Santa’s Toy Factory is Bringing Christmas Magic to the Clackamas Mall!

My little girl, Christmas-loving, Santa-smitten heart is super excited – The Clackamas Mall has partnered with Mattel to introduce a new holiday adventure that will be memorable for the entire family. Santa’s Toy Factory will open on November 11 in the center court area of the shopping center. Who’s ready to get some holly in their jolly??!!

 ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale

If you’ve ever read a blog post from me, or follow me on social media, or spent 5 minutes with me in real life – you already know that I’m an elf at heart. I fully embrace the whimsy in life, teach my daughter to believe in magic always, and am a total junkie for all things glitter and sparkle. So, I LOOOOOOOVE Christmas time! We always like to make the most of the holiday season by checking out all of the fun local events and parades and shows, to really celebrate this magical time of year. This year, we’re super excited to be buddying up with my blogging bestie – Alison, from Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, and our little girls, to head over to Santa’s Toy Factory at the Clackamas Mall!! I keep hearing that line from the movie Elf – “Santa Claus is coming to town…” :) So – if you’re like me, and Buddy the Elf, and smiling is YOUR favorite too, I’ve got something awesome to bring smiles to everyone’s faces, check it out….

Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

Here’s a bit more about Santa’s Toy Factory:

Santa’s Toy Factory is designed to empower creativity through an interactive, immersive experience to meet Santa. Within the 1,600 square-foot space, young guests will have the opportunity to “test” new toys in Santa’s Factory before they get delivered to all the boys and girls on Christmas morning. After they “test” the toys, they visit different stations to digitally design, build and paint toys from Mattel’s iconic brands including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, and Thomas & Friends.. The grand finale, of course, will be meeting Santa himself for photos and to share their holiday wish list.

“We are proud to be partnering with Mattel to bring this new, one-of-a-kind holiday concept to life,” said Dennis Curtis, general manager of Clackamas Mall. “We are always looking for ways to introduce new brands and experiences to our community and can’t wait to showcase Santa’s Toy Factory this holiday season. We know our guests will embrace it.”

The experience with Santa’s Toy Factory is free-of-charge and photo packages begin at $39.99. To make reservations to ensure quicker access, please click HERE. If you’d like more information, please visit www.VisitSantasToyFactory.com. Clackamas Mall is located at 12000 S.E. 82nd Ave and is home to a plethora of high-quality tenants including Bath & Body Works, Nordstrom and Sephora. [Read more…]

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Ways to Spend January in a Warm, Tropical Place

{This post is brought to you in partnership with Social.co.}

Many of you know that Abby and I recently went on our first tropical vacation – a few days in Orlando, and Universal Studios, followed by a 7-day Royal Caribbean cruise. We fell so in love with the beaches and sunshine, we’re already planning our next trip! So, here are a few tips I wanted to share in case you’re doing the same….

Saving money on a tropical vacation

Although there is a lot of temptation to spend your December holidays in a vacation resort, if you want value for your money, consider staying home in December and spending the holidays with your family. Then in January, you should be able to put together a dream package of a vacation that will cost less, because, fewer people are able to travel in January. [Read more…]

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VIP Party with Godsmack and Pura Vida Tequila!

Big thank you to Pura Vida Tequila for inviting us to party like a rockstar with Godsmack at the RockstarUPROAR concert last month. We received complimentary concert tickets and a meet and greet with Godsmack. But all opinions are, as always, totally my own…. #815TequilaTime #PuraVidaParty

So… As I’ve mentioned to you guys a few times before – I like to party. Whether it’s throwing an epic birthday party for a 4 year old, awesome holiday events, pool party bashes – or whatever…. I just love to entertain. It could be at our casa, a friend or family member’s house, a local venue – doesn’t matter. So when I heard about an opportunity to head a few hours away to Seattle, to check out the RockstarUPROAR concert at White River Amphitheater, a place I’d never visited before, I thought it sounded awesome. Any reason to party and celebrate life, right? :) Then when I found out we’d get to hangout at the Pura Vida Tequila party bus, have a meet and greet with the guys behind the brand to learn more about their premium tequila – I was more excited. And THEN, I found out we’d also get to have some time to chat with Godsmack, the headlining band…. Well, it was a deal. Even with my busy schedule, I could make this happen….

Meagan Paullin from Sunshine and Sippy Cups interviewing Godsmack, at the RockstarUPROAR concert in Seattle [Read more…]

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How to Travel Fashionably Light

I’m super excited to have received a complimentary item from Karina Dresses – I know you’ll fall in love with them as much as I have!

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”… Albert Einstein. I love this quote, and I think it’s perfect for the post I’m writing here today. Until a few years ago, I hadn’t led an especially exciting life. I started working in retail at 15, moved up the ladder into management and fashion merchandising – then into some other sales positions. I worked hard, played hard, and was content enough. But things felt so….. Ordinary. Then – things changed dramatically in just a few short months. Suddenly I found myself with a new baby, a full time college course load, unemployed, then jumping into the world of working for myself, online. But all that craziness was worth it – I now have so much more independence. I get to travel all over the country, see new places, meet new people. Before blogging, I’d only flown on a plane twice. Now it’s surprising to fly only twice in a month sometimes.

