Over The Top Mommy

Main Street Electrical Parade Is “Home” Again at Disneyland!

When Southern California Disney fans (like me) heard the news, back in August, about the Main Street Electrical Parade returning “home” to Disneyland Park for its encore performance at the start of 2017, we were all beyond ecstatic!its-coming-homeAlthough the “Paint the Night” parade is also a big fan favorite at Disneyland, there are so many Disney lovers that deeply cherish the Main Street Electrical Parade and have longed for it to return since it “glowed away” from Disneyland on November 25, 1996main-street-electrical-parade-pin The older generations of Disney fans remember this classic nighttime parade because we saw it during its originally run down Main Street, U.S.A. inside Disneyland, in its original “home”. Others have either seen in another Disney Park or have possibly just been told about it from their parents. Whatever the case, the little kid in me comes out as soon as I hear the first synthesized tune of “Baroque Hoedown” start to play  the theme song for Main Street Electrical Parade. When I watched the TV spot for its return, my eyes immediately welled up with happy tears. Watch it here:

I was so honored to be invited to attend a very special preview and premiere of the parade, the night before it was scheduled to start the official limited time run of its encore performance on January 20, 2017. (It will only be here through June 18, 2017).waiting-on-main-street-electrical-paradeIt was a magical night and for some reason, the Southern California rain, which had been pouring for a couple of days, suddenly halted for a few hours so that the 9 p.m. parade could take place. I had a case of the giggles as I sat on the curb in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A., with some of my friends, waiting for it to start. main-street-electrical-parade-waitingBefore long, the parade lights lit up nice and brightly, and we could see the front of the Main Street Electrical Parade making its way towards us in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A.. (It began all the way down by “It’s a Small World“.)main-street-electrical-parade-trainThe iconic floats illuminated the parade route and were led by the train that Goofy’s driving. Minnie and Mickey Mouse are also aboard this train greeting guests, all along the parade route. The train is pulling the drum which has a lit up text that says “Disneyland Presents Main Street Electrical Parade”. main-street-electrical-parade-disneyland-presentsmain-street-electrical-parade-signIt gave me all the feels to see it say “Disneyland” again, as the last time I had the pleasure of watching this parade, it was at Walt Disney World.main-street-electrical-parade-petes-dragonThe Main Street Electrical Parade includes 22 floats in all, which is 10 more than the original parade which only included 12. You’ll find characters in the parade from 7 different Disney films including “Alice in Wonderland”, “Cinderella”, “Peter Pan”, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Pinocchio”, “Dumbo”, and “Pete’s Dragon”.main-street-electrical-parade-chesire-catIn addition to the floats, there are about 80 parade performers, some of which are adorned in lighted costumes. There are also 27 beloved Disney characters that perform as part of this parade including Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Cinderella, Tinker Bell, Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and more!

It’s such a great time to plan a visit to the Disneyland Resort now, especially with the limited-time return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. If you haven’t seen the SoCal Resident Discounted Ticket offer, it allows you to purchase park tickets at amazing prices, for a limited time. For more information about these tickets, go here.socal-residents-ticket-offer-disneyland-is-backThe Main Street Electrical Parade’s stay at Disneyland is only for a limited time so be sure to get there to see it (at least once) before June 18th! Do you have childhood memories of this special parade? Share with me in the comments. I hope to see you in the Parks!

I was invited to attend a special media preview of Main Street Electrical Parade in order to write this post. Some images and footage are property of Disneyland. All opinions are 100% my own. 



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Meal Planning and Smarter Snack Choices

This post was sponsored by Weight Watchers as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% my own.


It’s a brand new year and I’m really excited about striving to reach some new goals I set for this year. As a busy mom, who works full time outside the home and stays occupied driving my daughter around to all of her activities, I started to feel a bit overwhelmed at the end of last year and and kind of let my self-care fall to the side. During the holidays, I was feeling pretty sluggish and just blah.

