Over The Top Mommy

Technology/Social Media

Plan Easter Brunch From the Palm of Your Hand With Evite!

I was compensated by Evite for my time in developing this post. All opinions are 100%  my own.

 


Spring is my favorite time of year! I love hearing the chirps of baby birds and getting to wear my new sundresses and sandals excites me too! (Ok, technically we can do that year-round, here in California.) All of the bright flowers in bloom make me happy! evite-easter-brunch-spring-bloomsPlanning a get-together for Easter is always fun for me to do too, because I enjoy any excuse to get together with friends and family. This year, Easter just kind of snuck up on me and although I’m great at pulling things off at the last minute, I was grateful to discover that Evite has an app for my iPhone! I downloaded it and within minutes, I had the information for our Easter Brunch filled out and an adorable family party invitation sent from my phone to my favorite “Peeps”! (aka my friends and family) evite-spring-brunch-appEvite offers free and premium cards that you can customize. It’s is the perfect solution for busy people on the go, which are probably most of us. When I plan a get-together, I like to carry the theme through, beginning with the invitation and extending throughout the details of the party. How adorable is the design I picked? evite-sunday-brunch-options

our-sunday-brunch-eviteOne of the conveniences I love about using Evite is that it allows me to check the status of the RSVPs, so I can plan better when I go shopping for our Easter Brunch. There’s also an option to add a feature that guests can sign up to bring something, if you’re planning a potluck type of party. It eliminates 5 different people all showing up with a gelatin salad! (Let’s hope NO ONE shows up with one of those though!) It’s such a great way to keep organized! easter-brunch-evite-dressWe are really looking forward to our Easter Brunch. Easter egg hunting, delicious brunch food, bottomless mimosas, pretty Easter attire, but mostly getting to create more holiday family memories together! easter-brunch-evite-butterfliesWhat are your plans for this Easter? Have you thought about organizing your Spring get-together with an Evite? It’s a great resource!

 

ZooMoo: The World’s First Interactive Kids Channel Devoted Entirely to Animals and Nature, Now Available in The U.S. on DIRECTV

Did you know that 80% of children’s dreams are about animals? That’s right! According to research, children are hardwired to be interested in animals. However, if that isn’t nurtured and reinforced when they are young, they are at risk of never developing a sense of respect and caring for the nature and wildlife. zoomoo-logo
ZooMoo, the world’s first children’s channel devoted entirely to animals and nature, is now available in the U.S. exclusively on DIRECTV, as part of the AT&T family! This is wonderful news! Following its highly successful launches in Mexico and throughout Latin America, ZooMoo, is now available here to nearly a million homes throughout the country. It is now the only channel in Spanish for pre-school age children and their parents and is available to DIRECTV Spanish base package subscribers on channel 432.

WHAT IS ZOOMOO?

Designed is a channel that was designed to foster a lifelong love for animals and nature through a safe and unique television experience, that is both entertaining and educational for young viewers and parents alike, ZooMoo interweaves puppetry, animation, and the world’s best natural history footage available in HD to tell stories about the animal world.
ZooMoo’s programming was developed in consultation with a team of leading childhood learning specialists from New Zealand’s University of Otago.

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The channel is also complemented by a free downloadable App to provide a one of a kind multiplatform experience that allows ZooMoo channel viewers to automatically collect animals they encounter on the TV screen and bring them to life on their tablet or smart phone with games, music, puzzles and other activities. The standalone revolutionary ZooMoo App, which when synced to the channel enhances the interactivity by also turning smartphones and tablets into an extension of the channel, was recognized earlier this year with a Parents’ Choice Approved Award Seal of Approval from the Choice Foundation in the United States.

Karin Simoncini, ZooMoo’s head of programming and production was talked about ZooMoo and said, As a Latina mom of young children I’m personally thrilled that we at ZooMoo are partnering with DIRECTV to bring ZooMoo to Spanish-speaking audiences in the United States, where today, according to Pew Research Center, there are nearly twice as many Hispanic preschoolers as non-Hispanics in the U.S. DIRECTV deserves to be commended for its commitment to offering this audience a fully interactive ‘all animals, all the time’ entertainment experience that will be educational and incredibly engaging.


