Over The Top Mommy

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i♥oc Giving Day is Here! Show Your Love for Orange County and Join in by Giving Back! #iheartOC

i-heart-oc-day-pinkIt’s here…the 1st Annual country-wide fundraiser to raise money that directly gives back to OC nonprofits. Join the Orange County Community Foundation as they attempt to raise their goal of $2 million for OC nonprofits. This virtual, online event will last just 30 hours, starting at 6 a.m. on April 21 and going until noon on April 22. During this time period, you’ll have the opportunity to show OC non-profits how much you care! Participating Orange County nonprofits will be eligible to receive funding through bonus awards and prizes provided by OCCF and their Giving Day partners. (Just look at the long list of amazing partners!)

I am so proud to call Orange County “home” and have lived here for a great majority of my life. It warms my own heart to see so many exemplary OC non-profits giving back to those in need within our community. I also know how much work goes on behind the scenes of these non-profits and how desperately they are always in need of donations in order to keep up the work they’re doing. It’s so important to give when you can, especially when it’s beneficial to local organizations.

Here are just some of the reasons why you should give on #iheartoc Giving Day:

  • Your donation stays local
  • Your gift benefits the cause you choose
  • Pool your donation with others from OC who share the passion to help
  • A little goes a long way. (Donations start at just $25)

OCCF_homepage_banners_R5_Page_1I encourage everyone to participate in Orange County Community Foundation’s #iheartoc Giving Day and make a donation in honor of your love for The OC. It takes the entire community to come together and encourage Orange County’s spirit of giving so you can also join in and spread the word.  Give to an OC nonprofit that speaks to your heart by visiting iheartoc.org.

i-heart-oc-dayFollow the Orange County Community Foundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information surrounding this wonderful event!

Disclosure: I was provided with information about this event to share with my readers and compensated for my time. All opinions are 100% my own.

I Shopped ’til I Dropped at The Carlsbad Premium Outlets®!

Carlsbad has become one of my favorite places to visit. It’s a beautiful city by the sea,  just south of where we live in Orange County, and has a lot to offer its visitors. Some of the fun day trips we’ve taken there recently were to visit LEGOLAND California and The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.

carlsbad-premium-outletsnext-doorOn my last trip down to Carlsbad, I spent the morning touring The Flower Fields. Afterwards, I walked next door to The Carlsbad Premium Outlets for some lunch and shopping. (It’s literally next door as you can see in the picture) There are 90 outlet stores from the world’s largest leading designers and name brands there. It’s an outdoor shopping center, where you stroll through the sunny corridors, that are lined with palm trees. Among the shoppers, you’ll also find families with children at the play area, guests walking their dogs, and others taking a break, seated next to a fountain. I loved the vibe this center had.

Before I started my shopping, I grabbed some lunch at Ruby’s Diner. (Did I mention that The Carlsbad Premium Outlets also have a ton of food options?) As I was eating, I was also glancing over the store listings and center map, and began to create a list of stores I wanted to shop at. Since I’d already spent a good part of the morning roaming around The Flower Fields, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to shop at ALL of the stores, which was fine because it just meant I’d need a return trip, right?

I headed over to Nike first. There’s always something about that store that draws me in first. There were so many different shoes I wanted in there and they were offered at great prices too. They also had a ton of workout and active wear for the entire family.

nike-outlet-shoesNext, my eye caught the Sunglass Hut sign. I don’t think anyone can ever have enough pairs of sunglasses.

It seemed like every pair in the store was being offered at a sale price on top of the outlet prices.The girls working there were very helpful and made sure I picked out a pair that “made me look like a total rockstar“! (that was how they worded it)

glasses-on-sale

glasses-collageI practically skipped across the way from Sunglass Hut to Converse when I saw that sign! I’d been wanting to get myself a pair of Converse to go with all of my jeans but just hadn’t gotten around to it. Here was my chance!

Little did I know I’d spend over an hour and a half in that store! Not only were their regular outlet prices great, but they also had a huge sale rack in the back with so many adorable pairs of Converse. There were way too many to choose from and my “try-on pile” grew even larger when the guy working there pointed out that I could also fit into kids’ sizes for the girls section!  So many Converse, so little time!

converse-collageshoe-collagekeychainsI kind of ran out of time shopping and had to head back home to pick up my daughter from school that day, but I love that I’ve now found a fun place to shop in Carlsbad! Have you been to The Carlsbad Premium Outlets yet? If not, I suggest you do. I also suggest signing up for the VIP Shopper Club before you go, which will give you exclusive access to the online VIP Lounge with member benefits such as exclusive online coupons, a voucher for a free VIP Coupon Book, and other perks! Just stop by the Information Center when you get there. They can answer any questions you may have.

information-centerCarlsbad Premium Outlets® are located at:

 5620 Paseo del Norte, Suite 100
Carlsbad, CA 92008

Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

Thank you to The Carlsbad Premium Outlets who provided me with lunch and a gift card towards my shopping purchases. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

You Are Invited to the 2nd Annual Truck Adventures for Kids Benefiting Make-a-Wish For Kids Foundation Los Angeles!

