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Over The Top Mommy

Getting Ready for Back to School

I feel like summer has just flown by and little by little I’ve been getting ready to go back to school.
For me, there are 2 kinds of “going back to school”. First, I have to go back to my own first grade classroom. A couple of weeks after that, I have to get ready for Emi’s first day of school!

The first day of school for Emi is kind of a big deal around here. (I’m sure no one is surprised, right?)
I start “hoarding” things for her 1st day of school breakfast, as early as June! I stick them in cupboards, closets, and in the back of my car! I don’t think I even sleep the night before her first day because I’m so busy setting everything up just perfectly, like I’m throwing some big party or something! I’m pretty sure Emi is just excited to see donuts sitting at the table each year.

Earlier today, I was looking back through my pictures from what I did last year and I just can’t believe it’s been almost a year since Emi started 2nd grade!

Whenever there’s a special occasion or a holiday, I love to decorate with printables by Lauren McKinsey! She always has the most adorable collections, some of which you can even personalize before you print! Last year, I was able to use this particular collection for both this table AND in my own classroom!
Check out her collections here:
This was some of the back to school swag from last year.
I was in LOVE with this lunchbox by Timree, which actually has a chalkboard inside to write a note in.
The personalized folder is also part of Timree’s school supply collection.
You can check out more of her stuff at:
These were little pretzel bags filled with Hershey’s Nuggets that were each wrapped with a printable, also from that collection. The best part about assembling these the night before, was that there was no one else around to count how many I’d eaten!
Always remember to send something for your child’s teacher on the first day.
Emi likes to bring something for her new teacher and something for all of the former ones.
(Teachers appreciate that kind of gesture, even if it’s just something small.)
I feel like I’m going to have a hard time outdoing myself this year
after looking over what I did last year!
 Guess we’ll find out in a couple of weeks!

On the More Serious Side

I’ve recently come to learn that a friend of a friend’s daughter has been diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic (M3) Leukemia. Her name is “JoJo” and she’s the same age as my own daughter. When I look at her pictures now, I just see someone who looks like she’d be one of Emi’s friends, an adorable, regular little girl who probably likes doing crafts, having sleepovers & watching Disney shows like “Austin & Ally”. I also see someone who, at the age of 8, is about to take the hardest journey of her life, along with her entire family and all of her friends! Currently, she’s receiving treatment at CHOC in Orange, California.

Yesterday, Jojo pulled this lock of her own hair out (it didn’t seem to be that difficult) and made this mustache with it, jokingly. I know that she was kidding around and actually doing so in good spirits, but it still tugged on my heart strings to see it and read about it.  I do know that her hair isn’t the most important part here, her health is!

It’s hard for me to keep reading about her journey, but I also can’t stop. I can’t help but want to do something to help. Jojo has made “a wish” for her own Macbook, which is the least she should have to keep her occupied with all of the time she’s going to be spending in bed and getting treatments, etc.
Many friends and family are pulling together to raise money, in order to make Jojo’s wish come true, as well as raise money for CHOC hospital’s Oncology unit.
Cynthia Briggeman is a stylist for Stella & Dot who has so generously donated 100% of her commissions from this online trunk show towards Jojo’s wish. There are some adorable bracelets that look like this, within the latest collection, but check out the trunk show and see if YOU like anything!

I’m also linking her Facebook page, which is open to look at and/or join. 
Stay tuned for more updates on Team Jojo! <3

And Sometimes I’m a Swim Mommy!

I’m a cheer mom. I’m a tae kwon do mom. I’m a soccer mom. Sometimes I’m a swim mom…like today! Today was Emi’s last swim meet of this summer’s swim team season!
She placed 1st in 25 freestyle 2nd in 50 freestyle and 2nd in 25 backstroke
and this was out of 5 teams!

One of the things I admire most about Emi is that she’s not afraid to do things like this…athletic things
! I could NEVER swim the way she does, let alone compete in swim meets! Although she comes across as fearless, she does actually get nervous sometimes.  Personally, I think I’d be “over it” just when someone asked me to put on one of those swim caps!!! (I’m just being honest here)

Ultimately, I not only want her to do things I never did as a child, but also to SUCCEED at those things! So far, I’d say it’s going pretty well! 🙂

Downtown Disney Meet and Greet With Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell!

We watch quite a bit of Disney Channel in our home. For the longest time, all we saw were commercials for the upcoming release of the Disney movie, “Teen Beach Movie”! We set up our DVR to record it, because Emi can never get enough of Disney Channel movies! She LOVES Ross Lynch (aka Austin from “Austin & Ally”) and Maia Mitchell (she appeared on “Jessie” before and is now on “The Fosters“) I’m pretty sure that just during the first week that Teen Beach Movie was officially released, she’d probably watched it AT LEAST 20 times!
going down the escalator
Going down the Mickey & Friends escalator, all ready to meet Ross & Maia!
I wonder if she's excited?
Running to the tram. I wonder if she’s excited? 
We are fortunate enough to live near The Disneyland Resort, where they had a merchandise signing event for the movie. Ross and Maia would be making an appearance and signing Teen Beach Movie merchandise.
filming today
The part I didn’t realize was that we were supposed to camp out the night before, with all of the other teenagers or we wouldn’t get a “voucher” to meet them. I honestly thought if we got there a few hours ahead of time, that we’d be fine. Now I know for next time! (Will there be a Teen Beach Movie 2?)
The Backside of Ross Lynch
HOWEVER, when we arrived in Downtown Disney, we stopped to look around and see which way to go….and there he was! Ross was walking right in front of us…OMG Ross Lynch!!!! All I could think was, “Hey, that’s the guy on that show!” and I’ll admit I was a little stumped, but Emi was the one who EXTREMELY short on words and just had this giddy expression on her face!
Ladies and Gentleman, may I present to you...the backside of Ross Lynch!
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you with…the backside of Ross Lynch!
(it’s a Jungle Cruise joke) 
So, while the people who had been waiting in the line for HOURS stood far away from, WE were right next to Ross and Maia AND got to be front row when they did some filming for a “Disney 365″segment! I don’t think Emi has ever been that close to one of her celeb crushes and although she was overwhelmed by the crowd, she had a giant smile from ear-to-ear!
Ross and Maia 1
Ross and Maia 2
Ross and Maia 3
Ross Lynch
I’m pretty sure he’s looking right at Emi in this pic! 🙂
Emi and Ross Lynch The look on her face is priceless! I think she was pretty happy, wouldn’t you agree?