ZooMoo was developed by its CEO and former president of Fox Networks Group, David Haslingden and has already been seen in 23 countries with a worldwide audience of more than 140 million, ZooMoo’s programming is comprised of wholly original animal stories that have been scheduled into unique one hour blocks. The ZooMoo channel made its worldwide debut in Brazil in September 2013. In September 2014, DIRECTV began offering ZooMoo to customers in Argentina, the Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay.

ZooMoo’s leading cast consists of funny, furry puppet characters who help young children develop a knowledge and affection for animals, leading to a lifelong love of conservation, including:

  • Flash, an engagingly good-natured photographer, dedicated, dependable and very charming, he is a keen adventurer with genial humor and a constant can-do attitude who explores the world and often ends up in unknown places in “Lost” and travels to different habitats to find out what animals are really thinking in “Look Who’s Talking?” zoomoo-portraits-018
  • Piglet, a high-energy blast of boundless, breathless enthusiasm, who invents amazing solutions in her awesome workshop and explores the planet in her “Adventure Machine.” zoomoo-portraits-018
  • Owl, who’s smart, wise, particular and slightly precious, as he guesses which animals Flash has sent him in “Download This!” OWL 3
  • Ninja Gorilla, who uses his astounding ninja super-powers to turn everyday objects into amazing balloon creations in “Ninja Pop.” zoomoo-sets-070
  • Baby DJ, a little monkey with headphones, bling and a cheeky grin whose mission is to turn the tables on all things animal and get everyone up dancing. zoomoo-portraits-079

ZooMoo’s U.S. operations are headed by Los Angeles-based General Manager Julio Sobral, a longtime Fox Networks Group executive, alongside Miami-based Marketing Manager Alvaro Krupkin, former director of creative services and production for Telemundo Cable Networks.

 

Handstand App – Workouts on Demand! It’s Like a Gym in Your Pocket!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own. sign-up

Let’s talk about working out! For many of us, including myself, getting into a good workout routine, and maintaining it, can sometimes be difficult. Whether your job requires long hours in the office, a series of what seem to be never-ending business trips, or just has you stressed out, it can sometimes cause you to get off track with keeping active. I know many moms who spend so much time caring and doing for others in their home, that they don’t leave much time for themselves. (I may be speaking from experience here.)

more-important-than-everHere’s the thing…nowadays, it’s more important than ever, to maintain our health and an active lifestyle. We honestly can’t afford NOT to work out. We need to be here for our family and friends, especially those who rely directly on us. We need to be able to do our jobs and and do them well. We have appointments, errands to run, events to attend. Most of us have extremely busy lives and the best way to keep up with it all, is to stay healthy.

need-to-be-hereWell, there’s a new Handstand App that’s the perfect way to help balance all of it. For me, a lot of the reason I don’t find time to work out is because of my schedule. With this app, you can schedule workouts when it’s going to work for you!

handstand-appThe app, Handstand, is new and currently services the greater Los Angeles area. It gives users the ability to sort, book, and pay for top certified trainers and instructors to come to them…all with just a tap! With Handstand, you’re able to schedule a session of yoga at home, a cardio bootcamp class with your best friend at the park, or do some weight loss training at your apartment gym. Whatever your preference, you have that freedom to schedule what works for you! It’s like having a gym in your pocket!

scheduleAll of the trainers on the Handstand app are $49 an hour and come from the top gyms and studios in LA such as Equinox, Barry’s Bootcamp, The Bar Method, YogaWorks, and many notorious others. The Handstand app has been featured on several news segments and publications such as Focus Magazine for Los Angeles.

as-seenThe user base for the Handstand App is mainly comprised of young professionals, mothers, fathers, and families. The popular website HandstandApp.com, and now iOS app, allow users to choose their trainer, as opposed to just being assigned one at a gym. There’s no tipping, no hassle, and no cash payment involved. Handstand allows you to pay seamlessly through the app. You’re emailed a confirmation of your scheduled session and even sent a text one hour prior to your session! How helpful is that?

