Over The Top Mommy

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Basic Invite: Truly Custom Invitations for All Occasions + 2017 Holiday Cards

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

 

Have you heard of Basic Invite before? If not, you’re going to love this great site I recently discovered! They have a card for almost every major life moment and special occasion including weddings, showers, birth announcements, first birthdays, graduations and beautiful holiday cards. Their cards are made with premium papers and are able to be personalized to fit whatever occasion you’re shopping for. Basic Invite is truly the custom invitation company you’re looking for. basic-invite-logobasic-invite-logo-slogan@2xWith the ability to choose every part of the invitations or cards you’re ordering, you’ll be able to create the cute cards you’ve been dreaming of. (Keep reading because I have a discount code for you to use on your Basic Invite holiday cards order, to save 30%, at the bottom of this post.)basic-invite-custom-samples

  • Almost Unlimited Colors – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. This is what we feel sets us apart from almost any other online stationery company and is what we feel is our biggest draw.
  • Custom Samples – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as feel the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.
  • Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes – Basic Invite is just as colorful with our envelopes as we are with our invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of our envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed without licking a single one.
  • Address Capturing Service – Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all Christmas card orders

With the holidays just around the corner, Basic Invite is offering over 250 Christmas card and holiday card designs to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a photo card or a beautifully illustrated card, Basic Invite will have the perfect template for you to start with and personalize.basic-invite-holiday-cards-2 It’s so hard to narrow down my choices but I’m thinking foil cards for our own 2017 Christmas cards. After browsing their Foil Cards section, I see that in addition to gold and silver foil cards, they are also offering rose gold holiday cards. Rose gold is my latest obsession! Customers ordering Basic Invite foil designs have a choice of either flat or raised foil embellishments on any area you’d like, even your names.basic-invite-2017-christmas-cards-rose-gold-1In addition to their foil 2017 Christmas cards, here are just a couple other pictures of some of the other cute Christmas cards you’ll find on their site: basic-invite-merry-holidaysbasic-invite-peace-love-joyTo check out more of their cute Christmas cards, go here. Have you ordered your 2017 Christmas cards yet? It’s never too early! Right now Basic Invite is offering 30% off your holiday cards order with coupon code: holi30 so be sure to enter it at checkout.

You can connect with Basic Invite on Facebook, Pinterest, Intagram, and Twitter, too.

Images and logo are property of Basic Invite and used with permission. 

 

Knott’s Spooky Farm Celebrates the Fall Season at Knott’s with a Family-Friendly Halloween Festival

