Over The Top Mommy

Month: December 2016

Ring in 2017 at the Pretend City Noon Year’s Eve Confetti Countdown


Ring in the “Noon” Year at Pretend City!
Pretend City Children’s Museum invites everyone to come celebrate the New Year! Join in the fun as they we ring in 2017 in the middle of the day on Saturday, December 31, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.. The Noon Year’s Eve Confetti Countdown will celebrate the New Year four different times as midnight strikes in Bangladesh, Dubai, Athens, and London.noon-years-eve-2Children will be able to get in the spirit with crafts including DIY noise makers and party hats and a kiddie dance party, in addition to enjoying all of the regular fun at Pretend City Children’s Museum.noon-years-eve-3Join in all the family friendly fun at Pretend City this New Year’s Eve! Hope to see you there!

Connect with Pretend City on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Blink Inc at Fashion Island: Professional Photos You’ll Love

This is not a sponsored post. We were invited to Blink Inc. for a photo shoot in order to write this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Have you visited Blink Inc Studio in Fashion Island yet? It is such a fun place! Prior to our visit, I had never heard of it and wasn’t familiar with the concept yet. Now I’m trying to find new excuses, on a daily basis, to go back for another shoot.blink-inc-signBlink Inc is a photo studio staffed with professional photographers that are ready to photograph you the moment you walk in. There’s no hassle of trying to find a time, date, and location that works best for you, you can simply go online to their site and book an appointment to come into the studio.blink-inc-cardsThe studio is already set up and offers a sleek, all-white/blank backdrop that results in images that look and feel like a professional, editorial fashion shoot. The lighting is set up to make everyone look their best! (Trust me on this one!)us-blink-inc-2

Not only are the photographers experienced, they work with you to make it a fun experience and also to assure you are leaving with the images you’d hoped for. You’re able to see your photos as they’re shot, because they offer a real-time delivery system.us-blink-inc-3Here are just some of what they’ll photograph for you at Blink Inc:

  • family
  • baby
  • #BFFs
  • pets
  • graduation
  • birthday party
  • engagement
  • headshot
  • professional photos
  • business and product photos
  • holiday cards
  • announcement

Honestly, the sky’s the limit and you are free to bring any kind of props you’d like included in your pictures and dress however you’d like for your shoot. We visited Blink Inc on a “Girls Day Out” and ended up with a super fun and adorable photographer, Morgan! emi-blink-inc-1emi-blink-inc-2It’s so convenient to be able to walk in, shoot your pictures, select which ones you’d like to purchase (the entire shoot is also available for purchase at a great “Buy All” price too.) and then have access to download your photos from a smart phone or device.us-blink-inc-1

In this day and age, Blink Inc offers exactly what busy families and people-on-the-go are looking for….quality and convenience.us-blink-inc-4Walk ins are welcome at Blink Inc. but reservations are highly recommended. To book your own reservation for their studio, go here.

Photo credit: Blink Inc. 

Islands Holiday Gift Card Offer: Perfect for the Last Minute

Calling all last minute gift buyers….if you’re still looking for holiday gift ideas that you can just grab and go, Islands has a great holiday gift card offer going on right now! islands-gift-card-offerFor every $25 you purchase in gift cards, you’ll receive a $5 Bonus card for you to use during the month of January. It’s a win-win situation and everyone loves Islands! My favorite part of giving a gift card, aside from the fact that they don’t require wrapping, is that they don’t have a date on them so no one will ever know that you waited until the last minute to buy it!islands-locations For more info about Islands gift cards, stop by the location nearest you to grab one in person or send an e-gift card by visiting here.sunday-happy-hourAlso going on right now at Islands, through the end of NFL season, is “NFL Happy Hour” happening each week!islands-happy-hour-mai-tai With a full bar of delicious, refreshing libations and a scrumptious menu featuring the most mouth watering appetizers, the bar at Islands is the place to be these days during NFL games. They have special pricing on drinks and appetizers and there are big screens all around to catch the game from every angle! islands-buffalo-wingsIslands “NFL Happy Hour: is available only in the bar area on NFL game days, Mondays and Thursdays from 4pm-Close and all day Sunday. During Islands NFL Happy Hour, look for bartender-call-it drink specials and trivia games at each location with chances to win gift cards and Islands swag! islands-artichoke-dipSo, do you have anyone left to buy for this holiday? Spread the Mahalo spirit and take advantage of Islands great gift card offer this season!


