Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Enchanting Fall Ball

Imagine, if you will, a room full of little girls singing "Let it go" all at the same time. It was so unbelievably precious that it marked the roughly 10th time that I teared up (thanks residual postpartum hormones) at the Enchanting Fall Ball that Adam and I took our girls to this past Saturday. Penny was dressed as Elsa (thanks to Great Pretenders for providing her dress for this occasion!) and Ruby was a very chubby, squishy and delightful Snow White.

Enchanting Princess Events, whom I introduced to you back in August, hosted their 3rd annual Fall Ball at the Marysville Opera House and just like my first impression of the great group of women who run this business, I was blown away at the authenticity and detail of their work for this event. Enchanting Princess Events isn't just a dress-up / rent-a-princess gig. Each of the actresses embodies her character and really puts on a show for the kids. When you meet Beauty, Rapunzel or either of the Ice Sisters, it's truly like you've met the character in real life. Watching the magic happen in Penny's and my 7 year old niece's eyes was something that I'll never forget. 

Before I get going, I wanted to take a moment tell you about a part of Enchanting Princess Events that I'm not sure everyone knows about. Lianna (owner and who plays Beauty) makes it her main focus for her business to give back to the community.  In addition to regularly 
visiting the Seattle Children's Hospital, and participating in Make a Wish events, all of the proceeds from the Fall Ball benefit the Children’s Museum of Skagit County and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County. You can book these lovely ladies for parties too, but I think that their charity work is definitely worth highlighting!

So let me get the show on the road and tell you all about the fun that we had!

Upon arrival, the princesses are escorted down the aisle by a few charming princes. The first part of the event is a meet and greet with each of the nine princesses. Each princess is set in her own environment - so Sleeping Beauty was near a spinning wheel and served crown cookies, Snow White had a mirror and served mini cupcakes that looked like apples, the Mermaid served goldfish and Rapunzel was accompanied by her handy cast iron skillet, of course! Elsa and Anna took over the entire downstairs of the Opera House and turned it into Arendelle. 



The second half of the event was dancing. Each of the princesses took over the dance floor and the kids got to dance with her to her signature song. When I was Penny's age, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast were the two big princess movies of the time. Nowadays, little girls seem to know these songs but what really got the screams going was when Rapunzel's song came on... and true to form, the Ice Sisters made a dramatic entrance with a singing match of "For the First Time in Forever." 

The event ended with the singalong of Let It Go. 
This picture is what made it worth it. In Penny's eyes, she literally got to meet Anna, Elsa and all of her other princess role models. That is true belief in her eyes. It's really hard not to go on and gush about how realistic this event was, even for an adult. I suppose one of the best compliments came from my father in law, who has been to Disneyland at least 100 times (I'm not joking). Taking in all in, he simply said "This is the real thing. These women look more like princesses than anyone else I've ever seen."

So there you have it! Fall Ball 2014, under our belts. Can't wait for next year! If you're in the Seattle area, this should definitely be on your calendar. 

Check out more about Enchanting Princess Events:


See more pictures from the event..
JW Photography, official Fall Ball Photographer
Becka's Cupcake Boutique created Sleeping Beauty's crown cookies 
Mandy's Custom {cup}cakes created Snow White's apple cupcakes - which my little Ruby thoroughly enjoyed.

Disclosure: Our family was invited to the Enchanting Fall Ball in exchange for sharing about my experience on the blog, no other compensation was provided. As always, I wouldn't share about this if I didn't absolutely love everything about it! Thank you so much, Enchanting Princess Events!



Monday, October 13, 2014

Cricket + Pitbull + Enrique #stsa

I participated in Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Cricket Wireless. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

One of the many ways that my husband and I have been able to support being a single income family is by ditching our contract cell phone plans. After being under contract with other carriers for several years, we found that we had almost no benefit to staying when we saw all the other affordable options out there that offer the same service as our contract plan did...for less! Saving money and keeping our calling freedoms is definitely something to smile about, right?

