Over The Top Mommy

Lifestyle

Non-Candy Valentine’s Day Treats for Kids + Free Printable Pencil Flags

Although Valentine’s Day is traditionally laden with chocolates and sweet treats, there are also so many non-sweet treats available nowadays. As an elementary school teacher, I’m always looking for alternatives to candy that I can give my students either as rewards during the month of February or to put in their Valentine’s Day mailboxes.mini-heart-erasersI found a ton of cute, non-sweet treats like tiny notebooks, mini heart erasers, fun pencils, and a bunch of different Valentine’s stickers. (everyone loves stickers!) I love to give my students valentines-day-non-sweet-treatsTo make the Valentine’s pencils extra fun, I designed a set of purple, hot pink, and red printable “Happy Valentine’s Day” flags to add to them. I printed them on white cardstock so they were sturdy. (You can download these for free at the bottom of this post.)

valentines-pencils

After printing out the pencil flags, you can cut each one with scissors or a paper cutter.

valentines-flags-1Fold them flag strips and apply pressure to the crease. Next, trim each one to a flag shape. Use a glue stick to fasten each one securely around the top of each pencil. To print out the FREE printable “Happy Valentine’s Day” flags, go here.

valentines-day-flags-3I made a non-candy “treat” bag for each of my students that included a Smile Face Valentine pencil with a flag on it, a couple of Mini Valentine Spiral Notebooks, a handful of Mini Smile Face Erasers, a couple sheets of Mini Heart Big Roll Stickers, and a Tic-Tac-Toe Valentine Sticker Card for each student. I stuck everything into a clear cellophane bag. and tied with some ribbon. I can’t wait to pass them out on Valentine’s Day! Do you send anything special for Valentine’s Day for your child’s classmates?

 

5 Ways to “Get More Happy” in 2018 at Disneyland Resort

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

I can already tell that 2018 is going to be a great year, especially with all of the new experiences and ways to “Get More Happy” coming to the Disneyland Resort!disney-lovin-family Last week, our Disney-lovin’ family got to take one last ride on California Screamin’. It was the first upside-down attraction my daughter ever rode and although we’ll miss it, we’re super excited to see the transformation of the Paradise Pier area into Pixar Pierparadise-pierThe all-new Pixar Pier looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun as it takes on a brand new look and brings more favorite Pixar characters and stories come to life, from The Incredibles, to Inside Out to even more Toy Story. Disneyland-Pixar-PierBack to talking about how excited our family is for 2018 at Disneyland Resort. There are some great new experiences that are up and coming at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. Here are 5 things that’ll help you “Get More Happy” in 2018 at Disneyland Resort:summer-at-disneyland-resort“Get More Adventure’ with Star Wars Experiences at Disneyland
Guests at Disneyland Park will enjoy new enhancements inspired by the recently released film “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Travel to new worlds, encounter some of your favorite characters and step into thrilling moments from the latest chapter of the legendary Star Wars saga. Fans also will enjoy special Star Wars-themed treats and merchandise.star-wars-launch-bay

  • Guests visiting Star Wars Launch Bay will enjoy new additions to the gallery,
    including video interviews with the creators of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and a
    sneak peek at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the all-new land coming to Disneyland in
    2019.
  • At Star Tours—The Adventures Continue, a thrilling new adventure has landed.
    The new sequence takes passengers to two exciting new destinations: Crait, the
    site of an epic battle in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and Batuu, the remote outpost
    guests will discover when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in 2019.
  • Also at Star Wars Launch Bay, guests will come face-to-face with some of the
    greatest heroes and villains from Star Wars. They may share a furry embrace with
    the heroic Wookiee warrior, Chewbacca, or encounter the menacing Darth Vader.
  • At the Tomorrowland Theater, guests will sit back and watch iconic moments from
    past and present Star Wars films in Star Wars: Path of the Jedi. The spectacular
    cinematic experience has been updated with scenes from the latest film, “Star
    Wars: The Last Jedi.”
  • Young Padawans have the chance to train in the ways of the Force, then test their
    skills to see if they have what it takes to be a true Jedi and defeat the dark side at
    Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.star-wars-launch-bay-2

‘Get More Wishes’ at the Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure
Disneyland Resort will bring its biggest Lunar New Year celebration yet to Disney California Adventure Park, Jan. 26 to Feb. 18. Commemorating the Year of the Dog, the celebration expands to 24 days full of multicultural performances, fun-filled activities, beautiful décor, delicious cuisine and themed merchandise. Highlights from the celebration include:

