Friday, April 18, 2014

He's an All-Star Dad {Target Dove Men+Care Contest}

Twelve years ago Hubs became a daddy. He was amazing through my pregnancy. He was even more amazing during labor and delivery. He held my hand. He wiped my tears when I cried. He stayed by my side through it all. He never left the hospital while we were there.

I can still remember how proud he made my grandma during that hospital stay. She loved him so much. Until the day she died, she loved him. I think he solidified her love by changing Jake Austin's first diaper without even a second thought. She saw him lie that baby down and change that dirty diaper like it was his J O B. {Gah, I miss her so much.} She told me many times after that how proud she was of the daddy he is.

Since that first diaper, he's changed hundreds more. Each child born makes him a better daddy. A better man. Oh, and to McKinley, he's her Prince Charming. And she is his Princess. {a little girl's first love IS her daddy, after all.}

Hollywood Studios
{from our last trip to Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, FL}

Dove Men+Care wants to celebrate your All-Star Dad. Enter to WIN tickets to this year’s 2014 MLB All-Star game in Minneapolis, MN!

Dove All-Star Dad Campaign

Dove Men+Care and Target Celebrate All-Star Dads!

Show your Dad, husband or father figure how much you care and how he has impacted your life for a chance to win tickets to Baseball’s 2014 Midsummer Classic! Simply submit a quick video explaining why your All-Star Dad is the best with the hashtag, #DOVEALLSTARDAD. Videos submitted via Instagram can be a maximum length of 15 seconds, while videos submitted through the sweepstakes microsite can be a maximum length of 30 seconds.

Once videos are submitted, Dove Men+Care and Target will select the top 10 videos. Starting 5/15/2014, viewers can vote on their personal favorites and will be entered for a chance to win a $10 Target gift card for voting. If your video is voted into the top 3, you’ll win an all-expense paid trip to the 2014 Midsummer Classic in Minneapolis with your Dad.

So choose Dove Men+Care for the All-Star Dad in your life and head over to for your chance to submit your video from 4/13/2014–5/4/2014.

Dove Men+Care products are available for purchase at Target retailers.

Go enter! Your All-Star Dad just might win!

I participated in a compensated campaign on behalf of Global Influence Network for Dove Men+Care and Target. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mickey's Fun Wheel and More {in Disneyland}

I've been home from Disney Social Media Moms for four days. There were so many amazing speakers and so much great information...I'm still processing it all. I hope to be writing a bunch of my thoughts in the coming days. Stick with me.

In the meantime, I've been looking through my photos and finding ones that jump out to me. My favorites. I have a few to share with you today. Having never been to Disneyland, I took pictures of the Mickey Fun Wheel, of course! And Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Disneyland Mickey's Fun Wheel

Disneyland Mickey's Fun Wheel and Paradise Pier

Disneyland "Partners"

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland Castle

Day and night, Disneyland is beautiful.

Disneyland Cars Land

Disneyland Mickey's Fun Wheel at Night

Have you ever been to Disneyland? In all of my years, I've only ever been to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. Heading to the opposite coast was such a treat! Tell me, what's your favorite part of Disneyland.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Disneynature BEARS {the movie}

This Friday, April 18, you will NOT want to miss the newest documentary from Disneynature, BEARS. I was privileged to be a part of an advanced screening while in California for the Disney Social Media Moms conference. I'm not a documentary kind of girl. Admittedly, I was skeptical upon entering the theater. But, from the moment the movie started I was captivated.

You'll meet Sky and her two bear cubs, Scout and Amber. Disneynature takes you on a journey of the cubs' first year. From the warm and cozy den to the big and scary bear world. I laughed. I cried. I was proud to be a momma "bear".

Watch this trailer. And then go see the movie. It's just so good, y'all!

Did you know of Disneynature before today?? I knew there was a documentary about Chimpanzee's and I vaguely recall one about Oceans. My goodness, there's an entire line-up of Disneynature movies to be seen! These WILL be added to our collection one by one!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Magic at Play with Disney at Kohl's {a giveaway}

Introducing "Magic at Play" -a one-of-a-kind collaboration between Disney and Kohl's. The spirit of Disney and its beloved characters blends with playfulness and practicality in Disney apparel by Jumping Beans designed to inspire fun and imagination. The first of these Disney apparel by Jumping Beans capsule collections is available exclusively at Kohl's and now.