2nd-annualYou are invited to the 2nd Annual Truck Adventures benefiting Make A Wish Foundation Greater Los Angeles on Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 9am to 3pm! This unique, fun filled event, allows children of all ages to get up close to and even sit in more than 50 plus trucks and vehicles that they see on the road everyday. Some of last year’s participants include Kraft Foods Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, LA County Fire Dept Shakey Quakey Van, Sponge Bob Car, Fedex, Colgate, Time Warner, DirecTV, AAA, City of Arcadia Police, Fire & Public Works depts, Sunstate Equipment, Quinn Rental, Caltrans, Los Angeles Police Department SWAT, Brinks Armored Trucks, US Forestry, Waste Management, Republic Services, US Navy, Army and Marine Corps, California National Guard, HD Forensic Scientific Investigation and many more.

trucksThere will also be other activities, such as Home Depot’s Kids Workshop and food trucks. Prebuy discounted tickets at http://www.truckadventures.org.

Santa Anita Racetrack is located at 285 West Huntington Drive, Arcadia, 91007. Hope to see you there!

The Shops at Mission Viejo, Glamour, and GQ Invite You to “Make a Date With Style” at “LOOKBOOK LIVE” This Spring!

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lookbook-liveThe Shops at Mission Viejo invited you to ‘Make A Date With Style’ at LOOKBOOK Live, a spring fashion event taking place on Saturday, April 18 from noon to 5 p.m., on the lower level near Nordstrom.  In collaboration with Glamour and GQ magazines. LOOKBOOK Live translates spring’s hottest fashion trends from the runway into real life styles, and shares where to shop for the looks you love – in the place where you love to shop. LOOKBOOK Live kicks off with eight pages of spring fashion trends in Glamour and GQ’s April issues and continues online at simon.com/lookbooklive with his-and-hers in-depth videos on how to wear spring’s best styles.

The LOOKBOOK Live Event Series will bring the best of spring fashion to The Shops at Mission Viejo, providing shoppers with one-on-one interactions and consultations with style experts, along with:

  • Stage Events: Style experts from Glamour and GQ will showcase and discuss fashions worn by male and female models.
  • Style Closets: Date-themed closets will feature his-and-her styles for different spring dates and occasions. Professional stylists will be on hand to help shoppers interpret which looks best fit their lifestyles, body types and budgets.
  • Beauty Stations: Complimentary beauty and grooming touch-ups, tailored to the different style closets, will have shoppers date-ready in a flash.
  • Style Challenges: Engaging activities held every hour that will challenge shoppers to pack a suitcase with their style picks for a selected destination. Style experts will choose the winning suitcases and winners will receive gift card prizes.
  • Shop This Look: “Shop This Look” digital trend cards will be filled out on tablets by the style experts and emailed to shoppers so they can reference them via their mobile devices as they shop. Additionally, a special Gift With Purchase promotion on event day will reward shoppers who purchase their favorite looks at The Shops at Mission Viejo.
  • Photo Booth: Snap a shot with your boyfriend, girlfriend or BFF and share on social media, or print and take it home as a style souvenir.
  • Enter for a Chance to Win a $2,500 Shopping Spree: Shoppers who post a photo of their favorite spring look, inspired by these trends, to Twitter or Instagram using both #foundatsimon and #gqglamourcontestentry will be entered to win a $2,500 Simon shopping spree.

A special invitation-only VIP welcome lounge will be available during the LOOKBOOK Live event to local insiders, media and VIP guests, featuring light bites, refreshments and special access to tour the style and beauty stations.

During LOOKBOOK Live, The Shops at Mission Viejo will partner with Mission Hospital to honor four breast cancer survivors with a new head-to-toe look, including an outfit, hair and makeup makeover, courtesy of the center.

