Dalgona Coffee Made Simple

We’ve all been exposed in some way to this new “Dalgona coffee” trend that took Tik Tok by storm during quarentine. Whether it’s on the Tik Tok platform, or even my countless Instagram posts, chances are you’ve seen it once or twice, and maybe even wondered how it tastes. I’m here to tell you it tastes amazing! I’ve completely stopped my Starbucks drive-thru runs and saved a ton of money in the process. It’s increased my productivity and tastes like a delicious concentrated coffee. Beware, it’s a bit of a butt kicker, so be sure to drink lots of water and have maybe one a day instead of your normal cup. I wanted to make a post with the simple recipe, because I’ve had a few requests for it. There are a bunch of recipes out there, but the process of making it is basically the same. After a few rounds of trial and error, I figured out a fool proof process that has created the yummiest Dalgona coffee ever!

The secret is in the preparation process, so be sure to have all of your items out and ready before you begin. The last thing you want to do is run around while trying to make it. Another secret if your Dalgona coffee doesn’t seem to be whipping up right, is to double the measurements to make it easier to rise. I’ve been through a few trial and error processes, and that definitely helped. To make the trendy Dalgona coffee, you will need the following items:

  • Small Bowl
  • Milk of Choice
  • Ice
  • Nestcafe Instant Coffee
  • Organic Granulated Sugar
  • Hot Water
  • Electric Mixer

Before you begin, take your water and put it over the stove top to boil. Another helpful secret is to add boiling water, and not just “hot” water, because simple hot water will not cause it to whip. Take 2 tablespoons of Nestcafe brand instant coffee and 2 tablespoons organic sugar and add them to the small bowl. Stir together to make a coffee/sugar mix. Once complete, add the milk of your choice and ice to a cup and set aside. Next, check your water to see if it’s boiling. Once it’s boiling, add 2 tablespoons of water to your coffee sugar mix and beat with your electric mixer on high for about five minutes. If you don’t own an electric mixer, you can hand mix it, although it will take a lot more elbow grease. Once your mixture is thick and creates “mountain peaks” like a whipped cream substance, you’re set to add it to your milk. Scoop half of the mixture in and use a straw to stir. Top with the remaining amount and enjoy!

10 Tips For Working From Home With A Toddler

For those of you who are used to working from home with a toddler, you know this can be an extremely difficult task. From the countless interruptions ( Currently, I’m being asked to play Barbies while typing this), to nap times and nursing, the fact we even get anything done is pretty much a miracle. Maybe you’re new to this whole thing due to the pandemic and it’s got you beyond frustrated, using Google to find tips to help. Such a defeating feeling I know all too well.

There HAS to be a better way, or at least some helpful tips to be more productive in this weird space we are all in. I’m here to tell you, there is. It might not make all the craziness disappear, but I have been balancing work and a child together for both of my kids since they were born, so I know a few things that work. I want to share with you my Top Ten Tips for balancing work with a toddler, straight from a source who actually lives it. Working from home with young children is not easy by any means, but I’m convinced to my core that it is worth it. You can have your littles AND the career…just takes a bit of patience and balance. So without waiting any longer, let’s dive in!

Get Dressed For Work

I know we all talk about how wonderful wearing our tie-dye sweatsuit to the couch to work is, but does that help you get in “work mode?” Probably not. You’re going to work, dress like it. Does this mean you need to iron out that suit you hated wearing pre-pandemic? If that’s not your speed, than of course not. You should however show up as an elevated version of yourself. Find a nice sundress and throw on some makeup. Take the time you usually would to present yourself to the world as the BADASS you are! It will also help the kids see that “Mommy is going to work” which will provide boundaries for your time. When I get dressed and put makeup on, the kids know that I am about to start work, and so the guilt of separation decreases when its go time. I also just find myself more productive when I’m not in jammies, so get ready for work, okay?

Be Organized

What I mean by that is, have a clear layout of what you’re trying to accomplish for the day. Do you make lists? If not, start to. You will be distracted, it’s inevitable. When that happens, a list helps you keep track of the mental checklist you’re trying to accomplish. Don’t put so much pressure on your brain to do it all. It’s already multi-tasking more than it ever has before, so help a sister out and write it down. This may come as no surprise, but be prepared to have your list happen when it happens. Don’t put expectations on when you will accomplish a task, but rather just focus on accomplishing it at all. You may get taken away from your project and need to go back to it once the kids are sleeping. That could mean that you might miss your T.V show tonight, but that’s okay, you get to spend this moment with your little AND you’re making time for work later. All good.

Accomplish The Big One First

This may sound silly, but DO prioritize your list on what task you want to finish NO MATTER WHAT. We all know that defeating feeling of going an entire day in “mom mode” and not getting the one thing done that made the difference. Do it first. Don’t let anything get in the way of doing it. I know it’s hard, but were all more than just “mom.” Go after your goals with fire and if you cant do it all, focus on the BIG ONE.

Keep A Daily Routine

As best you can, I know its not perfect. The concept of keeping a daily routine of when they can expect things like breakfast, playtime, as well as mom’s work time will help the transition. Kids thrive on routine, so if you incorporate this into your planning, it will help kids get the grasp that parents are also in fact, working from home, and it’s completely normal.

Rotate Toy Options

This will help keep your toddler engaged in their toys while you attempt to work and take over the world. If they have access to every toy option in the toy box, they will quickly become stale and old in their eyes and lose their luster. Take a few boxes out as soon as you start to work, and choose a completely new set the next day. They will get so excited as if they’re brand new toys, and you will get some moments of peace.

Take The Work Outside

Sometimes we all need a change in scenery. This can be the same for your toddler. Being cooped up inside during these times can take its toll on all of us, including your toddlers. So grab that laptop and handful of toys and head to the front yard. It will provide a completely new play space for your little, and give you some much needed vitamin D to recharge those mental batteries. By the way, a bubble machine or sandbox will buy you at least an extra 15 minutes!

Take Advantage Of The High Chair

This is a secret weapon we all cant live without during mealtime, but it can also be your guardian angel come work time as well! Snag some non toxic crayons and paper and have them work next to you! They’ll love that they feel like they’re going to work as well, and you’ll have some quiet time to focus on work, or snag another cup of coffee. Grab some action figures for imaginative play, or slap some cheerios down for snack time. No matter how you incorporate the high chair, you’ll come out winning.

Use Screens Sparingly

This is a tough one to get behind, especially for kids that are younger. But we all are trying our best to provide for our families from home, without the option of childcare. As long as you’re taking advantage of the thousands of options for educational programming, it can be a great way for your kiddo to learn, while you’re trying to finish a task or two. Don’t overdo it, and keep a constant eye on what they’re watching. In moderation, a television show or Disney movie can be a great babysitter!

Accept The Mess

If you’re a Type A perfectionist like me, messes can be your Kryptonite. Try your best to ignore it and stay laser focused on what is really important; time with your work. Don’t spend your extra time cleaning up every mess as it happens. No one is hosting parties or making surprise visits, so who are you trying to impress? It’s okay to not have the perfect home while you’re trying to run a business and a family. Give yourself some grace and spend any extra time you have giving love to yourself or your babies. The messier the house, the happier the kids.

Give Yourself Grace

You’re doing your best and that’s MORE than enough. It’s okay to have days where little or nothing gets done. Maybe you had this vision of being productive and your kid wakes up sick…now what? Don’t worry about it. Working from home is tough, but it can be so very rewarding. You’re teaching your kids to go for their dreams and showing them what work ethic really is. You’re raising a family and bringing home an income, you’re AMAZING! Just do what you can to control what you can, but know that life is a bit out of control to begin with. No matter what the day brings, know you are already making them incredibly proud!

The Top 10 Apps I Can’t Live Without

It’s no secret apps run our lives. When it comes to how i run my Instagram, I would be very little without my “toolbox” of apps to help me. Yes, my creative expression does come from me, but the editing and extra dose of magic is all thanks to the help of my applications. From things like editing photos and videos, to finding inspiration and beyond, these ten apps I’m about to share with you have truly stepped up my social media game. And I’m about to spill all of my secrets. I was hesitant at first about writing this post. I was worried about sharing too much and letting “all my secrets out” if i did. But after sitting down on the subject and thinking on it some more, I came to the conclusion…why? Why care about letting everyone know about the apps I used. Was I worried about a little competition? No. The worst thing that could come of it is that I would inspire others to step up their own games and cause them to completely fall in love with content creation, just as I have. I LOVE content creation. I LOVE teaching and sharing. It’s a part of who I am. So whether you’re looking to up your current content, or completely rebrand yourself, these (mostly) free apps could really help you in the long run. Do you need any or all of these to succeed in the social media game? Of course not! People feel inspired by you simply being YOU, showing up to the platform, and being your authentic self. So please just know that this is simply meant for help to those who find my personal feed interesting and want to learn more.

Facetune

Facetune was not free. It was about $7 when I first bought it, and I would pay whatever they charged to always have it in my life. I use this app for everything from lightening a photo, to smoothing out blemishes and skin irritations, and whitening teeth and eyes. This tool is super versatile and can make every photo appear touched up by a professional. I believe there is a more updated version of the app, but I don’t have it and can’t speak to its awesomeness. This version seems perfect enough for me, and I highly recommend you download it today!

Lightroom Photo Editor

Lightroom Photo Editor is a mobile version of the desktop photo editing software. I don’t personally use the desktop version, but I know it’s a much more productive way to use the program overall. I currently use Lightroom mobile as the home of all of my presets I have bought from people who have made ones I’m a fan of. Lightroom is super cool and complex, and I’m going to be completely transparent when I say I know very little about it. The reason my feed looks so consistent is that I generally use the same one or two presets for every static photo I post. I make minor tweaks in Lightroom on lighting and color editing, but other than that, my Lightroom knowledge ends there. When it comes to presets, I swear by Teeny Edits, which can be purchased by clicking the link below:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TEENYEDITS

PicsArt Photo & Video Editor

PicsArt is the closest thing to Photoshop that I’ve ever seen. I don’t know Photoshop at all, although its on my list of to do’s to master in the future. PicsArt can create absolute magic in photos. From cropping yourself into other locations and adding clip art into them as well, you can honestly do anything with this tool. I pay for the premium version of the app, but doing so in order to enjoy what it has to offer is not necessary. This is the place where I go to add my Disney characters, out of this world locations like my Star Wars post, and basically add an extra dose of magic that can’t be found in real life. I typically use this app when I want to be seriously creative, so know that editing photos in this app takes time and patience. Be willing to learn, play around with it, and keep showing up. The more you use it, the easier it will become to master.

Enlight Videoleap Video Editor

This app is video editing heaven. Take small clips and attach them together, and with a library of dozens of music clips to add behind, you can make serious magic. It also has various features like voiceover, which makes a great tool for instructional videos you need to make. Add glitches for cool adjustments in video clarity. I just love using this tool when wanting to take my IGTV videos and Instagram stories up a notch. You can post a basic video with the music Instagram provides, or channel your inner George Lucas and create an actual film moment. I’ve used things like iMovie and other video editing apps, and this one is by far my favorite.

Pinterest

This app may seem like a no brainer, but I have to recommend it. It’s the ultimate inspirational tool. Think of any topic you want to start creating on, and there are a ton of posts ready to inspire you! I have Pinterest boards for everything from arts and crafts ideas for the kids, to various photography related pins that I want to refer back to in the future before shooting. It could be something simple like learning to bake or cook, to growing your knowledge on flatlay execution. Pinterest is your one stop shop for all things inspiring in the social media and blogging field. Download today and get to pinning!

