Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Built to Amaze at US Bank Arena: Giveaway CLOSED

circus logo

Get ready for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Built to Amaze at US Bank Arena March 12 thru 16!  We have been lucky enough to go to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Shows in the past and they have always been full of excitement, amazing stunts and spectacular tricks. 

This giveaway is now closed.  Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to Kim J!

Here’s a little more about this year’s show:

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Built To Amaze!, the 143rd edition of the Greatest Show On Earth. Surprise and wonder delights audiences with over the top feats of strength, agility and courage. As the momentum builds so does the anticipation, anything can happen when Ringling Bros. Presents Built To Amaze!

Circus performers from across the globe create the perfect blend of athleticism and bravery, where power meets fearlessness and amazement has no bounds. Magnificent elephants, ferocious tigers, astonishing acrobats and awe-inspiring aerialists are engineered into one spectacular performance.

Celebrate the tradition TODAY and experience it’s modern flare of twists and turns where excitement and suspense are so intense you’ll be tempted to cover your eyes.

From the blueprints to the band, the crates to the clowns, the hammer to the high wire, witness the spectacle as we measure out the perfect mix of marvel and majesty in an imagination equation where the impossible comes to life. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®Presents Built To Amaze!

I let my fourth grader pick which video to share with you.  He chose Elliana Grace, the Human Cannon Ball!  Check out her act:

Opening  Night tickets are just $12 – No code needed!  Family 4-pack offer  $99 includes 4 tickets, popcorn, marshmallow pops and lemonades.  To buy tickets, go to ticketmaster online.

Would you rather try to win tickets?

I have a family four pack of tickets to opening night, March 12th, to give away!

Rules and Information:
You must be 18 years of age to win and a resident of the Tri-State area. Winner has 24 hours to respond or another will be chosen.  The winner’s tickets will be available at WILL CALL the day of the performance at US Bank Arena and a photo id is required for pick up.

How to enter:

You have three chances to win. Leave a separate comment for each entry and make sure you leave your email address. The winner will be drawn Tuesday February 18th at 3:30pm.

Entry #1: Check out I’m Living the Good Life on Facebook
Entry #2: Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter and let me know.  @GoodLifeBlogger is giving away a family 4 pack of tickets to see @RinglingBros Built To Amaze
Entry #3: Tell me your favorite circus act

Make sure you check out these blogs for more chances to win!


Family Friendly Cincinnati

In a Galaxy

The Little Things

Little World After All

Are the kids excited?  Tide them over with this cool coloring sheet!

Circus Coloring page

Disclosure: I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events.

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival Giveaway


Do you love Disney?  I am excited to announced that Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival is coming to US Bank Arena in Cincinnati Saturday February 15th.

Mickey Mouse and friends rock the world with the stars from The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Disney/Pixar’s Toy  Story in their new touring show Disney Live!Mickey’s Music Festival.   Disney hits are remixed to the hottest sounds of today featuring hip hop, pop, swing, reggae, rock, country and much more!  The irresistible lineup of performers, including Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy; Ariel, Sebastian and Ursula; Jasmine, Aladdin and Genie; and Woody, Buzz and Jessie; are among the more than 25 Disney stars featured in this jam session fit for the entire family!  You can’t resist dancing, singing, playing your air-guitar and laughing with this band of characters!  Come join them at Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival for a lively concert experience guaranteed to deliver enough rockin’ memories to last a lifetime.

Show times for Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival are 1:00 and 4:00.  Readers of I’m Living the Good Life may save $5 off non-VIP tickets using promo code KS55Purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster.


Would you like to try your hand at winning a family four pack of tickets for Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival?  Now’s your chance!  You must be 18 years of age to enter and live in the surrounding Cincinnati area.  Tickets will be available at Will Call.  A valid picture ID is required for pick up.  You have four ways to enter.  Please leave one comment for each entry, so you will have four different entries. Do not leave one comment with all four of your answers…then you will only be entered once.

ENTRY #1:  Tell me your favorite type of music.  Do you love listening to reggae, pretending to sway in the island breeze along with the beat?  Or do you prefer the jazzy tunes of a saxophone?  Let me know and leave your email with your comment.

ENTRY #2:  Check out the Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival Facebook Page and leave a comment with your email address here that you did so.

ENTRY #3:  Share this giveaway with friends and check out the I’m Living the Good Life Facebook Page.  Leave me a comment telling me you did so.

ENTRY #4:  Tweet this giveaway.  Include @mhammers and @DisneyLive in your tweet.

That’s FOUR ways to enter to win tickets to Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival folks!  A winner will be drawn Saturday February 1st at 8:00pm.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond once contacted or another will be drawn.