Knott’s Spooky Farm is back at Knott’s! This annual daytime, family-friendly Halloween celebration, takes place weekends through October 29 and Halloween Day. image009knotts-spooky-farm-peanutsThis kid-inspired “spooky” celebration will feature activities for ages 3-11 including trick-or-treating, a live show and costume contest with the Peanuts gang, and a Dia De Los Muertos Celebration.knotts-spooky-farm-trick-or-treat-1knotts-spooky-farm-trick-or-treat-bagKids ages 3 -11 can participate in Trick-or-Treating throughout Ghost Town, and interact with an array of spooky but friendly Shopkeepers. New this year, Stanley Scarecrow has opened the Livery Stable for guests of all ages to get close and personal with the Creepy Critters of Calico.knotts-spooky-farm-friends-1The Grand Sierra Railroad in Camp Snoopy transforms to a one-of-a-kind experience which takes riders on an adventure, along with the Peanuts Gang, to Camp Spooky with added special Halloween theming effects.knotts-spooky-farm-theater Come to Camp Snoopy Theatre to show off your best Halloween costume at the Peanuts Costume Contest and afterwards, join Peanuts characters in a Peanuts Dance Party!. Additionally, families can watch the Peanuts Gang in The Monsters Are Coming, Charlie Brown, where they’ll have guests of all ages singing and dancing along to classic Halloween tunes.
knotts-spooky-farm-timber-mountainThis Halloween season, the Timber Mountain Log Ride mystically converts into the Halloween Hootenanny by adding a new family friendly twist to a park favorite. Every year the citizens of the Timber Mountain invite the mysterious creatures that live out in the woods and caverns of the area to join them as they celebrate the season at the Halloween Hootenanny. The ride’s interior will feature new fun surprises as guests venture past the Calico Coffin Creeper band, the town’s green witch and splash down Skull Mountain through a labyrinth of jack-o-lanterns. The seasonal ride will also feature an original song performed by Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies. Open for day and night guests, this is the perfect family experience for all to enjoy this Halloween season.knotts-spooky-farm-calaverasIn Fiesta Village, join the Dia de Los Muertos Celebration in the Fiesta Stage area for an interactive, non-scary, educational celebration of the season. The themed area offers a walk through village filled with photo ops, educational activities and face paintings at a nominal fee.knotts-spooky-farm-dia-de-los-muertos Then visit the Ghastly Gallery in the Boardwalk Ballroom for a slate of entertaining activities including a live show and opportunities for your little ghouls to participate in drawing their best “monsterpiece.”knotts-spooky-farm-witchA 2018 Season Pass is the best way to experience Knott’s Spooky Farm. With a 2018 Season Pass you will get to enjoy all of the Seasons of Fun next year but will also receive one free admission to use in 2017. You can get your Season Pass now at the Best Offer of the Year! A Regular Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to Knott’s Berry Farm with no blackout dates, and a Gold Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to both Knott’s Berry Farm and the newly expanded Knott’s Soak City Waterpark with no blackout dates. Regular passes are just $92 or nine easy payments of $10.22 and Gold Season Passes are $110 or nine payments of just $12.22. These offers end October 29, 2017. Applicable taxes and fees apply online. Payment plans are only available at knotts.com.knotts-spooky-farm-usKnott’s Spooky Farm runs weekends September 30 – October 29 from 9:00am to 4:00pm, Halloween Day from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and is included with regular park admission. For more information on all the exciting things that are going on at Knott’s Berry Farm, visit knotts.com and follow the conversation using #KnottsSpookyFarm.

I’m Doing It! I’m Making Time to Work Out at Curves®!

Thank you Curves International for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. #CurvesStrong#25YearsStrong

 

It’s been a while since I’ve had a regular workout routine of any kind. I mean a LONG while. Life gets overwhelming. I teach school full time, I am a hands-on mom who tries to cater to every need of my 12 year-old, and I blog. It feels liek there’s no time in the day left to fit a workout in too. Well, up until recently.curves-receptionI was so lucky to be invited to work out at my local Curves® location. Curves® is a one-stop-shop for every woman’s fitness needs. When you’re enrolled in Curves’ Fitness® Program you’re able to participate in a 30 minute, total-body workout on strength training machines. The circuit classes are designed to burn fat, increase strength, and kick start weight loss. It’s exactly what I needed to do for me.curves-guide-to-trainingThis month, Curves is turning 25 this month and celebrating all month long with special offerings and happenings during the month of September. They’re even giving away a free annual membership for the first 25 new members at each location. curves-25thDuring my first visit to the Curves near my home, I did the registration prior to my workout First, I was given a tour to familiarize myself with the facility (where to get water and towels, where to change and use the restroom, where to leave my stuff while I work out.)curves-shirtI also got to meet with an instructor, on a one-on-one basis. She measured my height and took my weight and my measurements. Through an analysis, she determined where I am on the scale of health and also worked with me to set some personal goals and expectations for my working out this month at Curves.curves-celebration-wall

So…I completed my first workout! I felt so accomplished, too! My experience at Curves really felt like the opposite of intimidating. (and it was only first workout) It was the friendliest place I could have joined to begin a regular workout schedule again. During my training, I also watched as every woman who walked through the door was greeted not only by the instructors but by the others working out there. It’s such a great community to be a part of and I’m super excited for what’s to come in my workouts.curves-toteCurves® can really help any woman on their journey to get stronger and feel empowered No Makeup, No Men, No Mirrors. It’s just a supportive group of women who are there to meet their own, personal fitness goals and whatever those may entail. Stay tuned for more of my fitness journey at Curves.curves-exterior I’ll be working out over the next few weeks and sharing with you more all of it. Have you visited a  Curves® before? If not, you should do it, especially during their birthday month! To find the nearest Curves location, go here.