StoryArt

This app is LIFE. This app has changed my Instagram stories forever and I am forever grateful for it. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I have a ton of people ask me about my Instagram stories. About how beautiful they always look and how they can do it too. If I recommend one app more than all of the others, this one is it. I have to warn you, the process of what I do with Instagram stories is time consuming. It takes patience and consistency to push through the idea that its “all silly and not worth it.” If making your Instagram stories look clean and pristine is something that’s valuable to your brand, then I highly recommend you checking out this app to see if it’s a good fit for you.

Storyluxe

This is another great app for more Instagram story templates. You know the cute ones with the photo collage look? Ya, it’s here. I really like mixing up my story looks, so having a few apps for stories just works for me. I don’t use this app nearly as much as I use StoryArt, but I do also highly recommend this one as well. I would suggest taking multiple photos for the same post and taking advantage of the film photo collage option in the app. Super cute and personable way to connect and inspire people in your stories!

Highlight Cover and Logo Maker

Highlight covers are becoming more and more common to see on Instagram profiles, and they normally have a consistent look and aesthetic. The highlight cover app is a great app to use for exactly that; highlight cover making. Best of all, it’s free! Before you do so, what’s the overall look you want your Instagram page to have? The app has a ton of options to inspire. Although, the creativity portion is all on you.. spend time on your page figuring out what your “vibe” is, then create cute bubbles on the tool to match. Save the image and go back to the specific story highlight you want it to match with. Click edit the photo and replace the phot with your new bubble. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how nice and uniform it all looks when you’re done.

Canva

I love this app! I use it for creating custom Instagram story and post templates, but I mainly use it for creating things like my media kit and invoices. Are you an influencer that has your first paying gig, but need to create an invoice yourself? Use Canva. Thinking of starting the influencer lifestyle but need to create a media kit to talk about your analytics and abilities? Use Canva. Bottom line, just download Canva because you’ll eventually need it someday. This tool is also fun to use to create your own story and static post images, or use the library of pre made ones on days you don’t feel inspired. For this app, there is a free and paid for version. Because of how often I use this tool for work, I pay for the premium version, although not necessary.

A Color Story

What a great app! As soon as I’m done editing in Lightroom, I take that same photo and add a few more touches in A Color Story. If you don’t want to spend money on buying presets and wasting your time in Lightroom, “ A Color Story” is a great place to do things like edit photos and use filters to create consistency. The parts I use the most are in the “effects” section, where I have a few of my favorites saved and add a cute sun flare or bokeh to the final edit. This app is a staple in most influencer’s phones, so get familiar with it and start to fall in love!

I hope you enjoyed this small look into my phone. I use these tools daily, but not all of them, so don’t go too overboard with editing. At the end of the day, the authentic and real photo is always going to be a ton more inspiring than a fake, over edited one. It’s like makeup… we use it to enhance our natural beauty, and not to completely transform into someone we’re not. So get out there and experiment, but do so in moderation. Happy content creating!

Star Wars Day Fun From Home

May the 4th is one of the most sacred of days in our home. Why? Because it’s Star Wars Day of course! Ever since I can remember, Star Wars has been everything to me. I knew that when I had littles, I would “show them the ways of the force” through these beautiful stories, in hopes that they would gravitate towards them too. I’m still working a bit on Kensey, but Emma has been a fan of it all from the start. Kensey loves characters like Rey and Chewie, while Emma has always had a thing for the dark side, and loves Darth Vader. We usually celebrate this day like most fans do… at Disneyland Parks. With the new addition of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and all it has to offer, is there a better place to celebrate? Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we’re not able to access our precious parks to celebrate. That DOES NOT mean that you can’t have some galactic fun from home and still celebrate in style! All you need is a few supplies from the house, some imagination, and a little help from the force, and you’re on your way to having a great day! I’ve listed below some fun activities to help add some Star Wars magic, along with the links on further instructions or downloads. We hope this helps your family have a blast on May 4th, and as always, may the force be with you!

Bake “Leia Buns” Cinnamon Rolls

This one seems super easy and a no brainer. Princess Leia’s iconic hair can easily be spotted in these cinnamon rolls, that is pre-icing of course. I just snagged a can of Pilsbury brand cinnamon rolls and baked as directed on the back. I took the picture while they we’re cooling and we chatted about Princess Leia and how much of a role model she is. Brave and fearless, but had heart in all she did. A general yes, but to me, she’s royalty. Enjoy this with a side of overnight oats, and bonus points if you make the Galaxy’s Edge version!

Star Wars Toilet Paper Roll Characters

What a cute and easy project! All you need to do is click on the link below and download the free printables. After that, take your printables and glue them around a toilet paper roll. Be sure to cut the paper to fit the roll, and i would recommend using a hot glue gun to keep them down. These make great photo props, and even better figurine toys for the kids to play and pretend with! We had a blast making them and will use them for future fun days ahead!

20 Star Wars Cards Your Kids Will Love For Playdough & More!

Free Han Solo (And Friends)

Keep kids occupied for a while on Star Wars Day with this take on when Han Solo got stuck on carbonite. Take a Han Solo action figure (or any Star Wars ones you got) and stick them in a small Tupperware dish. add water to the top and stick in the freezer overnight. When you’re ready to free them, run warm water around the dish until the ice melts it out. Have kids use water to melt the ice and free the smuggler. This is a great activity for little ones to do!

Star Wars Lunch Bag Puppets

For Chewie:

You will need the following for Chewie: brown paper bag, black and white construction paper, googly eyes,brown crayon, glue, scissors, and a pencil. First, take your black construction paper and cut to create a belt. Glue down. Take the white piece of paper and cut small squares to style the belt. Cut Chewie’s mouth and glue on, as well as the googly eyes. Cut a small oval for his nose and glue on. Add silver accents to the belt with a pencil. Add fur marks overall with a brown crayon.

For Yoda:

You will need the following for Yoda: lunch bag, Green and white construction paper, googly eyes, scissors, glue, and a grey crayon or colored pencil. First, start off by cutting out all of the pieces you need. Two large ovals for the eyelids, two ears , and the head should all be green. You can wrap the white paper around the bottom to resemble his robe. Glue on the head and ears and color in the inside of the ears to give it dimension with the grey crayon. Next, glue on the eyes and eyelids, Take the crayon and add a mouth and nose, as well as some more overall wrinkles.

Pool Noodle Light Saber

A safe and fun way to have a full blown battle! We made a couple dozen of these for Emma’s 4th Star Wars birthday party, and I’m thankful to report that a few are still completely in tact! They are simple to make too! Take a pool noodle and cut in half. Use a combination of silver, black, and colored electric tape and wrap around the bottom to resemble the base. That’s it! You can also take added time to create buttons and shapes with a Sharpie marker, if detail is a thing you seriously need. After you’re done, you can conduct your own Jedi Training Academy from home!

Make Blue Milk At Home

What would Star Wars Day be without something food and drink related from our beloved Galaxy’s Edge?! It just wouldn’t be right. As much as i would love to recreate their famous Ronto Wrap or maybe even a beverage from Ooga’s Cantina, I figured it would be great to start with their staple beverage; the blue milk. Now, some prefer the green milk, and that’s totally okay. I personally think it tastes like the smell of potting soil, so you won’t find me making that here. I did however, find a copycat recipe that i linked below for both styles of milk, so you can recreate your preferred flavor. I really enjoyed making this, and thought it tasted pretty close to the original thing. Due to the pandemic and not wanting to travel to too many stops for supplies, I disregarded some of the ingredients listed, or replaced with something else. My advice if you cannot access all the stuff listed in the link is to improvise and experiment. Have fun and enjoy yourself!

https://rosannapansino.com/blogs/recipes/star-wars-blue-and-green-milk

Make Jawa Rocks

How cute are these little guys?! I’ve always been a fan of Jawas and these little rocks were so easy to create! All you need is some smooth rocks that have been washed and cleaned as well as some black, brown, and yellow acrylic paint and a Sharpie. Once your rocks have been cleaned and dried, paint them with a few coats of brown paint. Once dry, make a black circle of paint for the face shadow. Finally, after that has dried, add a few yellow dots for the eyes and use the Sharpie to draw a utility belt. After that, you’re all set! Use these for cute garden decor, or as a fun add on to any gift you’re mailing to a loved one.

Read Some Star Wars Books

We’ve been big fans of reading since the lockdown. It’s given us time to read some books that have been collecting dust, and the girls have found a new love for reading as well! Star Wars Day is a great excuse to bust out some of those Star Wars themed books in your bookshelf. Because of its complicated story line, the girls have been able to learn about the saga thanks to the Little Golden Books series. It has a great way of summarizing the story and has great pictures too. “The Galaxy Needs You” is also another great story of why you are so special and important to the world. I’ve linked both book options below. Reading is the coolest hobby in the galaxy!

Star Wars Coloring Pages

“But Megan, I’ve colored nonstop since lockdown”. I know, me too. But the fact is, we’re stuck at home and coloring is what we do now. In all seriousness, coloring is a great way to relax and spend some quiet time, and there are so many free coloring pages online to choose from! Just head to Pinterest or Google and search for “free Star Wars coloring sheets” and a bunch of options like the ones above will pop up.

Star Wars Activity Sheets


Just like the coloring pages, there are so many FREE printable activity sheets that are Star Wars themed online. I found both of these on Pinterest, and took Emma a bit of time to get through. You can also search for activities based on age group too by being a bit more specific in the search engine. You can also create your own game of Star Wars charades by writing the character names down and throwing them in hat for loved ones to act out and play along!

Make Light Saber Bookmarks

You will need the following supplies for these bookmarks: multi-colored pieces of construction paper, black construction paper, glue, scissors & white paint. Cut out the various colored pieces of paper into small light sabers. Cover the bottom with a black square of paper the is slightly wider than the saber piece and glue together. Take white paint and add saber decorations to the black part. Once dry, you can laminate to keep protected, or use contact paper on both font and back.

Star Wars Scavenger Hunt

This was such a fun way to incorporate the outdoors a bit! Galaxy’s Edge has its own scavenger hunt that you can participate in, so this one that I found on Pinterest was a total hit for us! I did not create this particular scavenger hunt, I found it on Pinterest and linked it below. I took the paper cutouts and hot glued them onto some cardboard and hung them by ribbon. I took them and hid them around the front yard area for the girls to locate. To add a little bit of dark side to the game, I had Dan pretend to be a Storm Trooper and sneak up on them every now and them to arrest them. Just trying to add a little bit of Galaxy’s Edge anywhere we can.

Have Fun with a Star Wars Scavenger Hunt!

Have A Star Wars Movie Marathon

The BEST WAY to actually enjoy Star Wars Day is to sit down with your favorite Disney popcorn bucket, some blue milk, and have a movie marathon! Disney+ has practically every movie available, with the addition of Rise of Skywalker being added on May 4th, 2020. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the saga as a family, or pop in your favorite one and relive the story together. Our favorite is “The Force Awakens” followed by “Return of the Jedi”. We hope you enjoyed some of these ideas to get your celebration going in the right direction! We had such fun putting it together and can’t wait to celebrate Star Wars Day in the parks next year!

