Archives for April 2014

Running Down Main Street and More…

One week ago… I was running down Main Street USA at Disneyland in a pair of new kicks from New Balance. Really. I was. And there were only a handful of other people there with me. It was one of the most surreal experience I’ve had. So far…

It was one week ago that I took my family with me to Disneyland because I was invited to take part in the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration #Disneysmmoms. It’s technically a conference… but they’ve got it right… it’s truly a celebration. I’ve been invited in years past… but the stars just weren’t aligned for me to attend. Until this year. And I jumped on the opportunity. Disneyland is a short 6 hour drive from Phoenix. I knew the girls would be thrilled and I would get to see some old friends, network, and meet the Disney team. I can’t even begin to thank the team behind this amazing event and I’m completely humbled that I was asked to attend.

Let me start off by saying that the entire 4 day program was amazing. From the family dinner on Thursday evening to the Fun Run and family breakfast on Sunday morning and everything in between… it was an experience my family will not soon forget. My kids favorite perk? We received badges that allowed us in the Fast Pass lines. But I soon discovered that these passes didn’t just get us in a shorter line… they actually created conversation with other people in line. I gained a few new readers over the course of the weekend and I got to share a bit about what #Disneysmmoms really is. We aren’t just a group of bloggers visiting Disney on some extravagant vacation… we are a community of moms and dads sharing with other families the joys of parenting through blogging. We are advocates of family based brands, like Disney, and we were given the opportunity to learn and share with our audiences.

The speakers were phenomenal. The football player, Donald Driver, was such an inspiration! Not only did he share his personal story, but he shared other poignant moments from his life and then went on to tell us how he grows his social media audiences by being authentic and genuine with them. He talked about the responsibilities that come with having influence online and how he and his family deal with it. I was so impressed by how he uses his influence for the betterment of others. We were given a copy of his book, Driven, and I’ve just cracked it open. I’ll let you know how I like it soon. But I can tell you that I’ll love it if it’s anything like his keynote was.

We also heard from LeVar Burton, a childhood hero of mine. I may or may not have spontaneously burst into song, singing the Reading Rainbow theme song, when he walked by me in the hallway. And there were representatives from Disney, Pixar, Twiter, Alamo Car Rental, and Build-a Bear. All of whom bestowed meaningful messages and relevant take-aways. I’ve created a short video of highlights from the trip down below. I’d love for you to take a peek. Mostly, I wanted to share with you, the readers, why these type of conferences are important. They help bloggers, like me, to strengthen my networks, to stay inspired, to keep up on the latest in the industry, and even more importantly… remember to take time out away from my computer with my family. Thank you so much for reading and supporting my work across multiple social channels. Without you… I’d have no reason to write and I’d not be able to partake in such amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.


Healing my Spirit in Del Mar

Del Mar, California is an amazing place. I can’t thank the Village of Del Mar enough for inviting me as their guest. The moment I drove into the village and felt the cool breeze on my skin… I felt at home. Del Mar has such a sense of community. Families are playing at the park and community center. Couples are holding hands and walking down the beach. Joggers and bikers are enjoying the paths. One of my favorite experiences in Del Mar was simply engaging with the local shop owners. They take pride in their town and their business. They’re friendly and full of such great information for the visitors. Oh and… visitors aren’t made to feel like visitors. I felt like I was a townie. Like I really belonged there. A regular at Bully’s neighborhood bar, grabbing a quick beer among friends. Loved that.

The purpose of my visit was to experience the many wellness activities that Del Mar has to offer. I’ll start with my hotel. I stayed at the Clarion Del Mar Inn by Choice Hotels. It was a quaint, boutique style hotel and it’s been newly renovated. You’ll see in the pictures below, that my room was amazing. The ocean view was breathtaking and there was a great little balcony patio. Also… the room has a compact, yet functional kitchenette. This was great for leftovers and for keeping my snacks cool. Speaking of snacks… the Clarion Del Mar Inn has a cute little Bistro with an outdoor fireplace and view of the ocean. My favorite part of the stay was relaxing by the pool and in the spa. The pool and spa area are surrounded by gorgeous, lush gardens. It was the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring the beaches and village. The staff went above and beyond to make sure that my stay was a pleasant one. And it wasn’t just for me… I observed the staff treat every guest with just as much care.

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The Village of Del Mar offers so many wonderful wellness activities. From salon experiences, to yoga classes and massage packages. From decadent food and wine to a run on the beach… you’re sure to find the perfect activity to heal your body and spirit. I was so pleased to be able to make my way through Del Mar and create a little package of my own.

Let’s talk food. Jake’s is a fantastic restaurant right on the beach. At Jake’s… I really indulged. My friend, Fiona, came down from LA and we had a great time! It started with a lovely wine. A red blend called Prisoner. Along with that… a delightful cheese board with meats and breads. Finally… a delicious Kobe burger. Jake’s has delicious food, friendly staff, and a gorgeous view! We watched the sun set right from our table and everyone  cheered as the last flash of light went below the horizon. What fun!

