Monday, September 15, 2014

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

Halloween is my favorite time of year.

I love everything about it. The costumes, the smell (yes, Halloween has a smell), the candy. Oh, the candy. It's so much fun and my girls are at an age where they really enjoy it as well.

One thing we do every year is hit up Walt Disney World's party for halloween: Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP).

It is seriously it's the event we look forward to every year and it's not just because we get boatloads of candy. There's something magical about going to a party that's only open to an amount of people (I heard only 5K, but I can't confirm numbers) and it definitely means LESS PEOPLE which equals out to LESS LINES!

And I love everything about Disney, except those lines on a hot summer day.

But MNSSHP gives you everything you want, including wait times like 15 minutes for the Mine Train (we loved it so much, we rode it twice!).  Most rides we just walked on without any wait! It's a Mom's dream come true!

Hello, Gorgeous! 

And Disney really has it down in the decorations department. Everywhere you looked you saw amazing touches of fall. The Mickey shaped pumpkins were my favorite. 

I also love all the costumes. We saw families in Incredible costumes, we saw Kevins from Up, Snow Whites, tons of Elsas', a few Storm Troopers and lots of Minnie Mouses (Mices?).  Disney policy doesn't allow scary or violent looking costumes and that makes this Mom breath a sigh of relief because I've got young kids and who needs that kind of scare when you're at Disney (the Haunted Mansion was enough for them!). 

My crew stuck with the Super Hero theme and wore capes. 

MNSSHP also has a great parade (Boo To You!) and an AMAZING fireworks show. The fireworks are breathtaking and will stop everyone in their tracks. There's also Villians' Dance Parties, shows in front of the castle and special character meet and greets throughout the park.

It was a great night for my family and I can't wait until next year to do it again. We had two happy (but exhausted) girls when we left the park around 1130 (the park stays open until midnight!). 

And remember the candy I mentioned, yeah... the loot was ridiculous. 

You can find out how to purchase your own MNSSHP tickets on the website. Your family will love you forever for it (my girls promised me they would!).

I attended this event as media and received tickets in exchange for my post. All opinions are 100% my own. Any questions, just ask! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wild Kratts Toys Roar into Toys R Us!

A few years back, I was getting my big girl ready for school and flipped on the TV to distract her while I ran around like a chicken without its head. I turned to PBS and went about my business. PBS is always safe so I am always cool when my girls watch it.

When I finally stopped, I noticed my girl was GLUED to the TV (not literally, of course.). The show was all about animals, which Roo adores.

I didn't catch the name, but the next morning she asked to watch the animal show again.

I hunted down the remote, did some searching and found out the animal show was actually called Wild Kratts. She sat down and watched it again and from there, she was hooked.

Now I know exactly who and what Wild Kratts is. The show goes on adventures and transforms into the animals they're discussing to solve the problems they face. At the end of every show they do live action with real animals and that's my favorite part of it. It's educational, fun and again, my kid LOVES it.

And now they can really activate their creature powers because there's a whole new selection of Wild Kratts toys at Toys R Us! They have a big assortment to choose from.

The press release gives all the details:

 "Wild Kratts Creature Power Suit Set Assortment (SRP $19.99) – Fans can “activate” the amazing powers of all sorts of interesting creatures with these Creature Power Suits, one for Chris and one for Martin, each featuring a very special vest and gloves. Collectible creature power discs, which come with a variety of the new Wild Kratts products, can be inserted into the center of the vest for endless role-play fun!
·         Wild Kratts Talking Plush Assortment (SRP $17.99 each) – Kids can take Chris and Martin on virtually any animal adventure that they can dream up with these talking Kratt brothers plush, featuring Chris’ and Martin’s signature phrases from the show!
·         Wild Kratts 2PK Figure Set Assortment (SRP $5.99 each) – Kids can act out some of their favorite Wild Krattsadventures with these 3” Creature Power Suit figures, each accompanied by its own power animal and creature power disc!
·         Wild Kratts 4PK Figure Set Assortment (SRP $9.99 each) –Chris, Martin and their animal friends are ready for action in these jam-packed   sets, each containing a 3” Kratt brother figure in full creature power suit, 3 animal figures, and 4 collectible creature power discs.
·         Wild Kratts Wildlife Plush Assortment (SRP $7.99 each) – These soft and cuddly 6” plush animals let kids bring the wildlife adventures home like never before. They can choose from Wild Kratts animal friends Grabsy, Hipster, Koala-Balloon, Little Howler, Spot-Swat, and Shadow – or collect them all!
·         Wild Kratts Createrra Set Assortment (SRP $12.99) – Modeled after the Kratts’ own Createrra jeep from the show, each freewheeling vehicle features real working doors and comes complete with a 3” articulated Kratt brother figure ready to hop aboard for animal-centered exploration!
·         Wild Kratts Creaturepod Projector Set Assortment (SRP $7.99) – Featuring 20 different images, kids can create endless wildlife adventures with this new “Creaturepod” projector set. The set – available in two varieties, green for Chris and blue for Martin – comes equipped with an adjustable black Velcro wrist strap, so young explorers can bring the adventures along with them – anywhere they roam!"

