Friday, August 22, 2014

The Elf On The Shelf - A Holiday and Birthday Tradition #ElfBirthday


A new tradition is here to help make your child's Birthday even more magical. From the creators of Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, comes a new family tradition for your child's Birthday - Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition! There is a new book and a new story with instructions on how to invite your family elf back to help you celebrate.


If you are already have an Elf of your very own, won't your kids be surprised when he or she shows up for a very special 24 hours during their birthday dressed up in a cupcake outfit and party hat? Check out all of the new products on the Elf on the Shelf website. My daughter's birthday is at the end of this month and we can't wait to start up this new tradition to make her day even more special. I mean who likes Birthdays better than Santa? He's so busy at the North Pole to come and visit during your child's special day, but he's happy to send an Elf! We have hung the Birthday Countdown Calendar up and are going to decorate her chair on August 28th (her 7th Birthday) with the Birthday Chair Decoration Kit. It looks like this tradition is going to stay with my family for a long time.


Added bonus: As if you needed another reason to feel good about purchasing the "Birthday" book. I think it is important to mention out that $1.00 of each sale goes to help get clean water to those who need it. They have partnered with Charity Water, such an amazing cause. 800 million people in the world are without clean water, many of those people are children. Birthdays can be a time of giving and receiving.


When I attended the Elf on the Shelf Birthday Party in Studio City at The Coop this Saturday I had no idea that I was going to meet Carol Aebersold, the co-creator of the brand. Sometimes you end up in the right place at the right time where you encounter someone who inspires you, or shares an encouraging story. Often that meeting is unexpected and serendipitous, but they can deliver a message that was just what you needed to hear in your life. I'm at a cross roads in my career right now and I appreciated hearing Carol speak candidly about her journey building The Elf on the Shelf brand. How she was an empty nester with extra time on her hands. How she joined forces with her daughter to write a book, and how no one would publish the book in the beginning. They had many obstacles and were faced with plenty of adversity during their journey, but in case you haven't heard "Elf on the Shelf" is a household name! I can't tell you how many pictures of these Elves I see on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest every December. Not to mention they have their own TV special and even have a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgivings Day Parade! It just shows you that an idea that you truly believe in can become something great, if have the right team beside you. With hard work, and determination, you can become successful beyond your wildest dreams.



Disclosure: I was invited to a blogger bash and given a swag bag filled with Elf on the Shelf products. All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine and 100% fresh.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

What's New at Knott's Berry Farm This Summer #KnottsSummer


As you know, we recently went to Knott's Berry Farm, to spend a family fun day with Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang.


We all agree that it was probably our most fun trip that we've ever had to the classic So Cal theme park. The weather was hot, yet beautiful - hello summer! We actually rode on some rides together as a family, which is rare because I never like to get on anything. (True mom confession.) But this time was different, this time I faced my fears and rode on the water rides - Timber Mountain Log Ride (TWICE) and Bigfoot Rapids. I've even got the video to prove it!


Knott's has a lot of new things that your family can experience, plus some classics that never get old. Camp Snoopy has three new rides, Calico Mine Train got a makeover and the snacks just keep getting better over there. (My family really loves those gourmet fries!) So sit back and enjoy these videos from our day at Knott's Berry Farm, then get out your calendar because you're going to want to schedule a trip before summer is over!


Knott's has their own video telling all about the three new Camp Snoopy rides in detail, you can check that out HERE. Make sure to visit their Youtube page.


Full Disclosure: I was not paid for this post. The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content. These opinions are 100% mine and 100% fresh. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Knott's Berry Farm: A Summer Play Date with Snoopy


My family is headed to Knott's Berry Farm later this month to spend an unplugged "family fun day" together. We've spent the last 2 New Year's Eve at Knott's and we also enjoy visiting at halloween each year. We can't wait to experience the new things that Knott's has to offer for summer. It's a great local amusement park that has been around forever. I still have memories of when our dad used to take us there. That delicious chicken dinner is one that you just don't forget. Did you know that Knott's is celebrating 30 years of Camp Snoopy? Yes, it's true! As part of the celebration, Knott’s has revitalized one of the most beloved children’s areas ever created ~ CAMP SNOOPY! When we visit Knott's, we probably spend the most time in Camp Snoopy, it's Kaia's favorite! Short lines and lots of different rides for the littles to enjoy - what's not to love? I already know she's going to be the ultimate new ride tester! The beautification of the six-acre nature wonderland now features extensive High Sierra theming, and the addition of these new exciting family rides: 

Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer

Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies

Linus Launcher


But when it comes to my older kids they are much more interested in another recent facelift - the Calico Mine Ride. Passengers will embark on the most immersive mining journeys the “Calico Mining 
Company” has ever offered. They appreciate the thrills and the spills at the park, so it's awesome that Knott's has big rides too! Summer at Knott’s also means new summer shows! Keep cool - Joe Cool - by watching the new ice show, Snoopy...Unleashed! We're also going to check out Boomtown, a spectacular display of acrobatics meets Gold Rush. They also have an all-day dining plan which this large family may have to try. We haven't ever been to the Knott's Soak City yet, but summer is the perfect time to go. Make a vacation out of it and stay at the Knott's Berry Farm Hotel, now you've just made your staycation into a full-blown vacation!

