Off to the Mouse House!

Well, we’re finally off the mouse house. This, my friends, has been a long time coming and the kids could not be more excited! The packing has been a little intense, but I have to say that it’s been worth it to take the time to make sure we not only have backpacks full of items to keep the kids content on the plane, in the cars, and while waiting in lines, but also to ensure we have the tools and supplies to keep them hydrated and snacked up in what I fear is going to be some intense Anaheim heat. No, really, I’m not nervous at all! 😉 After all, it’s the most magical place on earth, and armed with the following, I’m sure we’re going to be just fine.

Several of our go-to products for this trip have provided me with exclusive discount codes for my readers, so keep on scrolling to take advantage of all the great savings! Keep an eye on Instagram and FB this week to keep up to date with all the magical mayhem that is about to enuse!

Educational Insights
Educational Insights Geosafari Jr. Walkie Talkies
www.amazon.com/dp/B01MUG1VE7

It’s fun, it’s play, It’s educational, and spread out between two theme parks, these walkie talkies from Educational Insights just might come in handy for the adults as well as the kids!

Educational Insights Playfoam Go!
www.amazon.com/dp/B01N8QG8A4

The idea of traveling with Play-Doh is terrifying to me, but Playfoam is totally clean, and even more fun IMHO. The kids love this stuff. And no, I never get caught playing with it after they’ve gone to bed… 😉 #lies

SoapSox

SoapSox where have you been all my life? You can snuggle, you can bathe, you can jump in the pool with them. They even have special pockets for soap to help get the little ones scrub-a-dub clean in the tub. And with designs like Mickey, Minnie, Flounder, Ariel and Nemo—there’s no way these guys are staying home!

SoapSox Disney Bath Toy Sponges:
http://soapsoxkids.com/disney/
30% off entire purchase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drink in the Box by Precidio

These kids, like so many, are juice box obsessed. But I can’t exactly haul a case of them into the theme parks. Drink in the Box is reusable and lets us offer healthier drinks in the same fun box they love so much. They’re easy to clean, and I can see what’s inside! PS – Please don’t ever Google image search “Juice Box Mold” #ewwwwwww

Drink in the Box and Snack in the Box
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0147ME1EW?m=A2E33AGO65HLFB&ref_=v_sp_detail_page
COUPON CODE: PRECIDIO
10% OFF on Amazon (When Sold by Precidio Design) through July 31st

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bumbleride

I have a feeling that by the time this trip is over, I’m going to be begging for an adult-sized version of this for me and #husband. But seriously, having room for the twins and a ton of cargo underneath is going to be vital this week! And I’m pretty sure this is going to fold up small enough to take on the Disneyland railroad with us! #success

Bumbleride Indie Twin Stroller
https://www.bumbleride.com/strollers/indie-twin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bumkins

If you’re out in the park searching for #hiddenmickeys, just head on over to our lunch table! Thanks to Bumkins we’re going to be fully outfitted in all the Mickey-themed bibs, bowls and snack bags you could ever want!

Junior Bib
Disney Snack Bags, Wet Bags, Clear Front Travel Bags
https://www.bumkins.com/collections/bags
PROMO CODE: KCDISNEY20
20% OFF an order of $25 or more on Bumkins.com through 8/31/2017 at 11:59 p.m. PST

Staycation HEAVENand GIVEAWAY!!!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like to think of myself as an expert when it comes to Arizona Resorts…I live for going to resorts…like I would live in a resort if my husband would let us.  Does that make me weird?  It’s partly the atmosphere and partly the kids are always entertained so I won’t hear…”I am bored!”  Oh and I love that I don’t have to cook, do dishes, or clean…LOL!!! I thought I knew all of the great resorts locally in Arizona, until we visited the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess! It literally has something for everyone in the family.

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is able to perfectly blend luxurious high end relaxation for adults, while also providing all day, nonstop, fun for kids.  They have a kids club, virtual reality games for kids and adults, sandy beach entry pools (6 pools total), amazing water slides, pool games, and activities for kids all day.  I spent most of the time watching the twins in the water but never once did I worry about neglecting the big kids, they had too much to do…and swimming with me was not high on the list…lol!!!

Mermaid University…another cool activity for the kids.

The whole class

@Moonmermaid on Instagram

Mila and @Captainjacklive

Charles, Finn and @captainjacklive

mermaid storytime

The twins enjoyed the pools just as much as the big kids.  And even though the girls were too little for Mermaid University…they still got to chat up one of the other mermaids who hung out in the pool and took pictures with the kids…the twins would not leave the poor mermaid alone.

The grounds at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess were also amazing…at times it didn’t feel like you were in the Arizona desert.  The resort is very large, another thing I love about it, because it just means that they have so much to do.  They have golf carts to take you everywhere, and they pretty much show up with in seconds.  I am all about convenience and they had it…everywhere and in every aspect that a resort could.  From the fabulous food (kitchen sink salad…still dreaming about you) to the hotel rooms, restaurants, and bars they had it all.  Oh and they have shopping, not the normal gift shops like other resorts, but ones filled with unique gifts, clothes, toys, and foods that you actually want to buy.  I literally bought the girls jelly cat stuffed animals because they had them and I loooooove that brand. They also have a little clothing shop that feels like a mini Nordstrom…next time I may just not pack clothes….lol!!!

outside the gift shop

cute cabanas

breakfast

the food was soo good…I had to drag them out

literally I did…you know if they are posing for pics they don’t want to leave

kitchen sink salad (looove)

pretty walls

Daddy and his girls

robots in the lobby everyday!!