family-workoutAfter a workout, users have the option to rate their trainer and leave a review if they wish. They can choose to rebook the same trainer for their next workout session or may also find another one. There are no contracts required!

schedule-a-workoutIt’s beyond convenient to be able to schedule a workout that fits your own needs, all from the palm of your hand. With the Handstand App, there’s no more dealing with driving in traffic or inconvenient class times or the lack of variety of workout options. There isn’t even a gym membership required. It’s just a free download of the app and you’ll be ready to get started!

you-can-do-anythingJust remember, with the right trainer or instructor by your side, you can do anything! We face challenges everyday. Exercising shouldn’t be one of them! I have a special promo code for my readers too! It’ll save you $15 off your first Handstand session! Just enter the promo code below! So…what are YOU waiting for? Download the Handstand app today and schedule your next workout!

promo-codeConnect with Handstand on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Some images property of Handstand. 

Mickey’s Beach Bash at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration #DisneySMMC

As if staying at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort during the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration wasn’t amazing enough, we were invited to attend a private family party on the shore of the Beach & Yacht Clubs on one of the nights. mickeys-beach-bash-family-photoAs our family walked together towards the beach, we could hear relaxing steel drum music playing in the distance. The beautiful sunset that evening reflected off Disney’s Boardwalk and the lake in the background. I loved the casual vibe in the air and how relaxed everyone was. It was so fun to see Mickey & his friends dressed in “beachy” attire for the occasion, I was also in awe of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration sand sculpture that must have taken quite some time to carefully construct.mickeys-beach-bash-sand-sculpture

Everywhere we turned, there were mini buffets set up for guests to enjoy delicious salads, gourmet main dishes and delectable desserts. The chefs at Disney really took the time to put together a menu that offered something for everyone in a family, even including adults and children with dietary restrictions and food allergies. mickeys-beach-bash-buffet2mickeys-beach-bash-buffet1There was also an bar set up along the beach, serving all kinds of drinks, including some refreshing tropical libations for the adults. It’s much more fun to drink Rum Punch through a Mickey straw, don’t you agree? mickeys-beach-bash-at-the-disney-social-media-moms-celebration-drinksThe kids had a blast playing on the sand and dancing with the Mickey and his frends, as well as some of the young, energetic Disney dancers. My daughter adores Teen Beach Movie, so this kind of dancing and entertainment was right up her alley! mickeys-beach-bash-emi-and-iI enjoyed myself immensely and took advantage of the time to connect with other social media Disney friends like Flowers Croon and her daughter. mickeys-beach-bash-us-and-flowers-croonMickey’s Beach Bash was a blast and definitely a night our family will always remember!

I was invited to The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration as media and received a media rate for our accommodations. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

 

4 Intangible Things I Took With Me to The 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration! #DisneySMMC

reachingIn the two years I’ve been blogging, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a few different conferences. I love going to conferences! The more I attend, the more I want to seek out to attend! I take away something new and valuable from each conference and always leave feeling recharged and newly inspired. I’ve also experienced what I like to call “conference regrets“. If you’re not sure what those are, they are the things you wish you’d done at a conference, but either forgot or were too intimidated to do, for whatever reason. I feel like I get brave after the conference is over, except then it’s too late to go back.  I’m almost sure that every blogger has experienced “conference regrets” at least once in their career.  What I’ve found to be most effective for tackling this problem is to take some time, prior to attending a conference, to set some small personal conference goals for myself.

THE-emailI was recently invited to attend The 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at Walt Disney World Resort. I can still remember how magical it was when I opened that email containing such a special invitation! I think I let out a squeal that was probably heard around the world! It was such an honor to be invited and I really couldn’t believe it had happened for me. I KNEW I had to make every moment of what would be a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” count! So, in the weeks leading up to the conference, I proceeded to jot down notes on post-its until I’d put together a list of my personal goals for this conference.