Connect with Curves on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This post was sponsored by Curves International but the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

The Cigna Run Together Blogger Event for the Disneyland® Half Marathon Weekend

I was invited to a media event and received a park ticket in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are my own. 

 

A couple of weeks ago, you may have noticed a million tweets and Instagram posts being shared from Disneyland Resort showing all of the excitement during the 2017 Disneyland® Half Marathon Weekend. This RunDisney event is held annually and Cigna was the presenting sponsor of the weekend.cigna-run-together-starting-lineCigna provided some useful fitness and nutrition tips to participants in the weeks leading up to the marathon weekend. Whether a runner, walker, or cyclist, participants can utilize these tips as a way to help accomplish their race goals.cigna-run-together-2For me, someone who hasn’t had a lot of race training, I really appreciated some of the tips and insight I found on their Facebook page and the way they tied in with  Cigna’s “Go. Know. Take Control”., a campaign which reminds people how important it is get an annual check-up, know your vital numbers, and take control of your health for good.cigna-run-together-paradiseThe Cigna Blogger Meet-Up was held at Disney’s Grand California and began with a healthy lunch and a whole lot of photo taking. (because that’s what bloggers do.) cigna-run-together-group-selfie-1We were placed into character teams, (I got to be on Team Donald), to collaborate a little bit before we were released into Disney’s California Adventure Park to compete in the “Cigna Great Race”!cigna-run-together-donald-tsum-tsumDespite the fact that it was 99 degrees that day plus it was humid, our team really rallied through Disney’s California Adventure Park like a bunch of champs!99-degreesAs we continued to check off challenges and intersections, I really felt the support from my “Team Donald” teammates. Whether it was completing a challenge where we had to collaborate with another team in the race or just completing tasks and intersections within our own group, I always felt encouraged by the others. cigna-great-race-intersectionThe RunDisney community seems to be comprised of people who unconditionally support each other. It’s a great group to be hanging around with. cigna-run-together-team-donald-jumpingAlthough I wasn’t running the Disneyland Half Marathon that weekend, I admired those who did complete it, especially in the (almost) unbearable weather condition which didn’t let up through the weekend.cigna-run-together-challenge-7Team Donald didn’t “win” the Cigna Great Race, but I still came out feeling a sense of accomplishment and made some new friends along the way.cigna-run-together-paradiseAfter we were done, we headed back at The Grand for some afternoon treats while they tallied up who the winners would be. We also had a couple of surprise guests appear in the event room!cigna-run-together-mickey-and-minnieMickey and Minnie were wearing their best race outfits and were ready for photos with everyone! I even got to take my very own photo with them. How magical is that? The Cigna Blogger Meetup was so much fun and I feel lucky to have been invited!

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the RunDisney Walt Disney World® Half Marathon, January 3-7, 2018, which is also presented by Cigna. Will you be participating in that one? I’ll be there!  For more information about Cigna’s Go. Know. Take Control. campaign, go here.

Some photos are property of Cigna. 

 

 

Addicted to Americana: A New Charles Phoenix Book + LA Book Launch Party 10/8

I received a copy of this book in order to write this post. All opinions are my own. 

 

I am a huge fan of Charles Phoenix and stalk his Instagram from time to time! (not in a creepy way, I’m just a fangirl of his style)  He is just so much fun and I can never get enough of his nostalgic posts. When I heard that he had a new book out, Addicted to Americana, I just had to get my hands on a copy!addicted-to-americana-bookIf you don’t know who Charles Phoenix is, lean in. He’s a showman, tour guide, food crafter, and author known for his crowd rousing retro slide show performances, fun field trips, mad cap test kitchen videos, and colorful table books. He’s described on his site as “a walking celebration of classic and kitschy American life and style and the Ambassador of Americana.”charles-phoenixOn TV, Charles appears this season as a judge on Food Network’s Cake Wars: Christmas. He’s also guested on Storage Wars, Conan, Queen Latifah, and Martha Stewart, and is often heard on National Public Radio. Los Angeles Times says, “Call him the King of Retro,” and LA Weekly anointed him the “Kodachrome King.”