Spread Joy This Season and Join Hasbro’s 2016 #JoyMaker Challenge


This is not a sponsored post. I was invited to be part of Hasbro’s Joy Maker Challenge and provided with toys to donate for this campaign. All opinions are 100% my own.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year….the holiday season! I was so honored to be invited to join in on Hasbro’s 2016 “Joy Maker Challenge”! There’s nothing that warms my heart more than being able to give back to those in need to help spread JOY!spread-the-joy-boxHasbro and generationOn, the youth division of Point of Light, have partnered for the seventh annual Joy Maker Challenge. The campaign encourages youth,ages 5-18,  to spread joy to people in need during the holidays through volunteer service. For every kid and teen who volunteers throughout The Joy Maker Challenge, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots (up to $1 million worth)! That’s amazing!joy-maker-challengeSince the campaign’s inaugural year in 2010, more than 960,000 total acts of service have been completed, with 6 million dollars’ worth of toys donated to Toys for Tots by Hasbro
Since the campaign’s inaugural year in 2010, more than 960,000 total acts of service have been completed, with 6 million dollars’ worth of toys donated to Toys for Tots by Hasbro
Inspiring service projects completed by kids and teens over the years include:

  • San Clemente resident, Max Page, turned his garage into ‘The Giving Garage,’ inviting local families to pick up Hasbro toys to give to those in need during the holidays
  • Members of the Alchemy generationOn Service Club in New York City made ‘caring cards’ to send to those affected by last year’s events in Paris, France
  • 33 youth came together in Corvallis, OR to do a variety of service projects, including raking leaves in the yards of senior citizens and people with disabilities

Won’t you join in too?
I’d like to encourage you to join the Joy Maker Challenge! From November 21 – December 23, teens, teachers, youth development professionals and families can sign up, search for local volunteer projects or share their stories for The Joy Maker Challenge through the campaign website (generationOn.org/joymaker)
The Joy Maker Challenge is part of Be Fearless, Be Kind Campaign, Hasbro’s new signature philanthropic initiative designed to inspire and empower kids to have the empathy, compassion and courage to stand up for others and be inclusive throughout their lives. Hasbro, which has a long and proud tradition of empowering children through its many philanthropic programs.barely-fit-in-my-carI was so excited when I received a giant box of toys from Hasbro on my doorstep! There were so many great toys inside the box and my daughter loved getting to open it and peek inside. I explained that the toys were going to be donated to families in need and she then helped me pick out the organization we’d be donating them to. We decided to take them The Orange County Ronald McDonald House.ronald-mcdonald-house-orange-county-signI’ve toured the facility before and was really touched to learn about all they do on a year-round basis for families who have a loved one (a child) in the hospital nearby. It is an amazing organization and I was honored to be chosen by Hasbro, to “give back” in their name.ronald-mcdonald-house-oc-donatingThe box was so giant that it barely fit in the back of my car. Ronald McDonald was there to greet me on the front doorstep when I dropped off the toys. I was happy to learn that my donation was just in time for their annual holiday party, which welcomes over 375 guests, who are either current residents at Ronald McDonald House Orange County or have stayed there within the past year.spread-the-joy-ronald-mcdonald-house-oc-1I think it’s so important to encourage kids and teens to become “changemakers” in their communities and the world, through service. It really teaches them about being selfless. How do you teach your kids about giving back to those in need? Don’t forget to visit the campaign website before December 23 and sign up to be a “Joy Maker” too for Hasbro’s 2016 Joy Maker Challenge! giveawayHasbro has so graciously offered to send one of my readers 2 boxes of 20 toys each, 1 box of toys to keep and 1 to donate. You can be a Joy Maker too! Enter on the Rafflecopter below! Good luck and Happy Holidays!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join the conversation surrounding The Joy Maker Challenge on social media by following the hashtags #JoyMaker and #BFBK.

Take Control of Lower Back Pain (Don’t Let Anything Slow You Down!)