  • “Hurry Home—Lunar New Year Celebration,” the heartwarming, nighttime water show at Paradise Bay prior to “World of Color”
  • “Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession,” celebrating family and friendship
  • a Lucky Wishing Wall
  • opportunities to encounter God of Good Fortune Goofy, Pluto, Mickey, Minnie, Chip ‘n Dale, Mulan and Mushu all dressed in their Lunar New Year attire, and more.lunar-new-year-mickey-minnie

‘Get More Flavor’ at The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival
The popular Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival returns March 2 to April 12, with flavors and fare inspired by the Golden State. The culinary festival brings delicious cuisine,specialty beverages and exciting entertainment for guests of all ages to enjoy. With experiences happening daily during the six-week event, guests will always find something tasty to try and fun to do as they explore the uniquely Disney festival.food-and-wine-1The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival offers unique food and beverage
offerings at more than a dozen Festival Marketplaces, along with live music, entertainment and 3 special activities. Guests will experience presentations and demonstrations with celebrity chefs such as Robert Irvine, Alex Guarnaschelli and Shaun O’Neale, food and beverage tastings, winemaker dinners, beer, wine and spirit seminars, and more.***food-and-wine-2‘Get More Magic’ at the First-Ever Pixar Fest Celebration
Pixar Fest, the biggest theme park celebration of beloved stories and characters from Pixar Animation Studios, begins April 13 throughout the Disneyland Resort.

  •  A new nightly fireworks show debuts at Disneyland: “Together Forever—A Pixar
    Nighttime Spectacular,” celebrates Pixar stories through the decades as it lights
    up the sky, connecting guests with characters they’ve come to know and love.
    Along with dazzling pyrotechnics and memorable music, a heartwarming story
    celebrates the theme of friendship, an ever-present concept in Pixar animation.
    Guests are invited to embark on an emotional journey that begins with the meeting of unlikely Pixar pals and follows their adventures as they overcome obstacles and forge everlasting friendships. “Together Forever” comes to life through projections on iconic park locations: Sleeping Beauty Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of “it’s a small world” and the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. The grand tradition of Tinker Bell flying over Sleeping Beauty Castle also gets a Pixar twist, with a special flyover by Buzz Lightyear.pixar-fireworks
  • The fan-favorite “Paint the Night” parade returns, this time to Disney California
    Adventure. “Paint the Night” features pals from Disney·Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars.” Another Pixar story will join the nightly “Paint the Night” parade later in the year, adding to this popular nighttime experience.
  • “Pixar Play Parade” also returns, making its way through Disneyland for the first time and bringing even more Pixar to guests with the addition of three new story elements. The daily parade will begin with an appearance by the iconic and adorable Pixar Lamp. Rolling ahead of the famous lamp will be the familiar yellow Pixar Ball. Also joining the parade are characters from the beloved films “Up” and “Inside Out.”

pixar-lamp

pixar-additionsSouthern California Resident Ticket Offer
If you didn’t hear the exciting news, the Southern California Resident Ticket Offer is back at Disneyland Resort. SoCal residents may experience all these attractions and entertainment, along with beloved experiences at Disneyland and Disneyland California Adventure, with the 2-day and 3-day Southern California Resident tickets. These special offers are available only for a limited time. Southern California residents must purchase tickets from Jan. 8 through May 21, 2018. Tickets expire on May 24, 2018, and blockout dates apply.*

disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-max-passSouthern California residents may purchase tickets at http://www.Disneyland.com/SoCal and at
Disneyland Resort ticket booths. Guests who purchase tickets online may print their tickets at home. Proof of residency is required for purchase and theme park admission. With these
tickets, guests may also purchase Disney MaxPass, a digital tool for guests to maximize their experience with unlimited Disney PhotoPass photo downloads and the convenience of mobile Disney FastPass while in the parks through the Disneyland App.****disneyland-summer-celebrate-summer-colorful-wallFor restrictions, visit http://www.Disneyland.com/SoCal. For park hours and entertainment schedules, guests may review the resort’s daily calendar at Disneyland.com.

Some images and renderings are property of Disney and used with permission. 