Want more chances to win?

Family Friendly Cincinnati

Little World After All

In a Galaxy

Good luck!

Disclaimer:  In return for a review and giveaway, Feld Entertainment has provided me with a family four pack of tickets to the show.  All opinions are 100% my own.

The Sound of Music at The Carnegie: Review

The-Sound-of-MusicFriday night we headed to The Carnegie for opening weekend of The Sound of Music.  Everyone, including the kids, loved it!

I love the theatre.  I even love taking my kids to the theatre, believe it or not.  Sometimes they complain…oh it’s going to be boring!  Ugh, is it going to be a baby show?  I want to play Minecraft!

I take them anyway.

And, they love it.

They surprise themselves and sit quietly with their eyes glazed over, watching the stage.  I am not surprised.  I knew all along they would love it.

Last night I was a little worried though.  We saw The Sound of Music at The Carnegie in Covington Kentucky.  It’s a long show…right at 2.5 hours.  There is a short intermission, and luckily at The Carnegie you can sneak out quietly for potty breaks.

The kids loved it.  The Fourth Grader even laughed along at some of the jokes and filled me in when I had to step out for a minute.

What did I miss?  Why is she back at the Abbey?  Is it already September or did he make her leave?? (It had been a while since I’d seen the movie)


No, mom!  She figured out that she loved him so much that she had to leave!  She had to go back!

Those words came out of the mouth of my 10 year old boy.  Wow.  He paid attention and enjoyed himself.

My 4 year old daughter and 6 year old son had just as much fun.  She couldn’t wait for Maria to ‘become their mom.’

The singing and talent on stage at The Carnegie for The Sound of Music was fantastic.  The energy was never ending and their voices strong.  I am always impressed with small children on stage, and these wonderful kids did an amazing job.  I enjoyed watching The Carnegie’s rendition of “The Lonely Goatherd” complete with yodeling and pretend marionettes.  And, Jared Joplin’s performance as Captain von Trapp as he wistfully sang “Edelweiss”, thinking of the home he was about to leave forever, was captivating.  In the movie, I never really got it, but as I watched the family on stage, I could see the emotion of a man leaving behind his life.

The Otto M. Buddig Theatre at The Carnegie is an intimate setting, with actors moving up and down the aisle.  There is not a bad seat in the house, but, the seats are selling quickly, so make sure you get tickets now for The Sound of Music, as it ends January 26th.

Disclaimer: I was given complementary tickets to the show, but all opinions are my own.




Menu Plan Monday: Chili, Tacos, Red Beans and Rice


This week’s menu plan features hearty chili, easy beef tacos, and delicious red beans and rice.  Finally, we are back in the swing of things, now that Christmas Break is over and the snow days have stopped.  This is a busy week so we need an easy menu plan.

Steak and Vegetable Stir Fry with Rice

Vicky and Jen’s Truck Stop Chili

Beef Tacos and Corn with Chopped Salad

Skillet Red Beans and Rice with Kielbasa from the Kentucky Fresh Cookbook

Pizza and Cabbage Steak

Some tips for your menu plan:

I like to cover my steak in coarse salt.  When I say cover, I mean cover.  Coat the steak thoroughly, all over, with coarse salt and let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour.  Then rinse it in the sink and sautee it with a little butter.  Slice it and throw it in your stir fry vegetables toward the end of cooking.

To make my taco and chili meat ‘go further’, I cook lentils separately and add some to the mix.  No one has noticed!  It’s great added fiber and cheaper.

Cabbage Steak?  Sounds gross, but it was delicious.  And cheap!  Try it!

Enjoy your week and your menu plan.  If you need more ideas, check out the Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday!


The Sound of Music at The Carnegie

The Sound of Music CarnegieThe Sound of Music is coming to The Carnegie’s Otto M. Budig Theatre in Covington Kentucky January 17th thru January 26th.

Here’s what The Carnegie has to say about the performance:

Presented in partnership with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (KSO), the lightly staged production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE SOUND OF MUSIC features one of the most beloved scores in musical theatre and tells the story of a free-spirited nanny who brings joy and love back into the home of Captain Von Trapp and his family.

Every holiday season, I love to watch The Sound of Music on television.  I love the singing, the plot, and the acting.  I am thrilled to have my kids experience this wonderful musical on the stage under the baton of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra conductor James R. Cassidy and the direction of Brian Robertson.  The Carnegie productions always have super talented performers, so I am even more excited to see what the kids think of so many children performing on stage.  What a great experience for them.

