the world.  The resort is surprisingly quiet and peaceful despite it’s modest size.

If you do decide to venture into the city, be sure to check with the concierge as city tours depart daily from the hotel.

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay In San Diego

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my hotel stay and the only thing I wish I had was more time! The Spring and Summer are filled with events at the resort including a month of Spring Break activities:

SeaWorld Character Visits on Saturday mornings throughout the property

Poolside Recreation Games on Friday and Saturday afternoons at the pool deck including waterslide relay races, water balloon tosses and hula-hoop contests

Poolside Bingo on Saturday afternoons

Daily Self-Guided Scavenger Hunts

“Lights, Camera, Action” Minnows Movie Night on Saturday nights in the pool area at 7:30 pm

S’mores Marshmallow Roast at the fire pit in the Cabana Lawn area

The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina is also offering a special vacation package beginning at $269 a night which will include a waterfront or VIP corner suite, $25 spa credit, s’mores kit and a 20 percent discount off four attraction tickets to SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Safari Park or Legoland.

For more information, including the resort’s latest offers, just visit their website.

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Valentine’s Day Chocolate and Toffee Cheesecake Recipe https://rockinmama.net/chocolate-and-toffee-cheesecake-recipe/ https://rockinmama.net/chocolate-and-toffee-cheesecake-recipe/#respond Mon, 11 Feb 2019 15:00:36 +0000 https://rockinmama.net/?p=63899 Chocolate and Toffee Cheesecake is the best way to Celebrate the season of love. With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, I decided to get creative with one of my favorite desserts…cheesecake! This decadent creamy dessert features a buttery shortbread crust, a creamy cheesecake, perfectly sweetened with crumbled Walkers Chocolate and Toffee Shortbread, and a dark chocolate drizzle!

Chocolate and Toffee Cheesecake

All month long, we’re celebrating friendship and love with Valentine’s Day crafts and recipes. I love the fact that this holiday is more than just romantic love, but an opportunity to show those you care about how much you appreciate them. One of my favorite ways to show my kids I love them is in the kitchen. It isn’t uncommon to find my daughter at my side, mixing and measuring while I prepare my kids’ favorite dishes. I had her at my side as I put together this delightful dish.

Chocolate and Toffee Cheesecake Ingredients

Cookies Used in Chocolate and Toffee Cheesecake

Chocolate and Toffee Cheesecake – A Sweet Treat for Your Sweet

Chocolate and Cheesecake are the perfect compliment to each other. I personally love the sweet tanginess of cream cheese together with the richness of dark chocolate. In place of the traditional graham crackers, I crumbled Walkers Shortbread with a few tablespoons of butter, then baked it before topping it with a Chocolate and Toffee Shortbread-infused cream cheese mixture.  Walkers Chocolate and Toffee Shortbread Cookies combine pure shortbread with sweet toffee and then are coated with milk chocolate. I absolutely loved how well they worked in this cheesecake. Once the cheesecake had set, I simply drizzled it with melted dark chocolate.

Chocolate and Toffee Cheesecake Crust

This recipe isn’t particularly time-consuming, but requires some forethought and preparation. I would take note of the bake time, which is about an hour and forty five minutes. If you plan to serve this Chocolate and Toffee Cheesecake for Valentine’s Day, prepare it the day before so that the dish has time to set in the refrigerator overnight.

Chocolate and Toffee Cheesecake

Cheesecake is a relatively simple dish, but a few tips will ensure your dessert cooks perfectly. I like to use a Springform pan, generously prepared with cooking spray so when the cheesecake has finished baking, you can easily remove the pan without the dish sticking. I also use a hot water bath in the oven (hat tip to Martha Stewart) which helps to ensure the cheesecake bakes evenly without cracking on top.

