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Family Day at El Capitan with Wreck-It Ralph – #WreckItRalph Giveaway!

I’ve mentioned to you guys how excited I am about Wreck-It Ralph coming to theaters this Friday, right? And remember how I told you that a few of my bloggy buddies had gotten the chance to get a sneak peek at the movie – including the absolutely adorable Jeana and family, from Surf and Sunshine! You have got to take a minute to read about her red carpet experience – SOOOO much fun! And, to celebrate the opening of the movie on November 2nd, I’m helping her give away a crazy-amazing prize package to any of you in the California area – An awesome VIP package for your family of 4!!! Keep reading to learn what’s included, why it rocks, and how to win…

Wreck-It Ralph at El Capitan [Read more…]


How to Get Free Wreck-It Ralph Games #WreckItRalph

WRECK-IT RALPH smashes into theatres everywhere this Friday, November 2nd! I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s super excited, right? I’m definitely not conservative about things, but often have trouble finding kids movies that are right for my little one – that have good messages, are fun enough to engage them, and keep things kid-friendly the whole time. {Read a few of my thoughts on why the theme in this movie is inspiring for moms too!} Well, after talking to quite a few bloggy buddies who had the chance to sneak-peek this movie, and watching the adorable previews, I’m convinced that this is going to be another great Disney film I can feel good showing to my little girl! Check out the newest clips:

So fun, right? And you know what else is super fun? The totally free games available right now on! You can give your kids the chance to play the games that are featured on Wreck-It Ralph, right on your PC, for free. I played a few this morning and loved it!


Play Fix-It Felix, Jr. featuring Wreck-It Ralph : – This reminds me of arcade games from when I was a kid! Love that…


Play Sugar Rush Speedway featuring Vanellope von Schweetz : – This one is Abby’s favorite, with all of the bright colors and fun designs!


Play Hero’s Duty featuring Sergeant Calhoun : – and this one was a hit with the boys! 

Make sure to take a minute to check out the free games and share them with your kiddos. But be careful – it’s just going to build even MORE excitement for the movie, so you better mark your calendar for this Friday, to take your crew to see Wreck-It Ralph in theaters! Be sure to follow them on Facebook & Twitter too, for fun products and promotions!

1 NEW Official Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Logo



For Everyone Who Ever Needed a Restart on Life

Wreck-It Ralph smashes into theaters everywhere on November 2nd…. Have you heard about this very cute new film from Disney? I love movies with a great message – and I’m really excited to watch this when it comes out, and talk to the kids about the ideas and emotions going on in this movie. It’s all about Ralph, who’s struggling with being stereotyped as a “Bad Guy” – when he just doesn’t feel like a bad guy. So he goes on a journey to try and discover who he really is – Not just who everyone else TELLS him he is. I think that this is an awesome message for kids – to not let outside voices make your choices for you. To always strive to be YOU. Love it. And – it’s totally silly and adorable as it tells the story. Get a peek here…

About Wreck-It Ralph

From Walt Disney Animation Studios and Emmy®-winning director Rich Moore comes “Wreck-It Ralph,” a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping adventure. For decades, Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) has been overshadowed by Fix-It Felix, Jr. (voice of Jack McBrayer), the good-guy star of their game who always gets to save the day.

Tired of playing the role of a bad guy, Ralph takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a journey across the arcade through multiple generations of video games to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero.

On his quest, Ralph meets tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty, and feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, who may just be his first real friend. But everything changes when a deadly enemy is unleashed, threatening the entire arcade and Vanellope herself. Ralph finally gets his chance to save the day—but can he do it in time? “Wreck-It Ralph” crashes onto the big screen on November 2, 2012, in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.

Wreck-It Ralph - #wreckitralph

What do you think?

Have you ever struggled a bit with figuring out who you are, want you want, and where you fit into the world? I’m sure just about every kid goes through this as they grow up. But a lot of us go through this again as we become moms…. Maybe everyone expected you to become a stay at home mom, but you missed your previous identity at work. Or maybe you’re like me – I went from running retail stores, doing displays and merchandising displays, working hard and playing hard. I was well known locally, and recruited several times to come in and help save struggling stores. Then, I suddenly found myself at home, changing diapers, caring for my live-in nephews… And not really feeling very “important” anymore. I missed getting dressed in the newest fashions – You know, things that weren’t covered in baby spit up. But just like Ralph, I realized that with a little soul-searching, I could make a new identity for myself, that felt right, and made me happy. {Does this all seem like too deep of thinking for a cartoon? Lol.}

1 NEW Official Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Logo

“Like” WRECK-IT RALPH on Facebook and”Follow” WRECK-IT Ralph on Twitter – to stay updated on new promotions and news. And check out the #WreckitRalph hashtag for more fun sneak peeks at the movie before it smashes into theaters everywhere on November 2nd! And enter the Play & Win Sweepstakes! Complete missions, earn coins, and get the chance to win a hero’s journey from Adventures by Disney: Good luck!

{Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this post. I’m on the Disney Blogger list, and get fun updates to share. I love Disney, and love to share the inside scoop on the best new films for families – Hope you enjoy getting a peek at upcoming movies too!}


Potty Training Tips: Keeping It Going & Making it Fun

Potty Training: Phase 2, Keeping it Going… So, last month I told you guys about our start to this new adventure in Potty Training. And, while we haven’t seen as much success so far as I’d hoped – I have to remind myself, it’s only been about a month. SHE is ready. And I AM ready too. It’s just that potty training a toddler isn’t as simple as you both being ready – you also need a plan, the right gear and info, and some cool resources to make the whole process a little bit more fun.

Munchkin Potty Chair

The right gear for potty training a toddler

Part of having a good plan for potty training is to get the right gear. I totally advise having your little one help you pick out a potty chair, since that makes them more excited about using it. We LOVE ours from Munchkin – {disclaimer: We got this one free, since Abby was a member of the Munchkin Bunch.} It has a spot for flushable wipes, a deodorizer tablet that pops right in the lid, and will also work as a step stool once Abby moves to the big potty. Another great product to check out is Tidy Tots – this makes clean up when potty training amazingly simple, seriously. You can use the Potty Timer on the Pull-Ups site that I told you about last time to schedule in your plan – and it will give you a fun alert when it’s time to head to the potty again. Very helpful when you’re a busy mom trying to remember a million things each day! {For more potty training tips, see the infographic at the bottom of the post too.}

Disney Character Call makes Potty Training Fun!

I’d heard that having a “Character Call” from the Pull-Ups site was super helpful in keeping kids excited and motivated for potty training, so we scheduled one for ourselves. You have the choice to pick Cinderella, or Mater, from Cars. Since our DVD player still isn’t working, and Abby doesn’t know one of my favorite princesses, but she watches Cars all the time with her cousins – I chose to have Mater call her. And as you can see… She was super super surprised! She never gets to talk on the phone {we use Skype to keep in touch with our far away family} – so at first she was kind of confused as to why we were handing her the phone, lol. It cracks me up how worried she is for a minute… Then at the end, she realizes who it is, but she calls all of the cars on that show “McQueen.” She listened intently to the rest of the message, and finally got a smile. Then when it was over she was upset and wanted to call him again! She told us all night – “McQueen? Phone? Potty time?” We’ll have to try this again so she can hear the whole message – you can hear it yourself on the Pull-Ups Potty Break site – it gives kids a “Keep up the good work!” type of encouraging call to keep them excited about their progress. This is definitely a tool we’ll keep using!

Schedule your own Potty Break call with Cinderella or Mater today!

Start Potty Training Today

Browse more data visualizations.

Tell me, what are YOUR best potty training tips?

{Disclaimer: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Pull-Ups. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating. All video, opinions, and experiences shared here are 100% my own.}


Who was the Wizard of Oz, Really? Find out in Oz the Great and Powerful

Oz the Great and Powerful… Ok, I’m not usually much of a fan of my favorite childhood classics being remade, or new movies based off of the original stories. As a child, you grow so attached to the characters, that it’s hard sometimes to watch any new imaginings of them, you know? But this new film – from the producer of “Alice in Wonderland”, and the director of the “Spiderman” trilogy, doesn’t remake anything – what it does is give us a background story of one of the more elusive characters in the original movie – the Wizard of Oz himself.

Oz the great and powerful

“Oz The Great and Powerful” opens in U.S. theaters on March 8, 2013

Here’s a little hint of what’s to come… “Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.” Want to see a sneak peek? Check it out:

How awesome is this?

I can remember watching cartoons on a black and white TV when I was a little girl. We grew up pretty darn poor, and it was awhile before my mom was able to upgrade us from our fuzzy little black and white box to a big full sized color TV. I remember one of the first movies that we watched on it was Wizard of Oz… I was SO mad when it started out in black and white! Heck, we just got a color TV, I didn’t want to watch movies that were black and white on purpose! But my mom told me to just hold on, be patient, and to keep watching, and that I’d be happy I did. And like mothers always are – she was right. When Dorothy arrived in Oz, and everything suddenly brightened into vivid color – I knew just how she felt, finally seeing things in color like that :)

So – I am just super excited to see this when it arrives in theaters!