Breast Health Wall of HonorThe presentation is meant to bring awareness to the 13th annual Think Pink Breast Health Wall of Honor that will be displayed this October at The Shops at Mission Viejo. Each year, shoppers have the opportunity to honor or remember a loved one by donating $25 to place a hand-written card on the Wall of Honor. Donations to underwrite the cost of a mammogram or diagnostic procedure ($100) for someone who could not otherwise afford it, are also encouraged.

thnk-pink-wallConnect with The Shops at Mission Viejo on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Practice “Random Acts of Cleanliness” Every Day with PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PurellWipes #CollectiveBias

You should practice Random Acts of Cleanliness every day!” This was what I jokingly said the other day to my daughter as a suggestion for something she should do more often. There she was, making a mess in her room (which is nothing new), and it just kind of came out of my mouth. I kind of liked how it sounded, too! (I love making up new words and clever sayings) She laughed and tried to correct me, asking if I’d meant to say “Random Acts of Kindness“?

you-should-practice-random-acts-of-cleanlinessI then explained that I’d meant exactly what I’d said. I also told her how happy it would make me if she did practice  “Random Acts of Cleanliness” around the house more often, without being asked. What mom wouldn’t love that?

keep-wipes-handyI recently stocked up and using these new,  amazing PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes. They’re now available in most Walmart stores in the household cleaning aisles in convenient canisters. I grabbed a few of them for my house so I could have them handy at all times, both upstairs and down. I read that they are proven to reduce the transmission of germs in households. A study recently conducted by a leading researcher at the University of Arizona showed a significant reduction in risk of infection with use of PURELL Wipes in the home at least once per day . Used with or without alcohol-based gel hand sanitizers, a superior form of reducing germ transmission, wipes have the added convenience of removing soils. Wipes are a convenient way to both cleanse the hands and reduce transmission of germs.

The other day, I’d just finished doing some Spring cleaning around the house when I walked upstairs to find a very messy dance party (which happened to involve a chocolate ice cream sandwich) happening in my daughter’s room! Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of dance parties, but WHOA…her face!

im-just-dancing-and-having-an-ice-creamIt just goes to show why I really need to keep PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes on hand. They’re safe to use on chocolatey hands and faces! I am just glad I had them handy!

canistersPURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes are available in 2 sizes…a 70-count Clean Refreshing Scent canister and a 35-count Fragrance-Free canister. I grabbed a few canisters of each size the other day at Walmart. Be sure to look on the Household Cleaning Aisle to find them. Beginning on May 17th, shoppers will be able to save $1.00 on any PURELL® Wipes canister or save $1.00 on any two PURELL® Products. Just click here for a coupon.

household-cleaning-aisleSo, do YOU practice “Random Acts of Cleanliness” every day? Read about PURELL®’s  loyalty program here!

Here’s a short video demonstrating how the scene played out! Enjoy!

You Are Invited to the Annual Easter Egg Treasure Hunt & Easter Bunny Visit at Carlsbad Premium Outlets ®

Easters-on-its-wayOn Saturday, April 4th, Children of all ages are invited to Carlsbad Premium Outlets for the annual center-wide Easter Egg Treasure Hunt. The fun-filled family event will be held from 12:30pm – 1:30pm. Easter eggs will be given out at participating stores (while supplies last). On the day of the event, prior to the start of the Easter Egg Treasure Hunt, parents can pick up treasure maps in Center Court.  Bring your camera for pictures with the Easter Bunny! Children are also invited to get creative with arts and crafts in Center Court from 1:00pm – 4:00pm.

bunny-photos-at-the-carlsbad-premium-outletsCarlsbad Premium Outlets are located at:

5620 Paseo del Norte

Carlsbad, CA 92008.

For directions, hours, and a complete list of stores, visit http://www.premiumoutlets.com/carlsbad or contact the Management Office at 760-804-9000.

carlsbad-premium-outletsConnect with Carlsbad Premium Outlets on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

 

 

Free, Family-Friendly Event Highlighting Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math As Imaginology Moves “Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead” at the OC Fair & Event Center April 24-26

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The OC Fair & Event Center invites families to Imaginology! Come explore the fun of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) activities April 24-26, 2015. This exciting, three-day event themed “Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead”! Imaginology is the perfect environment for curious children of all ages to discover the unlimited career opportunities available within the educational fields of science, engineering, technology and more. Local students are encouraged to explore the possibilities of the future as a result of learning through hands-on workshops and exhibits.