Lego® Ninjago® Days at LEGOLAND® California Resort 1/13-14 + Premiere of “Lego® Ninjago® – Master of the 4th Dimension”! 4D Film

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Ready, set, NINJAGO® time! The new 4D film, “LEGO® NINJAGO® – Master of the 4th Dimension”, opens exclusively at LEGOLAND® California Resort on Jan. 12 and will roll out at LEGOLAND® Parks and LEGOLAND® Discovery Centers nationwide throughout 2018. The 12 minute, 4D experience will play throughout the day at LEGO Showplace Theater in the Park.lego-Ninjago-4DKids can join their favorite NINJAGO heroes at a very special dojo training session exclusively at the family theme park! Guests can become part of the 4D action as Master Wu prepares the ninjas to take on the teachings of the mysterious ‘Scroll of the 4th Dimension’ but disastrous consequences strike and Kai, Nya, Lloyd, Zane and Cole find themselves in a whole heap of trouble for not only them, but the whole universe!Lego-Ninjago-4D-charactersIn celebration of the all new 4D animated adventure, the weekend continues with LEGO® NINJAGO® Days Jan. 13 & 14.at LEGOLAND® California Resort. Guests are invited to join in the LEGO NINJAGO fun at the park and meet some of their favorite LEGO NINJAGO Movie characters including Lloyd, Sensei Wu, Kai, Jay and Nya.2018-lego-ninjago-daysFind your inner peace with other fun activities, in the park, throughout the day including:

  • THE LEGO® NINJAGO® MOVIE™ Character Meet & Greets: Meet the stars of the THE LEGO® NINJAGO® MOVIE™ in LEGO® NINJAGO® World!
  • Miniland Scavenger Hunt: Find the ninjas in Miniland U.S.A. and complete your entry form for a chance to win a LEGO® NINJAGO® prize pack!
  • WB Family GameSpace featuring THE LEGO® NINJAGO® MOVIE™ Video Game: Master new skills and upgrade your weapons in your training to find your inner ninja in this brand new video game.

lego-ninjago-collectorAll activities are included with the price of admission into LEGOLAND California Resort. For more information, visit http://www.LEGOLAND.com or call 760.918.5346.

Images are property of LEGOLAND California Resort and used with permission. 

Meet American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™ Luciana Vega™

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

It’s officially January 1 and American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™, Luciana Vega™ is here! Luciana is the latest in American Girl’s long line of inspiring characters that encourage girls to think about who they want to be and how they want to make their mark in the world—no matter the challenges they may face.americna-girl-luciana-doll-and-bookChildren can now meet, Luciana, a creative, confident 11-year-old girl and aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars. She has the skills and smarts to achieve her goals, she also learns that being a good leader and team player right here on Earth is the best first step.american-girl-doll-luciana-with-accessoriesLuciana’s world comes to life via a beautiful 18-inch Luciana™ doll, featuring warm brown eyes, medium skin, and dark brown hair with a distinctive purple streak to show off her creative side. American-girl-2018-lucianaOther STEM-inspired outfits, accessories, and products that reflect her Space Camp® experience include Luciana’s Flight Suit and Space Suit, her Maker Station, and a Mars Habitat loaded with science and research essentials for hours of pretend play. american-girl-luciana-maker-stationFor the first time, kids can further engage in Luciana’s world by downloading the American Girl app and scanning her catalogue pages and products to unlock exclusive content, including augmented reality, trailers and videos, space simulations, quizzes and challenges, and much more.

“We’re proud to introduce fans to American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega—a champion of STEM and a natural-born leader who puts her whole heart into making her dreams a reality. Luciana is a role model for today’s girls—empowering them to defy stereotypes, and embrace risks that will teach them about failure and success as they chart their own course in life—whatever the goal. For us, it’s all about building girls of strong character, and it’s why we’re continuing to encourage girls to lead change and embrace #charactercounts.”- Katy Dickson, president of American Girl.

american-girl-luciana-bookLuciana’s story is chronicled in a chapter book series written by Erin Teagan and published by Scholastic. The first two books, available now, introduce readers to Luciana, a young girl of Chilean descent with a serious science streak, who loves the idea of exploring new territories in space. After winning a scholarship to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, Luciana is thrilled to launch her dream of landing on Mars. But as she ascends from Space Camp kid to youth astronaut trainee, she faces many challenges that test her competitive spirit and self-confidence, and she must find the courage to embrace the unknown with bravery, curiosity, and wonder.american-girl-luciana-braving-the-deepTo help ensure the accuracy of Luciana’s story and product line, American Girl worked with the following four-member Advisory Board who were integral to Luciana’s development: Dr. Ellen Stofan, former NASA Chief Scientist; Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center; Dr. Megan McArthur Behnken, NASA Astronaut; and Maureen O’Brien, Manager of Strategic Alliances at NASA. In addition, a team of American Girl editors and product designers visited Space Camp and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to gain insight into a day in the life of a Space Camp trainee—from putting on space suits and learning about the “right” way to eat in space to conducting a mission in micro-gravity. American Girl’s partnership with NASA was developed through the Space Act Agreement to inform and inspire the wider public (and especially young girls) about the excitement of space and STEM careers.