Magic at Play Disney Kohl's

It's no secret that I love Disney. All things Disney. When I heard they were teaming up with Kohl's to create a line of kids clothing that is cute, as well as affordable, I knew I needed to go see it for myself. Take a look at these outfits!

Magic at Play Girls Disney Kohl's
The girls line is over the top cute! I walked away with 3 tops, 1 pair of shorts and 1 new dress for McKinley.

Magic at Play Boys Disney Kohl's
Jett is a little tougher to buy for since he feels he now has a say-so in what he wears. I played it safe and only picked up the far left tee for him. He's worn it three times already. He LOVES it! I'll be going back for more of the cute boys clothing.

Magic at Play Kids Disney Kohl's 2
As soon as I brought all of the kids new goodies home they wanted to try it all on. They chose these outfits for church last Sunday.

What's more about this particular line from Disney and Kohl's? It's perfect for the upcoming summer months. Red, white and blue AND comfy, too!

Magic at Play Kids Disney Kohl's

Wanna win a $50 Kohl's gift card so you can do some Disney Jumping Beans shopping yourself?? Leave a comment telling me a Disney secret of yours. It can be anything...your favorite character, a hidden Mickey destination, your favorite theme park, your favorite Disney treat. {you can do this once PER DAY}

Want an additional entry? Tweet about this giveaway! {leave your Twitter handle in the comments after you've tweeted.}

I received a gift from Kohl's in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day One: Walt Disney World {the Magic Kingdom}

We haven't been to Disney as a family in years. YEARS. Even when we went last week it wasn't as an entire family, but I'll take it, it was more than half of us. Hubs, the three youngest of five and myself all went. The two oldest boys are "too cool" for Disney, so they say. I say, "one can NEVER be too old for Disney!" Soon enough they'll realize they missed out on the awesomeness that is Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and The Tower of Terror!

When I purchased my ticket to Type-A Parent Boot Camp in Walt Disney World a few months ago Hubs suggested that we extend our stay a day on each end to take the kids to the parks. When he makes a suggestion I've learned to jump on the opportunity at that very moment or lose it all together. So we planned. Three days in three different parks with three kids in tow. And it was MAGICAL!

The other day I told you about McKinley's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience. She still talks about becoming a princess for a day. {Truth be told, she's a princess every day!}

After we finished with the BBB, we headed to the Magic Kingdom for some family fun!

Day One at #typeaWDW
{I love the entrance to The Magic Kingdom. It's been the same for as long as I can remember.}

Day One at Magic Kingdom
{After going back through pictures on my phone I found this of my princess in front of the castle. I was afraid I didn't have one of her alone.}

Day One at #typeaWDW

Day One at #typeaWDW
{McKinley and I tried on Minnie Mouse Ears in a gift shop. This was actually at Downtown Disney before BBB...but, it was on day one of our trip.}

Day One at #typeaWDW
{We stayed in the All-Stars Movie Resort in the Toy Story section. We had to go through "Andy's Room" to get to our hotel room. Jett may have been a little excited to see all of his favorite toys JUMBO SIZED!}

Day One at #typeaWDW
{RC was even at our resort. I tell you what, Disney holds nothing back when creating these amazing resorts!}

We stayed at the Magic Kingdom until nearly midnight. Saw the fireworks show twice. Rode every ride we wanted to ride, thanks to the new FastPass+ system Disney has just launched {more on that soon}. Saw a few characters from afar. It was a great first day to our mini family vacay!

Stay tuned for Day Two: Walt Disney World {Hollywood Studios}.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Becoming a Princess at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

For months, all McKinley has talked about is going to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Walt Disney World. Seriously. Ask her where she wanted to go and she'd proudly tell you that her daddy was going to take her to the "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo", as she calls it.