As soon as the new year started, I really wanted to get myself on a better eating plan. After feeling like I was having way too much drive thru, towards the end of the year, I knew I needed to change some things. I  added a healthy eating plan for myself (and my family), which includes weekly shopping and weekly meal prep. It’s important to plan healthy, meals that give you balanced nutrition from all of the food groups. It’s equally important to include healthy snacks in your day because you don’t want to leave gaps in between meals where you get hungry and reach for just any old unhealthy snack! meal-planning-and-smarter-snacking-choicesI added more fresh fruit (I love citrus), trail mix, and Weight Watchers Light Mozzarella String Cheese to my snacks and carry them in my lunchbox to work as snack options.citrusstring-cheese-has-been-my-favoriteSince I was a kid, I’ve always loved string cheese. It’s so fun to to peel it as you eat it. I was surprised (in a good way) to find out how full of flavor and fun to pull apart, this Weight Watchers Light Mozzarella String Cheese is. individually-wrappedIt’s definitely a satisfying choice when you need a snack on the go. I shop for mine at Walmart, in the cheese section and they come in a package, individually wrapped, to help with portion control.ww-cheese-hanging WW-cheeseEach serving is only 1 SmartPoints. I feel good eating that kind of a snack and knowing it’s made from real milk.snack-choicesRight now, until January 31, 2017, Walmart has a digital savings offer for shoppers to save $1.00 on 2 Weight Watchers Cheese items at Walmart. To grab your own digital coupon, click here. (Please note that there is a limited quantity of coupons available.) Weight Watchers is providing a money back guarantee for shoppers who are concerned about the taste of the product. It’s a great way for them to say, “Love it or get your money back”! It’s “Great Taste GuaranCheesed”! For rebate details, including full terms and conditions visit http://www.TakeTheGreatTasteChallenge.com.trail-mixSince starting my new meal planning and meal prep, I feel a lot better and have more energy. My pants are also a little looser-fitting, which is a good thing! How are your New Year goals going?

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{Giveaway} ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXIV at The Queen Mary Feb. 18 -19

The Queen Mary is pleased to welcome back the annual ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXIV on February 18 & 19 from 9am – 6pm. Come and experience the rich culture and history of Scotland first hand through an array of authentic activities, athletics, dancing, entertainment and cuisine all in ode to the Queen Mary’s Scottish legacy.the-queen-mary-scots-festEighty-seven years ago, in the quaint seaside town of Clydebank, Scotland, construction on the Queen Mary began. Exemplifying the finest craftsmanship of the country, the Queen Mary’s legacy is undeniable and today the ship’s heritage is celebrated through the two-day ScotsFestival honoring Scottish culture.scots-festival-animalsScotsFestival honors nearly fifty Scottish clans & vendors throughout the weekend with professional and amateur competitions in drumming, massed bands, darts, piping, Highland dancing, and Highland athletics. The Scottish Highland Games, a pre-cursor to today’s Olympic Games, were designed to test the strength, skill and technique of ancient warriors by face offs.scots-festival-horsesThe official opening ceremonies for the Queen Mary’s ScotsFestival begin with the traditional Grand Parade of Clans & Bands with an Address to the Haggis on the Parade Platform. Daily festivities include:

  • Border Collie sheep-herding
  • firing demonstrations
  • performances by the Royal Scots Greys Calvary
  • LA and OC Royal Scottish Country Dance Society
  • Celtic Harp Workshops
  • Story Songs by Wren of Iniquity Ensemble and many more historic reenactments.

One of the most popular competitions at ScotsFestival each year is the traditional pipe bands featuring a wide range of piping competitions, including solo, ensemble and pipe band ensemble. Crowds will gather to watch the pipe bands march together in absolute unison while playing traditional Scottish favorites likes, “Scotland the Brave” and “Amazing Grace.” festival-at-queen-maryThe Queen Mary’s ScotsFestival hosts World Champion Scottish Highland Dancers and many internationally acclaimed athletes competing for titles in stones, hammer throw, weights for distance, weight over bar, sheaf and the famed caber toss.

Whisky tasting sessions with aged malt experts and craft beer samplings are available for adult festival goers inside the spruce goose dome. While the wee laddies and lassies can bear witness to Queen Mary’s knighting and coronation ceremonies, and even take part in the Wee Highland games including youth competitions in archery, potato sack races and tug o’ war.Scots-FestivalTickets to ScotsFestival are now on sale and start at $10 online for ages 4-11 and $19 online for guests 12 and over. VIP tickets, upgrades, ticket add-ons, two-day festival passes and hotel packages will also be available. For more information or to purchase your tickets online, go here.giveaway-enter-to-win

I’m also hosting a giveaway for one lucky reader to win a pair of General Admission tickets to this year’s ScotsFestival. You can enter below on the Rafflecopter. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is not a sponsored post. Images and film clips are property of The Queen Mary. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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American Girl WellieWishers Foster Character Education Through Play

We received products in order to facilitate this post. Some images and logos are property of American Girl All opinions are 100% my own.