This post was developed in partnership with Bayer, as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received the Aleve® Direct Therapy TM TENS Device and compensation to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% my own.take-control-of-lower-back-pain

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been “on the go”! As a kid, I enjoyed running around and playing outside and could never get enough of the outdoors. As I grew up, I continued to remain active, spending a lot of my time in dance classes, figure skating, going to the gym, and running on the beach. Being active is all part of living the Southern California lifestyle.southern-california-lifestyle-beach

Fast forward to present day…Now I’m a mom of one very busy daughter. I spend a lot of time driving her back and forth between sports practices and playdates, volunteering as team mom for her cheer team, and I pride myself on being involved at her school.im-always-on-the-goI also teach school and am a first grade teacher, which requires me to be up on my feet a majority of the day. I spend a lot of time on the carpet with my students reading to them and doing many activities. A first grade teacher has to be able to get down to her students’ levels, often times bending down or even kneeling. 

a-first-grade-teacherSadly, as I get older, I seem to experience more back pain, specifically in my lower back region. Sometimes it literally flares up from doing the most minor thing and the pain just makes me want to withdraw from all of the things I need to get done. It’s disheartening to have to opt out of a family hike on a weekend because my back hurts. My daughter is only 11 years old and needs me to be out and about doing things with her.she-keeps-me-on-my-toes

When I was recently offered an Aleve Direct Therapy TENS Device to try out for this specific problem, I jumped at the chance to try it, in hopes of finding some relief. It’s a device that’s designed specifically for the temporary relief of pain associated with sore and aching muscles in the lower back due to strain from exercise or normal household and work activities. It’s easy to use and I was thrilled to have positive results from using it. 

aleve-direct-therapy-tens-deviceAleve Direct Therapy TENS Device uses TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), which is a therapy that uses electrical stimulation to relieve pain. There are two clinical theories of how TENS can relieve pain: by blocking the transmission of pain, and by stimulating endorphins, the body’s natural pain-reducing chemicals.

After I used the device a few different times, I really felt some relief and didn’t have to worry about missing out again on anything with my family. I feel like I took control of my lower back pain. I don’t have the time to let anything slow me down!

The Aleve Direct Therapy TENS Device can be found at major stores in the Analgesics aisle, near other topical pain relief products, but is also available at online retailers. For more information about this product, click here.

*As always, read the directions on the package and only use as directed.


The Outlets at Orange Welcome New Retailers + Holiday Event on 12/17 With Giveaways

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Have you been to The Outlets at Orange lately? I stopped by earlier this week and was pleasantly surprised to find a new area to shop in,outlets-at-orange-directory Recently expanded to include even more great retailers to choose from, the newest area offers holiday shoppers even more great stores to shop at including:

  • Timberland
  • The Bloomingdale’s Outlet Store
  • Gap Factory Storeoutlets-at-orange-gap-factory-store
  • Under Armour
  • Neiman Marcus Last Call
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5thoutlets-at-orange-saks-fifth-avenue

outlets-at-orange-did-you-knowDid you know….The Outlets at Orange is the only shopping destination in California to include Bloomingdale’s Outlet Store, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nordstrom Rack and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th? outlets-at-orange-nordstrom-rackoutlets-at-orange-give-loveThe Bloomingdale’s Outlet was the last one to join the center, just this Fall, and is the only location between San Diego and San Francisco.outlets-of-orange-this-way-to-bloomingdales outlets-of-orange-bloomingdalesFrom shoes to accessories and apparel for men’s women’s and children, all four department stores provide exclusive name brands at value.outlets-at-orange-neiman-marcus-last-callAfter grabbing a cup of coffee in at the center’s Starbucks, I ventured over to check out the new area and was instantly drawn to the fountain, located just outside of Under Armour.outlets-at-orange-starbucks I love the serenity of the fountain and could’ve stood there and listened to the water flowing, all day long.outlets-at-orange-fountain Among the drought-friendly landscaping, you’ll also find welcoming sitting areas to take breaks during your holiday shopping. It’s nice to be able to sit and cross things off your “Christmas Shopping List” before heading back out again. outlets-at-orange-resting-areaoutlets-at-orange-landscapingThe Outlets at Orange is home to over 120 retailers and restaurants and offers shoppers a ton of choices to dine and shop at! outlets-at-orange-shop-and-dine
outlets-at-orange-you-are-invitedThis Saturday, December 17, join The Outlets at Orange for a holiday celebration including a live ice sculpture carving and carolers. Guests at the Outlets of Orange can enjoy holiday music from the carolers from 12-4pm.outlets-at-orange-under-armour-2