Phoenix’s latest book, Addicted to America is described as as “Colorful Kaleidoscope of Pop Cutlure”.  It’s another amazing addition to the ones he’s published in the past and here’s a brief synopsis:

Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix, launches us into the stratosphere of space-age style, amazing attractions, roadside wonders, festive foods, crazy car culture, and futuristic transportation via his road trip discoveries and found vintage Kodachrome slides.

You’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the fabulous flight as he guides you through his action-packed, fun-filled, wondrous world of mid-century marvels. Your imagination will be inspired and your spirit will soar!

charles-phoenix-book-launch-partyIf you’re in the Southern California area, you’re to his Book Launch party Sunday, October 8th! A ticket purchase for the event includes a signed copy of his book “Addicted to Americana”! For more information or to purchase your tickets, go here.

Photos and cover art are property of Charles Phoenix and used with permission. 

 

Exploring Anti-Aging Solutions with Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton

I received services in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.

 

I want to begin this post by pointing out that I’m well aware of the fact that no matter how “pretty” you are on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that truly matters most!whats-on-the-insideThis is exactly what I teach my own daughter and try to live by, placing other important things above vanity. With that being said, the clock isn’t slowing down and I’m here to talk about something I did for myself in attempt to reverse some of the aging on my face.aging-is-no-jokeI don’t know if life is more stressful nowadays or what exactly is going on but I felt like I was at a point where I dreaded looking at myself in the mirror. It honestly felt like every time I’d look in the mirror, all I would see was stress written all over my face…in the form of wrinkles! Do you ever feel that way? If the answer is “yes”, you aren’t alone.look-in-the-mirrorI couldn’t stand my wrinkles! It was as if motherhood, marriage, my job, financial stuff, current politics, and age, all got together for a collaboration..on my face! Once I hit my late 30’s, it became a race to keep up and fight the aging process. It’s the worst! stressors-on-my-faceLuckily for me, I connected with an amazing female board-certified  Orange County plastic surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton. She’s a mom, too, so she gets it. She’s practiced cosmetic surgery for years now and I actually have a couple of friends who have gone to her for reconstructive surgery after battling Breast Cancer.dr-lawton-officeDuring my consultation, I felt like Dr. Lawton really listened to me explain my concerns and expectations for the visit. My biggest areas of concern included:

  • the crows feet by my eyes
  • the wrinkle between my brows
  • the wrinkles on my forehead
  • the wrinkles on both sides of my nose (at the top)

areas-that-bothered-meDr. Lawton gave a thorough analysis about what she could (and couldn’t) do to counter the wrinkles and other areas on my face that were bothering me. discussingShe suggested non-surgical options, which was fine with me because I’m not even close to ready for a face lift. Using Botox injections is very effective for the problem areas I mentioned above.botox-boxas-if-wrinkles-werent-bad-enoughDid you know that as you age, your face loses its fullness too? As if wrinkles weren’t bad enough, now my face was falling? There’s no way I’m willing to “age gracefully”! I fully intend to fight this process and not let it get the best of me! juvederm-voluma-boxIn addition to some of the areas on my face with Botox, Dr. Lawton also suggested using some Juvederm Voluma in my cheeks. in the areas formerly known as the “apples” of my cheeks. not-willing-to-age-gracefullyKnow before you go
If you’ve never had injections like these before, it’s usually a good idea to avoid drinking alcohol and taking Ibuprofen for the 2 weeks prior to your appointment. This is to help minimize bruising, which can happen regardless.inject-to-the-siteWhat does it feel like?
Both Botox and Juvederm Voluma are injected right into the areas you’re targeting. If you’re wondering whether it hurts or not, I don’t think it does. However, that’s just my opinion. The Botox just feels like a bunch of quick needle pokes. The Voluma is still a tiny poke but sits longer as the filler is injected to either build up an area or fill in a line. Again, it’s not bad at all and totally worth it! It’s obvious that Dr. Lawton has a lot of experience and knows that she’s doing, because I barely felt the injections.