Easy Homemade Dog Treats

With all of this extra time we have been experiencing, we’ve found a love for baking as a family. From pies to cookies and more, baking has been something that’s brought my girls and I together. We wanted to find a way to make a tasty treat for our dog Perla, and I think we found the perfect recipe! This is totally human friendly, and you probably have most, if not all of the ingredients in your pantry already! So get prepared for your dog to love you even more, and your house to smell delicious too!

What you’ll need:

  • 4 cups of oat flour
  • 2/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cookie cutter of your choice

Take your ingredients and combine together in a bowl. I found my oat flour at Smart and Final for under $5 and that is a steal! You can also make your own oat flour by taking rolled oats and putting them in the food processor. One cup of rolled oats equals 2 cups of at flour. Once you combine your ingredients together, take your dough and roll it out with a rolling pin until the dough is about 1/4 inch in thickness. Use your cookie cutter to cut out the treats and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they start to darken on the edges and dry out. Remove from the oven and let them cool.

Once they have cooled, you can serve them to your fur baby. Our dog has a bit of trouble starting to eat her meals, so we also like to use these treats and crumble them onto the top of her meal to entice her a bit. If your dog likes peanut butter, and most dogs do, they will absolutely love this recipe! There was very little cleanup, and the kids helped me with the entire process, minus the oven parts. I hope your pup enjoys this treat, and you enjoy this fun quarantine activity as well!

The Online Shopping Survival Guide: Mom Edition

Okay, let’s face it. Things have been tough lately. With the ongoing quarantine that will last us for goodness knows how long, to this constant rain, we can’t catch a break as parents to help our kids release this energy. What can we do? The parks and beaches are closed. Play dates are a thing of the past. Yet, we still long for our children to have fun days filled with activities that enrich their minds and stretch their imagination. To be clear, I’m not one to encourage that we simply buy our children’s entertainment. There are so many free options we often forget. In this case, I’m trying to fill the void that physical education, field trips, and gymnastics class once did. So, if you’re like me and simply need a bit of help creating a more imaginative space, feel free to shop the links below! All of these items have brought a ton of joy since the lockdown. Some of them have helped burn some necessary energy, and some have helped expand the mind in a fun way! I hope you find this post helpful, and above all, stay safe. The virus can live on cardboard boxes for up to 24 hours, so be sure to leave the your goodies alone on the doorstep for a bit before opening.

Magical and Easy Fairy Wands

The beauty of our current state of living, is that we get to slow down and notice the beautiful things around us. With all of the nature walks the girls and I have been doing lately, I’ve been able to notice just how many fun ideas come from what’s around us! We’ve been collecting sticks on our frequent walks to contribute to our family fireplace. It’s been so cold at night lately, so anything helps. When we were walking back one day, the girls pointed out how they also make excellent fairy wands. I thought to myself, “hmm with a little sparkle, I think you’re right.” So we got to talking about what our ideal fairy wands would look like. Colorful and sparkly we’re consistent in the pitch. So I got to Amazon hunting and found the perfect additions you need to help make your backyard wands shine! I’ve listed a how-to below, as well as linked the places I found my supplies. The goal is to not have to leave your house to create, unless it’s to find something in nature or grab a delivery box. Let’s get to wand making!

First, you’ll need to take a nice long walk. Find some sticks that can handle some serious spell casting. It would be sad to go to all that trouble, just to have it break. Once you’ve found a few good ones, bring them home and inspect them for splinters, etc. Once they are safe, it’s time to create!

The supplies you grab are really all based on your unique taste and style. For the sake of the post, I will go through how we made ours, as well as provide links in case you want to create something similar. The following supplies are needed to create this craft:

  • Sticks found in nature
  • Glue gun
  • Glue gun sticks
  • Ribbon
  • Decorative gems

After you have gathered your supplies, plug in your glue gun and wait for it to heat up. While it is heating up, select the ribbon you would like to use as your base color, as well as a few other complimentary colors for the top. Grab your base color and start gluing it to the stick. You can make a small dot of glue and start to wrap the ribbon around the stick, gluing little by little as you go. Once you have reached the top, glue it in place, then start to add decorative ribbon around. Glue as you go. These steps should be done by an adult, as the gun is easy to burn little hands and arms.

Once you have glued the ribbon on, gather your gems and decorate however you wish! This is the fun and creative part, that if you have older kids at home, they are okay to help in this. Feel free to be creative or even customize it to make it a gift for someone special! You can also use things like glitter and sequins if that is something you have better access to.

After you’re done creating, it’s time to take your wands and do some magic! Find your cutest fairy outfit and go explore the world with a bit of magic in your hands! The girls loved their wands and played with them for hours. I hope you have fun creating magic with what’s around you as well!

Assorted Gems and Jewels:

https://www.amazon.com/1200pcs-Include-Gemstones-Embellishments-Assorted/dp/B07PZW7689

Assorted pack of ribbon:

https://www.amazon.com/BakeBaking-GHRD-Assortment-Decorations-Collection/dp/B0716WC7L9

The Power of NOW

Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.” – Master Yoda

When it comes to our current world’s state, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the fear. Worrying about what could possibly come next, and when we can finally get back to our normal routines. For me, that involved sending the kids off to school, regular Target runs, and definitely some alone time. As those things have become memories of the past, it was a hard transition for me at first. You see, less than a year ago, I moved away from most of the things and people who brought me joy. So I was already feeling like I was living a life of social distancing. Target runs and Starbucks we’re all I had. All of the sudden, I was quarantined in the house, expected to become it ALL. Home school teacher, online shopping expert, full time mom and house cleaner. It was all too overwhelming. I found myself motivated in the morning, and struggling to keep my head above water by noon.

I wanted to motivate others with my ability to “juggle it all” and the pressure alone in that had me feeling overwhelmed. Not to mention, I had a nighttime job that kept me up until midnight, and a toddler who woke me up by 5 am every morning, i was burnt out. About a week into the stay at home orders came in by the Governor, I got a call from my employer, letting me know I was being let go. I went into sheer panic. How was I going to afford food? Stuff for the kids? Both my husband and I we’re out of a job, with no way to change that. After a restless night of sleep, I had a CLEAR picture of what was going on. God was trying to get me to slow down. To realize none of this is in my control. To appreciate this incredible gift we have all been given, and that is the power of now.

For the first time in what feels like forever, life was meant to slow down for me. To slow down for all of us. I get to spend more time with my girls, watching them grow and see the world. To be honest, most of us parents are doing activities we would never do unless quarantined with time on our hands. Looking for bugs and flying a kite was never on my list for the week, but I’m so lucky that it happened. For what will be a small part of our life story, our kids get our full attention. And for a small time in life, we get theirs. We don’t have to compete with sports schedules or play dates. Their time is all ours, and if we do this right, we will see this whole thing as a GIANT blessing. You see, perspective is everything. From their points of view, they don’t see the scary numbers. They don’t know about the pandemic and it’s worldwide devastation. All they see is that mom and dad are doing some pretty cool stuff with them lately, and they will remember that forever. I’ve gotten to learn so much about my girls in this small amount of time. I’m also not embarrassed to admit, that if our lives we’re what they used to be, spending this much time together wouldn’t happen.

So, for however this time lasts, I’m going to make a choice everyday to live in the NOW. Embrace every uncomfortable step, because I know the end of this will lead to a better me. I’ll get to finally take a nap, color in a coloring book, and look for ladybugs. I’ll finally be able to try out some of those Pinterest recipes I’ve been collecting for years but never tried. I’ll get to show my kids the world in a way I grew up knowing it. It was a slower time, but I believe it was a better time. We got outside and explored the world around us. We got dirty and scraped up. We asked questions about the world around us. I honestly can’t wait for the next few months ahead!

Does this mean we need to be completely positive all the time about our current situation? No. At times, no matter how you look at it, the Corona Virus SUCKS. Allow yourself moments to take that in and face it head on. But do NOT allow yourself to live in that space. The world has been knocked down, yes, but we aren’t supposed to stay there. We will bounce back. So for now, take it day by day and breathe. If you have children, enjoy them. We will never have this kind of dedicated time to them again. If you’re without children, find moments in the day to try something new and embrace these moments of rest. I know with the job market being as it is, it’s hard to motivate yourself to find joy. You will find work again. What you won’t find is this kind of selfish time to love on yourself. Learn a second language. Find a love for bird watching. Join Tik Tok. Before we know it, this will be all over. We’re going to be okay.

Oh, and to add, after I shifted my mindset, I received an offer for a better job than the one I previously had. All within 48 hours of losing my job in the most uncertain time in our lives. I am blessed, but I firmly believe mindset is everything. You got this, I promise. We will all come out of this thing more appreciative and loving. All we can control is what we have now. And what we have now is time to slow down and enjoy the things we would if time and money we’re not an issue.

The outbreak of the Coronavirus may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and can cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress can be easier with a little bit of help, and there is a website full of sources that can help. Just click on the link below if you or someone you know needs help coping with it all:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

Toilet Paper Roll Planters

The Corona Virus has taken completely over our lives, and it’s time to turn something negative into a fun project that sparks joy. In normal circumstances, I would encourage art projects that might require an errand for supplies. With the way things are at the moment, I wanted to create projects in which the supplies are easy to order online, or you may already have them around your house. The world may not have a ton of toilet paper at the moment, but we all have a roll or two that is empty, so collect those and set them aside for this cute craft! Here we go!

For this craft project, you will need the following supplies:

  • Toilet paper roll
  • Succulent plant
  • Glue gun
  • Wooden base
  • Markers
  • Beads
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Small amount of potting soil

First, you will take your toilet paper roll and decorate it with the markers. This is where the kids can make their own unique design, and explore their creativity. You can also have them write down on the roll what they are grateful for, draw images of things they see in nature, etc.

After your toilet paper rolls are decorated, it’s time to attach the wooden base to the roll. I found a pack of wooden craft pieces on Amazon and was able to have them shipped directly to my door, so there is no need to head out for supplies. Take your glue gun and run the glue around the base of the toilet paper roll. Then stick it to the wooden base.

Once you have glued tour toilet paper roll to the wooden base, fill the toilet paper roll about halfway with some soil. If you don’t have potting soil on hand, head to your backyard and snag some soil from the ground. It’s all about social distancing at the moment, so minimizing errands is key. After it’s filled about half way, set it aside and grab your pipe cleaner and beads. Have your kid string the beads on in any pattern they like. Once they are done, take the decorated pipe cleaner and twist it around the toilet paper roll.

Now that the toilet paper planter is decorated, it’s time to add the plant to the top. Before things in the world got crazy, I headed to Home Depot and snagged a few succulent plants for another project I had planned. So I happened to have some ready to go. IF you don’t have these just laying around, don’t worry! We’ve been encouraged as a society to take walks in nature, so go take a walk! Once you come across a succulent plant, take a piece off. Succulent plants thrive, even when being broken off. So, this backup plan is more than efficient to complete this project. Take your succulent plant and gently push it down into the toilet paper roll. That’s it! Now you have a cute way to display our planet’s most prized possession: The toilet paper roll. Enjoy and be safe! Don’t forget to wash your hands.

