Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores Giveaway

LBFO logoIf you know me at all, you know I’m not much of a shopper. I’m a HUNTer. I know I want a flowered dress, capped sleeves, size (none-ya), below-the-knee, on sale…. OH, and it has to be purchased at a store that’s easy to get in and out of. (I know. I’m picky.)

Good for me the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores mall is having their 17th Annual Spring Festival on Saturday, April 12th where I can park easily, get in and out easily, and hunt for that perfect Easter dress (or shoes, and…).

Give Kids the World Village Ms. Merry and Mayor ClaytonI’m especially excited that two of my favorite bunnies in the whole world, Mayor Clayton and Ms. Merry from Give Kids the World Village (GKTW) will be visiting at the Festival and superheroes from Heroes Alliance. The center is selling raffle tickets for a chance to win more than $6,000 in prizes including attraction tickets, hotels stays, store gifts and gift cards. One hundred percent of raffle ticket sales benefit Give Kids the World. (Thank you LBVFS!)

We’re huge GKTW supporters (you can read about one of our adventures here).

In addition, there will be a farmers market, crafts, face painting, balloon sculpting, games and an awesome sidewalk sale.

The Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores mall boasts 50 outlet shops including:

  • the area’s only Old Navy outlet store
  • U.S. Polo Assn.
  • Lindt Chocolate,
  • Nike, OshKosh B’Gosh
  • Tommy Hilfiger Stores
  • G by GUESS
  • Justice
  • Carter’s
  • Crocs
  • Calvin Klein
  • Levi’s®
  • Aeropostale
  • Converse
  • Famous Footwear Outlet
  • Fossil
  • Gap
  • Izod
  • Rack Room ShoesLoft Outlet image
  • and many more including one of my favorites:
    The Ann Taylor Loft store.


If you would like a chance to win a $50 gift certificate toshop at the LBVFS mall, click on the Rafflecopter image at left.Rafflecopter logo link

Even if you don’t win, you can get in on the savings by downloading a coupon from the Center’s website, then bringing it to Travelpro at the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores to receive a coupon booklet valued up to $400 in savings. Many stores offer additional savings from 20-40% off to “Friends & Family.”  Savvy discount shoppers can learn about these discounts, as well as specific stores and their hours by following the center on Facebook and Twitter, as well as visiting Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores is located just one mile from Walt Disney World at 15657 S. Apopka Vineland Road (State Road 535), Orlando, FL 32821-6316, and two miles south of I-4, Exit 68. Stores are open Monday-Saturday, 10am-9pm, and 10am-7pm on Sunday. 

4/8/2014 update: Contest has ended. Congratulations to Mary Edwards, winner of the $50 gift card.

Twitter Party This Thursday for GKTW Village

Scavenger Hunts are perfect this time of year. And while this one is online and not outdoors (unless you want to take your tablet outside…), it’s a fun way to get your game on while learning more about Give Kids The World Village, and about impressions made on bloggers who recently visited in our first-ever Blogger Bash.

Mayor ClaytonWhat:  

“Trick or Tweet” Twitter Party Thursday, October 17


7–8 p.m. EST.


All you need to do to join in on the fun is:

• Register by entering your Twitter name in the comment section of the GKTW Trick or Tweet page (click HERE)

• Follow Give Kids The World Village and our sponsor, Holiday Inn Club Vacations

• Follow the hosts @SeaWorldMommy and @AdventuresByDad

• Read the blogs listed below. The questions asked will be directly related to the posts. Answers can be found within the text or in the photo captions. Hint, hint: There may even be a question or two taken from the GKTW website.

•Respond to each Question using hashtag #GKTWTweetUp

Of course, what’s a party without some presents? We’ll be providing some cool GKTW Halloween-themed swag packs and our generous event Sponsor, Holiday Inn Vacations, is donating a 2-night stay in a 2-bedroom villa at any Holiday Inn Club Vacations® resort.

Scavenger Hunt Clue Destinations:

(Tip: Read these before the event so you have the best chance at answering first)

5 Minutes for Mom

Attraction Tickets Direct UK


Disney Orlando Blog


Guard the Door

Lost Island of Book Reviews

Mama Mouse

Mouse Steps

Saving Said Simply

Saving Said Simply


Sparkly Ever After

Taking the Florida Plunge

Temporary Tourist

The Daily City

The Disney Blog

Pre-Tweet to Win:

Anyone who tweets the link to this GKTW page with the hashtag #GKTWTweetUp before the start time of the “Trick or Tweet Twitter Party” will be entered to win a GKTW Logo Watch.

GKTW MushroomAbout the Party:

Despite the fact that Give Kids The World Village has been serving families since 1986, many people in Central Florida, and around the country, do not know about their amazing work. They haven’t heard about the special families that visit every week and they don’t know of the army of volunteers and workers who help provide a vacation-of-a-lifetime for kids facing a life-threatening illness. Blogger Bash ’13 was a way to introduce (or re-introduce) bloggers and local media to this storybook resort. Their blog posts detail the impact our Village had on them.