Family-friendly activities and competitions for Imaginology weekend include:

  • Makeshops and Workshops: Children can participate in free, hands-on learning demonstrations in ceramics, painting, robotics, sculpting, sewing and other crafts. Local professionals and Imaginology staff lead the demonstrations and all necessary equipment and supplies are provided. Participants can take home any crafts or artwork they create.
  • Youth Projects: Students will showcase their talents in digital media, fashion, photography, painting, cardboard engineering and woodworking. All competitions are free to enter and open to Orange County students only. The entry registration deadline is April 3. The youth project entries will be on display in Action Gallery South.
  • Free Family & Group Contests: Family members and friends can team up at Imaginology to compete in two onsite contests to decorate the best sawhorse or scarecrow. On Saturday, April 25, teams can compete in the Scarecrow Contest and on Sunday, April 26, in the Sawhorse Contest for a chance to win $100 in either contest. It’s free to enter and basic materials (sawhorse, scarecrow, and some decorations) will be provided but teams are encouraged to bring their own decorations to make their entry unique. Visit ocfair.com/steam for details.
  • Centennial Farm: Guests can check out animals and vegetable and fruit gardens plus enjoy free tractor rides, oxen team demonstrations, OC Beekeepers exhibit, blacksmithing, sheep-shearing demonstrations, radish seed planting and terrarium-making and seed mosaic activities.
  • Gourmet Food Trucks and Local Fundraising Food Booths: Enjoy food trucks offering a variety of gourmet options near Livestock Area. Local youth groups will also be fundraising by selling hot dogs, pizza, beverages and a variety of lunch options.
  • 4-H Competitions: Local youth are judged on their abilities to raise small livestock, their understanding of animal and veterinary sciences and their display projects on community service, aerospace, electricity and more. These educational displays will be in Action Gallery North and Livestock Area.
  • Vital Link STEM + the Arts Career Showcase: Vital Link provides resources to help students discover and consider professional careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) with exciting competitive displays, workshops and competitions.
  • Orange County Science & Engineering Fair: The 60th annual event hosts hands-on workshops and exhibits and through its annual competition encourages students to explore the physical and life sciences and fosters participation in the annual county-wide event.
  • Home Builders Council (HBC) 26th Annual Design/Build Competition: Watch as future architects and builders compete to see who are the best young builders in Southern California (Saturday & Sunday only).
  • More Free Activities: Exhibitors offering a variety of services and products, pretend and play activities like Pet Vet, Wild Science Activity Area, The Great Egg-Scape Exhibit and family-friendly entertainment.
  • Fee-based Activities: Land & Bubble Rollers, laser tag, inflatable obstacle course, bounce house, slides and a butterfly exhibit.

Imaginology is open Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free for all three days and many of the hands-on activities are included. Parking is free on Friday and $7 on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit ocfair.com/steam.

ocfari

I Treated Myself to a Massage and a Pedi! Amazing Deals Online With UnBOOKed Appointments!

When’s the last time you took some time for you and got a massage, facial, or even a pedicure?  I’m guessing you just muttered something under your breath about not having time because that’s pretty much my answer for everything these days! If it’s not the lack of time for “me”, it’s the fact that I really shouldn’t be spending that kind of money on myself, since I have a daughter who’s always in need of something! I sometimes come across coupons for services but honestly, who wants to actually cut out a coupon, bring it with you, and remember to use the coupon?

Enter UnBOOKed Appointments….

unBOOKed-newI had never heard of UnBOOKed Appointments until recently! It’s so convenient for a busy, working mom like me. Basically, it’s an online community that partners with local businesses to to create a marketplace for you to FIND and BOOK confirmed appointments for beauty, health and home services. If you have the flexibility to come in during their slow times, then they’ll offer their services at a great price without the hassle of redeemable coupons. offer services at discounted prices. It’s like an online happy hour!

servicesUnBOOKed currently offers services from providers in Orange County, LA, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego. There are also some offered in Knoxville, Tennessee and Miami, Florida. Their goal is to grow nationally though.

You can choose from services in the following categories:

  • Beauty and Spas
  • Health and Fitness
  • Home and Garden
  • Auto
  • Things to do

When you visit the unBOOKed site, you can choose from a pull-down menu of categories to browse or put in a desired area. Then browse to find amazing deals at these local businesses. Booking your appointment is so easy. You browse the categories, select the times and pick out yours. You then book and pay for the service by credit card. (Gratuity is not included in the price and of course, always appreciated at the time of service).

bookedSo I did it! I booked myself an appointment and had some “me time“!  I picked a location right by the beach, too! I had the most positive experience with unBOOKed and was so happy with my services too! I thought it was pretty useful to not only receive an email after I paid for my appointment on the site, but also to receive a reminder email and text on the day of my actual appointment! That’s especially helpful for times when I get “mommy brain”..you know, when you can’t remember what you even ate for breakfast? Reminders are good!

text-reminderHere’s the good news…UnBOOKed has given me a few special codes to give away to five of my readers! Each is good for $20 towards your first appointment. How awesome is that? If you’d like one of these codes, just comment on this post about what your favorite way to pamper yourself is! Then, leave your email address so I can email you your code. Once you have your code, just create your account on UnBOOKed, book an appointment, and when it asks for your code, enter the one I send you! If you go, you’ll have to come back here and tell me how it was!