The Outlets at Orange will be surprising and delighting shoppers with $10 gift cards to the center’s newest retailers to Gap Factory Store, Timberland, and Under Armour, all  found in the new expansion area. Carolers will also be singing at the Outlets of Orange on December 18 from 2-4pm and December 24 from 12- 4pm.outlets-at-orange-give-love-bag

The Outlets at Orange is a one-stop shopping destination where you can shop, dine, and enjoy the atmosphere of this outdoor center. There’s literally something for everyone on your holiday shopping list, all at great prices. Also, you can stop by Guest Services and pick up giftcards for those “hard to buy for” people on your list. You can never go wrong with a giftcard! outlets-at-orange-giftcard

Connect with The Outlets at Orange on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Enter Frontier SoCal’s “12 Days of Giving Sweepstakes” Through 12/21

This is a sponsored post written by me for Frontier SoCal. All opinions are 100% my own.

Christmas is almost here and I couldn’t be any more excited about it! “Tis the season to spread holiday cheer that lasts all year!frontier-socal-12-days-of-givingTo show appreciation to its fans and local community Frontier SoCal launched a holiday sweepstakes campaign, on Saturday 12/10, to give back to its beloved charities and customers. I absolutely love brands that give back! 12-days-of-givingDuring “The Twelve Days of Giving Sweepstakes” different prizes will be awarded to a consumer every day from December 10 – December 21. The daily giveaways are announced every day on Frontier SoCal’s Instagram, so be sure to follow @FrontierSoCal  on Instagram so you can be the first to find out what we are giving away! Also, you can enter twice per day. that’s twice the chances to win!
Here is how to enter:

  • Share a pic on Instagram of what you love about the holidays using hashtags #Frontier #12daysofgiving and #Sweeps.
  • Fill out the Twelve Days of Giving Sweepstakes entry form here.all-things-peppermint

Here’s what Frontier SoCal has given away already so far during the “Twelve Days of Giving” Sweepstakes:

  • Day 12: (Saturday, Dec. 10) 12 (Twelve) $100 Starbucks gift cards to help lucky customers power through the season.
  • Day 11: (Sunday, Dec. 11) Donated 11 suits to Working Wardrobes to support our honored veterans.
  • Day 10: (Monday, Dec. 12) 10 (Ten) $100 gift cards to the StubHub Center for customers to enjoy an awesome concert!

You can increase your chances of winning by using both entry methods, and don’t forget to tag @FrontierSoCal in your photos. Good luck, everyone! Happy Holidays!

Connect with Frontier Communications on Facebook too. For Official Sweepstakes Rules, go here.

Some images and logos are property of Frontier Communications. 

Mens Holiday Gift Guide: West Coast Shaving™‎

This is not a sponsored post. I received products in order to write this review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

A very special thank you to Over the Top Daddy for writing this guest post. 

Let’s talk about the old forgotten tradition of “wet shaving”. It’s a tradition that got lost along the way, somewhere between men getting caught up in the rat race and wanting to just get in and out quickly when it came to shaving. In my opinion, the loss of this great tradition is one that’s well worth reviving. Well, I’ve got some great holiday gift ideas to share with you today.west-coast-shaving-razor

West Coast Shaving™‎ is my favorite site to go for all of my wet shaving needs. Have you heard of them before? Their site has a variety of double edge safety razors & straight edge razors, razor blades, shaving soaps & creams, shaving brushes, and after shaves from all of the top brands. They even carry wet shaving products for her.west-coast-shaving-productsI’m fairly new to wet shaving and only started getting really into it about six months ago, Since then, not only have I had the best shaves of my life, but I feel like I get a little bit of daily serenity and “me time”, before the craziness of my hectic work day begins.