Come join the conversation about Give Kids The World Village Thursday, October 17th to discuss those blog impressions, and how you can help spread the word about our mission to provide memorable, magical, cost-free experiences to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Disclaimer and Twitter Party Giveaway Details:

Open to legal U.S. residents aged 18 and older at time of entry. No purchase necessary. The event will be open from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (EST) on 10/17/13. The Twitter Party Conversation will be tracked by the Hosts, Sponsor, and Give Kids The World (the Promoters) on HootSuite. Winners for each question will be the first person to correctly answer the question and post. Post is verified by Promoters. All decisions are final. In the event of unforeseen circumstances the Promoters and/or Sponsor reserve(s) the right to offer alternative prizes of equal or greater value. Ten prizes (listed below) will be awarded for correctly answering a Scavenger Hunt question. The Grand Prize Vacation (retail value of $498) will be selected at random using Random Picker ( from all entries received during the “Trick or Tweet” Scavenger Hunt. The Pre-Tweet GKTW Watch prize (retail value of $50) will be selected at random using Random Picker from all properly formatted posts tweeted from the time of this blog posting until 7:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, October 17.

Prizes (retail value varies):

1 – Spook and Splash – a beautiful Give Kids The World beach bag and towel with a GKTW logo.

2 – Fantasy Fingerprints – two canvas containing finger art done by a GKTW wish child

3 – Haunted Hats – two GKTW baseball hats

4 – Candy Surprise – two champagne flutes with the GKTW logo filled with candy

5 – Costume Combo – two Gingerbread Run tee shirts

6 – Box of Mystery – a lovely jewelry box with a GKTW logo

7 – Spook and Splash 2 – another beach bag and towel

8 – Candy Surprise 2 – two more champagne flutes with the GKTW logo filled with candy

9 – Boo Bag – a gym bag with the GKTW logo

10 – Trick or Treat Time – Trick? Or Treat? This prize is a surprise!


Win a 2-night stay at one of seven Holiday Inn Club Vacations properties

Win a 2-night stay at one of seven Holiday Inn Club Vacations properties

Grand prize:

–       2-night stay in a 2-bedroom villa at any Holiday Inn Club Vacations® resort.

–       Travel must be completed by March 31, 2014. Accommodations are based on availability.

–       Holiday Inn Club Vacations resort locations include:

o       Orlando, FL

o       Panama City Beach, FL

o       Marco Island, FL

o       Brownsville, VT

o       Myrtle Beach, SC

o       Gatlinburg, TN

o       Las Vegas, NV

o       Lake Geneva, WI

o       Galveston, TX

Give Kids the World Village, Where Wishes Come True

IMGP2144The first time I visited Give Kids the World, I was volunteering with the Dawn Brancheau Foundation. We had finished working the 5K at SeaWorld, and then a group of us went over to clean the villas. I honestly didn’t know what the Village was, nor did I know the significance of their mission until being there and seeing the place first-hand.


Mayor Clayton with a new-found friend.

Give Kids the World Village is a story-book facility where kids with life-threatening diseases can come and enjoy “just being kids.” Their parents don’t have to pay for lodging. It’s part of the wish. They don’t have to pay for food. It’s all there for them. Tickets to theme parks… are donated by the parks themselves, so each family can just relax, and enjoy the time they have together. They even have a Mayor who greets families and brings smiles every single day.
Recently the Village hosted their first ever Blogger Bash. I was happy to be on the committee to encourage as many local bloggers as possible to come and learn about the magical things they do. (After all, I’m a Florida native, and until a few years I had NO idea who they were or what their mission was. I felt it was my duty to get the word out as far and wide as I had [virtual] breath to do it!)

SeaWorld Orlando Park President Terry Prather

SeaWorld Orlando Park President Terry Prather

The evening was spent touring the facility and interacting with the amazing “Wish Families.” As the Blogger Bash was on a Thursday, it was Christmas. (It’s Christmas EVERY Thursday! And Halloween every Tuesday!) Jack Frost and a reindeer offered a warm welcome along with GKTW President, Pamela Landwirth and Mark Hoewing,
Public Relations Manager. There were also welcomes via video including SeaWorld’s Terry Prather. The special guest speaker was a father who experienced the Village first-hand when his family visited a few years ago. Sadly their son (who was a wish child) passed away not long after their visit. True inspirations, they turned sorrow into joy, and moved to Florida from Canada to support the village that meant so much to them personally.

2 Million volunteer hours and counting!

2 Million volunteer hours and counting!

After the tours and the meal at the Gingerbread House alongside families, the bloggers went home with a new respect for the work that is done. Quite a few people were ready to sign on the dotted line to become volunteers that very night.

I can’t think of a single person who has visited Give Kids the World Village who wasn’t touched, and inspired to be a part of their beautiful work. (I even wrote a song in their honor, I’ve been so moved by all that goes on there!)

Boston Rob,  four-time castaway on Survivor, celebrates Pirates and Princesses night at GKTW Village.

Boston Rob, four-time castaway on Survivor, celebrates Pirates and Princesses night at GKTW Village.