I spent hours as a little girl reading my Wizard of Oz books, playing with the Dorothy and Glinda the Good Witch dolls that mom had sewed for me, and dreaming about a wonderful world of Oz. And it’s now one of Abby’s favorite movies too! She watched it for the first time months ago with Grandma and I – she cried “Oh no!!! Come back!!!” when Toto runs away, when he’s scared of the storm. She was frightened of the witch and the flying monkeys, and simply delighted by the singing munchkins and the funny scarecrow. It was seriously wonderful to watch it with both of them, and relive that feeling of being a kid. I can’t wait to see how this new story, telling how the Wizard of Oz came to be, brings more depth to my old favorite. This is going right onto my serious MUST-WATCH list!

Do you remember the first time you watched Wizard of Oz? Share with me in the comments….


Who was #Brave today? I wanna hear all about it!

Disney/Pixar’s Brave – in Theaters Now!

OhmyHECK – it’s finally time. Yep, if you didn’t already know, today was opening day for Brave, the super fun new animated film from those geniuses at Disney and Pixar! I’ve given you a few sneak peeks before – like the hysterical clip Kilt: Are You Brave Enough to Wear One? And some yummy Scottish recipes inspired by the movie. And now, you can finally catch in your local theater!

Hoping to see it soon…

Unfortunately for us, we’ll have to wait a little longer to head to the theater and see it. As many of you already know, Abby had a series of seizures last Sunday – and we’re still being extra careful for a few more days, keeping a super close watch on her. We’ve tried to stay close to home as much as possible, just in case. But she seems to be doing much better now – so maybe next week I can take her out for a super-special mommy-daughter day. She’s never been to a movie at a theater yet – and I think a film with a sassy, tough, and totally brave little princess as the hero is the perfect movie for her first trip! Until then, I’ve had to settle for getting some inside scoops on the making of the movie – like this great interview with the voice of princess Merida, Kelly Macdonald – from my friend Angela at {You can also enter to win a super adorable prize package from her too – filled with dolls and dress up gear!} But I know a lot of you probably DID get a chance to see it today – so I’d love to hear your opinions on it!

If you’ve seen the movie already  – I’d LOVE to hear your reviews! Leave some comments please :)


Epic Creativity from Tim Burton & Disney: #Frankenweenie

From creative genius Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” The Nightmare Before Christmas”) comes “Frankenweenie,” a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

Tim Burton's Frankenweenie

Tim Burton is the Master of Epic Creativity

Ok, now I know that Tim Burton movies are a little different, and they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. But for us – they are some of our most-loved family movies. From my childhood favorite that’s been upgraded to 3D – The Nightmare Before Christmas, to me and Abby’s favorite story to watch together on a rainy day –  Coraline – Tim Burton makes the most unique, interesting, and totally imaginative films you’ll watch as a family. Love them. So – it’s no surprise that I’m pretty darn excited to hear about the new one coming out this fall – Frankenweenie!

About Frankenweenie from Tim Burton

A stop-motion animated film, “Frankenweenie” was filmed in black and white and then rendered in 3D. The talented voice cast includes: Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder. Presented by Disney, “Frankenweenie” is directed by Tim Burton, and releases in U.S. theaters on October 5, 2012.

Fun Frankenweenie Facts:

  • “Frankenweenie” is the first animated film that Tim Burton has directed for Disney.
  • When Tim Burton originally conceived the idea for “Frankenweenie,” he envisioned it as a full-length, stop-motion animated film. Due to budget constraints, he instead directed it as a live-action short, released in 1984.
  • Over 200 puppets and sets were created for the film; there were 17 Victors and 12 Sparkys. Since each animator worked independently on different scenes, multiples were needed. They also needed backup in case a puppet required repair.
  • Incredibly talented artists were able to take Tim Burton’s original drawings and sculpt them into three-dimensional sculptures, which were then cast in a combination of silicone and latex. Their costumes are all sewn with miniature stitches to keep in scale. Wigs are made for them from real human hair and then applied strand by strand so that the puppets have a more realistic hairline. Inside each puppet there is a metal armature, which acts like a skeleton and gives the animator the ability to move the puppets and act out the scenes with incredible subtlety and finesse.
  • The sets for the film were built on tabletops. The vast majority of the miniature props for the sets were made by hand and hand-painted and detailed.

Mark your calendar: Frankenweenie releases in U.S. theaters on October 5, 2012!

Follow Frankenweenie on Facebook, and check out Disney Pictures on Twitter for updates on other fun new family flicks! The best movies come from Disney – watch for the new animated film featuring a princess as the main hero {so cool!} – Disney*Pixar’s Brave releases soon too!

Who else is looking forward to this fun new fall release?