At first I felt a bit overwhelmed by this goal-setting because I didn’t know what to expect from the conference itself. I’d heard so many stories and read several posts from others who had attended in the past, but I really wanted to focus on what was most important for me to take away from the experience. Finally, I compiled a list of 4 intangible things I’d be bringing with me to The 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, so let me share these things with you!

my-love-for-disney-2The first thing I brought to the conference was my love for Disney. I believe each and every one of the invited attendees has a love for Disney that’s unique and special. My own love for Disney stems from my childhood. I grew up in Southern California and our family was fortunate enough to live very close to Disneyland. (It was just Disneyland back then, not Disneyland Resort)  As a child, I got to visit the park about once a year, usually during summertime. Visiting Disneyland with my family, as a little girl, is one of those childhood memories I can still actually recall vividly.

vintage-DisneylandMy love for Disney has grown by leaps and bounds as I’ve grown up. (Confession: I’ve actually never grown up though) I’m a proud Disneyland Resort Annual Passholder and visit the parks as frequently as I can. As a mom, I’ve had the opportunity to create special Disney memories with my own daughter.  My love for Disney also carries over into many other aspects of my life too. I try to live life in “a Disney way”, which is something other lovers of Disney can fully understand. To be in an entire ballroom filled with other Disney-loving moms (and a dad) was an amazing experience.

optimism-2Optimism was a very important thing to bring with me as well! It’s beyond important to come to a conference with an optimistic attitude. I consider myself a “Glass Half-Full Kind of Girl” and always try my best to see a positive side in every situation. Each conference is an new opportunity to connect with other influencers and often times, brands. If you walk in with a positive attitude and are full of optimism, it’ll draw people towards you and they’ll to want to get to know you. It’s also something that will make brands want to work with you. I’m always optimistic that something good is going to happen. Remember, “If you can dream it, you can do it!” Stay optimistic!

courage-and-confidence-2I’ve saved the best for last. I think courage and confidence are the most vital things you can bring to a conference! I am speaking from experience and as someone who has had “conference regrets” in the past for not bringing these with me! As I entered the convention center at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and started to walk down the long hallway, it felt as if my breath had literally been stolen away. (in a good way)  Hanging from the boughs were these amazing and enormous banners! It was surreal. I had mixed emotions at the moment before I entered the room for registration. On one hand I felt like royalty, on the other hand, doubt started to set in and I began to second guess myself. You can’t do that! You CAN’T doubt yourself! This is where courage comes into play!

bannersIf this starts to happen to you, just do what I did….I gave myself a pep talk (inside of my head of course). I told myself that I needed to remember my courage! I needed to have courage and confidence because I was there for a reason! I needed to have courage to approach people and make those connections that I’d come all this way to make. I needed to have courage and confidence in myself when others would ask me about what it is that drives the passion behind my own blogging. It’s important to remember that you are worth something! You are just as good as anyone else at the conference! If you think for one moment that you aren’t as good as some of the “bigger bloggers” who may also be at the same conference as you, just remember, they were once just like you! Honestly, if you approach most of those women, you’ll find that they aren’t as intimidating as you envision. I’ve become friends with many of the “bigger bloggers” and I can say they are some of the kindest, most uplifiting women in social media and, often times, will even help you out.

leap-of-faithI packed all 4 of these intangible things into my suitcase and took them with me to The 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I walked into that conference with all that I needed and I did my best! What’s most important to remember is why you came and what you hope to achieve.  As you can see, I took a leap of faith (or should I say a jump of faith). Believe in yourself and don’t ever lose your courage or confidence!

Blended Conference is Near and Dear to My Heart! Here’s Why I Think YOU Should Attend!

save-the-dateI will totally admit that I’ve been excited about attending Blended Conference since the 2015 date was announced! Actually I may have been excited about it for even longer than that! I truly can’t wait for September 18! I love conferences, I love road trips, and I LOVE Blended!

blended-logoBlended is a blogging conference in Arizona, started by Wendy from Around My Family Table. In its first year, it began as much smaller event, with just a small circle of Arizona food bloggers and food enthusiasts in attendance. That first event was so successful that it transformed it into a larger conference the following year, to include bloggers of every niche. It has become Arizona’s premiere blogging conference! This year, Blended will be held September 18 & 19 at Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. You should save that date on your calendar and grab a ticket for Blended here. Did I already mention how excited I am to attend?

