Playhouse Square International Children’s Festival (giveaway)

You all know that I love living in Cleveland. From the great food scene, to the low cost of living it really is a fantastic place to be. And, I think, it’s an even better place to raise kids. We have amazing museums, beautiful parks, the beaches at the lake and easy access to both the city and the country for activities.

One of the gems of Cleveland is Playhouse Square. We all know it’s “the second-largest theater complex in the United States (second only to New York City’s Lincoln Center)”. But visiting it is something to experience. We are so, so lucky to have a venue for Broadway shows, dance of all kinds, comedians, classic plays, and more. I love that I can introduce our kids to the theater by taking them to see world-renowned shows downtown.

Matilda at the State Theater for the Nutcracker

 As parents, one of the highlights of our year is the Annual International Children’s Festival. It starts on Friday runs through Saturday. Last year we bought tickets to 3 shows and Mark and I took turns enjoying the shows with Matilda. She was THRILLED to have “date nights” with us and we all loved the shows. The Festival is absolutely perfect for introducing even little kids to live performances (that don’t include Elmo or Cinderella). Shows range from puppets, to live action; from music to storytelling. There is something for every interest and every age. Stages are set up throughout the theater complex and venues vary from the ornate Ohio Theater to the dance studios. Last year, the show I went to had us sitting on carpet squares – perfect for a squirmy kid who didn’t weigh enough to hold a theater seat down and it put us right up next to the performers. Matilda was mesmerized. And from the educational standpoint, it’s great exposure to different ways of storytelling and viewpoints from other cultures.

Planning our day at the 2011 International Children’s Festival

This year we are hitting up shows on Friday evening. However, if your schedule permits, I suggest you check out at least one show on Saturday. “Why Saturday?” you ask? Well, that’s when the theater district is jam packed with activities and workshops that tie directly to the shows. Make a drum, puppet or hat to continue the Festival stories at home. Check out the Artwalk and don’t miss the 14th Street World Stage to get your grove on to live music from around the world. Seriously, spend the whole day Saturday in Playhouse Square. You and your kids will love it.

If you have kids, from ages 3 to upper middle school, there is no reason not to be at the International Children’s Festival at some point this week. And here’s your chance to win. The Festival has given me a four-pack of tickets for World of Rhythm show on Saturday May 5 at 1:30 PM.
There are 2 ways to enter: 1) leave me a comment about your favorite theater experience
2) Tweet this: “I want to win tickets to the International Children’s Festival from @playhousesquare and @kakaty http://www.kakakakaty.com/2012/04/30/icf/”
you must come back and leave me a second comment with a link to your tweet for this one to count. You can use the Tweet This button below but you still have to come leave a 2nd comment.

Good luck! Comments will close at 6:00 PM on Thursday, May 3. Winner will pick up tickets at will-call.

 

Disclosure: I was provided with 2 tickets to one show. As always, my thoughts are 100% my own. I only share events that my family plans to attend or has attended in the past, so I know they are worth the visit. 

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One Styling Event (Product Giveaway & Discount)

UPDATE: Congratulations to Marta! I’ll mail out the flat iron this week.

 

Alternate title…how a hairdryer changed my life.

Several weeks ago I attended an event at Spa West hosted by ONE Styling. It was organized by the fabulous Kimberly of Smitten…in Cleveland (seriously, she is the embodiment of the word fabulous) to introduce us to the ONE Styling and Verge Styling lines of products. First up, if you’re just here for the discount code: get 35% off, free shipping and a free heat mat at ONEStyling.com with coupon code KATY35 valid thru 4/30/12.

It was a fun night of hair styling, cocktails and apps. Since I didn’t have my “big” camera with me I’m going to be lazy and link to the photos from the people that did. Once we learned the history behind the team at ONE Styling we headed to the salon to have our hairs did. I turned over my thick, heavy, straight hair to a stylist wielding the dubious looking Verge Bubble Wand. Honestly, I thought the wand didn’t stand a chance…my hair does not hold a curl for anyone (someday I’ll tell you about the double-chemical spiral perms I got in the early 90s during my quest for curly hair).

But, after 40 minutes or so of curls, more champagne and chatting with the stylist my hair was curly. And, while the curls softened to waves, they held until the next evening. This is unheard of in my hair; curls and waves usually abandon ship after just a few hours.

Freshly Curled

The next night (ignore the dark eye circles)

Color me impressed.

Other ladies tried out the Curl Styx (with interchangeable barrels) and the Epic Flat Iron: all with great results.

The wonderful ONE Styling team sent us all home with a HUGE bag of products to try. Like…ALL THE PRODUCTS…wow, just wow.

Over the past weeks I’ve been trying them out. First up – the Epic Pro Dryer. Also known as the hairdryer that has changed my life. No joke. Like I said, my hair is thick and heavy. It tends to retain water like a pregnant woman on a summer afternoon. On the days I blow dry I give myself 45 minutes because it takes that long to get it to damp-dry. But, the 1st time I used the Epic dryer it was dry in 20 minutes. Dry, like not damp-dry but dry. I was gobsmacked. And every time I’ve used it since then I shake my head in wonder that it takes so little time. The bonus is that my hair is so much healthier and less frizzy since I’ve started using this dryer. I know I got it free, but it’s 100% worth the money.

And, like the dryer, the Epic Flat Iron has cut down my hairstyling time. It heats up to super hot temps super fast. The process of drying and flat-ironing my hair has literally been cut in half by these two products. I highly recommend them both. Seriously, go buy them using the discount code above.

The other product I’ve had fun with is the previously mentioned Bubble Wand. Matilda calls it the “funny bubble curler” and it’s the only time she’s ever let me curl her hair.

Although she has some natural curl, she has stubborn hair like mine, but these curls managed to hold up through a day of play and bike helmets.

Overall I am super impressed by all the ONE Styling products I tried and would recommend any of them to you. A big thanks to ONE Styling, Kimberly and the stylists at Spa West for such a lovely evening!

And here’s my gift for you…I have a ONE Styling Crush Flat Iron (1″) for one lucky reader. Just leave a comment with your best hairstyling tip or trick (it can be anything). Tweet the following for an extra entry (or just use the tweet button below): I want to win a @onestyling Crush Flat Iron from @kakaty   http://www.kakakakaty.com/2012/04/19/one-styling/

Make sure you come back and leave me an comment with the link to your tweet. (total of 2 entires per person). Entries due by midnight eastern on 4/26/2012.

Good luck!

 

Disclosure: I was invited to a blogger event and provided a gift bag full of ONE Styling products. I was not asked to blog about the product or host a giveaway. As always, my thoughts are 100% my own.