How long does it take to see results?
Botox takes about 10 to 14 days to take full effect, so you won’t see immediate results from the Botox right after your visit. The Voluma is a different story though. It’s a filler so you can pretty much immediately see where it’s been injected. Voluma is great for filling in lines too, like the ones around your mouth and lips. I had some lines on my forehead too but those seemed to have gone away just with the Botox.thank-you-dr-lawtonI’m so grateful I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Tenley Lawton and that I had such a wonderful experience. She is passionate about her work and about her patients, regardless of what they’re in the office for. Her passion is even obvious on her social channels like her Instagram.


Having non-surgical options to help in this fight against the aging process made me feel like I could face the world again. In all seriousness though, I have more confidence now in talking to others and don’t feel the need to use so many filters on my photos. From time-to-time, we should all take the time to do something for ourselves, whatever it may be.

If you are considering taking a pro-active approach to the aging process, I highly suggest calling the office to schedule a consultation and an appointment with Dr. Lawton.

Dr. Tenley Lawton’s office is located at:

 361 Hospital Rd #329
Newport Beach, Ca. 92663
949. 640.0999

To learn more about the full range of services Dr. Lawton offers, including Mommy Makeovers please visit her site here. Connect with Lawton M.D. on Facebook  too.

Support the Let’s Play High School Makeover Challenge by Voting Today

This post is sponsored by Let’s Play, an initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group that provides kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority by building and improving playgrounds and donating sports equipment to groups in need. Although I received compensation for this post, all opinions are my own.

 

As a mom of an active middle-school daughter who participates in many of the school sports on her school campus, I know the importance of supporting her active lifestyle. the-sockit-athletic-girlNowadays, students have such rigorous curriculum and the educational expectations are immense but necessary for this generation of 21st Century learners. Kids need an outlet for their energy and built up stress. They also need a place to play and interact with their peers. Having proper equipment and facilities on a school campus is crucial for this.playground-makeoverI am also a first-grade teacher in an extremely impoverished area and am all-too-familiar with the site of a playground that is lacking in every way. A couple of years ago, the playground at my school site had minimal “toys” (a.k.a. a tiny and very old play structure) for the students to play on and the free space to run around and play organized sports games was sad. Fortunately for the students at my school, we received a playground makeover and it was a true gift for them.playground-makeover-2Sadly, there are still so many school campuses throughout Southern California, actually nationwide, that lack necessities. I’m here today to talk to you about Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Let’s Play initiative because it’s something I feel is so meaningful and important.
Let’s Play
Let’s Play is an initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to provide kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority. Through a partnership with Good Sports, Let’s Play has donated more than $4.5 million in brand-new sports equipment over the past three years as part of Dr Pepper Snapple’s $38.5 million commitment by 2020 to bring active play to kids in need. Just look at how much of a difference it made last year, in 2016:lets-play-2016-grantsThis past summer, Dr Pepper Snapple Group kicked off the “Let’s Play High School Makeover Challenge”, a video contest benefiting student-athletes at underfunded high schools across the U.S. The winning school will receive $100,000 in brand-new athletic equipment. The Let’s Play High School Makeover Challenge is the largest one-time donation Dr Pepper Snapple will make as part of the company’s Let’s Play initiative. How exciting is that?
“Let’s Play High School Makeover Challenge” Submissions
Student-athletes, under the supervision of a parent, legal guardian, or authorized adult, submitted videos to for the High School Makeover Challenge by Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Let’s Play initiative to be eligible to win the equipment makeover. The top 20 submissions were selected and now it’s time for public voting to help crown the finalists and the winner.
You can help by voting
The voting period for the “Let’s Play High School Makeover Challenge” is September 8-17, 2017 and you can help by submitting your vote! The top 10 finalists will be chosen by the public through online voting, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Good Sports will select the winning high school, which will receive $100,000 in new athletic equipment. This is so exciting and will really make a difference for hundreds of high school athletes! Although the finalists are schools across the U.S., I have to be honest here and tell you that I’m really pulling for John R. Wooden High School in Reseda, California, because it’s the school closest to where I live and teach.
Won’t you consider taking a moment to help out by voting? To view a complete list of finalists and to participate in the vote, please click here and follow along with the contest using the hashtag #LetsPlayHSMakeover.
Connect with Dr Pepper Snapple Group on Facebook and Twitter.
You can also get the latest news about this initiative on Let’s Play’s Facebook and Twitter.