Jell-O Pot of Gold

It’s almost St. Patty’s Day, which means it’s the perfect time for a yummy and festive treat. Kid approved as always, my recipes are never hard and always contain some element in which the kids can help. This time, we’re on the hunt for some gold! Jell-O gold coins are the easiest things to make, and along with a few inexpensive additions, you can really get creative with your setup. Here are a list of ingredients you will need:

  • Two boxes of lemon flavored “Jell-O”
  • 9×13 glass pan
  • Small glass jar
  • Shamrock stickers
  • Coin shaped cookie cutter
  • Rainbow striped candy (optional)

After you have gathered together your ingredients, take 2 1/2 cups of water and set it to boil. Once it’s boiling, remove from the heat and gently add your two packets of Jell-O. Do not add cold water. Once it’s mixed in, take the yellow liquid and pour into your 9×13 dish. For thicker coins, you can use a different dimension. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Once your yellow Jell-O has firmed up, take your coin shaped cookie cutter and cut out your coins. This process can be tedious if the Jell-O isn’t firm enough, so make sure it’s completely ready before you do this step. Cut out your coins and stack them into your glass cup. I found a cauldron shaped bowl at the Dollar Tree in the floral section, but you can choose any container you like.

Once you’ve filled up your glass jar with gold Jell-O coins, take your shamrock stickers and decorate the jar. You can also add the rainbow candy strip on top as a faux rainbow by shoving the ends down on each side of the jar. At that point, you are ready to enjoy your pot of gold! The kids are capable of helping you with each step of this process, but you may want to hide your hard work and have your little leprechaun search for it! The hunt can be equally delicious! Enjoy!

Rainy Days at Disney Made Easy

Do you ever have a day at the parks planned, and then the weather comes and ruins all the fun? How about not knowing that rain was in the forecast, and being stuck at the parks unprepared? I’ve been in BOTH of those scenarios, and let me tell you, it’s not fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain! The smell of the earth after the showers stop. The warm and cozy feels it brings. What I don’t like, is my stuff getting soaking wet, and that includes my kids. So is it actually possible to enjoy Disney with a rainy day forecast ahead? Absolutely. As long as you’re prepared ahead of time.

When it comers to rainy day park preparation, the first place i suggest starting is the stroller cover. Each stroller should have a coinciding rain cover for sale. I have made the mistake of traveling to the parks without my stroller cover and using a blanket instead. Spoiler alert: It’s NOT the same thing. Investing in a rain cover for your stroller is worth every cent it costs. Why? The cover is designed specifically to snug around your stroller, keeping everything, including your child, dry and happy. Most also come with a zipper on the side to allow your child to get in and out, without having to uncover everything else. I use the Joovy “Zoom 360 Ultralight” stroller and I swear by it. Hands down, best stroller I’ve ever had. They make a rain cover for it as well. I’ve linked both below:

https://joovy.com/zoom-360-ultralight/ https://joovy.com/zoom-360-ultralight-jogging-stroller-rain-cover/

If you need additional dry storage, I would suggest taking advantage of the lockers they have available around the parks. If you are enjoying Disney’s California Adventure Park, there are full body dryers for $5 next to Grizzly Rapids. The water is a part of the process, but these options are here to help eliminate ruining your things, or creating a damper on your fun. Pun intended.

If you’re wondering what to do on a rainy day, the answer is everything you would normally do, but slightly altered. Some attractions are closed when the weather gets wet. Some of those are as follows:

  • Storybook Canal Boats
  • Mad Tea Party Spinning Teacups
  • Tom Sawyer’s Island
  • The Golden Zephyr
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant

There are also a list of rides (not all options listed) that stay open regardless of the weather. Those rides are as follows:

  • Most Fantasyland Rides like:
  • Peter Pan
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • It’s A Small World
  • King Arthur’s Carousel
  • Other rides in various lands including:
  • Winnie The Pooh
  • Splash Mountain (hey, you’re already wet)
  • Tiki Tiki Room
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Monster’s Inc

Just head to the nearest information desk or City Hall on Main Street to ask what is available for the day. It often changes depending on how bad the weather actually is. Sometimes they will have the fireworks show in the rain, as long as wind isn’t an issue. Most of the time, they will replace it with a light show. Most often, parades are cancelled due to the rain. Character meet and greets are still available, but locations to where the characters are might change. If you are on the lookout for a certain character, ask the information desk at City Hall as to their whereabouts.

Above all, HAVE FUN and don’t worry if things don’t go as planned. Maybe you didn’t know it was going to rain. Maybe you’ve had this trip planned for months and there is just nothing you can do about the timing. The fact of the matter is, we’ll wait in line for over an hour for a water ride during the Summer. So as long as we’re prepared, a little water never really bothered anybody. You’re at the Happiest Place on Earth regardless of the rain. It’s still a beautiful day no matter what. Embrace the unexpected, but try to pack and plan ahead if possible. These are the things I always take with me for a rainy day:

  • Ponchos (they also sell them at the Parks)
  • Umbrellas
  • Stroller Cover (I keep it in the car at all times)
  • Rain boots & Extra Shoes (I keep in the locker)
  • Towels and Extra Clothes
  • Rain Jackets
  • Portable Hand Warmers
  • Beanies
  • Thermos of warm water or soup
  • Large waterproof bags for wet clothes. I love Bumkins Wet Bags:
Wet Bag: Rainbows

If you’re staying in a hotel around the area, take a break and change. Sometimes all that constant rain pour can tire you out. So take a break and warm up, then head on back. If you’re not staying local, maybe just plan for a half day. The absolute best time to go to the Disneyland Resort is in the rain because there are virtually no lines for rides. The parks are empty and you can still enjoy a variety of shows and attractions. Just know your limit and come as prepared as possible. There are various fun buildings to explore that are completely covered. My favorite spot is the Animation Academy, specifically “Turtle Talk With Crush.” Utilize those spaces to wait out the storm and try something new.

I hope some of this helped. Like i said, above all, have fun and roll with the day and how it unfolds. This type of thing is not in our control, so it’s best to enjoy what we can. The rain can be really fun for the kids, and kids at heart. Don’t forget that umbrella!

The Howard Johnson Hotel in Anheim is Simply the Best!

When it comes to where our family goes to “get away for a bit,” there is only one place we head to. The Howard Johnson Hotel in Anaheim is located just a few minutes away from the Disneyland Resort. It is a family friendly hotel that is stacked with things to do! From the balloon swords that are given at check-in, to the adventurous “Castaway Cove” water playground, everything is themed around pirates! My kids love to snag a chocolate treasure coin when we arrive, along with a pirate hat. The staff is always so nice to the kids and are there to help with anything we may need. Traveling with an infant or small child? No need to worry. They have cribs available to use in the rooms for your stay. We used the cribs when Kensey was smaller and it was a huge life saver to not have to bring our travel crib!

Once you’ve checked in, you get to head up to your room if it’s ready for use. The rooms in building one are fully renovated, complete with an Alexa in every room! That means dance parties on command and that is really what life is all about, right? The other buildings are being remodeled as well, and in time the entire hotel will be modernized, but still have their throwback flair. Each room around the property has a vintage feel to their decor. Scattered around the rooms are old artwork of popular rides and attractions in Disneyland Park, as well as a Mickey or two. The bathrooms also come equipped with a rubber ducky, as the rubber ducky is a HOJO staple, and often displayed in artwork around the property.

Let’s talk water play! Castaway Cay is a pirate themed water playground that has something for every age level. Are your kids more on the smaller side? The have a one foot wading pool located to the side of the water park, along with a smaller water slide option. Got bigger and taller ones? This water park comes complete with a bigger slide and the best dump bucket around! I love watching the kids rush to the center as they hear the ticking of the bucket turning over. TIDAL WAVE! What would a pirate themed water park be without some water guns! Those babies are scattered around, making it easy to shoot your target without being caught! It’s easily the best time in the late Spring and Summer, when the temperature spikes and heading to the pools is a must! I would say, it’s a better option on those days than the parks! There are some trips where we will spend the majority of the day at Castaway Cay than head to Disney, and we love it!

Looking for a more relaxing experience at the pool? There is a second pool location that is not centered around the water park. It’s a nice and relaxing option where they have towels on site for your use, as well as many lounge chairs to take a nice nap by the pool, or catch up on a good read. There is also a Jacuzzi located next to the water park side, and both locations are open until 10pm. It is hands down the coolest experience to watch the Disneyland fireworks from the Jacuzzi in Castaway Cay, I highly recommend it! A great second option for a hotel fireworks viewing is your hotel balcony! Lots of rooms have a perfect view of the show, and weather permitting, you don’t need to be inside Disneyland to enjoy one of it’s major attractions!

Aside from the walking distance to Disney parks and great entertainment the hotel has to offer, this mom especially loves that there is a Keurig coffee machine in every room! Complete with little coffee pods, it’s the absolute best thing to have when you need to be up at dawn for a Rise Of The Resistance boarding pass. Another favorite amenity of mine is the beauty ring that surrounds the mirror in the bathroom. I have never looked more glam getting ready in my life! The lighting makes the perfect tool for getting ready in the morning and looking your best!

Whether you’re looking for a fun getaway with the family, or are trying to map out your next Disney trip, be sure to make the Howard Johnson Hotel in Anaheim your home base for it. If it’s Disney you’re there for, they have all you need to make your stay enjoyable. If you’re looking to explore other things besides Disney, they offer shuttles to fun places like Universal Studios, Los Angeles and Hollywood, and more. The hotel is also located very closely to things like the Anaheim Packing District, Downtown Disney, the Honda Center, and Angel’s Stadium. Save a ton of money by not booking at a resort property, and stay at the HOJO! To book now, click on the link below:

https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.hojoanaheim.com/?utm_source%3Daffiliate%26utm_medium%3Dreferral%26utm_campaign%3Docfitmommy&sa=D&ust=1579131077002000&usg=AFQjCNGhDodN4-Ud-3MfLKJF7AgF5OKvbg

Photography for this blog provided by Nicole Long Photography. Be sure to book her for your next family vacation! You can visit her site at:

http://www.nicolelongsphotography.com

Easy To Make Leprechaun Play dough

It’s officially March! Time to get festive with this homemade play dough recipe that your kids can help make too! Most of these steps are completely kid friendly, but they do require some adult supervision. To begin, you will need to gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 2-4 drops of green food coloring
  • 1 cup of water
  • green glitter
  • gold glitter
  • festive cookie cutters

Once you have your supplies, combine the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and water, and oil and mix well with a whisk. Once mixed, add a few drops of food coloring and continue to mix well. If you prefer a more vibrant colored play dough, add a few more drops of food coloring. These steps are easy and fun ways to get the kids involved. Depending on their age and abilities, have them help pour the ingredients into the bowl, or help stir together! Not only will it be a great bonding experience for you, they will learn just what goes into making play dough!

Once you have mixed the ingredients together, scoop up the dough mixture and drop it into a cooking pan or bowl. Cook on low to medium heat, stirring constantly. The play dough will begin to thicken and form a ball. Remove the ball of dough from the stove top and let it sit out to cool.

Once the play dough has cooled, it’s time to add the sparkle! Grab your kiddo and have him or her knead the dough until the cracks and bumps start to disappear. Once it starts to resemble the store bought thing, slowly add gold and green glitter to the center of the play dough. Have your child start to knead in the glitter until it has spread to all the parts of the dough. After that, it’s time to play! I found the cutest set of St. Patrick’s Day themed cookie cutters on Amazon, and I’ll be sure to link it at the end of this post.

I had a blast making home made play dough with Emma! It completely took me back to my childhood during the Summer, where we would make it all the time! The smell of home made play dough is just something of pure magic, don’t you agree? Plus, this activity is a really fun way to get your kids involved in something crafty, with minimal mess involved. I hope you have a blast making this shamrock colored creation! Happy March!