Have you met the WellieWishers yet? They are new lifestyle brand for American Girl, aimed at girls ages 5 to 7. (Although my own daughter is older than that and adores this collection.) The WellieWishers are an adorable group of girls who each have the same big, bright wish: to be a good friend.wellie-wishers-dreamThe group of friends consists of Emerson, Camille, Kendall, Willa, and Ashlyn. welliewishers-group

They imagine and play in an enchanted neighborhood garden supervised by Aunt Miranda and through their heartwarming and humorous adventures, the WellieWishers help a girl to learn how to “stand in another person’s wellies” to discover the skills of empathy, kindness, and compassion that will help her be a good friend.play-helps-childrenAs a mom, and an educator, I feel the importance of providing children with the opportunity to play can help their social-emotional learning. Character education for children is more important than ever and just giving them time to play, allows them the chance to learn how to get along with others, be empathetic, show kindness and share responsibility for others’ well-being. The WellieWishers are a great tool to do this because their “story” involves all of that. When children explore the world of WellieWishers, they “step into their colorful garden boots” and get ready for stomping in mud puddles, putting on shows, and helping friendships grow.welliewishers-willa-dollMy daughter was so excited when we received a “Willa” doll and her pet rabbit “Carrot” on our doorstep to review. They are so cute and all of my nieces ,who visited our home over the holidays, wanted to play with them.american-girl-welliewishers-willa-dollThe WellieWishers are a little bit smaller in size than the traditional American Girl dolls. I actually like this size and it’s easier for a littler girl to tote them around. Willa has beautiful hazel eyes, freckles, and 2 strawberry blonde ponytails. american-girl-welliesShe comes dressed in a super cute outfit that consists of a hedgehog print floral skirt, a tee with a hedgehog face on it, and a coordinating headband that has bunny ears on it! However, my favorite part of her outfit are her ladybug wellies. They are so cute!american-girl-willa-and-carrotWillie has a pet bunny named “Carrot”. (It’s sold separately.) Carrot comes with an aqua-colored bunny hutch that opens up and has a ramp so Carrot can “walk the runaway”. The door has a cute little heart cutout window for Carrot to peek out of from the inside.american-girl-hutch-heart-windowamerican-girl-carrot-drinking-waterThe accessories include a little name sign that you can fasten to the side of the hutch, a carrot-shaped water bottle for inside, a food dish and some pretend carrots. Carrot is so soft and cuddly.american-girl-carrots-hutchamerican-girl-welliewishers-carrotAs you can tell, we are slightly enamored by the WellieWishers. I love everything about them and what they stand for. To view the whole collection, go herewelliewishers-logo

You can also see the WellieWishers’ adventures come to life in their all-new animated series on Amazon. Here’s a sneak peek:

You can join in on the conversation and share your own friendship moments by following #WellieWishers.

Images and clip are property of American Girl and Amazon.



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Disneyland Brings Back SoCal Resident Discounted Ticket Offer

Have you heard the great news? Disneyland Resort is kicking off the new year by bringing back their SoCal Resident discounted ticket offer! There couldn’t be a more perfect time to plan a visit to the Parks, since the holidays are over and things slow down a bit. socal-residents-ticket-offer-disneyland-is-back The Southern California Resident ticket offer* provides flexible options for three days of magic and adventure at special prices. For a limited time, guests may select from these purchase options:

  • 3-day ticket with choice of one park per day for $149 (less than $50 per day) – entitles Guests admission to either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park each day for 3 days. This ticket is not valid for visits to both theme parks on the same day.
  • 3-day Park Hopper ticket for $189 – entitles Guests admission to both Disneyland Resort theme parks over 3 days, including visits to both theme parks on the same day.