Some images and logos are property of Let’s Play and used with permission.

 

More Halloween Time Fun at Disney California Adventure Park

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

 

I’ts almost Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort and the latest news is that this year, more spooky fun will expand into Disney California Adventure Park!  Halloween Time will kick off on Friday, Sept. 15 and go through Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. It’s truly a time of year you won’t want to miss out on experiencing!guardians-of-the-galaxy-monsters-after-dark-logo

Just last week, exciting news was released about the special nighttime overlay for Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and how it will be transformed nightly into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After the Dark! I can’t wait to ride it! To read more about that, please click here.CarsLand-Halloween-overlayGuests visiting this year during Halloween Time will be able to experience Halloween for the first time in Cars Land in Disney California Adventure, as it’s transformed with a special HaulO-Ween makeover.halloween-time-materThe citizens of Radiator Springs will don Halloween costumes and decorate their respective homes for the season. Lightning McQueen, Mater, Cruz, Red and DJ will be all dressed up–as a super hero, a “van-pire,” a pirate, a clown and a punk rocker, ready to go “trunk-or-treating.”halloween-time-flos-cafeAttractions will be transformed, too, with Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree turning spooky as the Graveyard JamBOOree, and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters getting a seasonal twist to become Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween. halloween-time-luigisScary the Scarecar will stand guard over the entrance to Route 66, a preview to the Haul-OWeen transformation awaiting guests in Cars Land. With Fillmore’s Jack-Oil Lanterns, the web spun over Flo’s by a Spider-Car, and the Cozy Cone dressed up in car-stumes, the townsfolk turn Radiator Springs into Radiator Screams.halloween-time-carthay-circle
Oogie Boogie will appear for the first time at Disney California Adventure, too, taking over with his twisted tale of a forever Halloween, inspired by “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Oogie Boogie’s oversized silhouette beckons guests through the main entrance of the park and he brings to life a swarm of bats around Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge. Guests walking down Buena Vista Street will also be greeted by a new 10-foot-tall statue of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, holding his jack-o’-lantern head up to the sky!halloween-time-dca-headless-horsemanDisney California Adventure also will be featured for the first time as part of the pre-party mix-in for Mickey’s Halloween Party, a separate-ticket event that features special entertainment, Disney characters in their Halloween attire, and trick or treating at locations throughout Disneyland. Halloween-time-Disney-California-Adventure-EntranceThis year, a ticket to Mickey’s Halloween Party has even greater value as guests will be able to visit Disney California Adventure as well as Disneyland during the three hours prior to the beginning of the party in Disneyland.

mickeys-halloween-party-mickey-and-minnieTickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party went on sale July 17 for Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Visa Card holders and on July 24 for the general public so you should purchase yours before they sell out. For more information about Mickey’s Halloween Party, including dates, read the post I wrote about hit here. Party tickets may be purchased online and on mobile devices at http://Disneyland.com/party as well as at the Disneyland Resort main gate and by phone at 714.781.4400.halloween-time-at-disneyland-resort-giant-mickey-pumpkinWhat are you most excited about this year during Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort? Share with me in the comments!