Moving on that evening… we stopped at what may have been my favorite place in Del Mar. Cafe Secret is a charming little restaurant in the village. We asked our server what his favorite drink was and he served us the most delicious sangria! Really! Then we had some dessert. I cannot emphasize enough how delicious the 4 Leches Cake is at Cafe Secret! Cold, creamy, sweet… decadent! I wanted it again… but they were closed on Monday. Actually… I wanted to bring that point up. Many places are closed on Monday in the village of Del Mar. Make sure you plan your stops accordingly! More food… We had a delicious coffee on the beach at Poseidon and happy hour drinks and snacks at Pacifica Del Mar. They have happy hour deals every night in the bar area! Finally… Bully’s is the friendly neighborhood dive bar. Don’t miss it! They actually have a great dessert menu too!

photo 3Wellness. There are so many things I could say about wellness in Del Mar. I chose to have an hour long reflexology massage at De La Sole. They’re fantastic! Walking in… it’s such a relaxing atmosphere. There’s a tea service table, calming music, and a soothing fountain. My Reflexologist was so knowledgeable and kind. She explained exactly what she was working on and why. I could’ve chosen to have it quiet during my session… but I enjoyed asking questions. After my curiosity was satisfied… I did get quiet and relax. It was an amazing experience. I felt so energized after I left the session! I highly recommend checking out De La Sole. They even have a first time client, walk in special. Ask about it!

In addition to my reflexology massage… I enjoyed a long walk along the beach. The waves are so soothing. There was also plenty of activity happening around me. There were runners, beach yoga, surfing, and out in the distance… paddle boarding. I’d really like to try paddle boarding next time I’m in Del Mar.

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And now… I’ll bet you’re ready to plan your own trip to Del Mar! Whether it’s a family friendly trip, a girls getaway, or a wellness retreat… you’re sure to find it all in Del Mar.For more inspiration… check out their Pinterest boards. Here’s a special promo code, just for you, my friends! Call The Clarion Del Mar Inn directly at (858) 755-9765. Tell them that you have a special promocode: DREAMDELMAR This code gives you 25% off your room rate through May 31, 2014. I’d love to hear what you would most like to try while in Del Mar. Leave me a little note!

xo- Kelly

Note: As disclosed in the first paragraph of my post… I was guest of the village of Del Mar. I was compensated for my travel and received a 2 night stay. All of my activities were on my own. I loved every minute of my stay in Del Mar and I can’t wait to go back!

New Disney Apparel by Jumping Beans

On Thursday, we’ll be headed off to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. The girls are so excited. We’ve been building some special character themed outfits to make the experience even more magical. Allison has created a sweet little Minnie Mouse outfit and Rachel got creative putting together her own stylish version of Winnie the Pooh. I’ve opted for a classic and casual rendition of Snow White. Yes… of course there will be pictures! You’ll just have to stay tuned!

In the meantime… the generous people at Kohl’s have reached out to me with a $50 gift card to deck the girls out in a brand new Disney apparel line by Jumping Beans! At first, I thought the girls might be too big for Jumping Beans. I remember buying sweet little rompers and mix and match pieces for them as babies and toddlers. But guess what? Jumping Beans offers clothing up to a size 7 in both boys and girls. (The website says 6X for girls… but I can attest that the clothes I purchased were indeed a full size 7).

The displays were bright and the stock was plentiful. Everything from Minnie Mouse inspired skirts, to sporty cotton shorts, to yoga pants. There were tank tops, tee shirts, and even summery dresses. Both of my girls currently wear a size 8 in most clothes. But I knew that a comfy pair of yoga pants would be a great pick and the size 7 would be perfect. The tee shirts were roomy as well. Especially on Rachel, who’s especially thin :)

Kohls Magic at Play

They’re thrilled to wear these outfits as we drive the 6 hours to California and meet up with our old friends and colleagues. And now you can win a $50 Kohl’s Gift Card too! Simply enter using the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I was compensated for this post with a gift card from Kohl’s. All views, however, are my own. xo

Review and Giveaway: Moto X Buggy Night

Welcome to part two of our two part sponsored series featuring the newest Google Spotlight Story- Buggy Night on the new limited edition, Moto X. Rachel (9) and Allison (8), give their own brief and candid review! They did a pretty good job… despite my horrible video skills. Also… don’t forget there’s still time to enter to win 1 of 50 of these limited edition smartphones!

That about sums it up. It was good.

Enter to win your own limited edition Moto X by clicking here for the official Rafflecopter entry. You could win the adorable package below!

Moto X Buggy Night


*I have been compensated to share this giveaway with you on my blog. Good luck! xo

Giveaway: Limited Edition Moto X Smartphone

This. My friends. Is a good one…

I’ve been asked to share with you a very special phone with a very special feature: Spotlight Stories. The Google Spotlight Stories Team is pleased to share their latest creation with us, Buggy Night. Caldecott Award winning illustrator and author, Jon Klassen, is behind the captivating design. As if the plot of a children’s story were coming to life… Buggy Night jumps from the screen as if you, yourself, were there within the pages.

Buggy Night is the second in a series of Google Spotlight Stories. The first, Windy Day, takes you on a trip trying to keep up with a hat blowing in the wind. Much like Windy Day… Buggy Night has you searching the forest for adorable little insects hiding from a big frog! It’s night time in the forest and every turn that you physically take, moves the view point on your screen. Keep walking and turning and tilting until your spotlight finds the little buggies. It’s amazing how it feels as if you’re looking through your phone’s camera into this alternate word!

photo(2)And now that I’ve told you all about this latest Spotlight Story… I’m going to give you a chance to win it for yourself! But not just the game… A limited edition Moto X smartphone! Your phone will be ONE of only FIFTY made!!! How cool is that!?!? Simply check out the Rafflecopter below to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I have been compensated to share this giveaway with you on my blog. Good luck! xo