To engage girls and boys with Luciana’s message, American Girl—in partnerships with Scholastic, NASA, and Space Camp—has funded Blast Off to Discovery, an educational program to help third though fifth-grade students explore the wonder of space through Luciana-inspired content, including STEM-based lesson plans and classroom activities, videos, a game, and more. The program will be available on http://www.scholastic.com starting January 31, 2018. In addition, American Girl and Scholastic will host a Mission to Mars Sweepstakes where families can go on a series of weekly missions for a chance to win several prizes, including a grand prize trip to Space Camp valued at over $2,000.

Other Luciana-related initiatives being held throughout the year include the following:
Luciana Retail Events: On January 1, American Girl stores nationwide are hosting Luciana’s Debut Event, where girls can celebrate the company’s first STEM-themed character with fun, interactive science demonstrations, a Moon Phase craft, galaxy-inspired treats, and a free Luciana doll tee to take home. For more details, visit americangirl.com/retail.
Luciana Online Play: Girls can visit play.americangirl.com/play/girl-of-the-year/luciana/ to read excerpts from the Luciana books and enjoy fun space-inspired activities.
American Girl World™ App: Fans can step into the worlds of Luciana and their other favorite American Girl characters and experience their stories in a whole new way. The app is available to download later in January through the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Kindle.
Luciana-Themed Space Camp: Girls and their families can train just like astronauts—including taking a tumble spin in the Multi-Axis Trainer and designing a robot—at a special Girl of the Year experience created in partnership with Space Camp starting in summer 2018. American Girl is also sponsoring 20 scholarships to attend Space Camp. To learn more, visit americangirl.com/meetluciana.

The Luciana collection is now available through American Girl’s catalogue; at americangirl.com; at all American Girl retail locations nationwide and at American Girl specialty boutiques at select Indigo™ and Chapters™ in Canada. The Luciana books can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers, and select Luciana products will also be available at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center gift shop. To request a free catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005.

Images and logos are property of American Girl and used with permission. 

ZIPIT Must-Have Holiday Gifts for Kids

I received promotional products in exchange for coverage. All opinions are my own. 

The holiday gift buying season is coming to an end and if you’re like me, you still have a bunch of people left to buy for on your list. I know on my own list there are several nieces and nephews to buy for and I want to score points for being “the cool aunt” by picking out the perfect gifts for them.zipit-funThis year, my nieces and nephews have some fun ZIPIT items listed on their Holiday Wish Lists. Have you seen this adorable line of pencil cases and pouches, storage boxes, backpacks and bags before? They are so cute!IMG_8341ZIPIT bags stand out in a sea of boring, unoriginal bags and cases. They are a hot item that every kid seems to know about. My daughter was the one who first told me about them and now she has an entire collection of ZIPIT that she uses for school.
I’ve put together a little ZIPIT Holiday Gift Guide to showcase some gift ideas that you can check out for those left on your list to buy for. Here are some of the coolest ZIPIT gifting items this year:
Grillz Junior Backpack – IPIT Grillz Children Backpack come with built in attitude so you can go through your day in style! The hood, eyes and shimmering grillz combine to make this one cool school bag.grillz-mini-backpackColor Boxes Storage Case – Durable pencil box with a hard, protective shell. It holds up to 60 pens and pencils! It can also store your scissors, sharpeners, crayons, markers, and more. I love this bold geometric design.zipit-colorz-storage-box Talking Monstar Pencil Case – The design features one long zipper that can be fully zipped and unzipped! It’s a cool pencil pouch for boys or girls zipit-talking-monstar-pencil-caseAs an added feature, there’s a free Monstar app that goes with this poiuch and is so  fun and playful. You can download the free app to your iOS or Android device and your pencil case will come to life with a personality of its own! Play games, take photos and videos, and share them with your friends on social media. Here’s a short video showing how it works:

Beast Box Storage Case – keep your school supplies, office supplies and more safe inside this sturdy fabric covered case. This is a cool pencil box for girls and boys of all ages!zipit-beast-box-pencil-case

Shell Backpack – Keep everything safe and sound inside the protective soft shell exterior of this super cool backpack with zipper closure.zipit-shell-backpackMonster 3 Ring Binder Pouch – A 3 ring pencil pouch with a playful Monster smile to protect your school supplies and help you stay organized all year long.Trustzipit-monster-3-ring-pouchTrust me when I say, any ZIPIT product you decide to give as a gift this year will hit it out of the park with the kids on your list! ZIPIT is sold in over 30 countries around the world, the worlds’ major chain stores, and soon in our own specialty retail store and is constantly growing and developing an ever-changing variety of products. To see their full line of products, please visit their site here.  For holiday delivery, shop for ZIPIT products on Amazon here and don’t forget to select expedited (or Prime) shipping at checkout. Happy Holidays!zipit-holiday-gifts

Connect with ZIPIT on Facebook and Instagram.