Images and renderings are property of Disney and used with permission. 

 

3 Ways Navdy’s Head Up Display System Will Help Your Road Trip

This summer, we’ve filled a lot of our time off with some exciting road trip adventures. Since we live within proximity to great beaches, mountains, and desert areas, a couple of road trips were the perfect way to enjoy the time together.road-trip-tips-yellow-flowersRoad trip prep and packing has changed over the years. Gone are the times of loading up the car with pillows, blankets, snacks, and paper maps for a road trip. Do you remember watching your parents use actual map books? (and even squabbling over which route to take?) I do. I don’t even think kids nowadays know what paper maps are. I mean, with technology, the need for those kinds of maps seems obsolete.paper-road-mapOne thing that was so helpful to have on our road trips was our Navdy HUD (Head-Up Display System). I already have this system installed in my vehicle and use it all the time for city and highway driving. I recently shared about Navdy on my blog and how convenient it is for everyday driving. Now I need to tell you just how useful Navdy can be on a road trip, too.

what-is-navdyIf you aren’t familiar with Navdy, it’s a Head-Up Display system you install on your vehicle’s dashboard. Navdy has many convenient features for you to access, all while remaining hands-free and keeping your eyes on the road thanks to hand gestures, voice control, and the dial attached to your steering wheel. With smartphone information like texts, maps and calls projected directly in your line of sight, you never have to look down at your actual phone.Navdy-Head-Up-Display-SystemLet’s face it, cell phones and distracted driving are a big problem nowadays. Navdy also has these other technological features:

  • directions
  • music control
  • speed limit
  • read and reply to texts
  • make and receive phone calls

Watch this brief video that shows how Navdy works:

Just watching that video makes me wonder why I didn’t install one in my car sooner, especially for road trips. Here are 3 ways that Navdy helped our road trips.
field-of-vision
Keeping your eyes on the road, especially in a road trip situation, is the most important thing. With the projections right in front of you on the screen, it minimizes the distractions because you don’t even have to look away to do such things as use maps or voice command to call one of your contacts. Navdy is set up to project into the distance with transparent images, so the road stays in focus at all times.

day-or-night
Navdy is projected onto the screen right in front of you and is clearly visible to the driver whether it’s bright and sunny outside, cloudy and grey, or there’s a dark, nighttime sky. There was no need to feel like I was rushing to beat the daylight to still be able to use it. I also didn’t have to worry if it was cloudy or even if it rained outside. Navdy has the capability to be visible to the driver regardless of the lighting situation and the weather outside, and that was reassuring.access-maps-and-navigationI already mentioned that maps is one of the basic features on Navdy. However, the part I really appreciated the most about using Navdy on a road trip was the fact that no matter where we were driving, especially in the middle of nowhere, Navdy still had capability to navigate. Thanks to its onboard GPS, Navdy has a clear line of communication with the satellites above. Since its access comes from offline maps stored within the device, it didn’t matter if there was cell reception or not. How many times have you been on a road trip and had your “maps” go out because your phone had “No Service”? That’s scary! Being able to access maps through Navdy, regardless of where we were, was the ultimate win on our road trips.Navdy-Dash-displayIn addition to these things, being able to make phone calls, receive and reply to text messages, and control the music in the car ― all while remaining hands-free ― was very convenient and something that helped our family on our road trips. You can customize your Navdy’s display system ahead of time, too. customize-your-navdys-display-picWhether you’re going someplace local or are out on a road trip, you want to avoid distracted driving at all costs because it isn’t safe and can result in dangerous, unsafe situations for all of those on the road. Navdy technology was an immense help on our road trips and I highly recommend it for everyone! .how-many-more-minutesNow if Navdy could just come up with a feature that stops kids from asking “How many more minutes?”, that would be the ultimate dream!navdy-setup-guideFor more information about Navdy, please go here. You can also watch more informational videos on their YouTube channel here.