The Southern California Resident tickets include one Magic Morning early entry to Disneyland Park, which provides an extra hour of play on select days before the park opens to the general public. Tickets must be purchased by May 22, 2017 and excludes the following blockout dates: April 9 through April 23, 2017. main-street-electrical-paradeThis is such a great offer and just in time to enjoy the upcoming Main Street Electrical Parade and thrilling Star Wars experiences at Disneyland Park, plus the Lunar New Year Celebration and the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure Park.lunar-new-year-mickey-minnieHere are some of the important details relating to the 3-Day SoCal Resident Promotional Ticket with Magic Morning offer:

  • Valid only for Southern California residents within ZIP codes 90000-93599 and Northern Baja California residents within ZIP codes 21000-22999.
  • Proof of residency is required for purchase and admission.
  • 3-Day, 1-Park-Per-Day Ticket is valid for admission for three (3) days to either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure park, but not to both parks on the same day.
  • 3-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Ticket is valid for admission for three (3) days to both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park on the same day.
  • Each day of use constitutes one full day of use.
  • Tickets expire May 25, 2017.
  • Blockout days of April 9 through April 23, 2017 apply.
  • May purchase up to 5 tickets per person per day with valid ID.
  • Tickets may not be sold or transferred for commercial use.
  • Offer may not be combined with other ticket discounts or promotions.
  • Tickets not valid before January 9, 2017
  • Subject to capacity, restrictions and change without notice.

For more information about this very special offer, including restrictions, go here.

This is not a sponsored post. Some images are property of Disneyland Resort. All opinions are 100% my own. 



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New TV Spot for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast #BeOurGuest

Get your tissues ready! Watch this brand new TV spot that aired during the Golden Globes, which includes a sneak peek of Emma Watson singing “Belle” from the Disney’s upcoming release of “Beauty and the Beast!new-beauty-and-the-beast-poster

Her voice is amazing and I am such a huge fan of her acting and I think she’s the most perfect “Belle”! beauty-and-the-beast.

I’m more exciting than ever for March 17th to get here, the date of the film’s release. Will you be in the theaters watching? We will!

Connect with Beauty and the Beast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too. You can also visit the film’s official website here.

This is not a sponsored post. Images are property of Disney. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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Babychella™ Free Family Event Comes to Orange County on 3/12

Babychella™ is coming to Warren R. Regional Park in Irvine, which is located in Orange County, Ca., on Sunday, March 12, 2017 from 12-4pm.  The event, presented by Orange County Parks, is a a free annual family music and arts festival celebrating babies and children of all ages.babychellaBabychella™ focuses on expectant mothers to be, babies and children of all ages are welcome. The goal of the event is to give existing parents and parents to be access to educational speakers, popular baby brands and other resources to help make the journey of parenthood more fun by celebrating family life. Several activities will be offered at the outdoor event including:

  • a variety of interactive vendor booths that will host story time
  • face painting
  • mommy and me yoga
  • a themed photo booth
  • a bubble tent
  • arts & crafts.
  • Kids Costume Contest: Bohemian Festival Style – $200 Gift Card
  • Food & Drink: Assorted Food Trucks – Cash or Credit Card Purchase

There will also be a main stage showcasing musicians performing children’s favorite sing along songs. Bring a blanket and lawn chairs to enjoy the park during the festival. Restrooms, changing and breastfeeding areas will be available for your convenience.

William R. Mason Regional Park is located at:
18712 University Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Parking fee is $5 per vehicle entry.

For more information about the event, visit the Babychella website here.



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Meet the New Characters Joining Cars 3

As if I wasn’t already excited about the upcoming release of Cars 3 in June 2017, some new characters were also announced, which will be joining Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) in this all-new story that tests the heart of a champion in a high-tech world. The two new characters include an unconventional trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) and next-gen racer Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer).

Lightning McQueen is world champion—a modern-day racing legend who’s riding high with five Piston-Cup wins under his hood. Suddenly, he finds himself faced with a new generation of racers who threaten not only his dominance in the sport—but the confidence that got him there. Determined to get back to the pole position, the #95 must decide if his love for racing is enough to fuel the comeback of his life. Owen Wilson returns to the racetrack as the voice of the champion.

Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo) is a sunny-but-fierce unconventional trainer at the Rust-eze Racing Center. She expertly arms the team’s talented rookies with cutting-edge tools to tear up the track—but she nearly stalls when her longtime idol Lightning McQueen shows up. While she’d love to help him find his way back to the top, she knows the competition is faster than ever, and victory is all about speed—or is it? Cristela Alonzo (“The Angry Birds Movie”) was called on to help bring the character to life.

Cristela is full of optimism and a positive energy that I think really comes through in Cruz’s personality and of course, she’s a hilarious comedian, so that doesn’t hurt either.” Cars Director Brian Fee

Jackson Storm is fast, sleek and ready to race. A frontrunner in the next generation of racers, Storm’s quiet confidence and cocky demeanor are off-putting—but his unmatched speed threatens to redefine the sport. Trained on high-tech simulators that are programmed to perfect technique and maximize velocity, Jackson Storm is literally built to be unbeatable—and he knows it. Armie Hammer (“Birth of a Nation”) was tapped as the voice of Jackson Storm.