St. Patrick’s Day cookie cutters:

https://www.amazon.com/Pekaqose-Cutters-Patricks-Shamrock-Leprechaun/dp/B083572Q93/ref=sxin_3_ac_d_rm?ac_md=0-0-c3QgcGF0cmlja3MgZGF5IGNvb2tpZSBjdXR0ZXJz-ac_d_rm&crid=2T90TB21CNESC&cv_ct_cx=st+patricks+day+cookie+cutters&keywords=st+patricks+day+cookie+cutters&pd_rd_i=B083572Q93&pd_rd_r=5c029769-2005-4e5d-a064-42a0cd2615f4&pd_rd_w=cpVVK&pd_rd_wg=T3AAd&pf_rd_p=de19e82a-2d83-4ae8-9f5c-212586b8b9a0&pf_rd_r=R9C79EHZKWA5B90RA3WE&psc=1&qid=1583114990&sprefix=st+patricks+day+coo%2Caps%2C218

We Just Love Magic Jump Rentals

When it comes to throwing any type of party, I’ve officially got a GO-TO Team! The company is called Magic Jump Rentals, and they truly are magic and more! Magic Jump Rentals is a party rental service that covers the Los Angeles County and surrounding areas. Come March, they’ll be servicing the Antelope Valley and San Diego areas! When it comes to customer service, product quality, and safety, there is no one better!

I’ve had the pleasure of using Magic Jump Rentals for both of the girl’s parties this year, and each time I’ve had nothing but positive and memorable experiences. Not only is the process to order online so simple, they are thorough at making sure you are satisfied with your experience! They are always on time with your order, and for me they we’re flexible with pick up time! Each party we we’re able to enjoy the bouncers a bit longer than originally agreed upon, which the kids LOVED! The bouncers always showed up completely clean and they were inflated within minutes of arriving! Safety is of the highest importance to Magic Jump Rentals. The day of Emma’s party, there was a small chance of rain. Policy states that they cannot deliver if the weather calls for rain, due to safety. As much of a bummer as that sounds, the safety of the children attending our party was the most important thing to them. Did i mention that they are more than just inflatables?! Like, WAY more! They have everything from carnival games to rock walls and zip lines, concession machines, photo booths and more! There are endless possibilities to how you can amp up your next party with Magic Jump!

To learn more about Magic Jump Rentals, or to book them for your necxt party, head to:

http://www.magicjumprentals.com

Photography for this post and the birthday parties provided by:

http://www.nicolelongsphotography.com

Emma’s 8th Birthday Beach Bash

Believe it or not, it IS possible to throw a “beach party” in February. Tricky? Yes. Impossible. No.

Emma had her heart dead set on a beach party theme, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her no. So off to Pinterest I went. There were a lot of cute ideas I wanted to implement, so if you’re ever in a jam, seriously Pinterest is a miracle worker! The main highlights for Emma’s party according to Emma had to be:

  • Bounce house complete with slide
  • Cheeseballs and Gushers must be present
  • Pizza, lots and lots of pizza
  • Ice cream cake, and it must be cookies n’ cream
  • Limbo- for prizes

That didn’t seem like too bad of a list, and I am so happy to report that all of her requests were met. When it came to the bounce house, there was no other company I would go to other than Magic Jump Rentals. If you read my previous blog post about Kensey’s Frozen themed party, you know just how awesome they are! I wouldn’t count on any other party rental company for my events.

After preparing for this party for weeks, I felt like I had everything ironed out. Then the weather decided to throw a curveball at me and anticipate rain on the day of the party. With only a few days to spare before party day, I needed to figure out entertainment for a few dozen kids, and FAST. I contacted Magic Jump Rentals to see what my options were. I learned that due to safety reasons, they won’t deliver bounce houses when rain is present. They did however offer me four carnival games in exchange, which was music to my ears, because that will entertain the kids for hours, all while staying on theme. The carnival games reminded me of the fun boardwalks by the beach, so it completely worked! I was so relieved to have worked with a company that was so fast to fix the issue, and not leave me hanging without a plan. It completely turned the party around! I also ordered some “sand in a bottle kits” for each kid to create as a backup plan for the rain. No one was going to be bored on my watch.

The weather was at a 50% chance of rain come the night before the party, so we decided to play it safe and bring on the carnival games. I woke up on party day with a clear idea of how the party was going to go, and then the rain disappeared completely from the weather app! I quickly called Magic Jump Rentals and scheduled the original jumper to be delivered again, but let’s add a few carnival games, because I seriously moved furniture for this concept. I was relieved that the kids would have the bounce house she originally wanted, but now we have some extra fun to make this party complete. Again, Magic Jump Rentals was a BIG reason this party went to smoothly, so I can’t thank them enough.

It was time for the day of the party! Sunny (and cloudy) skies ahead, and a birthday girl full of excitement. After running around like a chicken with my head cut off all morning for prep, the party was ready to begin right at noon, all while I was still in my pajamas. After quickly changing into something less “swamp mom chic” I was ready to party! This beach bash had it all: tropical bounce house complete with obstacle course and slide, carnival games, a s’mores cart, as well as a ton of other fun activities and delicious food. I’m not one for pinatas, it’s just too much work for okay candy. So, we decided to create some fantastic goodie bags for the kids to take home instead.

Once the party began, it was just consistent chaos until about 5pm, which was only a few hours past the party end time. Since we had the bounce house until dark, I kept it open for the kids to stay and play if they wanted to. That was a blast for Emma, but boy was I ready for the day to end! The day began though, with s’mores. K Franco events hooked it UP for Emma’s party! Knowing her theme was a beach theme, they came fully decked out in beach aesthetic for their cart! She had a special custom sign with Emma’s name and the menu for the day. Upon ordering, she toasts the marshmallow on the spot and even melts the chocolate a bit, creating the most perfect and mouth watering s’more. Like them extra toasty? You got it! We had a full hour of on the spot s’mores and I was more than okay with this being my lunch! If you’re ever looking for that extra special touch to add to your next event, look no further. K Franco events has done everything from baby showers to weddings and more! These chic little square mallows make it a bit leveled up than your average s’more. I cant thank K Franco Events enough, and I cant wait to use them again!

After indulging ourselves in s’mores, I decided to snag some pizza to even things out. I’m all for desserts first, but all these kids needed a legit lunch. Along with pizza, they snacked on veggies and chips, and after all of that was finished, we sang Happy Birthday with ice cream cake. I got Emma a personal sized ice cream cake as well as a much larger one for her friends. After lunch, the kiddos enjoyed making sand art. I found the bottles and small funnels as a kit on Amazon, along with the sand to compliment the project. The kids loved how they could use the colors of the rainbow to create something beautiful for their family. Each creation looked different than the one next, and it was a beautiful sight to see. We also gathered the kids together for a fun game of limbo. I was quite impressed with just how flexible these kids really are! After some food and fun, the party came to an end. Everyone took home a goodie bag filled with toys and treats, all of which i got in a kit off, of course, Amazon. The fun addition to the bags were our favorites, Sunstaches! We LOVE Sunstaches because they are actual functional sunglasses with a fun twist to them. We use them for theme parks trips, car rides, and of course, party favors. They create everything from Disney to DC and even funny avocado glasses! Seriously, name your theme, they got something for that! They were kind enough to provide the glasses for her party, and for that I’m eternally grateful. Since it was a beach theme, we went with Ariel mermaid glasses for the girls and boat captain theme for the boys. They we’re a total hit!

Bottom line is, with a little bit of patience and creativity, and an Amazon prime membership, a beach party is totally possible any time of the year. I relied heavy on Pinterest for my ideas, like using a fisherman’s net and small clips to hang pictures on it. Then i took to Amazon and tried to minimize the extra work, like decorations and goodie bags. If you have a kid over the age of two, chances are a bounce house is all the entertainment they need. Most party rental places will have a beach or tropical bouncer as an option, but I would definitely check Magic Jump Party Rentals if you’re in the Southern California area. Having carnival games was certainly not on the original list of ideas, but having it there added the “boardwalk” element I didn’t even know was missing. It allowed the traffic in the bounce house to spread out a bit, and gave kids who needed a break an option for something else to do. Magic Jump had dozens of games to choose from, and we ended up choosing the ring toss and duck hunt. I also purchased tropical style temporary tattoos and had a station all set up with a wet sponge ready to go. I felt like there was more than enough to keep the kids happy and entertained, so I’m going to consider this party a total success! A HUGE Thank You to all who came out and celebrated our incredible Emma! The party would NOT have been a success without the people we love to share in the day, and that is what truly matters most.

I would like to personally thank Nicole Long Photography for providing all of the photos used in this post. She is absolute MAGIC behind the camera and specializes in family and engagement shoots, but also content creation at theme parks and anywhere else your heart desires in So Cal! Be sure to head to her Instagram at @NicoleLongPhotography or visit her site at:

http://www.nicolelongsphotography.com

You can also have the beach party of your dreams by booking your party needs through Magic Jump Rentals. Although I originally contacted them about a bounce house, they offer SO much more than that! And that customer service… their help picked my sad state off the floor after finding out about the rain and I can never thank them enough for that! They were punctual on BOTH parties on drop off and picking up. The bouncers were clean and ready to be used! Even after a small amount of rain happened, we used towels to dry it off and the towels were practically clean after wiping! To a germ hating mom, this is music to my ears! If you’re in the So Cal or Los Angeles area, do yourself a favor and visit them at:

http://www.magicjumprentals.com

Some other important links for your beach party planning that SAVED ME:

Sand Bottles with funnels:

https://www.amazon.com/your-orders/pop?packageId=1&ref=ppx_yo2_mob_b_pop__fp_2_pp&orderId=112-9280966-0729030&lineItemId=lgnjoxppqknoqny&shipmentId=DB7TJQsqd

Colored Sand:

https://www.amazon.com/your-orders/pop?packageId=1&ref=ppx_yo2_mob_b_pop__fp_2_pp&orderId=112-9280966-0729030&lineItemId=lgnjovprkpruqny&shipmentId=DB7TJQsqd

Goodie Bags:

https://www.amazon.com/your-orders/pop?packageId=1&ref=ppx_yo2_mob_b_pop__fp_8_pp&orderId=112-5239333-7089018&lineItemId=lgmmqumupnmnwny&shipmentId=DWJSXDMzM

Sunstaches:

Captain's Hat Sun-Staches®

Fisherman’s Net Photo Holder:

https://www.amazon.com/your-orders/pop?packageId=1&ref=ppx_yo2_mob_b_pop__fp_3_pp&orderId=112-3354331-6808217&lineItemId=lgnjrumrnqmnony&shipmentId=Dsxdtn0f3

Party Leis:

https://www.amazon.com/your-orders/pop?packageId=1&ref=ppx_yo2_mob_b_pop__fp_7_pp&orderId=112-5239333-7089018&lineItemId=lgmmqumupnmnsny&shipmentId=Dqd4XrM0M

Temporary Tattoos:

https://www.amazon.com/your-orders/pop?packageId=1&ref=ppx_yo2_mob_b_pop__fp_9_pp&orderId=112-5536253-4366620&lineItemId=lgmmquqtpjrsuny&shipmentId=DByKp6MxM

To book K Franco Events for your next event, be sure to follow them on Instagram at @kfrancoevents or online at:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/kfrancoevents

Emma’s blue tie-dye romper was from Justice and Kensey’s rainbow dress is from Cotton On Kids. The party decor was a mix of Target and Party City, and the balloons are all from Party City. The ice cream cake I custom ordered at Baskin Robbins and was delicious!