You can win 4 tickets for your family to the park - 
see the "Best Day of Summer" contest for more details.

Schedule a summer play date with the Peanuts Gang and your family! 

Here's some of our favorite family photos from us over the years, looking forward to taking more pictures and making more memories this summer at Knott's. (Follow along on social media, by searching the hashtag #KnottsSummer)


Full Disclosure: I was not paid for this post. The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content. These opinions are 100% mine and 100% fresh. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Celebrating 50 Years of SeaWorld with My Family

“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught.” - Baba Dioum

I can't recall the first time my parents took me to SeaWorld, but I do know that it sparked a lifetime of love for orcas, dolphins, belugas and pilot whales deep within me. From the moment I was able to pet a dolphin, watch a killer whale, come face to face with these incredible creatures I was hooked. I felt a instant connection with them and have ever since. I continue to bring my family to this water park because all of the good they have done and continue to do. From rescuing thousands of hurt and endangered animals to educating millions of guests about the conservation and care of these majestic creatures.


It's been awhile since we last went to SeaWorld in San Diego. We heard about the newest attraction opening at SeaWorld and we really wanted to check it out. Kaia doesn't even remember visiting SeaWorld when she was younger, so we thought this would be a great time and a great age for her. She is REALLY into science, fish, whales, dolphins, oceanography, and all things under the sea. With SeaWorld celebrating 50 years, we knew we'd be in for a Sea of Surprises!


The night before our trip, my daughter got the idea to design her own shirt. So we got out the white Hanes t-shirt, and the fabric markers and started to color. To be honest, I was reluctant at first, but once we started to color together, it was actually kind of fun.


We walked in and were pleasantly surprised with the beautiful new Explorer's Reef. It's the coolest under water petting zoo (of sorts) where kids and adults alike can get even closer to animals. Judging by the excitement of the guests and the crowds it will be one of the most popular attractions at the park. Make sure to catch it at night time too. It feels like a whole other experience at night, the ponds change colors, the magical music is playing - it's very neat. My family spent easily an hour when we were there in the morning, and another hour when we were leaving at Explorer's Reef. It was great for the kids to be able to interact with animals and get involved with wildlife within moments after entering the front gates.



What can you pet in the pools at Explorer's Reef?
Cleaner Fish - These fish nibble plant and animal matter off of solid matter like rocks (and hands!) These guys are the highlight of the exhibit, because they nibble at your hands and it really tickles. Everyone LOVED this feature! It was the hit of the day.
White-Spotted Bamboo Shark - These sharks can "walk" along the bottom with their pectoral fins.
Brown-Banded Bamboo Shark - Young bamboo sharks dwell in very shallow water, even in tide pools. They also had a pool with rays, and even horseshoe crabs. 


Another thing we suggest is the All-Day Dining Deal. We bought these for our family and because we have teenagers who can EAT, this works out really well. You buy a dining pass, that allows you an all you can eat at 4 of the restaurants as much as you want. We just paid the money when we arrived at guest services, (you may be able to get a discount of you order ahead of time online) and put on the wristbands for the rest of the day. We may or may not have let our kids have an extra dessert that day.


Some of the shows we caught throughout the day were One Ocean, Blue Horizons and Pets Rule! They were great and also gave us a nice break from walking. We recharged during the shows, while we sat and watched in amazement the glorious animals. We finished up our day at Sesame Street Bay of Play, perfect for the younger crowd. Our youngest rode rides, ran around, jumped, climbed, bounced, played in the sand, and used up all of the last of her energy at the end of this very big day of fun!



Here's what Kaia (6 years old) had to say about her day at SeaWorld, "I really liked to touch the fish. The cleaner fish felt funny and made me laugh, but they only come to you if you are very still. I liked the dog and cat show. (Pets Rule!) My favorite part of the day was going to look at all of the animals."

Happy 50th Birthday SeaWorld!







*Disclaimer: I was not paid, nor compensated in any way for this post. I received free tickets for my family as part of the media preview. These opinions are 100% mine and 100% fresh*

Thursday, December 26, 2013

We're Spending New Year's Eve at Knotts Berry Farm #KnottsNYE

New Year's Eve is quickly approaching and it's has me reflecting on how my family rang in the New Year last December 31st. We were at Knott's Berry Farm with Snoopy and the entire Peanuts Gang. We had such a fun night, that we are going back this year to do the same! We'll probably arrive sometime mid afternoon and we definitely plan on staying til midnight. I remember last year after counting down to 2013, music played while fireworks lit up the night sky. It was definitely memorable.

If you're looking for something fun to do with your family this New Year's Eve, Knott's Berry Farm is great for kids of all ages. (Teenagers too!) I have to admit though that Camp Snoopy will always be my favorite place in the park! Even more so during the holidays because the lights and decorations are so beautiful.

Check out my photos from last years #KnottsNYE and you can see all of the special memories we made. 
PRICELESS!















I can't wait to make new memories this year with my family!

HAPPY 2014 EVERYONE!


Disclosure: I was not paid for this post. I will be attending the New Year's Eve Party as media, tickets will be given to me and my family. Thanks to Knott's for inviting us! The opinions on this blog are 100% mine and 100% fresh!