Tickets for The Sound of Music are $19 – $28 and are available online at www.thecarnegie.com or by calling The Carnegie Box Office at (859) 957-1940 (open Tu – Fr, noon – 5 p.m.). ***Note: an additional show has been added on Thursday, January 23rd at 7:30pm.  This additional performance was added due to the popularity of the show, so make sure you get your tickets now!

To keep up with The Carnegie, check out their Facebook page HERE.

Disclaimer:  For promotional purposes, I was given complimentary tickets to The Sound of Music at The Carnegie for my family.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Unique Handmade Note Cards: Cards by Katie


My friend Katie of the little things journal and Cards by Katie makes the most beautiful handmade note cards.  These handmade, carefully created, note cards often capture both large and small landmarks in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.  She takes the pictures herself for her photo note cards, often with her kids in tow, as she goes on adventures in Covington, Cincinnati and other cities in the area.

She can also personalize your handmade note cards for custom orders. Want a different color scheme?  Let her know.  Want you name on the note card?  Just tell Katie!  Need lots of invitations or thank you note cards for an event?  Cards by Katie can help!

I love getting a handmade thank you note card or just a note to say ‘hi’, ‘thinking of you’, or ‘it was great to see you.’  I also love sending these types of notes, and I prefer to do it with a cool and unique note card, not something off the bargain rack at Target.  It is so much more personal than an email, facebook message or form letter.  This morning as I sat down to write a teacher a note before Christmas break, I used some of the cards I ordered from Katie’s last sale.  My favorite is the gnome (from Katie’s parents back yard!), but the beautiful fairy is a close second (taken at Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center in Covington Kentucky).

I especially love Katie’s handmade note cards that capture something familiar in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area.

Check out this gorgeous note card capturing the Cincinnati skyline and Roebling Suspension Bridge at night.  It’s beautiful!

Though many of her cards are photographs, there are lots that are sweet and thoughtful, handmade designs without using photography.  I love this simple “Cheers” note  card, especially to send a quick thought to someone at the first of the year!

Make sure you check out Cards by Katie’s Facebook Page to keep in the know about sales…rumor has it there will be a huge note card sale in January!  Won’t you need to tell everyone how much you loved their Christmas gifts?  Think…Thank You note cards!




Aronoff Center Cincinnati: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

Tonight we are kicking off Thanksgiving break at Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center to see Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical  I loved the animated version when I was a kid, and also enjoyed the film version as an adult. The whole family is thrilled to see this beloved classic on stage at the Aronoff Center tonight. 

Tonight’s show features one of my favorite Grinch songs…”You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.”  I was just singing this to the kids the other day.  Don’t worry, their ears have stopped bleeding.  Another favorite song from the original animated special is “Welcome Christmas.” 

Tonight, Max the dog narrates the show as the Grinch tries to ruin Christmas for all of those cute little citizens of Whoville. 

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is at the Aronoff  November 27th thru December 1st, so check your schedule and get your tickets now!  You can get tickets here or you can call the Aronoff Center at (513) 621-ARTS.

Disclaimer:  My family was provided free tickets for tonight’s show.  Rest assured all opinions are my own.


Holiday Reading for Kids and Adults

Are you getting into the holiday spirit?  What better way to get in the mood for Christmas, and spread the cheer with your family, than to read holiday books?  Reading can really put you in a certain frame of mind, or mood.  Why not grab a peppermint mocha, hit the library and curl up with a holiday book?

This month, our book club has chosen Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews.  It’s a short and sweet story about Weezie Foley and her Savannah antique shop.  All she wants for Christmas is a blue ribbon in the shop decorating contest, an engagement ring from her fiance and to find out who keeps sleeping in her shop display window every night with her teddy bear.  Not a tall order, right?

One of my all time favorite holiday reads is Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.

I especially love Santaland Diaries from Holidays on Ice.  If you have not read it, this hilarious story details the holiday season that David Sedaris spent as an elf in Santaland at a New York City Macy’s department store.  Just imagining a grown man in tights with the elf name “Crumpet” doing Santa’s bidding makes me giggle.    Then imagining David Sedaris read it aloud in his famous dead pan nasal voice makes me belly laugh. 

You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas by Augusten Burroughs is also a funny Christmas memoir, but a little darker.  It opens with a story of how the writer’s curiosity of his family’s decorative wax Santa lands him in the hospital after he eats off it’s face…I said it was a little dark.

As a family, we are reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.  I remember my grade school teacher reading this to our class.  I loved it and so far, the kids do too.  The Herdman kids take over the church Christmas pageant because everyone else is too afraid to audition against them.  In the end, everyone learns a little something about the Christmas spirit. 