Some images and logos are property of ZIPIT and used with permission. 

STEM Toys Holiday Gift Guide for Girls and Boys

I received promotional items in order to write this post. All opinions are my own.

If you’re a parent, I’m sure you’ve heard the term “STEM” used all over the place lately, especially when talking about education. STEM is an acronym and stands for Science Technology, Engineering and Math. stem-1Many school districts and private schools have already began implementing curriculum and activities in schools that integrate these very necessary subjects into fields of study. Very important to remember is that STEM isn’t aimed at just one gender but rather, includes and encourages both genders.stem-merry-and-brightThis holiday season, why not consider giving STEM toys from Educational Insights as gifts to the child(ren) on your list? Educational Insights has so many great ones, designed for all different ages, that’ll make Merry and Bright gifts. Here are just 3 of the many great reasons to do so:

    • STEM gifts help better prepare a child for subject matter in school by providing them with the building blocks to succeed in science, technology, engineering, and math.
    • STEM gifts occupy children without the usage of screentime or TV. They’re a great alternative to video games and social media.
    • STEM gifts are perfect for fostering playtime for both parents and children.

stem-gift-guide-geo-safari-jr-talking-microscope-2Here are just a few great STEM toys to consider for this year. Lucky for you, they’re all available for purchase on Amazon, with shipping options that’ll get them to your doorstep in time for the holidays.

Educational Insights GeoSafari® Jr. Talking Microscope – Featuring Bindi Irwin – for Preschoolers! – I love that Bindi Irwin is the face of this product, as I’m a big believer in encouraging girls to take an active interest in all.curricular areas, especially Science. Bindi Irwin shares kid-friendly facts about nature! Take a closer look with the only talking microscope for preschoolers packed with photo-quality images and audio about the amazing, up-close world of animals, plants, everyday items
stem-gift-guide-geo-safari-talking-microscopestem-talking-microscopeLearning Resources 1-2-3 Build It! – Your budding engineer will love using these mix-and-match pieces to build three different modes of transportation—an airplane, a tugboat, or a car (one at a time). Use the play screwdriver to put the large, durable pieces where they go.

stem-gift-guide-learning-resources-1-2-3-build-it

stem-build-it

Educational Insights Kanoodle®, Jr.– Puzzle play isn’t just for the big kids anymore! Based on the award-winning Kanoodle® brain game series, Kanoodle Jr. offers on-the-go spatial-reasoning fun with simple-to-follow instructions and large puzzle pieces, perfect for little hands. Kanoodle Jr. includes 60 head-scratching puzzle challenges that easily slide into the Kanoodle Jr. board for solo play—perfect for kids 4–7 stem-holiday-gift-guide-kanoodle-jr

stem-kanoodle-jrEducational Insights Smash Pong™ Game – Ready, aim, smash! Get the whole family poppin’ with the hilariously fun and strategically silly challenge game perfect for kids 7+. Smash Pong!™

Educational Insights GeoSafari® Constellation and Solar System Explorer – Stargaze from any room in the house with this telescope-shaped projector to view all 12 Zodiac constellations in three view modes: celestial, connected, and illustrated. Includes a 28-page explorer guidebook, packed with facts and stories about the constellations.stem-2GeoSafari® Motorized Solar System– Watch the planets rotate just like they do in space with eight motorized planets and a glowing light-up sun. Turn off the lights and project a star show on the ceiling for the ultimate in-room space experience!
stem-motorized-solar-systemEducational Insights Playfoam® Shape & Learn Alphabet Set Preschoolers can practice making letters and more with this all-new Playfoam set featuring 8 colored Playfoam bricks and 13 double-sided cards for learning letters. Kiddos can place their squishy, squashy Playfoam on top of the letter card to practice molding the letter shapes for alphabet mastery. Make learning last with no-mess, non-stick Playfoam that never dries out!
stem-playfoam

As I mentioned before, you can order these Learning Resources STEM Toys and more here through Amazon and select expedited shipping options, including PRIME, to have them here in time for the holidays! That’s a win-win! Good luck finishing your shopping! Happy Holidays!