Micechat Gumball Rally 2020

Let’s Get Ready To Gumball!

I know what you’re probably thinking…WHAT is the Micechat Gumball Rally? To put it into its simplest form, it’s a contest/scavenger hunt in which the goal is to visit as many Disneyland attractions as possible in the time allotted. It’s the MOST fun you will ever have at Disneyland, I promise you that! Upon registration, teams of anywhere from 2 to 4 run around Disneyland (Not DCA) from opening all the way to sundown, trying to cram in as many attractions as possible. The winner receives a one of a kind trophy made out of a gumball machine, where a talented artist has crafted around it to depict a famous ride from the parks. This year, the star of the show was the Materhorn, but the trophy also had the monorail and Finding Nemo’s Submarine Voyage! Being my first time in The Gumball Rally, I was in awe of the trophy’s beauty and wanted to win badly!

My team consisted of my bestfriend Jennifer (@Randomly_riley) as well as our friends Leah Green (@cutebowdaddyo) and her daughter Abby Shayne (@theabbyshayne). Our team name was “Livin’ La Vida Yoda” and we were all decked out with maracas (thanks Leah!) and cute “The Child” accessories from Buckledown Products (thanks Jenn!) We we’re ready to win! Due to my distance from Disneyland, I knew being local beforehand was key, because check-in for Gumball was 6:30am sharp! I would like to thank The Howard Johnson Hotel of Anaheim for hosting my stay, and allowing me to be walking distance from not only where i needed to check-in, but also the parks themselves.

My teammate Jenn and I were up at 5:15am to get ready for the Gumball Rally. After all, it might be early but i still want to look cute! Once we we’re ready to walk, we grabbed our coffees and headed out. Due to checking in at an event the evening before, all we needed to do was grab our lanyards and rule books. That was a bonus because girl, that line was no good! After hearing an overview of the rules and getting our books, it was time for everyone to make a mad dash to the park. Most of us we’re honestly heading to get that all important “Rise Of The Resistance” boarding pass, and the lines to get in were CRAZY! Somehow, we all made it into the parks by 8:04am, and snagged boarding group 130 for Rise, the highest it had ever gone. That was not a good sign, but that’s okay, Rise wasn’t listed in the rule book as an option and we had a job to do. It was time to head on some rides and visit some attractions!

The handbook that was given to us had the rides and attractions listed that we’re apart of the competition. Each ride or attraction had a point value to it, so depending on the value of the ride, that would help you determine your strategy. Most fast pass rides were only worth a point, which was a bummer to me because those are the rides I go on least due to being a mom. Once you boarding a ride or visited an attraction, you would need to answer a question on your handbook about the ride, as well as take a picture with your team and numbers and email it in to a specific email. That way, it prevents any cheating or planning ahead. Each year, the questions and rules change, allowing everyone to have an even playing field. We had NO strategy and just wanted to enjoy ourselves and the experience, as we we’re all first timers.

We started in Fantasyland and worked our way around most lands. Not all stops we’re rides, but “attractions” such as walking through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and visiting Mickey Mouse. Depending on the ride’s point worth and wait time, we decided to just have a blast and not worry about being first place. We only stopped for a few bathroom breaks and lunch, and hustled as fast as we could from ride to ride. Due to the popularity of Rise Of The Resistance , the parks we’re very crowded that day, which made it hard to accomplish all of what was to offer.

The latest you could turn in your ballots was 7pm. Our team was beyond tired by 4pm and couldn’t hang on another minute. We decided to call it, and head to Disney California Adventure for an early dinner and celebratory margarita. By the time we finished our meal, it seemed there might be a beacon of hope that we could ACTUALLY ride Rise Of The Resistance, so we decided to head back to the Howard Johnson Hotel to wait it out. The awards ceremony for the Gumball Rally was anticipated to begin around the time that our boarding passes could be called, so we made the hard decision to miss out on the ceremony. It was a long shot, but I personally have never been on the ride and don’t have the opportunity to get a boarding pass or even stay long enough to board. This was different. I had a hotel room and nothing stopping me from this epic moment.

An hour after leaving the parks, we get notified our boarding group had been called. Not only had boarding group 130 NEVER been called before, it was also the final boarding group of the night. We had 45 minutes to scan our boarding pass or it was curtains. We ran as fast as we could down Harbor Blvd. to scan our tickets to get in and we made it! Over an hour later, i left the ride a changed person. This ride is not like anything I have ever ridden and I cannot wait to go on it again and again and again! I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, I know the process of even getting a chance to ride is grueling. But I can tell you this, it’s worth the hours of waiting for your boarding group to be called and it’s certainly worth the early morning wake up call to score one!

But back to the Gumball Rally…

Like i said, I’ve never done the Gumball Rally before. This was my first experience, and I was asked to be on a team, led by our captain Jennifer. I immediately agreed when I found out the entire point was to visit as many attractions as i could! That to me just seemed like the Disney dream! As a mom of two littles, I don’t get to visit all of the attractions that the park has to offer. I actually got to ride the rides i loved, without talking my way out of it due to a long line, etc. The added element of answering a question about the attractions made it more like a scavenger hunt, which was super fun! I will never miss a Micechat Gumball Rally in the future, as this is the dream Disney day! Registration is required, so be sure to follow Micechat on Instagram as well as on their blog for updated information on the next event, as well as up to date Parks info!

I would like to thank Micechat for sponsoring our event tickets and allowing us to experience this day! I would also like to thank The Howard Johnson Hotel in Anaheim for hosting our weekend stay, and allowing my family to relax while i rode rides till I dropped.

You can follow Micechat at:

http://www.micechat.com

Come relax MINUTES from the Parks by staying at the HOJO! Click the link below to book your next visit:

https://bit.ly/2UJEqRa

The theme for this year’s Gumball Rally was to save the gumball “Child” which was a Mandalorian reference of the popular baby Yoda from the show. I am happy to report that the Gumball child has been saved, but sadly we did not place in the top 75 teams overall in points. Oh well, there’s always next year. Long live Livin’ La Vida Yoda!

I absolutely LOVED my outfit for the day, because it was cute and functional. Some of the pieces I already had in my closet, and some I bought specifically for the day. I linked the pieces still available, as well as some alternatives for your purchasing needs:

Baby Yoda Tee:

https://www.hottopic.com/product/star-wars-the-mandalorian-the-child-tie-dye-girls-t-shirt/13166519.html?cgid=pop-culture-shop-by-license-yoda#start=13

Sheer star mesh top:

https://us.shein.com/Mock-Neck-Lettuce-Trim-Star-Mesh-Top-Without-Bra-p-699799-cat-1738.html?url_from=adplaswblouse04190320423M_ssc&gclid=Cj0KCQiAkKnyBRDwARIsALtxe7ilWF2JkTmJXfQKWQAK6AX8eW3D_JSxEblxcEkdvr1zhzD0d-hgCbcaArpkEALw_wcB

Boyfriend Jeans:

https://www.urbanoutfitters.com/shop/bdg-high-rise-mom-jean-light-wash2?adpos=1o2&color=093&creative=210011023864&device=c&gclid=Cj0KCQiAkKnyBRDwARIsALtxe7i28z6iQn6nKcizXHPa6YcB418FtdVyZMU39-H3PHZfilZvYrDpdmYaAhAkEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds&inventoryCountry=US&matchtype=&mrkgadid=3107890989&mrkgcl=671&network=g&product_id=47678388&utm_campaign=NB_PLA_-_GSC_-_Womens&utm_content=Apparel_Jeans&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_term=218326723984_product_type_w_product_type_app_product_type_jeans_brand_bdg

High Tops:

https://www.converse.com/shop/p/chuck-taylor-all-star-unisex-hightopshoe/M9006MP.html?dwvar_M9006MP_color=black&styleNo=M9160&cgid=womens-high-top-shoes

Disney After Dark: Sweetheart’s Nite

On February 12th, I was the lucky date of my best Galentine, Jennifer, to attend Disneyland’s After Dark event “Sweetheart’s Nite.” Jennifer, or as you may or may not know on Instagram as @randomly_riley , was asked by Mice Chat to write up a blog on her experience at a Disney After Dark event. When she asked me to be her date, of course I didn’t hesitate to say YES. I personally have never been to an after dark event, so I was excited to see what everyone had been talking about. All of the events that I have seen in the past from posts online have looked like so much fun!

“Sweetheart’s Nite” was originally conceptualized with the idea that couples young and old will attend with their “sweethearts.” I thought that attending with your “Galentine” or best girlfriend would be a great alternative to the traditional idea, and boy was it fun! The after hours event check in starts as early as 6pm. What that means is, if you purchased a ticket for the event, you can access Disneyland Park as early as 6pm at no additional cost! I personally am an annual passholder, so this made no difference to me. I did however, think it was pretty neat that you can enjoy the parks for 6 hours total for the cost of your ticket. It may not sound like much, but most of those hours are “after hours” hours, so the lines are minimal for rides once the event begins. We arrived dressed in our Galentine’s Day best about 6pm, and that was a mistake. Major traffic getting into the parking structure, so I would plan ahead on that one and carpool.

Once we we we’re parked, we decided to snag some dinner really quick before checking in. We headed to Disney California Adventure for some baked potato soup at Pacific Wharf Cafe, in which we mobile ordered as soon as we walked into the park. By the time we arrived on our three minute walk, it was ready for us! I highly recommend downloading the Disneyland app and mobile ordering your food when possible. It saves you time in line, which means more time for things you actually want to do. Once we ate, we headed back to the Disneyland gate, where we checked in and got our lanyards for the night. The lanyards act as an indicator to cast members that you are there for the event, because they are in the midst of getting regular guests to exit for the evening. Since there is an overlap of about an hour before things can begin, we grabbed our maps and snagged a locker and headed to The Jolly Holiday to read the map and decide what to do.

The event runs from 9pm-1am. There are a handful of special meet and greet opportunities with rare characters, as well as special food items that are not available in the parks during normal business hours. Aside from that, there are photo opportunities scattered around the park, as well as the option to ride most of the rides in Disneyland with very minimal lines. It is almost impossible to do everything, so making a plan is most important in making the most of your event experience. They often release information about the evening prior to the event, so you can sometimes plan way ahead, if you need to do so. Most people we’re dressed in couple’s cosplay or costume, but because it was nearly 40 degrees the entire event, lots of us covered up in jackets pretty quickly. We decided on the few items we we’re going to eat, as well as the characters we wanted to see and we headed off.

We snagged the “Pucker Up” sour cherry churro in Tomorrowland, which already had a line 30 minutes before opening. This churro was a regular churro base, dusted in sour red sugar. The topping to dip it in was a cream cheese frosting. The entire thing together reminded us of a toaster strudel, which for me was too sweet. I thought the sour sugar topping was pretty yummy, but the dipping sauce was too sweet for my taste. After snagging the churro, we headed towards the castle for the “Sweetheart’s Nite” fireworks show. This show was a custom show created specifically for the event. From Lady And The Tramp to Up, they played the classics while the skies above the castle sparkled. Watching the fireworks always makes me feel like a little kid. Due to the distance that I currently live from the parks, watching the fireworks rarely happens. This was an absolute treat for me and a definite highlight of the night.