Chocolate and Toffee Cheesecake

Chocolate and Toffee Cheesecake

Shortbread Crust

  • 40 Walkers Shortbread Fingers
  • 10 tbsp butter

Cheesecake Filling

  • 32 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 18 Walkers Chocolate and Toffee Shortbread, crumbled
  • 2 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Prepare springform pan with nonstick cooking spray
  3. Crumble shortbread fingers in a food processor
  4. Add butter and pulse to combine
  5. Press shortbread crumble into the bottom of the pan. Be sure to press some of the mixture up the side of the pan (approximately 1 inch)
  6. Bake for 14 minutes until set and set aside to cool
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 325° F
  8. Using a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth
  9. Add sugar and continue beating until fluffy
  10. Beat in eggs one at a time (scrape down the side of the bowl as necessary)
  11. Beat in sour cream
  12. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into mixture
  13. Hand mix in vanilla bean, salt, and crumbled Walkers Chocolate and Toffee Shortbread
  14. Wrap springform pan in aluminum foil
  15. Pour in filling and set in a roasting pan
  16. Prepare hot water bath by boiling a tea kettle of water
  17. Add enough hot water so that it comes up the pan about halfway
  18. Bake cheesecake at 325° F for 1 hour and 45 minutes
  19. Remove cheesecake from hot water bath and allow to cool completely
  20. Allow to set in the refrigerator overnight before serving
  21. Top with a drizzle of melted dark chocolate, Walkers Chocolate and Toffee Shortbread and whipped cream, if desired

Chocolate and Toffee Cheesecake

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Dark Chocolate Truffles https://rockinmama.net/dark-chocolate-truffles/ https://rockinmama.net/dark-chocolate-truffles/#respond Sun, 10 Feb 2019 19:30:24 +0000 https://rockinmama.net/?p=59625 I can go days without dessert, and more often than not, I’d take macaroni and cheese over cheesecake when I’m craving something indulgent. But dark chocolate is my weakness, so much so that I’ve been known to grab a handful of dark chocolate chips at dark thirty to stave off my craving.  Over the holidays, I received an elegant box of dark chocolate truffles from a local chocolatier that made every store-bought box of chocolate pale in comparison.

Chocolate Truffle Ingredients

Valentine’s Day is just 2 weeks away, and while I know you’re going to want to pick up the first heart-shaped box of chocolate you see, why not get creative with these Dark Chocolate Truffles. The base recipe is just 2 ingredients (dark chocolate and cream) and with a bit of time, you can personalize it so these truffles look and taste exactly how you like them. Everything you’ll need for this recipe can be found at your local Walmart.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

For my Dark Chocolate Truffles, I decided to infuse the ganache with vanilla bean and then roll them in cocoa powder, chopped pistachios, shaved coconut and sprinkles. I then picked up Valentine’s Day-themed treat boxes and mini baking cups to display them.

Dark Chocolate Truffles

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 8 ounces of dark chocolate (60% cacao)
  • Toppings: cocoa powder (crushed pistachios, shaved coconut, sprinkles)
  1. Whisk seeds from the vanilla bean into cream
  2. Heat cream over a double boiler until simmering
  3. Turn off heat and add chocolate, but do not stir
  4. Let stand for 10 minutes
  5. Whisk until smooth but do not over mix
  6. Cool approximately 2 hours in the refrigerator
  7. To assemble, use a teaspoon to spoon out ganache
  8. Roll into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  9. Refrigerate for 15 minutes
  10. Roll truffles in desired coatings
  11. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve

Truffle Toppings

These Dark Chocolate Truffles are absolutely decadent…rich in texture and mildly sweet. I personally love the fact that I can customize the ganache AND the toppings. Try experimenting with the cream base by adding dried lavender, cardamom or cinnamon. You can also add flavor to your chocolate, some of my favorites being espresso, peanut butter, or amaretto. If you’ve ever had a store-bought truffle, you might notice that some have a hard chocolate coating, which is easily achieved by simply dipping the truffles in melted chocolate before rolling them in your favorite toppings.

Valentine Truffles

Fine Cooking has an excellent article about personalizing your Dark Chocolate Truffles and I encourage you to check out all of the ways you can elevate chocolate.

Looking for additional Valentine’s Day Treats? Check out these inspired recipes from my fellow Walmart Moms:

Saltine Cracker Toffee

Valentine’s Day Cake Pops

Strawberry-Filled Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day Popcorn

Heart-Shaped Krispy Treats

Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshake

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