Cricket Wireless aims to give people something to smile about too! (#STSA). In addition to many other events that they sponsor, we can add the Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias tour to their list of awesomeness!


But it doesn't end there, here are some more great fan experience events awaiting at the concert!

1. At select tour stops you can find the Cricket Stage - where you can show off your best "headliner" pose. Share your image via "share kiosks" and your photo will be entered into a sweepstakes where a winner and 3 guests will get a trip to the Miami Latin Grammy Street Party. What what? 

2. VIP Meet & Greet - A backstage VIP area will be set up backstage. Meet&Greet participants will get to meet Pitbull or Enrique and take photos on a Cricket step & repeat.
3. Selfie Station - Mirrors in the ladies room encourage fans to snap selfies and post to their social channels. They can take pictures of all the fun they are having at the concert to share with friends.
4. Ask Enrique – Fans can win a trip to the Pitbull and Enrique tour stop in Atlanta, meet Enrique in person and ask him that burning question they have.
5. Hologram Standee Billboards - Located at high-traffic spots within the activation venues, holograms of Enrique and Pitbull will create completely lifelike images of the musician for concert goes to check out! The future has truly arrived, right?


Here's a list of the tour stops:
10/10, 2014 -- Los Angeles, CA -- STAPLES Center
10/11, 2014 -- Los Angeles, CA -- STAPLES Center  -- 
10/12, 2014 -- Las Vegas  -- Mandalay Bay Events Center
10/14, 2014 -- San Jose, CA -- SAP Center at San Jose
10/15, 2014 -- San Diego, CA -- Valley View Casino Center
10/17, 2014 -- Dallas, TX  -- American Airlines Center
10/18, 2014 -- San Antonio -- Alamodome
10/19, 2014 -- Houston, TX -- Toyota Center
10/22, 2014 -- Atlanta, GA -- The Arena at Gwinnett Center
10/25, 2014 -- Hollywood, FL -- Hard Rock Live
10/26, 2014 -- Miami, FL -- AmericanAirlines Arena
10/28, 2014 -- Orlando, FL -- Amway Center



Do you live near any of these concert venues? Give me a shout if you'll be at the concert, I'd love to hear what you think of the Cricket experience!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How I met your father #mymikesmoment

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for mike’s hard lemonade. I received a Circle k gift card to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Kids, have I told you about the time that your father and I met?

In Spring of 2007, my dad had battled cancer for 9 years. I was going to college about 2 1/2 hours away from home, and I knew his time was running out. I drove home every chance I got to spend a little more time with him.

One afternoon in May, as I was parking my car at school to go to work, I stopped to ask the driver of the car parked next to me if I had parked with enough space for him to get out. I'm not sure why I was concerned, I knew I had given him enough space. Maybe it was because he was driving an SUV and I was only thinking about the preservation of my car from a door ding. The driver got out of his car, gave the parking spots an obligatory glance, and he gave me a brilliant smile and said that it was fine.

I had an awkward girl moment. I blushed and rushed on my way.

When I walked back to my car that evening, there was a note under my wiper. I groaned..thinking that in fact there wasn't enough space for that guy to get out and he left my a note telling me that he bumped into my car or something.

Instead it was a note wishing me a great weekend with the guy's full name.

And thus, millennials, if you are on the same page as I am, leaving one's full name is certainly an invitation for a facebook stalk and so once I got home I hopped onto my laptop and looked him up.



I wasn't looking for a relationship, but I gathered that he had suffered a loss recently and thought that we can be a support to each other. Tentatively I sent him a message, and eventually our conversations transitioned to almost hourly messages via myspace and later texting. A week later we met for our first date.

The romance followed and my father passed away 3 weeks after we met. It is an indescribable loss. And yet, I remind myself in those hard moments that nothing happens on accident. God placed us into each other's lives when we needed it the most. My dad and I shared the mantra "when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade," and I couldn't have thought of a sweeter story that started with a bunch of life's lemons.