Central Florida bloggers have now joined the ranks of those who want to make a difference by being a part of Give Kids the World Village. Earlier this year it was the Hearts of Reality (including stars from Survivor, The Amazing Race, Big Brother, and more) and now our local influencers including Sparkly Nicole, Florida Plunge, MouseSteps, Central Florida Top 5 and Attractions Magazine to name but a few.


Volunteers-Are-Us! Thanks to Real Kids Shades for your donation to Give Kids the World Village. (As modeled by Daniel in the front row!)

Thank you to these volunteers and future volunteers! (And a special thank you to my team, Volunteers-Are-Us-Rex, who helped clean villas this past weekend. You’re the best! Thanks Kevin, Bonnie, Shizelle, David, Miranda, James, Matt, Daniel and Calvin)


This is a “sponsored post.” Give Kids The World compensated me in the form of a meal while I toured their facility and a small Swag Bag. Regardless, I only recommend products, services, or organizations I personally believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

SeaWorld Mommy v Central Florida Top 5 to Benefit GKTW

It’s on!

GKTW Village charity Orlando

Cleaning is hungry work. I had to stop for a snack. Yes, delicious. The round shape of the cookies reminds me of pancakes!

I first started working with Give Kids the World Village as part of a volunteer day to honor the life and legacy of Dawn Brancheau. Many runners and walkers (and volunteers like me) went to SeaWorld to participate in the Dream Big 5K, then afterward drove to Give Kids the World to clean the villas. It was a great experience and I enjoyed working side-by-side with people who enjoy making a difference!

That was a couple of years ago, and I continue to do my small part to help Give Kids the World by cleaning and eating ice cream (yes, some of the work is soooo hard!), and now eating pancakes, too!

Saturday, September 15 over 400 Perkins Restaurant and Bakery locations nationwide are giving out a free short stack of their yummy buttermilk pancakes to visitors for Give Kids The World Pancake Day. In return, Perkins will ask their guests to consider making a donation to GKTW, although there is no obligation.

Donations from the event will help provide meals served at Gingerbread House Restaurant inside the Village, where Perkins has provided more than 4 million meals for wish families.

GKTW Perkins Gingerbread

Details of gingerbread men and women inside Gingerbread House at Give Kids the World Village.

I’ll be at the Perkins on located at 6813 Sand Lake Road, Orlando, FL 32819 at 8 a.m. for my stack! Guess who will be there with me? Brian from Central Florida Top 5! We’re going head to head, er, pancake to pancake, in a contest to see which one of us can get the most people participating in this worthwhile event.

Why should you join us? Well for starters, free delicious fluffy mouth-watering pancakes (OK, I’m hungry now!). In addition, the first 25 followers at the location to post on Twitter or friends who post on FaceBook will also receive a complimentary gift card*. It’ll be a pancake party! With all that love flowing, not to mention pancake syrup, it’s my hope that happy bellies will translate into generous support of GKTW.

Last year, Perkins was able to raise almost $150,000 at Give Kids the World Pancake Day.  I say we can top that record. And I can top my pancakes with more butter and syrup AND I can get more supporters there than Central Florida Top 5.

C’mon Friends. Help me bring it! And bring your appetite while you’re at it!

*Rules for one of the 25 Gift cards (must be present at location to be eligible):
FaceBook: Tag the pages of GKTW, Perkins, and SeaWorld Mommy in your status update
Twitter: Mention @GKTWVillage and @EatAtPerkins and @SeaWorldMommy in a Tweet

Ice Cream For Breakfast to Benefit Give Kids the World Village

I was first introduced to Give Kids the World Village firsthand at the Dawn Brancheau Foundation Dream Big 5K at SeaWorld, Orlando, in April 2011. After volunteering at the run, some of the attendees went to do additional community service to continue Dawn’s dream “to find a way to make a difference.” I signed on to help clean villas.

One of the “Storybook” buildings at GKTW Village. Can you guess what’s served here?!

Give Kids the World Village, located in Kissimmee, FL, is a 70-acre “storybook” resort. The non-profit organization provides free vacation experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. From the moment you enter the gates, you can tell the place is designed with kids in mind! There’s no doubt it will be a trip they will never forget.

As we cleaned the villas, we discussed GKTW . One of Dawn’s sisters shared that a child she sponsored talked non-stop of the amazing time he and his family had there. “What was your favorite thing?” she queried. “Ice cram for breakfast every day!,” he said with a huge grin on his face! It seems a lot of these kids remember this special treat most of all!

In the spirit of that joy, an ice cream social is held every year as a fundraiser. Our family had no problem getting on board with that kind of fun (and for that great an organization!).

The weekend of July 13th-15th, people gathered to celebrate Global Ice Cream For Breakfast Weekend. We did our small part by hosting a “social” to raise funds and to increase awareness for Give Kids The World Village.

Our happy little group included 5 parents and about a dozen children. Thanks to an incredible donation by the Jamestown Publix Supermarket, the sundaes were piled HIGH with syrups and sprinkles, cherries and chocolate. They even pitched in with some festive balloons. The kids loved having ice cream for breakfast and learned about the work done for families all over the world through the village.

It’s not too late to donate. Click here to visit my First Giving page for GKTW village.