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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…]


Let’s Get Our Kids Playing Outside Again – #TogetherCounts

“Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson… I am very much an outdoorsy type of person. I love to spend time in nature, even if that’s just an afternoon spent working on the patio, surrounded by our trees and garden. So I’m very lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest, where there are amazing natural places to visit. Just an half hour drive brings us into the woods – with pine trees, rivers and lakes, mountains to climb and trails to hike. And, after having my nephews living with me over the past couple of years, I’ve realized how very important it is to get kids out of the house, away from the video games and TV, and out breathing fresh air and running wild – in the wild.

Boulder Cave, Washington

“The woods were made for the hunters of dreams” – Sam Walter Foss

The kids love this place – Boulder Cave, in Washington. There is so much to see and do, and they have a blast. I never even hear any whining about video games the whole time, lol. Whether it’s here, or camping, or fishing, or a day out boating with friends, time spent outdoors really helps all of us relax and refresh again.

Boys catching frogs

“Climb up on some hill at sunrise.  Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you’ll find it there.” – Robb Sagendorph

Things like this totally make me happy – the boys out by the water, catching frogs. Reminds me of when I was a kid. I feel old to say stuff like this – But “when I was a kid,” we spent all day playing outside. Riding bikes on our quiet street, building forts in the back field, or driving my Barbie dolls on a “Safari” through moms vegetable garden. I hate that so many kids have become so un-used to the outdoors, that they don’t even know how to have fun out there anymore. They’re totally missing out. So we’re celebrating Take it Outside Week October 14 – 20, which I am totally excited to learn about. I found this info on a seriously amazing site called Together Counts. Learn a little more:

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

Together Counts is all about getting kids outside and active, eating better foods, and building healthier families. The principle behind their program is Energy Balance, which means balancing the calories we eat with the calories we burn. The idea is to get more families eating and getting active together, with a message of moderation – not “good food vs. bad.” I’m very much an “everything in moderation” style of mom. I do my best to keep our house stocked with healthy fruits and veggies, and good snack foods. But I like to bake cookies and cupcakes too. As long as we’re active, and trying to keep a good balance, I feel good about our choices. So I love that Together Counts is realistic, and has tips that fit into a real mom’s life.

Together Counts is a first-of-its kind coalition that brings together more than 195 retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, restaurants, sporting goods and insurance companies, trade associations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and professional sports organizations. Learn more and sign the pledge on

You can also learn more by following them on Twitter and Facebook, where you’ll find loads of great tips and ideas to use. Or enter to WIN big for your kids school – There are several contests and prizes, like a $30,000 grant and a brand new playground for the winners school. How cool is that, right? The whole site is filled with an uh-may-zing amount of information, resources, and tools – for everyone from parents, to teachers, to students. Love it.

Let’s Chat: What do you think of Together Counts? Are you interested in finding creative new ways to keep your family healthy? Share in the comments!

  And mark your calendars – Join Together Counts at a Twitter party on 10/17 from 8-9 PM EST in the hashtag #TogetherCounts! Hope to see you all there!

{Disclaimer: I received compensation for sharing my honest thoughts about the Together Counts campaign with you. All thoughts, photos, and opinions here are 100% my own.}