Once the fireworks show ended, we started walking around to meet the characters we wanted to meet. We we’re most excited to see Hercules and Meg, because they are NEVER out. Poor Wonder Boy was stuck in this tiny dress of a costume, and it was freezing! The lines for characters felt like forever because the characters take breaks often. So if you want to meet characters, it might be tricky to meet them all. After Meg and Herc, came Anna and Kristoff. They of course we’re the cutest and so fun to hangout with! Milo and Kida from Atlantis we’re also a popular stop, but because i had zero clue who they were, we took a hard skip. Since it was Sweetheart’s Nite, you could of course meet a lot of classic couple characters like Ariel and Eric, Flynn and Rapunzel, as well as Belle and Prince Adam. Fabulous singles like Gaston and Anastasia and Drizella we’re also mingling with guests until the event was over.

Once we met a few characters, it was time to enjoy some of the photo backdrops that they had scattered around the parks. Disneyland did a fantastic job recreating some of their film’s most iconic and romantic moments for couples (and Galentines) to enjoy. From Aladdin’s balcony moment on the magic carpet, to Rapunzel and Flynn’s boat ride filled with lanterns, they nailed it! Of course, we couldn’t go to all of the adorable spots, so we picked our favorite few and snapped some cute bestie shots. The photographers loved the break from the romantic mood and we hammed it up as Galentines would! These photo backdrops have very long lines, so again pick your favorite few and be patient. Most locations that are anticipated to be popular have multiple set ups that are identical, so the line goes fast.

Once we did the photo taking and the character meeting, we wanted to experience the Royal Ball, which was a small show held every hour on the hour right out front of It’s A Small World. The show was an impromptu ball that starred a few of the Disney princesses and their princes, as well as some royalty from foreign lands. Royal friends I’m guessing. This evening, we we’re graced with the presence of Aurora and Phillip, Snow White and Prince Charming, Cinderella and her Prince, and finally Aladdin and Jasmine. Since this was royal ball, the three fairies were also in attendance. Things we’re all good, until Maleficent crashed the ball. Clearly, she was not invited, and was not happy and not receiving an invitation. Once she calmed down a bit, the Princesses and Princes asked the guests to dance. I was royally flushed when Cinderella’s Prince asked me to dance. I’m way awkward and must have complimented his shiny outfit ten times. Didn’t know what to say, lol. He was a gentlemen and it completely made my night. Once we enjoyed the ball a bit, we realized it was about time to leave. We had partied until nearly 1am, and I still needed to drive back home to Thousand Oaks. We snagged our stuff from our locker and headed homeward.

Like I said above, this was my very first after dark experience, so I have nothing to compare it to. I do have some tips and opinions on the evening I would like to share with you, in case heading to one of these events is on your bucket list (which it totally should be).

After Dark Event Tips:

  • Arrive early. You can access the parks hours before the event actually takes place, so avoid the traffic jam on the road and at the gate and get there early.
  • Check the weather beforehand. I loved my outfit and was dedicated to looking cute regardless of the weather. But about an hour in, my jacket was on and I was freezing. I saw lots of cute outfits with freezing people wearing them. Don’t be them. Check ahead of time.
  • Plan your outfits! Tet tohis is the moment other than the Halloween events that you can be over the age of 14 and dress up! If costumes are your thing- Go For It!
  • If you want the special collector’s pins: Head There First! Apparently, they only hand out a certain amount per evening, and the line is nuts! ask a cast member or check out on the map you’re given where the event merch is being sold, and run as fast as you can in that direction!
  • Take Advantage of Photo Pass! The photo employees are there specifically with professional equipment to capture your moments for free! Don’t count on your IPhone in the dark to get those magical shots you waited in line for. It’s not worth it. Let them take them and download the photos to your phone from the app within minutes of taking them.
  • If you like rides- Ride! This is the moment where if photos are not your thing, to take advantage of the little to no wait time in line. Most rides are open until 1am. Rise of the Resistance was not open for the event to ride, which I thought was a mistake and a bummer. Maybe for Star Wars After Dark, we’ll see. If you are not a passholder, this is a great opportunity to enjoy the park and ride the rides without the crowds.
  • Try the Food! Each event has their own unique offerings, so scope them out and choose your faves. We wanted to try more options, but ran out of time due to waiting for characters.
  • ENJOY YOURSELF. Seriously, enjoy yourself. It will be crowded in places and lines can be long in spots. Just enjoy your evening and the company you’re with. Depending on your personal preferences, map out a night for you and your party that you can enjoy.

Despite the chilly weather, I was completely obsessed with my outfit, and rocked it for as long as i could! These overalls we’re sent to me by Pepper Kids Inc. and with the puffy organza top and Chucks, I felt like a straight Minnie Mouse park treat! I’ve linked my outfit below.

Pink Organza Top:

https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/f21/top_blouses/2000390590

Mouse Overalls:

ADULT DARK DENIM MOUSE OVERALLS

Red High Top Shoes:

https://www.converse.com/shop/red-shoes

I would like to thank Mice Chat for hosting our evening of Galentine’s Day fun. Mice Chat is the GO TO spot for all things information regarding Disneyland and other theme parks and entertainment in the So Cal area. To read more and get informed, head to:

http://www.micechat.com

If you would like to experience one of these after dark events yourself, don’t worry. There are three more events already scheduled in the future. “Pixar Nite” will be held on March 5th at Disney’s California Adventure Park. “Villain’s Nite” will also be in Disney’s California Adventure Park on April 30th, and “Star Wars Nite” will be on August 27th in Disneyland Park. You can purchase tickets by heading to:

http://www.disneyland.com

Kensey Turns Three- Frozen Style

This past weekend, we celebrated our littlest not being so little anymore. Kensey has been asking for a birthday party for months now, and not just any kind of basic party. This princess wanted a FROZEN themed party, and she had just a few ideas on how I could make it the best day ever! Those ideas included the following:

  • Frozen castle bounce house
  • Anna and Elsa MUST be in attendance
  • Pirate Booty
  • Frozen Fruit Snacks
  • Her best friend, Ruby, must also be able to come

To me, that didn’t seem too hard to accomplish, although some of those requests seemed (and still do) a bit much for someone just turning three. I mean, C’mon, I remember that day well, and i know for a fact I should be the one being celebrated. I was happy none the less to make her little dreams come true, and I think I got pretty close to hitting this one out of the park in her eyes.

This party was geared mainly towards the younger crowd, so I wanted to make sure that the activites and party favors matched the age of the guests. We had a spread of all of Kensey’s favorite foods, like chips and pizza, as well as some options for the grown ups, like a veggie tray and some gluten free options. The kids also got to enjoy some pretend play with masks and Frozen themed Sunstaches sunglasses, and they even got a pair or two in their goodie bags to take home. Click on the link below to see all of their Frozen themed options:

Disney's Frozen

For entertainment, I was lucky to find the BEST bounce house rental company in Southern California to come help with the party! Magic Jump Rentals has everything you need from inflatables to seating, to food machines and more from L.A to Orange County, and even the Inland Empire. The company was exactly on time to deliver the bouncer, and even let us keep it a few extra hours at no additional cost! The staff was super friendly and professional, and completely made my daughter’s birthday one to remember! As parents, we LOVE bouce houses because they can entertain kids for hours on end, while I get to sit back and relax and enjoy her having fun!

You can access ALL of Magic Jump Rentals options by clicking on the link below:

http://www.magicjumprentals.com

We we’re also fortunate enough to have royalty stop by at her birthday party. Kensey wanted her dearest friends, and personal heroes, Anna and Elsa to come to her party. Not because she needed to have the best party one could ask for, but because she genuinely sees Anna and Elsa as her friends and wanted them to be in on the fun! A few calls to some friends later, and we had ourselves a royal birthday party! Anna and Elsa surprised Kensey by arriving during her party and playing some fun games with her friends. We played pin the nose on Olaf and pin the snowflake on Elsa. We played freeze dance too, which basically turned into one big dance party! They even stayed to sing the birthday girl Happy Birthday, and helped her blow out her birthday candles! I think it’s safe to say, Kensey and her friends LOVED spending time with our special guests!

Once Anna and Elsa needed to head back to Arendelle, we continued to bounce and play! I had bubbles set out for the kids, so that was a huge hit too. The kids continued to enjoy snacks and cupcakes, with the cutest little cupcake toppers from Glam Banners. Each kid took home a goodie bag and sunglasses, and a huge tired smile on their face! This Frozen party was a total success, and yes, her best friend Ruby did make it to the party, which was obviously most important piece of the day!

I’d like to thank the following for contributing to Kensey’s special day:

  • Magic Party Rentals- for providing the bounce house
  • Glam Banners- for providing the cupcake toppers
  • Sunstaches- for providing the Frozen sunglasses
  • Disguise Costumes- for providing the costumes and wigs for Anna & Elsa
  • Nicole Long Photography- for providing all the photography for the party.
  • Say It Now Boutique- for providing the fabric headbands for my girl’s party outfits
  • Anna & Elsa Actors- You know who you are. Thank You for your magic

60 Perfect Instagram Captions For Your Next Disney Trip

60 Perfect Instagram Captions For Your Next Disney Trip

You did it. You took that perfect pic you’ve been wanting to post, and now it’s finally time. You go to caption it, and your mind goes blank. Sound familiar? For me, it’s almost every time. You want to seem creative, but sometimes all you’ve had is a iced coffee for breakfast, and like 10 seconds to post. You can scroll Pinterest for inspo, and believe me that helps. But I thought it would be fun to create a list of Disney themed caption ideas, all in one blog post, just for you! Less searching, more posting! I did not invent these sayings, but more curated them in one area for you to use in a pinch, or for inspiration. Hope you Enjoy!

“There’s nothing more magical than this.”

“Ready to make some magic while I’m here.”

“Find me on Mainstreet.”

“Does this ice cream go with my ears?”

“Yo-ho! Yo-ho! A Disney life for me.”

“Looking for my Prince Charming.”

“Did anyone find my glass slipper?”

“You mer-maid my day!”

“It all started with a mouse.”-Walt Disney

“Smiling Ear to Ear.”

“Just add pixie dust.”

“Leave a little magic wherever you go.”

“Get in the elephant loser, we’re going flying.”

“Don’t mind if I Bibbity Bobbity do.”

“I wish I may, I wish I might find myself in Disneyland/World tonight.”

“Some girls we’re just born with Disney in their veins.”

“When you wish upon a bar…”

“You had me at Disney!”

“Polka dots never go out of style.”

“Everything tastes better when it’s Mickey shaped.”

“You like my ears? Gee thanks, just bought em’.”

“It’s not easy being a princess…but hey, if the shoe fits!”

“I’m never leaving.”

“Who says we have to grow up?”

“I’m either at Disneyland, or I’m missing Disneyland.”

“Speak Wookie to me.”

“Turkey legs for days.”

“And she/he lived happily ever after.”

“Be right back, just polishing my tiara.”