What's the big deal? Your daughter is treated as royalty from the moment she checks in. She's given a Royal Invitation and a Royal Pager {like the pager you get at a restaurant while you wait to be seated} while she awaits her turn to be called. Once called, her Fairy Godmother takes her to her dressing room where her ball gown and wand await her.

Day One at #typeaWDW

From there the royal treatment continues. Your princess will get her nails painted and her make-up applied.

Memory Maker Shots

McKinley was really starting to feel like a princess at this point. Her Fairy Godmother and the other Royal subjects all oohing and ahhing over her.

The PhotoPass Photographers walked around the boutique and would stop by and tell silly jokes to make the girls giggle.

Now, it's time for her up-do, complete with a sparkly tiara and enough Pixie Dust atop her noggin to choke old Codfish himself.
Memory Maker Shots

Day One at #typeaWDW

Day One at #typeaWDW

It's time for Princess McKinley to see herself for the first time since sitting down to the Royal Salon Chair.

Day One at #typeaWDW

She loves it! Just look at that smile!!!

Memory Maker Shots

Since we weren't able to get our Royal Reservation at Cinderella Castle itself, we went to Downtown Disney's location. Same great experience, just not in the Magic Kingdom. From there we hopped on a Disney Transportation bus and headed to Main Street, USA to finish the evening riding rides and meeting characters and watching fireworks!

Day One at #typeaWDW

Of course, we stopped in front of Cinderella Castle to have a family picture taken. I just wish I had thought to have McKinley's picture taken by herself in front of the castle. Oh well. Next time.

Memory Maker Shots

Want a few tips on a couple of things I learned from start to finish when treating your daughter to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique?

  • Make your reservation EARLY! You can call 180 days in advance to book. And, if you know your travel dates, you should book that early. Especially if you want the Cinderella Castle location!
  • If you want to save yourself $100+, bring a princess dress that is new to your daughter. She'll never know you didn't buy it at the Boutique.
  • Make sure your princess is well rested and fed. Princess McKinley quickly turned into Princess Pouty Pants after her transformation. After a quick bite to eat she was twirling all over the park! Tired and hungry preschoolers aren't any more happy dressed as a princess while among a million people than any other day. Trust me.
  • Be prepared to get lots of attention! Both Cast Members and Characters will bow to her Highness and speak to her as if she is the real princess she's dressed up as. {McKinley dressed as Rapunzel. As we entered the Magic Kingdom the Cast Member at the gate asked her where her frying pan was. He said that she told him that she NEVER left her tower without it. So fun!}
Memory Maker Shots

Have you taken your daughter to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique? I'd love to see your pictures and hear of your experience! Tell me about it and/or leave your link in the comments.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

10 Essentials to Pack for Disney

10 Essentials for Disney

If you know me in real life then you know I'm not the most prepared person for any situation. I've been known to be "that mom" with a baby with a full diaper and not a diaper bag in sight. Or, 25 minutes into my 30 minute drive to the beach I realize I forgot the sunscreen at home. It's just who I am, guys. I forget stuff...not my little people, though, so there's that. :o)

When preparing to pack for the Type-A Parent Boot Camp being held in Walt Disney World last week I actually made a list. And as I remembered things to add to it I stopped what I was doing and added them. I was NOT going to be unprepared for this conference or spending days with my family in the theme parks. I wanted a smooth trip for all of us!

Once I started to pack my new American Tourister suitcases, I marked things off of the list. People do this everyday...why is it so hard for me? Marking things off of the list helps when I get distracted, as I so easily do {SQUIRREL!}, and I can look back later and know what's already in the suitcase. It's the little things.

So, what essentials did I want to know for certain were in my bags? Aside from the normal clothing and undies and such? I'm gonna give you 10 Essentials to Pack for Disney. These are truly essential items that you would want to have somewhere on your person if you head out to any theme park. Here we go.