Check out some of these great holiday themed books I found at the library last week:

Five Alien Elves by Gregory Maquire:  When aliens land in a small town in Vermont, they mistakenly think the Santa suited mayor is “Santa Claws” and fight to free the ‘slaves’ (otherwise known as elves) from the evil workshop.  This is a funny, fast paced read for kids grades 3-5. 

A Little House Christmas Treasury Festive Holiday Stories by Laura Ingalls Wilder:  When I was in 4th grade, I loved the Little House books.  I could not get enough and read them all.  I was excited to find this on the shelf in our local library…a collection of holiday stories from the Little House Books!  This collection features six short stories and one Christmas Carol.  Some of the stories included are Christmas in the Big Woods and Christmas on the Prairie.  I will probably save this one for when Baby Girl is a bit older and maybe we can enjoy it together. 
Judy Moody & Stink: The Holly Joliday by Megan McDonald:  When The Fourth Grader was in first grade, he loved the Stink books by Megan McDonald.  We read all of them and listened to some on CD.  In this book, all Stink wants for Christmas is snow.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t snowed in Virginia in more than 100 years.  With a new mailman who has an odd resemblance to an elf…and his name is Mr. Jack Frost…who knows what will happen?

Flat Stanley’s Christmas Adventure by Jeff Brown  In this Flat Stanley book, Santa has decided he is done with Christmas and the kids don’t appreciate him.  Enter Sarah Claus, Santa’s daughter, who calls the Lambchop family to save the day!

Since I loved the Little House books in grade school, I was drawn to the  Dear America book Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift by Kathryn Laskey. Minnie, a twelve year old in Indiana, keeps a diary during the month before Christmas.  It details the ups and downs of their family and shows that the Christmas spirit prevails.  After we finish The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, I’d love to read this before Christmas.


Peiling and the Chicken-Fried Christmas by Pauline Chen looks hilarious.  It is the kind of book that, if it were an adult read, that I’d snatch it off the shelf.  So, along with my other two picks for the kids this holiday season, we’ll be reading it as well.  Poor Peiling Wang has never celebrated Christmas, even though her family has been in America since she was a toddler.  With the help of her uncle, the 11 year old tries to convince her family to join in the holiday festivities.  I was hooked when  Peiling asked her grandpa if he had ever celebrated Christmas in Taiwan, and his response was that the chocolate the American soldiers distributed gave him the runs.  How can you not love that? 

One of my favorite movies is Arthur’s Perfect Christmas by Marc Brown.  This year, we are reading the book.  Join Arthur and his friends as they wish for snow, special presents and spend time with their families.  This book explores both Christmas and Hanukkah.

Do you have a favorite holiday book that you read every year?  Or maybe a special one from your childhood that you share with your kids?  Feel free to share by leaving a post in the comments below! 

Menu Plan Monday: BzzAgent Chicken Florentine Skillet Meal is a Hit!

Tonight, thanks to BzzAgent, we tried Kroger Skillet Meal Chicken Florentine.  It was surprisingly delicious.   I am not a big fan of processed bagged or boxed meals but thought we’d give this a try since I had the chance to review it on BzzAgent. It took 10 minutes to make and tasted fresh. The chicken was white meat and the sauce was super creamy and delicious. You should definitely give it a try. And, it’s on sale this week at Kroger!

Here is our complete menu for the week.  Super easy and fast. 

Kroger Skillet Meal Chicken Florentine, Salad and Garlic Bread (thank you BzzAgent)

Truck Stop Chili  (again, because it was awesome)

Bean Soup (using dried navy beans and ham)

Keilbasa and Cabbage

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

If you need more inspiration, check out The Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday.

Happy menu planning!

I am a BzzAgent and get to try products for free or at a deep discount to review. All opinions are my own and all reviews are honest!

Menu Plan Monday: Goulash, Chili and More!

Last week I was a little busy. 

Putting kids in jail.

Locked up for ‘Crimes Against Cleaning’…or maybe just for singing that stupid ‘What Did a Fox Say’ song a bazillion times.

Actually, that was for the school Fall Festival.  But, I’m considering building one of my own.

Anyway.  We were busy last week so we ate out a lot.  But, we are back on track and here is our menu. It’s really simple.  I also write for Family Friendly Cincinnati and did a compilation post of some great Fall recipes earlier this season.  From that post, we are eating:


We’ve already had the goulash and chili.  Both were fantastic.  Even my picky chili eatin’ husband loved the Truck Stop Chili.  Today we are trying the Tortilla Soup and I’m roasting the chicken as I type. 

These are great recipes for cool Fall weather.  I hope you enjoy them.

If you need more inspiration, check out The Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday. 

Happy menu planning!