When Pixie Dust Lands in Your Inbox #DisneySMMC

Just a few weeks ago, right in the middle of getting ready to say goodbye to summer and go back to work, some Pixie Dust landed in my inbox. If you’ve ever had this happen to you, the feeling is almost indescribable. What I can say is that reading a email subject that reads, “Invitation to Disney Social Media Moms Celebration “On-the-Road” at the Disneyland Resort”, took my breath away and put tears in my eyes! (no joke!) disney-social-media-moms-on-the-road-celebrationAlthough I had the opportunity to attend last year as well, being part of a Disney event like this is just something I hold close to my heart. It never gets any less magical for me either. Just as soon as I let out a big scream of excitement in my empty house (because no one else was around) I immediately shared the magical news on my social channels…because that’s what mom bloggers (like me) do.  disney-social-media-moms-tweetWhat is the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration “On-The-Road”? 
If you’ve never heard of the Disney Social Media Moms Conference “On-The-Road”, it’s a half day conference put on by Disney Parks at various “on the road” locations around the U.S., as well as in Canada. The conference is by invitation only and extended to mom and dad bloggers and other social influencers, mostly drawing from those who share about their love of Disney online.disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-mickey The “On-The-Road” conference is a mini version of the bigger Disney Social Media Moms Celebration which is a much larger, multi-day annual conference also put on by Disney Parks. The purpose of this conference is to give attendees sort of a “snapshot” of what’s to come in the near future for Disney. It might include information about additions to Disney Parks around the world, Disney Cruise information, the Disney Parks Blog, or even give attendees a sneak peek at upcoming Disney movies. There are several great speakers at the conference who provide helpful information about blogging, social media, and the digital space and inspire all of those in the room. disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-max-passSince this particular conference location was at the Disneyland Resort, each attendee also had the opportunity to spend the rest of the day, inside the Parks, with their family. What an absolute treat! There’s nothing quite like making Disney memories together! Don’t you agree?3-things-i-did-to-get-ready-for-disney-social-media-moms-on-the-road-celebrationI Updated My Business Cards 
As soon as I RSVP’d for the conference, I reached out to one of my favorite artists to have a personalized Disney portrait made that I could use on new, updated business cards for this conference. I’ve followed Amy Rose Studios on Instagram for a while and adore her artistic ability. How cute did my portrait turn out? my-amy-rose-studios-disney-portrait-smallerIn the social media (and business) world, it’s always important to carry business cards with you that have the most recent, updated information. When you connect with people at a conference like this, you want them to be able to find you afterwards, right? I really wanted business cards to bring with me that had a Disney touch, so I ordered some with my new Disney portrait on them and I love how they turned out!disney-social-media-moms-business-cardsI Picked Out My Conference Outfit! 
The next thing I did was to shop for the perfect conference outfit. I considered just going casual since I’d be spending the day afterwards inside Disneyland Resort but opted to dress up and change later. I must’ve spent 6 hours looking in each and every store at the mall, searching for the perfect outfit. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to Disneybound a character or just wear a nice dress? Finally, I found a cute, summery, cotton top and skirt at White House, Black Market. I paired the outfit with some high, peep-toe red wedges and brought some EARs with me. disney-social-media-moms-celebration-on-the-road-what-i-woreI Made Some Connections with New Disney Friends Beforehand 
I have a confession to make: I sometimes tend to stay in my own “safe” circle in social situations. For this conference, I made a conscious effort to connect with some new(er) Disney friends online beforehand, so I’d feel more comfortable talking to them in person when the big day came. A few of these super Disney Gals include Cam from Growing up Goofy, Dawn from I Am a Mommy Nerd, Julie from Mom Rewritten, and Leslie from Trips with Tykes. These ladies were super sweet and fun to sit with at the actual conference! I highly recommended stepping outside your usual circle. It’s really the only way to grow!disney-junior-dance-partyWell, I can’t wait to share more about my magical morning at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration “On-The-Road” at Disneyland Resort so keep an eye on my blog for more posts to come soon!

Join in the conversation by following the #DisneySMMC hashtag and also @DisneyMoms on Twitter.

 

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