Connect with Learning Resources on Facebook,

 

Some images are property of Educational Insights and used with permission. 

Kids Can Create Shareable Holiday Wish Lists With Elfster

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

What do you do when you’re in the middle of the holiday season and you still have people left to buy for, but have no idea what to get them? For me, sometimes the hardest people to buy for are family members who live far away, specifically kids. With extended families living further apart and seeing each other less these days, holiday gift buying has become way more stressful. IMG_8341There’s nothing worse than giving a gift you know someone won’t like. Yes, we should all be grateful for what we receive but as a working adult, I don’t want to .spend my hard-earned money on gifts that others won’t really use. Can you relate? elfster-home-pageWell, I think I have the perfect solution! It’s called Elfster! If you haven’t heard of Elfster before, it’s a FREE gift exchange website that makes gift giving easier. This holiday season why not take advantage of Elfster’s Shareable Wish List Maker?  kids-can-create-shareable-holiday-wish-lists-with-elfsterNot only is it easy to put together a Holiday Wish List, it’s also easy to share it with friends and relatives. This definitely makes gift giving way more fun and easy. and will help take the guessing out of your holiday shopping. If you’re the cool aunt, uncle, or grandparent looking to buy the best gift for the little ones in your life, Please keep in mind that Wish Lists aren’t just for kids to create, they also have items for men and women. After all, the holidays aren’t limited to just the children, right?

Do you ever find yourself asking yourself these questions when you’re out shopping:

  • What do they like this week?
  • How old are they, again?
  • What’s their size?
  • Where in the world do I buy a (insert this year’s most popular toy)?

Well, Elfster will definitely help take the guessing out of your holiday shopping and put you at ease. Kids can work with their parents to build a list of everything they want from anywhere online. Then parents can either access it for themselves and their own shopping trips or email it to relatives who want to pick out that special and perfect gift this season and score big points with nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.

elfster-will-help-take-the-guessing-out-of-your-holiday-shoppingHere are 4 easy steps to put together a Shareable Wish List on Elfster:

  1. Go to either https://www.elfster.com/ or open up the Elfster app on your mobile device. (The mobile app is pictured below.) elfster-moblie-app
  2. Click on “Convenient Wish Lists” and you’ll find yourself on a page with a search bar asking “What are you wishing for?” This search bar will help you pull up just about anything you want to find. There are a variety of gift categories to select from for men, women, kids, home, entertainment, electronics, occasion and sports. Not only can you search by categories, you also have the option to search by price. Once you see something you’ll like to add to the Wish List, you just click to add it.elfster-categories
  3. After a Wish List is complete, you can email it to friends and relatives who are asking what to buy this year.
  4. If you are the one buying gifts, once you access an Elster Wish List, you have the ability to actually buy the items directly through the list.elfster-popular-guides

It’s so easy and convenient to be able to access an Elfster Shareable Wish List and then buy directly from the list, since every item on the site is connected to where you can purchase it. I wish Elfster was around when I was a kid! Boy have times changed!  Do you have family or friends to buy for still? Why not have them make you a wish list on Elster? It definitely makes holiday shopping a lot easier.

You can connect with Elfster on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, too.

Some images are property of Elfster and used with permission. 

{Giveaway} Brea Mall Holiday Gift Guide + Enter to Win

I was invited to attend a holiday media event at Brea Mall in exchange for coverage. All opinions are my own. 