Blended-ConfI’m so honored to be a Blended ambassador this year. It was the first blogging conference I attended when I was a brand-new blogger. I’ll never forget how much I took away from that amazing weekend, back in 2013. They say “you’ll never forget your first blogging conference” and I think it’s actually very true!

never-forgetSo, let’s talk about some of the things that are bound to happen if you attend Blended Conference this year….

You’ll learn something new: Whether you blog for fun or are trying to build your own unique brand, you’ll definitely learn something new at Blended. Actually, I think you’ll learn many new things. I know I learned a ton at Blended last time. There is an amazing lineup of speakers scheduled already. Have you seen yet?  You’ll have so many opportunities to ask questions about things you’re dying to know about, relating to the world of blogging and social media. You’ll also find that you pick up a lot of tips from other bloggers you end up networking with.

You won’t go hungry: For me, this is an important one. (Can you tell I’m a foodie?) I can guarantee that you will not go hungry at this conference! Between the meals and the snacks, you don’t have to worry! Also, there’s usually an “unofficial” Blended dinner after Saturday’s conference, that all are invited to join, so the eating continues!

You’ll leave with some fun swag and might even win a prize: Not only did I go home from Blended last time with two bags of really fun swag, but I also got lucky and won one of the prizes in a drawing. I know there’ll be plenty of those this time around too. Everyone loves swag!

You’ll get to meet a bunch of the Arizona Bloggers and maybe even gain a “Bloggy BFF”!: The circle of Arizona Bloggers is pretty big and they’re all pretty awesome! Being able to add them to your social media network is a definite plus. The Arizona bloggers were some of the first social media superstars I got to know in person and since attending that year, some of them have become some of my good blogger friends. It’s wonderful to know such incredibly positive, helpful, and supportive women. These are the kinds of qualities you can appreciate when you’re building your “tribe”.

bloggy-friends-foreverI actually met one of my “Bloggy BFFs” at Blended. She was someone I’d looked up to online and when I met her I think I was “fangirling“! (Do you know Heather from Brie Brie Blooms? Well it’s her!) After eating lunch at the same table that day, we realized how much we had in common and we have become great friends. What’s even more fun about it is that our daughters are friends too. They both claim to be kid bloggers too, so they’ve also got that in common. Bloggy friends are the best!

You’ll most likely develop “Conference-itis”… If you’re not sure what that is yet, it’s when you get the itch to attend another conference right after you’ve just attended one. Maybe we should call it getting “Conference Fever“? I can’t get enough conferences under my belt. It’s one of my favorite things to do!

You’ll get to meet me!: I’ve saved the best part about attending Blended for last…you’ll get to meet me! I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I’m really fun to hang out with AND I’m a great friend to have!

If you haven’t had a chance to browse the Blended Conference schedule yet, click here. Tickets are already on sale and you can still grab one at the early bird price until May 1, by clicking here. Arizona Grand Resort is offering unbeatable rates for Blended attendees. You need to take a peek here.

I hope you’ll be joining us at Blended Conference!

Leave a comment below if you’re attending so we can connect more beforehand too!

 Connect with Blended Conference on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

I was provided with a discounted ticket to Blended Conference as part of the Blended Ambassador Program. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Blended Conference 2014: Why YOU Should Attend!

Last Fall, I had the opportunity to attend Blended: A Conference in the Desert. It was the first blogger conference I ever attended. I was what you’d call a “newbie blogger”. (I actually still am) Although I was excited to attend, I was also very nervous about it. (I now know there was nothing to be nervous about) Although I’m not a shy person, blogging, and all that it entails, was an area new to me, so I really wasn’t very sure of myself or even HOW I’d come across to others. At that point, I was even still trying to figure out my blogging niche, as well as the tech side of blogging.
I cannot even begin to describe how invaluable that experience of attending Blended last year was to me! It was a 1 day conference last year. This year, it’s an entire weekend and after I saw the location  and the agenda for the weekend, I got even more excited!