Connect with unBOOKed Appointments on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

My Advice For Anyone Who Has the Dream of Being Invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration! #DisneySMMC

itll-happen-for-you-too

I was so honored to receive my first invitation this year to the 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration! Since I’m a first-timer, I have no idea of what exactly to expect, I just know that it’s going to be magical and I fully intend to take in everything about this once in a lifetime experience!

THE-emailMy love for Disney runs deep and I’m very active on social medias in the Disney community, but I wasn’t one of “the invited” last year. Although it was disappointing for me not to be invited last year, I knew that there probably just wasn’t enough pixie dust for everyone to be invited and thought perhaps it just wasn’t my time last year.

we-all-get-different-perks-frameI want to share a a little bit about my own experience for those are hoping to be invited to the event in the future. I’ve had several people actually ask me what they need to do or how to get invited. I’m only sharing from my own experience and I don’t have “the formula” or “the secret” for how to get invited, but if what I share can help someone else, then I hope it will. Some of the things I’m going to share are actually pretty basic.

chearingOne of the biggest, most important things to do is to support others online in a positive way. Be happy for them! Congratulate them! Comment on their photos, tweets, and Facebook statuses! I can’t tell you to be genuinely happy for others if you’re not, but this is something I do. Honestly, it’s not something you can fake. If you have it in your character than do it! Those are the kinds of people that Disney wants at their events anyway. I might also add that it is the way you conduct yourself when you DON’T get something you’re hoping for that will show your true character!

conduct-yourselfThey’re watching you right now. As much as those who are being pixie-dusted with invites are in the spotlight, so are those who are right there supporting them. Make a good impression online and they will remember it for the future. (By the way, I don’t know exactly who “they” are, I’m just referring to the people you want to notice you!)

pixie-dustI’ve learned  that pixie dust tends to fly in several different waves. What that means for you is that there is still a chance! I have seen initial rounds of invitations sent and then another wave of invitations go out later that night or the next morning. Then, I’ve seen even later rounds of invites go out. Remember, there will be people who will unable to attend, for whatever reason, and sadly will have to decline their invitation. Hold out hope. It can still happen for you. If it doesn’t this year, there’s always next year.

hold-out-hopeThere are a couple of things you can do to become more active, and hopefully noticed by the right people. Have you considered signing up with MomSelect? You can register as “a mom” or “a mom blogger” and there are often wonderful opportunities to do such things as throw a Disney Side at Home Celebration, which you may have seen happening online. There are also other fun opportunities too, but if you haven’t registered yourself yet, you’ll want to do so right now!

disney-side-at-home-celebrationsAnother suggestion would be to stay active on as many of the social media channels as possible! If you are only on Facebook, consider putting yourself out there more on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, etc. Personally, my most favorite social medias are Twitter and Instagram. There is also a great group to join on Facebook called Disney Social Media Moms: Alumni & Hopefuls. Request to join and get to know a bunch of the other Disney Moms (and Dads). I’ve made a ton of friends this way.

keep-calm-framedMy last suggestion is to do something I did last year. It’s the most fun thing, too! If you didn’t (or don’t) receive an invitation to this year’s Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, then you can actually register to be invited to one of this summer’s Disney Social Media Moms “On-the-Road” Celebrations! It’s a one-day conference where you get to connect with a ton of other Disney Moms, as well as the Disney Team! This is what I did last year and it was SO much fun! I’m actually hoping to go again this summer too.

?????As soon as the site opens up to register for the interest list, you’ll start seeing people post about it online. Then, you too can go register and then wait…and hopefully YOU’LL get an invite to join one of the locations! I attended the one in Phoenix, Arizona last year and it was a wonderful experience.  I even got to meet Grumpy Cat at the conference last year! It’s a very magical experience and something a Disney Social Media Mom (or Dad) should strive to attend.

dreams-framed

I hope my suggestions are helpful ones. I still can’t contain my excitement about attending the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration this year in Florida and can’t believe I’m going to Disney World! I hope you’ll follow along online! Look for the #DisneySMMC hashtag! ChEARs!

were-going-to-disney-world