In addition to the toys, they're unveiling a new book! Wild Sea Creatures: Sharks, Whales, and Dolphin is available now! The Step 2 Reader book features the Kratt brothers as they "dive in" to another adventure.

When my daughters got their hands on the toys and books, they were off on their own adventure and I loved it. Toys and books that cultivate imagination are just fine in my book!

You can pick up the toys at Toys R Us and the book at any local book store!

You can learn more about Wild Kratts by visiting the PBS website, Facebook or check out their tweets on Twitter

I received product in exchange for this review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Thanks! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Reach: A New Angle on Brushing

We brush our teeth every day, twice a day.

I honestly never really give it much thought either. It's just something we're supposed to do.

And when I shop for a toothbrush, I don't really go beyond the color.

Sad, I know.

But that's all changed.

I tried out the new Reach Complete Care Triple Angle toothbrush and I know it sounds silly but as soon as I started brushing, I knew I was changed.

This new toothbrush really impressed me. It's got new angles to get all of your teeth (left, straight, and right!), a new head (larger than the average toothbrush without feeling like you're going to gag), a fancy grip (be honest you've slipped and jabbed yourself in the face with your brush before, admit it!), and more coverage.

I'm in love with a toothbrush.

Reach is also offering you a way to take your brushing to the next level. Sign up for their three-month program and you'll receive text messages to remind you to replace your brush every three months.

How silly and wonderful, huh? But I don't care, my teeth are benefitting.

You can pick yourself up these wonderful toothbrushes, in a single or duo pack, at your local retailer (retails for $3.99 to $5.99).

I received samples for this review. All opinions are 100% my own! Thanks!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mommy Guilt: I failed at Grandparent's Day

Last week a letter went home from the girls school notifying us of a Grandparents' Day breakfast they were hosting. It was stuffed in a backpack along with other papers and I took a look at it. It flittered through my head that the two grandparents that actually live well within distance of us wouldn't attend so I didn't give it any further thought.

Well, that's a lie.

It passed through my head again and I thought our great grandmother would like to attend... but that thought was tossed aside for some reason (probably had to do with a whiney child or grumbling stomach).

It didn't come up again today until I received a text: Why didn't you tell me about Grandparents Day?

And my heart sunk.

I dropped the ball.

Another text pinged: She's the only one without someone here.

And the guilt overcame me.

Forget the fact that I was swamped at work, dealing with an internet provider on the phone, a boss giving me a to-do list in the background.

All I could think about was my wee little girl standing alone in a room while all of her classmates had their grandparents hugging and kissing on them over bagels.

Talk about a shitty parenting moment.

Talk about mommy guilty times 100... 1000... Hell, I don't know if there's a numerical value for the level of shittiness I felt.

I tried to convince myself not to stress over it, the whole what's done is done motto ringing in my head. I tried to recall if my grandparents ever came to a "Grandparents Day" at my school when I was a child and they didn't. It wasn't a tragic life changing moment for me as a child.

I told myself a lot of whoppers this morning.

But nothing worked.

I can't get over it.

I feel like a horrible mother.

I can't shake the feeling.

Have I ruined her?

Yes, I know I haven't "ruined" her and I know that 20 years down the line she won't be in therapy telling her therapist that I was the main factor in a downfall because I didn't bring her GG to Grandparents day... Or will she? As Moms, we have the worst guilt and we hold on to it, forever. We have more issues than the kids ever will.