Brea Mall is one of my favorite shopping destinations in Southern California. With 5 major department stores, over 175 specialty shops, a variety of popular eateries and a full-service spa, it’s easy to spend an entire day there. brea-mall-signRight now, with all of the season’s hustle and bustle, Brea Mall is a great place to find something for everyone on your holiday shopping list. It’s also a great place to find something for yourself, while you’re there. I absolutely love their holiday decor this year. Everything looks so festive and really gets you in the holiday spirit and excited to shop! brea-mall-holiday-gift-guideI was invited to a special Holiday Gift Guide sneak peek event at Brea Mall, to get a closer look at some of the top gifts at Brea Mall this year. There were several retailers there, showcasing some of their most popular gifting items for this year year. It was a fun event and helped me put together this Brea Mall Holiday Gift Guide Light bites and sips for the event, were provided by Nordstrom Cafe and CPKbrea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-light-bitesbrea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-2017Williams-Sonoma – This is a great place to shop for the gourmet on your list. Offering a selection of professional-quality cookware, small kitchen appliances, cooking utensils, and decor to match your cooking and entertaining style. They also have a great selection of gourmet foods for purchase. I loved all of their holiday place settings and decor. They also offer the Insta-Pot at a great price! It’s the hottest item right now in the cooking world.brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-williams-sonoma-1Lululemon – As a top brand for workout wear, Lululemon is a “go-to” stop for men and women of all ages. Their workout attire is both quality and fashionable. They also have an entire line of “Athleisure” clothes that allow you to be fashionable and comfy at the same time. If you’re traveling, their new winter pieces, including warm jackets, offer warmth and comfort without being heavy. How perfect would they be for winter travel? brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-lululemon-1brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-lululemon-2Swarovski – Nothing shines like Swarovski crystals. They have some beautiful jewelry pieces as well as gifts for friends, colleagues, and teachers on your list. This year they even have several Star Wars-inspired pieces. brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-swarovskiKiehl’s – This year, Kiehl’s collaborated with Disney to create a collectible and adorable line of products together that you’ll want to get your hands on. This line of skin and body care is for men and women and benefits Feeding America. Together, Kiehl’s and Disney are working to raise 1.1 million meals for those in need through this collaboration. It’s a great line of products that came just in time for the holidays.brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-kiehls-1brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-kiehls-x-disneyGodiva – Chocolate and Christmas go hand in hand and Godiva has treats and gifts perfect for gift giving to family, friends, and colleagues. There are beautifully arranged gift baskets already wrapped up and ready to give. You can also have a hand-selected box of chocolates packed. There are so many beautiful collections in the store, you just have to stop by to see them. Be sure to grab a treat for yourself while you’re there, too. brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-godivaTypo – You can find a great range of gifts, stationery, art, craft, decor, cards, decorations, lighting and seasonal gifts and more at Typo. brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-typo-2

brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-typo-1Ben Bridge Jewelers – If you’re looking for a special piece of jewelry to give as a holiday gift, there are so many exquisite pieces in the store. Their Toscano Collection of handmade pieces is exclusive to Ben Bridge.  In addition to jewelry for all occasions, you can also select from beautiful time pieces by top brands for both men and women.  brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-ben-bridgeTommy Bahama – You can never go wrong with a gift that brings a little bit of the Island Life to someone. Tommy Bahama has a wonderful collection of island-inspired fragrances and candles that smell absolutely heavenly! They also offer fashions for men and women that are perfect for getting in that “Aloha” mood, even when you’re not on vacation. tommy-bahama-fragrancesbrea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-tommy-bahama-candleBoxLunch -This is another retailer I love because they give back to those in need.  BoxLunch is the destination to shop for pop culture-inspired gifts, accessories and apparel for men & women. brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-box-lunchMorphe – One of the Brea Mall’s newest retailers to open is Morphe, If yo haven’t caught wind of Morphe on social media, it’s an amazing cosmetic brand that offers the latest looks in makeup in an affordable price range. They will also help you achieve whatever look you’re envisioning for yourself this holiday season. In addition to the cosmetics, Morphe offers false eyelashes, brush sets, and other gifting options for the beauty lover on your list.brea-holiday-gift-guide-morpheMicrosoft Store – Right now, if you stop by the Microsoft Store in the mall, you can tell them your “wish” this holiday season and it might even be selected to come true! While you’re there, you can also  check out the full line of products fit for the tech needs in your life.brea-holiday-gift-guide-microsoftbrea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-microscoft-wishBe sure to stop by these retailers when you visit Brea Mall, in addition to all of the other specialty shops. I can assure you, you will knock out all of your holiday shopping in this great destination shopping location.brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-retailersbrea-mall-sign

If you’re like me, and you have a whole lot of holiday shopping left to do, don’t worry! Brea Mall is offering special extended holiday hours right now and is open extra late. For more information about the center’s hours, go here. Don’t forget to stop by and see Santa while you’re out holiday shopping. He’s awaiting your arrival and keepsake holiday photos are available for purchase.

brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-santaBrea Mall has tons of great gifting options for your holiday needs! You can also purchase Simon gift cards, as well as many other kinds of gift cards at Customer Service, which is located in next to Starbucks. Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? If not, consider stopping by Brea Mall soon.

giveaway

I love hosting giveaways for my readers so stop by my Instagram HERE and enter to win a $50 Simon Mall Giftcard. How to enter and rules are listed on the post. Thanks for reading! Happy Holidays!

Connect with Brea Mall on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration Featuring New Live Nativity Through January 6

I was invited to attend a media event in order to provide this coverage. All opinions are my own.