I’m going to give you 5 great reasons why YOU should attended Blended this year!

Reason #1
You should attend because I will be there! 
Yep, I wouldn’t miss Blended Conference 2014 for the world! I am so excited for the little road trip back to Arizona, from California, to see all of the friends I made at the conference last year, as well as to meet a whole bunch of new ones! (including you!) I’m not saying that I am like a headliner for the conference or anything, because I’m not, but I would consider myself a pretty fun bloggy friend to have. Oh, and I LOVE taking selfies with friends! Please attend so I can meet you!
Reason #2
You should attend because the ladies who are responsible for running the conference are are not only amazing, but are also both named “Wendy”, which happens to be my name, so seriously, how can that NOT be a good enough reason on its own? 
I first met Wendy O’Neal from Around My Family Table and Wendy Wright from Choosing Love and Arizona Moms Network online. Before getting to actually meet these 2 in person, I was worried I’d be intimidated when I met them, but once we were all together at a dinner the night before the conference last year, I immediately felt comfortable talking to them and several other people I’d refer to as super bloggers, who I’d also only met online. I will admit that I sat there #fangirling Wendy and Wendy at the conference, but that’s a good thing. They definitely land in my book as “superwomen” and I’m proud to be a part their #TeamWendy. Obviously if your name is also Wendy, you REALLY need to make sure to get to this conference!
Reason #3
You should attend because you’ll have so many opportunities to network with other bloggers, the speakers and with some brands. 
This is a very important reason, especially if you are a new(er) blogger! Networking, meeting other bloggers, including the conference speakers, and actually starting relationships and friendships with them, is probably one of the most useful things you can take away from a conference. There is a big difference between meeting someone online, like on Facebook or Twitter, and actually meeting them in person, allowing them to get to know you, and you being able to get to know them. You never know who the person sitting next to you or across the table from you, really is, or what connections they may have. They also may see something in you that they like and throw some great opportunities your way! You just never know!
You also have the opportunity to network with brands, because there are brands represented at Blended conference and at certain times during the conference days, you have time to actually introduce yourself and meet some of the brands’ PR people. PR people are really just regular people, so although it may be intimidating to approach them, you should just do it. Approach them with your business card, introduce yourself and just chat with them briefly.
You honestly never know who is going to make a positive connection with you or when it will happen, but it will! I speak from experience and like I said before, I’m still a newbie.
Reason #4
You should attend because, once again, there is a going to be a fabulous agenda with fabulous speakers (and fabulous food) at Blended this year! 

If you take a peek over the agenda, what you’ll find is a ton of fun and knowledge coming your way!
*Scheduled Head Shots with Kate Eschbach on Friday afternoon!

*Hands-on Workshops on Friday night
*Maureen Fitzgerald, also known as Wisconsin Mommy, will be talking about Creating a Media Kit.
*Christine Pittman from Cook the Story, will have a Food Styling…Live session.
*Dan Morris of Letters from Dan and Blogging Concentrated, will be presenting SEO Simplified.
*Rachel Martin of Finding Joy, will show How to Create an ebook from Your Existing Content
*Marley McMillan Beelman of Namely Marley, will present The Joy of Blogging
*Dear Blogger breakout sessions, for both beginning and advanced bloggers
*no hosted blogger dinners
*Blogging Concentrated for advanced bloggers presented by Dan Morris of Letters from Dan
Reason #5
You should attend because Blogging Concentrated for advanced bloggers is going to have its own day during Blended this year! 
This is an incredible offering that you just shouldn’t pass up and very unique to this conference to have a component piggy backing like this! I had the pleasure of meeting Dan Morris recently at another conference and not only is he going to present a wealth of information, he is also a really fun guy to hang out with!

I could probably give so many more reasons why YOU should attend Blended Conference this fall! Maybe I’ll write a 2nd post with Reasons #6-10….maybe!

To get more information about Blended and register for it, click here.
 I hope to see you there!
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