If you’re curious about what exactly “wet shaving” is, it’s best explained as“shaving like your Grandpa”! It’s the old, traditional way of shaving with either a safety razor or a straight razor. Depending on your facial hair growth and toughness of facial hair, you will get an average of 3-5 shaves per blade. It’s cost effective because you can pick up 100 blades for a safety razor for under $20.00.

Not only is wet shaving cost effective, t’s also more hygienic. By switching the blade more often, you minimize potential for bacteria which adds to razor burn/rash/and irritation. If you’re hesitant about shaving with a safety razor or straight razor, there’s really no reason to fear it. I literally got through my first safety razor shave experience without one nick, or sign of irritation.One of the nice thing about Wet Shaving Shaving is that they have tutorials on their YouTube to guide you through it all.  Also, their customer service is there to answer any of your questions.
I had the privilege of testing out their new West Coast Shaving Classic Collection Razor 78S, It’s stainless steel and I love the size and weight of this handle. It had such a nice feel in your hand that it makes for a great shaving experience. The textured handle for grip makes it so slipping out of your hand is not an issue. I shave in the shower with shower mirror and have yet to have an issue with dropping my handle (Don’t jinx me).

west-coast-almond-sweet-almondI also tried out their new “Sweet Almond” shave soap, which is just one from their new line of shave soaps, along with the Omega 0146745 HI-BRUSH Synthetic Shaving BrushWhen you take the lid off the soap container be ready for an intoxicating aroma of what I can only describe as a dessert that you’d want several helpings of…just don’t eat it! Lol! It does not disappoint when it comes time to load it on the brush! The scent fills the room and the rich, creamy lather is slick and a true performer!west-coast-shaving-brushIt’s OK to take back ten minutes out of your day to regroup and wet shaving is where it starts, in my opinion! Be daring, and try out some new scents and really explore all the inventory West Coast Shaving has to offer! I guarantee that whether you’re buying this for yourself, or you’re shopping for Dad, brother, souse, significant other, etc. they will surely enjoy getting back to this age old tradition of shaving!

Connect with West Coast Shaving on Facebook and Twitter.


{Giveaway} Amazing Gift Boxes for Every Occasion From Thoughtfully Co.

I received products from Thoughtfully Co. in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

When a gift box from Thoughtfully Co. arrived on my doorstep, I could hardly contain my excitement! If you haven’t heard of Thoughtfully before, lean in because you need to know about them. thoughtfully-hand-craftedThey’ve created a new gifting experience, with their beautifully, curated gift boxes, that’s much more exciting than traditional gift baskets. The idea behind the company is that they believe a gift should last long after the beautiful wrappings have been torn away. thoughtfully-inside-the-box

A truly thoughtful gift is a story – a curated adventure perfect for each special individual in your life. Receiving one of these beautiful gift boxes will allow your friends and family to taste, see, smell, and experience the stories of Thoughtfully.

The Thoughtfully Co. offers a variety of gift boxes to select from including holiday, birthday, housewarming, thank you, food and bar, etc. They also offer gifts that are “just for him” and “just for her”. Each of them has their own unique “story” inside the box. cirque-du-sweets-a-unique-storyI received the Cirque du Sweets gift box which includes:

  • Two 6″ Cast Iron Round Skillets
  • One 5″ Cast Iron Square Skillet
  • Brownie Mix (6oz)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix (4.8oz)
  • Sugar Cookie Mix (6oz)
  • Vanilla Frosting Mix (8oz)
  • Decorating Bag With Coupler and tip
  • Confetti Sprinkles (4.6oz)
  • 3 Glass Milk Bottles
  • Three Paper Straws
  • 3 Elephant Straw Toppersthoughtfully-circus-confetti

I am so in love with this set! It’s so cute and perfect to whip up an adorable little batch of cookies or brownies and milk! I get excited about doing things all fancy! Don’t you? thoughtfully-cirque-du-sweetsthoughtfully-brownie-mixThe act of giving is always in season with Thoughtfully which is why they’re providing one of their boxes as a giveaway to one of my lucky readers! All you have to do is enter below on the Rafflecopter. Good luck everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Connect with Thoughtfully Co. on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.