How do we overcome mommy guilty and focus on what's really important?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Disney's Hoop Dee Doo 40th Anniversary

Tucked back into Walt Disney World's property, you'll find a gem. Fort Wilderness has been around forever, seriously, forever... but it's one of those Disney jewels that you don't give much thought to. Yes, it's lacking the glitz and glamour that come with the hotels on the monorail but don't count these little piece of paradise out.

The one thing you immediately sense when you get on property is the calmness that tends to accompany a family vacation.

It's peaceful, quiet and it's not overcrowded at all.

There's boats to rent, trails to walk, stores to shop at, ponies to ride, restaurants to eat at, and horses to drool over (I got a selfie with the Headless Horseman's Horse!).

I went out to Fort Wildnerness to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of their flagship, the Hoop Dee Doo Revue with my fellow bloggers (which meant lots of selfies, pictures of foods, tweets and Instagrams! You can check them all out with the hashtag #hoopdeedoo) We took a wagon ride with Capt'n and Sarg and sipped moonshine from Mason Jars!

The Hoop Dee Doo Review is a wonderful piece of Disney history, complete with endless fried chicken and strawberry shortcake.

And lots of laughs.


Seriously, the jokes had everyone laughing out loud.

We were captivated from the moment the curtain went up on stage. Songs, dance, humor and lots of good food is what the Hoop Dee Doo Revue is all about.  Add in mason jars, checkered napkins and foot stomping fun and it's the perfect way to spend the evening.

The actors were amazing and invited the audience to participate in their song and dance. Some even got to go up on stage! Roo was asked, but her shyness prevented it! 

So next time you visit the Walt Disney World property, make a reservation and join in on the fun.  You won't regret it.

You can find more about Fort Wilderness, the Hoop Dee Doo Review and more by visiting Walt Disney World Resort's website. You can also make reservations by calling 407-939-1936.

I participated in this event in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own. Any questions, just ask! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Book Review: Discovery's Snakeopedia

I don't like snakes, let me get that out there right away.

Nope. Nope. Nope.

I'm sure they are fantastic in their own way, I just don't care.

My oldest child however... egh... she likes snakes.

And has asked me for one!

I decided it would be better for her to have a book with snakes in them.

Wayyyy safer.

Plus a book doesn't need a cage, or mice to eat, and if it escapes you don't have to worry about finding it.

The Snakeopedia is the COMPLETE guide to everything snake.

In full colored glory.

Needless to say, my girl is excited (and still wants a snake!).

The Snakeopedia has over 400 photos , tons of tips, facts, and more included in its pages. It's gloriously gross and educational at the same time.

Like, did you know that the prairie rattlesnake feeds on small mammals, birds, and lizards and they average 3-4 feet in length.

You can get your hands on Discovery's Snakeopedia now! Stop by your local bookseller today!

I received this post for this review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dolphin Tale 2 VIP TIckets Giveaway

We didn't hop on the Winter train until about 6 months ago. Dolphin Tale was on television and the girls and I sat down to watch it.

And all three of us were hooked. 

We loved Winter's tale and it was a really good family movie. 

So when we heard that Winter's story was continuing, we all squealed.

On September 12th, Dolphin Tale 2 hits theaters and introduces Winter's relationship with Hope and how it came to be. 

And I can tell you, when the trailer came out... I cried twice... and then watched it again.

The characters are ones that we love, especially Winter and Hope. 

And I have exciting news for you. YOU, yes you, can see Dolphin Tale 2 before it comes out nationally! I've partnered with Fandango Family to giveaway 4 VIP Tickets to the screening next weekend.

This screening is open to the public, but is on a first come, first served basis. With VIP tickets, that means you will have guaranteed premium seating in the theatre! 

Not bad, huh?

Enter the giveaway below and GOOD LUCK!!! 

Here's the official details. 

Dolphin Tale 2
Rated:    PG

When: Saturday, September 6th

Where: AMC Altamonte 18 Altamonte Springs
33 E Altamonte Dr,
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

I received tickets to the screening in exchange for this post. All opinions are 100% mine. Any questions, just ask!