October is the month where many of us take a moment to honor the battle with cancer, especially with breast cancer. But cancer (of all types) doesn't take a break between November - September. There's tons of way to donate towards cancer research, and Mike's Hard makes the commitment to donating and raising awareness too. Consider buying a case of Mike's Hard pink lemonade to get a portion towards breast cancer research...now what's better than enjoying a brew and feeling good about it too?


Tell me about your #mymikesmoment!
Check them out on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Boba Mini Review & Giveaway

Welcome to the [3rd Annual] Travelin’ with Baby Giveaway Hop Event, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network.
We’ve got a fabulous group of bloggers that have come together to offer giveaways on the best products that make traveling with baby a success - so be sure to hop around to them all. Don't miss out on the amazing new stroller from Combi USA - the F2 Stroller which is the ultimate lightweight stroller that makes traveling with baby a breeze and a fabulous set of reusable snack pouches and bags from Yummi Pouch! Enter the Grand Prize Here.


Babywearing. That's me, all day every day. Can't stop, won't stop!

It's so ingrained into our daily life that whenever the girls and I get ready to leave the house, Penny always starts the check list: "Mama, here are your shoes. I need my water. Don't forget the Robot!"

...The "Robot" is our Boba 4g carrier, which has been the primary carrier for Ruby. Anywhere we go, the Boba comes too and the freedom that it's given me to keep up with Penny and always have Ruby close has been invaluable. I honestly don't know how parents get by without wearing their littles. Besides the ability to play with Penny, babywearing gets dinner done, keeps the house kind of clean, soothes owies, nurses on the go, and is a mobile nap spot. Babywearing is my BFF.

So it comes as no surprise that eventually Penny would want to mimic mama with her baby doll. We tried a homemade wrap but Penny insisted that she needed a "Robot" too, so our good friends at Boba sent us a Boba Mini carrier for Penny to review!

The thing I love the most about the Boba Mini doll carrier is how it is pretty much exactly like the 4g. It has all of the same straps and even a little pocket to put treasures in. I was able to get the fit just right, even for a small frame like Penny's.

Many view doll carriers as something cute or as a way for children to feel like they are a part of the change with a new sibling. And I totally agree- it's absolutely adorable to see Penny walk around wearing her baby, caring for her in the same way that she sees me care for her little sister. But there's something more - it's the beginning of giving her a glimpse of the care and love that Adam and I have for our daughters. The doll carrier is a tool to help her learn through pretend play and gain empathy for another being.  It's common to give children (particularly girls) baby dolls with cribs or bottles, and the doll carrier is an extension of our lifestyle and values.

Now that we have the Boba Mini, it's added to Penny's checklist as we leave. "Mama, here are your shoes. I found MY Robot! Don't forget your Robot!"

So as we prepare for our first plane ride with all four of us, I can guarantee that mama AND Penny's "Robots" will be worn to make sure everyone is happy, safe and close.

Enter to win one for your pint-sized babywearer too!



Disclosure: The Pierogie Mama, So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Travelin' with Baby participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.



Monday, October 6, 2014

Penny for your thoughts (vol 2)


That moon looks bossy.

I'm special. Daddy is special. Babcia is special. Ruby is NOT special.

It's rather juicy.

I like the sun, the moon and the stars. They're special. Because they're fragile.

Tinkerbell is my favorite. She's a fairy, I think. And Queen Elsa is a Queen! AH! Frozen is my favorite!!

P: Elsa is pretty. Anna is pretty. Ruby is pretty.
B: Is mama pretty?
P: It's a little different.

I'm PENELOPE, daughter of Bianca!

My freckle is lost, probably.

Penny took the remote, turned on the tv and this happens:
"Oh no, the remote turned the tv on!"
"Can I watch something like Super Why, Sesame Street or daddy's car show?"
"hmm.. this isn't working. Let me figure this out." (stands on a box to get a little taller)
"I'm having a hard time figure this out. I have to figure this out. Cuz I turned on the show. It's in my story. But I can't."

Sometimes we just need to play dress-up.

Ruby likes puking and I like BUTTER!

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