I was so excited when family and I were invited to a special night at SeaWorld San Diego to experience their Christmas Celebration. Wow, SeaWorld goes all out, with more than a million holiday lights, hundreds of Christmas trees and 5,000 feet of garland. The lights of SeaWorld’s 320-foot Skytower Tree of Lights, which is the largest Christmas tree in Southern California, dance in sync with classic holiday songs.seaworld-celebration-family-photo-1

What’s New at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration for 2017
This year at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, there’s an all-new live holiday musical, O Wondrous Night. It brings the moving story of the Nativity and the meaning of Christmas to life through song and celebration, It is “The Greatest Story Never Told:.seaworld-o-wondrous-night The spectacular stage show is performed nightly, under the stars, in the Nautilus Amphitheater It tells the Christmas story from a new point of view: through the eyes of the animals. The musical features more than 30 carols, beautiful storytelling puppets and live majestic animals, including camels, a donkey, llamas, sheep and doves. seaworld-o-wondrous-night-nativity-sceneIt’s absolutely amazing and beautiful and will fill your heart with the true message of Christmas. Here’s a look at “O Wondrous Night”:
In addition to O Wondrous Night, all the seasonal favorites that have made SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration a family holiday tradition are back for park guests to enjoy. Here are some of the other fun holiday festivities you’ll find this year at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration:
Rudolph’s Christmastown

Returning this holiday season is the most famous reindeer, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in his very own area, Rudolph’s Christmastown. rudolphs-signWe were excited to see our friend Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer again this year. Did you know SeaWorld is the only theme park on the West Coast where people can meet Rudolph?rudolph-and-friends Yep! Rudolph is hanging out with his friends Clarice, Bumble, and Yukon Cornelius. You should get over there to visit him and take advantage of the fun photo opportunities. seaworld-christmas-celebration-just-rudolph Nightly Tree Lighting
There’s a nightly tree-lighting ceremony featuring the 40-foot Happiest Christmas Tree, which is accompanied by the Misfit Brass band. It was a delight to sip on hot cocoa and watch all the fun! seaworld-christmas-celebration-hot-cocoaFestive Food Offerings
There’s also an special holiday menu featuring Holiday Pizzas and delicious varieties of Mac & Cheese.  Feast on Mashed Potato, Cranberry Arugula and Classic Pepperoni Pizzas.seaworld-mashed-potato-pizzaThere’s also Holiday Mac & Cheese, Christmastown Mac & Chese and Classic Mac & Cheese.

seaworld-holiday-mac-and-cheeseSanta’s Christmas Village 
Friends and family can cozy up at Santa’s Christmas Village, where children listen to Mrs. Claus during story time. Kids can share their wish list and take pictures with Santa at Santa’s Cottage. seaworld-santa-and-mrs-clausParents can also check in for a pager that will hold their spot in line to meet Santa so that the family can explore the Village, including educational encounters with real reindeer from Santa’s workshop, “Merry Moments” with Santa’s friendly elves and delectable culinary creations. You’ll also want to join in the Christmas Sing-Along with Mrs. Claus and the Elves, as well as the Elves Dance Party. For extra fun, mae sure to stick around for when it starts to snow! seaworld-christmas-celebration-snowDolphin Island Christmas
SeaWorld’s Christmas-themed dolphin show celebrates the holidays with a tropical twist as dolphins and pilot whales perform amazing athletic feats set to island music.seaworld-dolphin-island-christmasClyde & Seamore’s Christmas Special
The park’s prank-loving pinnipeds Clyde and Seamore have a hilarious holiday time in this Christmas-themed sea lion and otter show!seaworld-christmas-sea-lionsCat’s Christmas Parlor
Outside Nautilus Amphitheater, guests will find the Cat’s Christmas Parlor, where the feline stars of Pets Rule! hang out in their own holiday-themed house. It’s so cute to see them hanging out!

seaworld-celebration-lightsAll of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration festivities are included with park admission. (with exception of arcade-style games and reserved experiences such as Breakfast With Orcas and Santa) SeaWorld has a variety of admission ticket offers that provide tremendous value perfect for both local residents and tourists, including the SoCal Annual Pass for less than $100. seaworld-family-photo-2.Did you know….a visit to SeaWorld helps support animal rescue programs as well as provide millions of dollars in donations and in-kind services to conservation projects around the world? Seeing animals at SeaWorld supports saving them in the wild. For more information, please visit http://www.SeaWorldSanDiego.com or call (619) 222-4SEA.

Some images are property of SeaWorld and used with permission.