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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 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…]


Unexpected Mom Moments – And How to Handle Them

I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Wet Ones. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I live in Central Washington. Yakima, Washington to be exact. I’ve lived here my whole entire life – I’ve even spent almost all of it in the same zip code. You might have heard of us if you’re an apple lover… Next time you pick up a bag of apples, look for the label saying grown in Yakima – we’re the number one producer of apples in the country. We also kind of rock at other agricultural goodies – we’ve got a fast-growing and thriving wine country, and grow about 75% of the country’s hops too. {You’re welcome, beer and wine lovers :)} And every year one of my favorite events takes place in the fall, to celebrate all of the awesomeness of our area… The Central Washington State Fair. It’s a huge smorgasbord of deep fried foods, livestock and agriculture, carnival rides and games, and just plain fun. I have so many amazing memories of spending long days and nights at the fair as a kid, it was amazing to take Abby this year, now that she’s big enough to really enjoy it.

Fair rides at Central Washington State Fair

Of course, the first thing we did was check out the carnival rides. We had to bring Abby over to measure here… She just turned 3 at the end of July, and is very tall for her age – but before spending the money on an unlimited ride bracelet, I wanted to be sure she’d be big enough to ride a good amount of the kid rides. Once we made sure she was, I bought us both a wristband, and we took off into kiddie ride wonderland. Most of the rides she could go on by herself… But this giant fun house thing required momma to come along too – there was a rope ladder – think, like, pirate ship netting style? – and she got totally tangled in it. I didn’t even know how old I was until I attempted this…. Crawling through plastic tubes that make you feel like an oversized hamster really do a number of your knee caps, I tell ya. And while Abby thought that this rickety bridge was “so much cool!” to clomp across, all I could think about was whether I’d updated my life insurance policy recently… Lol. [Read more…]


No Budget to Hire a Nerd? Try!

In the age of Facebook and Twitter, is the good ol’ flyer a thing of the past?… If you need to get the word out about an event, you may feel inclined to type up something in Helvetica and head to the photocopier, but we have a better idea…

Smore makes creating web pages simple - no coding needed

Meet your new event coordinator— Smore

Imagine, you (yes, you!) can create a beautiful web page with no coding experience and no design chops. Whether you’re spreading the word about a book club event, a small business, a networking event or a bake sale fundraiser for your local theatre, Smore is a great way to create a compelling online flyer with all the information, share it through social media and email, and how many people it’s reaching. Creating a flyer is fun, fast and it looks so professional everyone will think you have a design nerd on staff.

Smore makes pretty web pages… no coding required

I am seriously in love with this site. I’ve been playing around with it this morning, and it is seriously simple to use – very intuitive. {And if you know me well, you know I’m NOT a techy type. Yes, I run a blog, but what I’m good at is taking pretty pictures, writing stories, and telling jokes. The tech side is more challenging to me. Which is why I LOVE that my girls at Digitwirl teach me these great tips each week. Subscribe to them. Seriously, so smart.} Anyway – the site is very easy to use, and I’m still turning my brain thinking of cool new ways to use it…

  • It’s got tons of options: Choose Event Invitation, Product to Sell, Personal Flyer for a Person, Flyer for a Business or Shop, Informational Newsletter Style, or just use the “other” if nothing really fits. Coupon or Ad Promotion, and App are coming soon too.
  • Get Inspired: Check out this sweet gallery of cool ideas and examples of what you can create with their online templates, and find inspiration for new ways to create buzz for your event or new promotion. They all use the same layout, and while they do share a similar feel – they are all able to give a totally custom feel using different photos, fonts, colors, and styles. Love it.

I’m definitely going to be using this a lot – and am SO super grateful to the ladies at Digitwirl for sharing this. The video made it SO easy to jump right in and get started. {For more tech made simple tips, services, and products – browse my board on Pinterest.}

What Ideas do You Have for Fun Ways to Use this Free Service?

Carley from DigitwirlDigitwirl is the weekly web show that offers simple solutions to modern day problems. In 3 minutes, Digitwirl brings busy women the very best time, money, and sanity-saving technology, and then teaches them how to use it, step-by-step. Digitwirl was created by technology lifestyle expert Carley Knobloch, who uses lots of technology to manage her busy life as mom of two and entrepreneur. Become a subscriber to get weekly show alerts and exclusive deals at, or follow Digitwirl on Twitter at @digitwirl.



Hey Review Bloggers- Check out the Reviewers Retreat 2012!

review blog conference Double Duty Divas And Great Wolf Lodge are hosting the 2012 Reviewers Retreat– and you DON’T want to miss this event!

About Reviewers Retreat

The 2nd annual Reviewer’s Retreat will be held June 3-5, 2012 at Great Wolf Lodge, Concord-Charlotte, NC. Reviewer’s Retreat is first conference geared specifically toward the issues and challenges faced by bloggers in the product review genre, a topic that is lacking from most conference agendas.

Review bloggers, those who conduct product and resource reviews on their site, will converge to take part in sessions on a variety of topics including brand-blogger relations, website design, perfecting the pitch, statistics, photography and more.

This brand-friendly conference welcomes company and agency representatives as building and strengthening relationships between bloggers and brands is one of the conference’s primary goals.

Join Me At Reviewers Retreat: Click Here to Reserve YOUR Tickets Today!!

Make sure to check out Reviewers Retreat on Facebook too… You can stay updated on the event, speakers, and other fun happenings.

About Double Duty Divas

“Double Duty Divas are moms who do it all! From kids to jobs and even side businesses and blogs. If you’re a mom managing multiple endeavors, you’re a DOUBLE DUTY DIVA!”

I love being a part of the Double Duty Divas– It’s a really amazing community of bloggers! Head to their site today, and click on the Join Us tab up top to apply to become a member. They share great tips, and I learn a lot from the other members. Plus, you have access to great Review Campaigns, Blogger Blasts, and more– Lots of support to help you bring your blog to the next level!

You can find them on Facebook too!

Get your tickets at a discount!

Join me as a member of the Double Duty Divas today– And don’t forget to reserve your ticket to the Reviewers Retreat 2012 today!! I’ll see you there….


Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop!

Join in the fun in the Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop!

If you want to be a part of Welcome Wednesday, just follow these 5 simple steps:
  • 1. Follow the Welcome Wednesday Host (Take It From Me) as well as the 2 Spotlighted Blogs of the Week. (These will make up the top three slots on the Linky). 
  • 2. Link up your blog name and URL with our Linky. (You only need to add your info once for it to be seen on all the blog hops)
  •  3. Grab our Welcome Wednesday button and include it in a post about the event on your blog.
  • 4. Go to as many blogs on the MckLinky as you want and Follow them. Be sure to tell them that you are visiting from Welcome Wednesday!
  • 5. Be sure to Follow Back any new friends you make from our Welcome Wednesday event!

If you link up, please leave me a comment here, so I can go and say hello on your page too!

And if you’re a social media junkie like me, you can also check out Sunshine and Sippy Cups on Facebook or Twitter. I love new faces!