Karina Dresses - Be a Frockstar!

So – I’ve learned a thing or two about traveling light. And, along the way, I’ve also learned a thing or two about confidence. And Karina Dresses is totally related to both of those! Karina Dresses believes that everyone woman is a Frockstar – meaning that, we should all own our life. Be confident in our body, no matter what shape – while also finding the beauty in everyone else too. That life is about celebrating all of our different roles, connecting with others and the world, and valuing quality – whether that’s in a relationship, experience, or product that we purchase. Read the Frockstar Manifesto to learn more about their mission. And as you can see above – Karina Dresses definitely make ME feel confident!

Karina Penelope Dress with Pockets

The dress I’m wearing is the Penelope, in Coral Dots {although it’s more pink than coral in person.} This was my first Karina Dress, and I really wasn’t sure about ordering it… If you look at my closet, it’s organized my “color” – black, gray, dark gray, denim, white, then a tiny section with a few colorful cardigans and tops. So wearing such a bright dress made me a little nervous. I wear black for a reason – what I used to call baby weight has just turned into permanent new curves that I’d rather hide. But Karina dresses are brilliant in the way they’re made, to flatter everyone’s figure. Check it out:

Finding your perfect fit in a dress

Karina Dresses has a dress for every-body! Check out their “Best Fit” section online for more detailed info, but here’s a basic idea:

Triangle ~ fuller hips, smaller top
Inverted Triangle ~ broader shoulders or fuller bust with smaller hips
Rectangle ~ hips, bust and waist are similar size
Oval ~ waist and bust are same size with smaller hips
Hourglass ~ curvaceous , full hips and bust

All dresses are made in the US too. And let me tell ya – these dresses are like magic. For reals. They’re made from a special microfiber fabric that you can machine wash, then just hang up to dry. And they never – never, ever, ever – need to be ironed. Which is why they’re perfect for travel. You could literally squish ’em up in a ball and throw one in your bag, and when you pull it out later to wear it is going to look like it’s brand new. And it holds up amazing to being worn and washed a million times. {I know this, because I wear this baby constantly.}

Plus, when I travel, especially to a blogging conference, I’m so crazy-busy I often am in the same outfit from 6am to 2am. I need something that’s comfy that let’s me move freely all day {and ohmyheck, the Penelope style has POCKETS. I’ve never had a dress with pockets.} Something that gets me through hours walking around in a crowded expo hall meeting brands….

Then more walking in the super humid heat in San Jose, for silly party photo opps. The fabric is super light and stretches with you, which was awesome. The easy cut and light pleats in the front hide everything you want hidden, while the neckline and waistband flatter the good parts. And yes, that’s another Karina Dresses that you see in the middle there too :)

And here’s the same dress, still going strong at midnight, while visiting all of the hotel suite parties with some bloggy best buddies. After 12 hours in the same dress, it’s still wrinkle-free, still feels comfy and fresh, and I got more compliments on this dress than any other that I’ve worn in years. I am now addicted, and must have more of these.

Karina Dresses DRESSES FOR EVERY BODY

If you are a blogger and you would like to do a review of a Karina Dress, they choose their reviewers from their affiliates! Learn more here. And – everyone be sure to check out all of the other gorgeous women below showing off their favorite styles of Karina Dresses, then enter to win $1,000 to choose YOUR favorite styles!!

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Dreaming of a White Christmas? Check out Creekside at Beaver Creek

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas….. I love the snow. I’m like a little kid, all giddy at the sign of the first few flakes. Christmas without snow just isn’t Christmas to me. I’ve loved the movie White Christmas since I was a little girl, and always dreamed of spending the holidays at a beautiful lodge somewhere, surrounded by mountains and snow and evergreen trees. And, there’s a lodge that recently caught my eye…. Creekside at Beaver Creek. It’s breathtaking any time of year, but they really do it up for the holiday season.

[Read more…]

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Discover the World in a New Way…

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Discover Boating. I received collateral to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Did you know: Eighty eight million people went boating in 2012?… Were you one of them? I know I sure was! As much as I love the city, and as much as I’m a girly-girl, I am happiest when I’m around nature. Whether it’s camping, hiking, a day at the park, or boating – I just love being in a more natural setting. I work at a computer all day, almost every day, so unplugged time around trees and water totally calm me.

[Read more…]

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10 Tips for Camping With Kids

It’s summertime, which means time to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine!… I love camping, but haven’t gotten to go in a long time. 3 years ago I was pregnant, and the next summer Abby was still so little. Then last year the Mister decided he wanted nothing to do with sleeping in a tent – He said he was too old for that nonsense. {He’s no fun, lol.} So this year – I bought a camper! That way there are no more excuses, and we can have it stocked and ready to go whenever the mood strikes. I live here in Central Washington, and a quick 45 minute drive brings us right up into the mountains and trees and rivers, and I plan on taking advantage of it all as much as possible. So, I was super excited when Kelly wanted to write a guest post for me, sharing her top 10 tips for camping with kids. She’s pretty much a pro when it comes to camping, so I knew she’d have some good advice!

10 tips for camping with kids [Read more…]

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