Simple City Life

Friday, September 23, 2016

TORUK- The First Flight *Review*

Once again, I was left in amazement as we left the show last night. The pure extravagance of putting together a performance like TORUK- The First Flight is breathtaking. So many moving parts, so much beauty and everything pieced together flawlessly. The opening scene grabs your attention in a way that you can't explain, my eyes were taking in all the moving parts while I was quickly absorbed into the story. What I loved so much about this particular Cirque Du Soleil  show was the unique story line that takes place in a time before the film Avatar.

It paints a unique picture of Pandora and the people who live there. Unsure weather or not my kids would be able to follow the story due to never seeing the movie, I was grateful for the easy to follow and captivating tale the TORUK told. Both children were completely entranced and followed along.

I am anxious to see another show, while visiting their website, I found a few shows that look amazing. If you have a chance to go see TORUK- The first Flight while it is on tour I highly suggest you go.

 Are you fan is Cirque Du Soleil? What shows have you seen? This was the first show I have seen since I was about 13 years old! I still remember that show too and know that we will remember this show for years to come! Thank you to the BMO Harris Bradley Center for allowing us the opportunity to see this spectacular show. Please check out their website and see what upcoming productions you would like to see.

~Courtney

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Fall Celebration: Toruk - The First Flight by Cirque du Soleil

I am excited to be sitting here writing in the peace and quiet of my own home. This past year has been very difficult to keep up with blogging as we had to pause things to handle some family things. Raising kids is no joke and when on of my own needs all my time and attention, you better believe I am going to stop everything to be there for them. This past school year my 6th grader needed us to be parents only. Wading through these years is tough. When a school situation did not work out, we made some changes and brought her home to homeschool. So many positive changes have happened since that day and we are so glad to have all the kids back in school, bringing me to this moment. This moment where I have an empty house, clear thoughts and time to get back to my love of blogging!

Let's do things right and start this fall off with a superb giveaway- four tickets to see Toruk - The First Flight by Cirque du Soleil. It has been years since I have seen a Cirque du Soleil show, but I can remember to many details from it still. The choreography is mind blowing as well as the visual presentation. You will find yourself sitting with your mouth open in awe.  Toruk is a going to be a outstanding performance inspired by James Cameron's AVATAR. If you were mesmerized by the movie you do not want to miss seeing this put to stage. 

Tickets are available through ticketmaster starting as low as 30$, you can also purchase tickets for children at just $25.00, with code child25. Shows will be September 22-25th at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. 

Are you ready to enter to win a four pack for your family? All you have to do is enter below! 

**This giveaway is for the September 22nd 7:30pm show in Milwaukee**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 3, 2016

Milwaukee Summer Camps and Programs That Will Save Your Budget And Sanity.

I love summer. I love the carefree schedules and the late nights around the camp fires. I love picnic lunches and beach days. For the most part the kids love them too, for about 4 weeks. Summer break is long for kids. Kids crave routine and being without one can make the days extra long.

When I start to do my summer planning, I am constantly blown away by the expense. We have always been a one income family and we run a tight budget, very tight. We pay cash for everything. It limits our ability to participate all the things out there. We plan ahead and stick to our budget. Sadly, so many opportunities are out of our reach do to our income level. We make too much to qualify for assistance, but enough to pay the bills. When summer camp fliers start rolling into our mailbox, I know that $325.00 for one week of camp is not our reality, especially when you multiply that times 3. When I sat down and calculated what is would cost for my kids to attend one or two camps this summer, my total would have been $1900.00. I knew right then that I needed to start digging and see what I could find for them to help fight summer boredom. I found several great options and wanted to share them with you. These are great programs for you kids right here in the City of Milwaukee. 

So without further ado, my summer list of camps that are Free or Budget Friendly. 

Wild Arts: Summer Creative Arts Camp
Cost: Free
Dates: June 20th-July21st
Times: M-Th 9am-12pm
Location: Lincoln Center Middle School of the Arts
Who: Those entering 5th-8th grades. 

My daughter attended this last summer and had the time of her life. She went in knowing no one and walked out with a ton of new friends. Not only did she walk away with new friendships, it gave her a boost of confidence in her dance and theater abilities. The instructors are awesome and extremely involved. They take three field trips over the course of the camp and end with a final performance for parents and friends. Click HERE for more information and registration forms
Milwaukee Tennis and Education Foundation
Cost: 10$ per week, 4 week minimum, 7 weeks max. 
Dates: June 20-August 5th
Times: M-F 9am-4pm Rufus King and Merrill Park
 9am-12pm Brown Deer location
Locations:  Rufus King, Merrill Park and Brown Deer
Who: open to Milwaukee residents ages 9-18

We have not participated in this camp yet, but Owen will be attending for 4-5 weeks. He is very excited to learn about tennis. I spoke with the MTEF about this camp earlier this week and was pleased with several details she filled me in on. The campers are broken down by their abilities and will be paired with a coach for the week. They will have blocks of time for tennis, life skills, literacy and health/fitness. The kids will be provided with healthy snacks and a free lunch. Visit HERE to register or find out more information. 

CORE/El Centro Kids Camp
Cost: $50 for the week, lunch and snacks included
Dates: June 27th-July1st and July 11th-15th
Times:M-F 9am-3pm (optional til 5pm for additional $10)
Locations: CORE/El Centro, Walkers Point
Who: Ages 6-9 and 10-12, separate weeks respectively 

We are very excited to be back at this camp again! This will be Owen's fourth year and Raichlen's first. Over the course of the week the kids will learn about healthy living, urban gardening, bee keeping, our water supply and cultural diversity. The camp is bilingual and 100% inclusive. I am blown away by what the kids learn each summer. Seeing kids reach across social and cultural barriers is so amazing. I am so thankful to the staff and can't wait for another great camp! Contact Mandy for registration and questions. mandid@core-elcentro.org

Milwaukee Public Schools Summer Academy
Cost: Free
Dates: June 27th-July 29th
Times: vary, check brochure
Locations: multiple
Who: all Milwaukee residents in k3-12th grades

Yes, it is summer school. However there are several different programs for your childs needs. Not only are these camps free, they are a great way to keep you child's brain active and avoid the summer brain drain! We have my youngest signed up for the STEM camp and are very excited to see all that he learns. 

Community Learning Centers Summer EXCEL Camps
Cost: Free
Dates: June 20th- July 21st
Times: M-Th 12:30pm-4:30pm
Locations: Multiple
Who: all Milwaukee residents 5th-11th grade

These camps are one or two weeks in length and are run through the Milwaukee Recreation Department. Camp Themes include: H2O Music, Digital Photography, Fashion Design, Healthy Cooking and so much more! Check out the online schedule HERE

Milwaukee Swims
Cost: 5.00per person/10.00 max
Dates:June 25th-August 20th
Times: multiple
Locations: multiple
Who: 6 and older as well as non swimming adults

I absolutely signed my boys up for this. Raichlen is not confident in the water and although Owen can swim, he is not skilled on water safety. I am very excited about this program through the YMCA and Milwaukee County Park. Email milwaukeeswims@ymcamke.org

 Milwaukee Parks and Recreation

Don't forget to utilize your Summer Rec Guide and find something for your kids to try. The programs are very reasonable in pricing and can expose your children to many wonderful things. 

I hope this helps finds some great programs and camps to keep your kids active and having fun this summer! Aside from these programs you will find of working hard on our Super Reader forms through the Milwaukee Public Library. The kids love this free summer program. The prizes and rewards are great fun for all ages. 

Am I missing anything? Let me know. 
~Courtney