The Radio Disney Crew was also there, playing with the kids and were passing out swag!

Radio Disney 1 Radio Disney 2The Radio Disney Crew is always fun at these events! It was great morning spent in Downtown Disney!

Do YOU have a favorite Teen Beach Movie character? If so, WHO is it?

I’m in Love…with an App!

Let me just start this post by pointing out that I am no techy, but I sure do like to pretend that I am! 
The other morning, I saw numerous posted pics with the hashtags #HeyRhonna and #RhonnaDesigns_app. As I looked further into it, I realized that July 2nd was the date that this app went live in the App Store! 
Priced at only $1.99, I immediately bought it and began using it! I am now hooked and in love with what it does for your photos. I’ve just been sitting on my couch playing with all of the different features. 

The following pics are just some very basic examples of what you can do with this app. However, there is SO much more to it!


I’m seriously in love with an app! 
Check out her site at:

Monkey Bread: a 4th of July Tradition

It’s a tradition in our house, to have “Monkey Bread” on 4th of July morning. Personally, I find it to be  one of the yummiest things in the whole world! This year, I decided to add some BACON to half of it.
Monkey Bread basics:
*2 sticks of melted butter
*6 rolls of biscuits (I used store brand this time)
*chopped up, crispy bacon (about 1/2 lb)
 It’s VERY easy to make. First you need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Next, start to cut up each roll of biscuits, roll each piece in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then toss into a bundt pan. After each roll of biscuits, I pour some butter over the top of what’s in the pan. The more moist the layers are with butter, the better it will taste. This year I also added crumbled bacon to half of the pan, so I layered the bacon in between the rolls of biscuits.  Continue layering everything and at the end, pour the rest of the melted butter over the top of what’s in the pan. (At this point, just try not to think about calories and fat)
It should look something like this. Bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until it’s a little brown and crispy on the top.  After it’s done, cut into it and serve a big hunk to everyone. We end up picking at it over the entirety of the day! It even tastes good cold!So what’s something YOU like to eat on the 4th of July?

 It was kid tested and kid approved by this girl! 🙂
Happy 4th of July!

If spray painting is wrong, then baby I don’t ever wanna be right!

This morning I was staring at this sad little silver(ish) cake stand I’ve had sitting in the middle of our kitchen table, which holds random stuff.  I actually bought 2 of these on clearance at Target last year after Christmas, so I decided to give this one a mini makeover! 
I bought this can of spray paint at Michael’s. You don’t NEED a primer coat for something like this.  Always make sure to put out some newspaper or something underneath it, before spraying. The best way to cover it is by using short sprays and not just holding down the button. Sometimes there’ll be areas that aren’t completely covered but you can go over them a second time and they will be. 
 After spraying it, I left it outside to dry for a few hours. When it was dry I put back on the table. It’s going to dress up our craft table for tomorrow’s little girls craft night! 

What exactly is “over-the-top”?

When someone refers to another person as “over-the-top” or describes things that a person does with those words, I don’t think it’s intended to be a compliment, but rather, an insult. Long ago, I chose to take on that label and use it in a positive way!
So what exactly does “over-the-top” mean  to me then? It’s hard to describe with exact words….basically if there’s something to do, I do it…but I do it a little fancier or a little more than necessary. I’m not content with the ordinary. I’m not content with just doing the minimum or choosing to skip something altogether or blowing it off as unnecessary. Some opportunities and occasions are only going to come your way once, so why WOULDN’T you do all you could to make them even more memorable?
Your children are only young once and since I only have one, I’ve always gone out of my way for everything relating to Emi. Her school experiences, her hobbies and activities she’s participated in, holidays, parties, outings, DISNEYLAND, etc. You name it, I try to make it happen because I know that she’ll look back and remember it all and I also know that she’s not going to be young forever. I only hope she possesses the same enthusiasm as a parent one day, assuming she chooses to become a parent. Some people might conclude that I’m trying to make up for whatever may have been lacking in my own childhood. I don’t think that’s what I’m consciously doing, but when I was a kid, parents didn’t do any of these things anyway.
I suppose as my blog grows, my posts will paint a better picture of what exactly I mean by over the top!  I have posted some pics of one example though…when it’s Barbie’s birthday, OF COURSE we’re not only going to celebrate with Barbie Sundaes at Farrell’s, but we’re also going to bring our own Barbies with us to have their own celebration! 🙂

Where to start?

I keep trying to come up with some clever way to start my blog, something extraordinary for my first  post as “The over-the-top Mommy” but I haven’t been able to!  So…I guess I’ll just start with this pic! I am ALL ABOUT the photo booth…and for just $1 at Slater’s 50/50, you can take a sheet of 6 different poses! Yes please! 🙂 So fun! 

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