  1. Sunscreen - seems like a pretty obvious item to have in your bag. Well, I've forgotten it a million times and we've paid out the wah-zoo at whatever place we were at to make sure we weren't fried at the end of the day. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 70 is our favorite for the adults and big kids. It goes on smooth and isn't greasy or oily. For the baby we bought the Neutrogena Baby Lotion SPF 45+. Again, goes on smooth and not greasy or oily. That's my BIGGEST pet-peeve about sunscreen...the greasy feeling after applying. Not at all the case with Neutrogena!
  2. Rain Ponchos - I have NO idea what the weather is like in Disneyland, CA, but I can attest to the fact that if you come to Walt Disney World, FL you're going to see a rain shower or two. They're usually over in just a few minutes, but they're there. And without a rain poncho it might ruin your day. Or at least your next couple of hours. Before you leave for your vacay, run into the nearest dollar store and pick up a few. You'll be glad you did!
  3. Snacks - Trust me on this one. You are going to want to have something in your bag or backpack to snack on while in the theme parks. Sure, you can buy snacks there. Treat yourself to a Mickey ice cream or an Olaf Caramel Apple! But, when you're standing in line and hunger strikes you'll be glad you have a little something tucked away. These KIND bars are the best. Few calories, high protein, dairy free...I could go on. Try them. You'll like them!
  4. Baby Food - I mean, if YOU have a snack, be sure you packed them for the baby, too. Have you seen the new {well, new to me since Mabry is my first baby in five years.} squeeze pouches of baby food. GENIUS! They're {mostly} mess-free and baby loves them! Mabry's favorite right now is made by Plum in the Banana and Pumpkin flavor. 
  5. iPhone Charger - You laugh. I see you. I kid you not, I maybe pulled my DSLR from it's bag twice while in Disney this last week. I pulled my phone out for just about every photo op. Of course, I should've taken my own advice here because my phone was completely dead each night that we left the parks. Had I had my charger in my bag I could've found an outlet and recharged for a few minutes here and there. Better yet, if I had a Mophie Juice Pack Plus I wouldn't have even had to worry about my battery life. Now I know.
  6. Extra Memory Cards  - If you're going to be using your "big girl" camera more often than your iPhone then you'll not want to get the MEMORY CARD FULL message. Not gonna lie, it's happened to me more than once! Pack extra memory cards.
  7. Extra Clothes for the Kids - Before last week I probably wouldn't have done this one. Even though I've been a mom for more than 12 years, I always forget the extra clothes. Always. Boy, am I glad that I had them this time. Don't ask me how, but Jett sat in poo somewhere between the hotel to Animal Kingdom. And it wasn't his own. I was so thankful to have an extra shirt for him!!! Aside from the poo incident though, you'll want extra clothes for drippy ice cream covered tees, a potty accident {of your own child's poo} or coming off of Kali River Rapids drenched!
  8. Reusable Zipper Bags - Those extra clothes you're bringing? Put them in a reusable zipper bag to stay dry until you need them. Remember the rain showers I talked about? Well, if you forget the rain ponchos and you and your bag gets wet you'll still have a set of dry clothes if you follow this advice. Pop an empty bag or two in your bag/backpack for just in case reasons. You never know. {I discovered these 2.5 Gallon Hefty bags before our last trip. They were the perfect size! Big enough to fit a few sets of kids clothes!
  9. Activity Books and Crayons - Do you love the parades at Disney? I do. I love to find my spot on the curb at least 30 minutes early and people watch. Er, I mean, wait for the parade to begin. My kids liking this?? Not so much. Activity books and crayons keep them busy so I can people watch wait.
  10. Refillable Water Bottle - The very last thing you want to do while at a theme park is become dehydrated. Drink lots of water to prevent this. Duh, right?!? Take a refillable water bottle and just refill at any water fountain you run into. {Disney Tip: Did you know you can ask any Quick Service food location for a cup of ice water and they'll give it to you for free? Yep. You can.}
I started packing three days ago. I didn't want to forget a thing. | Thank you, @amtourister for our amazing luggage! #packmorefun #typeawdw #typeaparent #disneyworld #allstarmovies #disneyside #disneysmmoms

So, there's my list of 10 Essentials to Pack for Disney. What'd I forget? Anything? What would you add? Tell me in the comments.

Disclosure: The links within this post are affiliate links. That means if you click through and purchase one or more of these products I will get a small commission. :o)