Armie brought a great combination of intensity and charm to the role of Jackson Storm. His charisma helped create a character you really love to hate.”

Cars 3 is directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and Produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), and cruises into theaters on June 16th!

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Celebrate Lunar New Year Jan. 20 – Feb. 5 at Disney California Adventure Park

Disney California Adventure Park is getting ready for a bigger-than-even Lunar New Year Celebratin beginning Friday, Jan. 20 through Sunday Feb. 5, 2017. The extravagant celebration for the Year of the Rooster will take place over the span of 17 fun-filled days and will includec olorful live performances, fun-filled activities, beautiful decor, Disney characters in their Lunar New Year costumes, and special food and merchandise offerings. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Mulan and Mushu will join guests for this very special time of year! lunar-new-year-mickey-minnie Guests at the Lunar New Year Celebration will discover new Disney magic as they experience Asian culture through a variety of live performances, including Chinese acrobats and authentic musicians. Each night prior to “World of Color,” a new feature called “Hurry Home” will tell the tale of a journey home for Lunar New Year. The six-minute feature is presented in sequences, utilizing projected animation along with the lighting, special effects and powerful fountains of “World of Color.”

As “Hurry Home” unfolds, guests will get to follow along on the journey of a Little Lantern returning home for the annual celebration of good luck and fortune. Little Lantern encounters three “dream sequences,” featuring appearances by Mulan and the dragon Mushu. “Hurry Home” employs two contrasting animation styles, with fully rendered CG animation and sequences inspired by traditional Chinese paper cut-out style animation. The story is scored with music created for the opening ceremony of Shanghai Disney Resort by Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).

LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION – This year's Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park is expanded for 17 days from Friday, Jan. 20 through Sunday Feb. 5, 2017, and pays tribute to the Year of the Rooster. Guests will celebrate and experience Asian culture with delicious food, colorful live performances, a six-minute feature called "Hurry Home" presented before “World of Color” and fun-filled activities. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

Lunar New Year, traditionally celebrated within Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures, commemorates the moment when both the sun and the moon begin their journey for another year. Highlights of the Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure include:

  • Three new Asian marketplaces offering foods inspired by Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures.
  • Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Mulan and Mushu, dressed in their Lunar New Year attire to welcome guests and join them for photos.
  • Live performances with an impressive array of authentic performers, acrobats, musicians and more.
  • A New Year’s Wishing Wall, where guests may add their own wishes for a wonderful future
  • Lunar New Year décor, including beautiful ornamental lanterns and banners wishing guests a Happy Lunar New Year in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.
  • Lunar New Year commemorative merchandise, including a specially designed t-shirt, pin and the traditional red envelopes for gift-giving.

For a limited time only, Disneyland Resort guests may celebrate the tradition, sights, sounds and tastes of Lunar New Year with a touch of Disney magic, only at Disney California Adventure. For more information and the daily entertainment schedules, go here. You can also read more about Lunar New Year at Disneyland Resort on the Disney Parks Blog here.

This is not a sponsored post. Photos are property of Disneyland Resort. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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January Events at Pretend City Children’s Museum

2017 is here and Pretend City Children’s Museum is celebrating!  Kick off the New Year with some fun activities during the month of January.  january-art-resolution-monthCelebrate Art Resolution Month this month! Each week in their newly renovated art studio, a new form of art will be highlighted. Children can come experience new materials and new types of art in the PROCESS-based studio! pretend-city-art-studio

Here are some other fun events you’ll find at Pretend City in January:

  • Cuddle Up Day | January 6cuddle-up-day
  • Bubble Bath Day | January 8bubble-bath-day
  • Letter Writing Week | January 8 – January 14
  • Baby Steps through Pretend City | January 9
  • National Hat Day | January 15
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day | January 16
  • National Popcorn Day | January 19national-popcorn-day
  • National Hugging Day | January 21
  • National Opposite Day | January 25
  • Lunar New Year Celebration – Year of the Rooster | January 28
  • National Puzzle Day | January 29
  • Family Autism Event | January 30pretend-city-family

For more information about the events at Pretend City Children’s Museum, go here

This is not a sponsored post. Images and logo are property of Pretend City. All opinions are 10% my own. 

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