Caption Worthy Movie Quotes

“Adventure is out there!”-Up

“If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”-Cinderella

“And at last I see the light.”-Tangled

“Remember, you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine.”-Snow White

“Everything the light touches is our kingdom.” -The Lion King

“She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.” -Beauty and the Beast

“Forget about your worries and your strife.”- The Jungle Book

“Let it go.”-Frozen

“If you don’t try, you’ll never know.”-The Sword in the Stone

“Unbelievable sights, indescribable feelings.”-Aladdin

“Wish I could be part of that world.”-The Little Mermaid

“Happiness is the richest thing you will ever own.”-Duck Tales

“Our fate lives within us. You only have to be brave enough to see it.”-Merida, Brave

“Listen to your heart, you will understand.”-Grandmother Willow, Pocahontas

“The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability.”-Ratatouille

“Even miracles take a little time.”-Cinderella

“If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.”-Gusteau, Ratatouille

“I never look back, darling, it distracts from the now.”-Edna Mode, Incredibles

“I’m practically perfect in every way.”-Mary Poppins

“True love is putting someone else’s needs before yours.”-Olaf

“Put your faith in what you most believe in.”-Tarzan

Royalty Themed Quotes

“She is a Queen, her soul is royalty.”

“What’s a Queen without her King? Well, historically speaking, more powerful.”

“Queen is a state of mind.”

“Wear the crown. Be the crown. You are the crown.”

“Never be afraid to align yourself in a position of power.”

“I have dignity and style; royalty runs in my blood.”

“Keep your crown on.”

“A King may rule, but a Queen will conquer.”

“You were born to be a Queen.”

“Me, a princess?! Shut up!”-The Princess Diaries

Anxiety Is Tough, But So Am I

December was supposed to be my month. My month to write all the holiday blogs I’ve always wanted to write, to conquer holiday shopping like a boss, to send out cards and learn to cook new recipes. My month to create all that cute Christmas content and take my kids on new adventures. Just listing all that “stuff” had me exhausted. And that was my exact problem. I had created this vision in my head on how the month was going to go, and it didn’t occur to me that I was setting up completely unrealistic expectations. Why do we do this to ourselves? Take social media out of it for a second. We as people, especially parents, set up the most magical time of year to be the most stressful. Why? Who’s winning?

Spoiler Alert: No One Is.

I had a problem. I was no longer motivated to accomplish any of the things I set out to do. My lack of passion had me thinking “Was I not cut out for this blogger stuff? How can others do this, but I just can’t?” And then it occurred to me that there was nothing wrong with my level of passion, but my list of priorities. I did not want to sacrifice my sanity to finish some silly tasks. I didn’t want to miss out on moments that mattered, simply to get the shot “for the gram.” I needed balance. So, I went online and googled how to fix my problem, because that’s what we humans do. I found a TON of articles, many unrealistic to my lifestyle. Sorry, don’t have 12 hours to meditate or access to funds to take a “me” trip to Costa Rica. I did however, find some helpful advice that I broke down into five key points to focusing on when trying to regain balance back into your life. These drastically helped me get back to a much better place, and I hope they help you too.

Get Enough Sleep

Seriously, I know this sounds super obvious. But it’s the one thing I put by the wayside the most. I work at night from home, and my youngest is turning three this month and still nurses. So sleep is already a tough thing to come by. When i do get a full 6-8 hours, I’m a completely different person. I’m pleasant, patient, and present. If you are like me, and can’t get a consecutive 6-8 per day, try your best to find time for a nap during the day. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your life with a much better perspective.

Work That Bod

Get your body moving in some way, but with intention. That means, if you’re chasing your toddler around all day, that doesn’t count as a workout. You need to get your heart pumping at a high enough rate to release those good endorphins you feel from working out. Not an athlete? That’s okay! Just put some cute workout clothes on, open your front door, and take a nice walk around the neighborhood. Put those earbuds in and rock out to your favorite tunes while you’re at it! You’ll release some stuff that has you feeling blocked and come back a brand new person.

Find Time For A Greater Power

This can mean SO many things. I grew up in a religious household, but not one that was smothering about it. We attended church on a regular basis, and I was a part of its youth group. I had a complicated childhood, like most people, so having God in my life was a way to feel safe during a time I did not. To this day, when I’m feeling at my lowest, I head to church. I’m the one in front crying over nothing, because being there is straight therapeutic. This is my story. I know not everyone is religious, so finding a greater power can simply mean closing your eyes and finding peace in the silence. Meditation is such a powerful tool to finding balance again, although it takes a bit of practice. Whenever i hear complete silence, my mind starts racing and I can’t turn it off. So this method doesn’t work for me. Between meditation and prayer, you’ll find what works for you, even if it’s a mix of both. With all the noise of our world, silence is truly golden.

Write Down Your Gratitudes

It is so easy to head down the path of negativity when you’re dealing with anxiety or stress. You feel like the world is against you, so why not add to the list with more negative thinking, right? The way to combat that is to literally write down what you’re grateful for everyday for 14 days. Each day has to be a completely different list than the last day, but it must be things you’re genuinely grateful for. These things can be as simple as the air you breathe and the water you drink. They can be people in your life, your home or job, etc. There is something powerful in having to think about the positive rather than focus on the negative, and then writing them down. Try this for two consecutive weeks and watch your perspective change.

Get Some Much Needed “Me” Time

Other than the sleep thing, this is the other one that’s hard for me. From the moment my eyes open, my day is filled to the brim with life and work obligations, so when am i supposed to fit in “me” time? You HAVE to find the time. Getting away to somewhere simple like Target without kids can do a number on your sanity. Grab that venti Starbucks drink and walk around a bit. I also challenge you to treat yourself from time to time. Buy yourself those cute pair of jeans or treat yourself to a manicure. It doesn’t have to be too expensive, it just has to be for YOU and you only. Ever since having kids, I got into this habit of spending all my time and money and energy on them. Don’t get me wrong, they’re super cute and all, but I was sacrificing all my happiness for theirs. I was dropping hundreds a year on custom Disney outfits, but couldn’t bring myself to buy the cute bra I saw on sale. I had a problem with rewarding myself. You see, it’s not about the item, it’s about what doing that will do to your self worth. Putting yourself first can create a better mental space for yourself, and that will reward all areas in your life. Maybe you don’t have kids but are a big saver and don’t really treat yourself. Start to shift your thinking just a bit, because life is too short, and you’re totally worth it.

Mental illness affects so many, and in no way is this blog a prescription on how to fix that. I struggle daily with anxiety and stress management, but I realized that eliminating certain things from my life helped create more balance, so this is why i wanted to share. Remember you are loved, and it’s all going to be okay. We all have seasons in our lives, both good and bad. Don’t let it define you. You got this!

Frozen Two Premiere

Frozen Two Premiere

Frozen fever is officially back, and we couldn’t be happier over here at the Block house! So you better believe that when we got invited to the Frozen Two World Premiere in Los Angeles, we screamed louder than we’ve ever screamed before! Without giving away any spoilers (because that is just not nice) I would love to recap the magical evening for you all, along with my opinion on the film.

Let me start by saying that Frozen was Emma’s first movie she attended at the age of 2 1/2. All this excitement and build up, for her to want to leave 45 minutes in. A funny memory now, but i can still remember how upset i was when i had to leave. The magic and music of the first installment had me hooked. Now, being a mom of two girls, this movie holds such a special new meaning. The bond the sisters have reminds me a lot of my own girls; their personalities a bit too. In a perfect world, I would have loved to have taken both to this once in a lifetime situation. But it is more of a grown up occasion, so I decided to take Emma and make it a girl’s date.

This premiere wasn’t just filled with stars from the movie. It was also filled with guests that are also dear friends to us, so naturally we all decided to meet up beforehand at the Dave and Busters off Hollywood and Hyland. Emma was excited to spend the evening all dressed up with her bestfriend Riley, as well as new friends! She had a bit of a costume change from lunch to the red carpet. We started the day in a beautiful Anna inspired dress and white fur snowflake purse from the Disney Store. We paired it with a pair of boots from Target, which I know are not accurate to what she wears, but with these kind of events, comfort is key.

Dress:

https://www.shopdisney.com/anna-dress-for-girls-frozen-2-5801041611333M.html

Snowflake Purse:

https://www.shopdisney.com/frozen-2-fashion-bag-427243066103.html

Tan Boots:

https://www.target.com/p/girls-lida-fashion-boots-cat-jack-153/-/A-54561598?preselect=54537113#lnk=sametab

We were gifted by Disguise Costumes, a pair of beautiful costumes to rock at the premiere, so Emma got to channel both sisters in one night! This Elsa costume is from the latest Frozen movie and looks just like it does on screen! She wore it all night and was super comfortable in the outfit! My Anna outfit was quite a showstopper. First of all, COMFORTABLE. Like seriously comfortable. I would honestly wear it everyday it’s cold. It also looked so much like the film! The quality is impeccable and i cant thank Disguise Costumes enough for sending us these beauties! I’ve linked the outfits below:

Elsa Child Costume:

https://disguise.com/elsa-prestige.html

Anna Adult Costume:

https://disguise.com/anna-deluxe-adult.html

Once we were all nice and fed, we were able to wait in line to head into the red carpet. We were invited by Disney Studios to enjoy the evening in the “fan section,” which means everyone in that section was encouraged to dress up in their Frozen best. Waiting in line with the fan section is the best because everyone looks so incredible! From costumes to ball gowns, everyone was decked out! While we were waiting in line, Emma and Riley we’re even interviewed by BBC America, in which Emma did a fantastic job keeping her composure. A natural television star!

After a short wait, we were escorted onto the red carpet. This is such a surreal moment, because it’s the first time you get a look at where the stars will be arriving. We snag our spots in the front and wait for the magic to begin. It’s a bit of a wait, but no one cares…we’re at The Frozen Premiere! As you look around, you notice where the limos pull up. You notice the news stations and camera crew. You notice Anna and Elsa and even Olaf! The magic of Disney premieres always includes characters!

Once the cast and crew of the film started to arrive, you could feel the energy lift. We were put right next to the interviewing booth, which was a great view! The cast and crew were escorted right to our direction, and we got to see them being interviewed firsthand. The girls enjoyed seeing the stars and even some Disney Channel favorites! Once everyone had made their way down the red carpet, the time had finally come to see the most anticipated film of the year!

My Thoughts On The Movie

Okay, so i want to break down my thoughts on the movie without giving anything away. Sounds impossible, right? Might be. But I’m sure going to try because i would hate to spoil the movie and its plot points for anyone. So here is what i can tell you, without telling you a thing.

This movie was the most powerful film I have seen Disney come out with in a very long time. From a story standpoint, a lot of questions are answered. When we first met this royal family from Arendelle, we didn’t know much about them. In this movie, their history is revealed in a way that answers so many questions. The emotions you will feel while seeing this movie is on another level. The complexity of the characters and what they are experiencing and feeling is not something i was quite prepared for. The messages that we’re spoken through both song and in the story were absolutely beautiful. And let’s talk about how funny this movie is. Not silly and childish funny, but actually funny. By far, my favorite takeaway from this film was the music. I still cannot listen to some songs without crying, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I absolutely feel that this movie has a place in the awards section this year, especially in best original song. Be prepared to sing “Into The Unknown” over and over like we all still do with “Let It Go.” One last film related thing: stay until after all the credits have finished rolling for a cute additional scene.

After the film had ended, we were all left with our jaws on the floor. The twist and turns that this movie takes will have you wanting to see it a few times to catch it all. I can’t encourage you all enough to see Frozen Two. It is by no means a prissy little princess movie, but it still has the innocence of those Disney classics it will be paired next to. I can’t thank Disney enough for inviting us on this special occasion, and I can’t wait for you to all enjoy the film as much as i have. Here’s to going Into the Unknown!