And our room…I mean the pictures pretty much speak for themselves and were the reason they almost had to ask me to leave.  I could have stayed pretty much…forever.  We plan to go back for Fourth of July where they have a massive fireworks display and a lot of fun activities for the kids.  On Easter the Easter Bunny delivers baskets to your hotel room…I mean how cool is that?!!  Also at Christmas time they have over 3 million Christmas lights and an ice skating rink.  I really don’t think it gets better than

loved this message

So after seeing all of these pictures and hearing how wonderful The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is…I bet you wanna go right?  Well here is your chance.  Head over to my latest Instagram post to enter to win 4 airline tickets and a 3 day 2 night stay at this amazing resort.  I am so excited to do this giveaway, good luck!!

Terms and Conditions:

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited or restricted by applicable federal or state laws and regulations.

ENTRY PERIOD
Contest will occur on the Katie Stauffer Instagram page (www.instagram.com/kcstauffer) and is sponsored by Scottsdale CVB (the “Sponsor”). Entries for the Katie Stauffer 1 million Follower Giveaway (the “Giveaway”) will be accepted daily on Instagram Friday June 23, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. PST through June 26, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. PST (“Entry Period”)

ELIGIBILITY
Contest is open only to legal U.S. residents of the 50 United States, 21 years of age or older at time of entry. Employees of Sponsor; Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Katie Stauffer and their respective advertising and promotion agencies, their parent, subsidiary and joint venture companies, as well as members of their immediate families and households (including children, spouses and siblings and/or persons living in the same households as such persons whether related or not) are not eligible.

HOW TO ENTER
All entries must be received by 5:00 p.m. PST on June 26, 2017. Entries will be collected via the following entry guidelines on Instagram:

Follow Experience Scottsdale Instagram account (@scottsdaleariz)
In the comment section of the Giveaway photo on Katie Stauffer’s Instagram page, tag 3 friends

One grand prize winner will be determined from all entries received in a random drawing on or about June 27, 2017 by Scottsdale CVB. Prize is guaranteed to be awarded. Limit one entry per person. Multiple entries received from any person will void all additional entries. Entries that are incomplete, illegible, or corrupted are void and will not be accepted.

THE PRIZE
One winner will receive the following Grand Prize for Four (valid July 1, 2017 through August 30, 2017):

Round-trip airfare to Scottsdale via Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport ($400 maximum per person, must be booked 14-days prior to arrival in Scottsdale)
Two-night hotel stay at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess .  All expenses not specified herein are the winners’ responsibility. Approximate retail value of Grand Prize is $2,000.00. Income and other taxes on prizes, if any, are the sole responsibility of each winner. No prize or cash substitutes allowed, except at sponsor’s sole discretion in the event of prize unavailability. Odds of winning are determined by the total number of entries received.
WINNER NOTIFICATION
Sponsor will notify winners by Instagram direct message/email and the winners must execute and return an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release (the form of which will be provided to winners by Sponsor) within five days of notification attempt or an alternate winner may be selected. If the prize notification letter is returned (or e-mail bounces back) to Sponsor or its designated agent as undeliverable, the prize will be awarded to an alternate winner. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute the prize for one of equal or greater value. Prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. Sponsor will award the prize within approximately 7 days of receiving the affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release from the winner. Entry constitutes permission (except where prohibited by law) to Sponsor and its designated agents to use the winners’ names, hometowns and likenesses for publicity purposes without any compensation to the winner. By accepting prize, winners and all travelers release Sponsor and prize givers and their agents and affiliates from any and all liability for any loss, harm, damages, cost or expense, including without limitation property damage, personal injury and/or death, arising out of participation in the sweepstakes or acceptance or use of prize. Once the winner release form is returned to Sponsor, the prize will be mailed to the winner. All reservations must be made prior to use, and the prize must be redeemed by August 30, 2017.

DISCLAIMER
All entrants assume all liability for any injury or damages caused or claimed to be caused by their participation in this Contest. All entrants release Sponsor, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Katie Stauffer and their respective advertising and promotion agencies, their parents, subsidiaries and joint venture companies, as well as their respective officers, directors, and employees, from any such liability.
Sponsor, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Katie Stauffer and their respective agents, their parent, subsidiary and joint venture companies, as well as their respective officers, directors, and employees assume no responsibility for any injury (including but not limited to any personal injury or death that may occur in connection with this Contest), damage or losses of any kind to any entrant, or to any entrant’s or other person’s computer or other personal property, relating to or resulting from participating in this Contest, including downloading materials or software. Sponsor, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Katie Stauffer and their respective agents, their parent, subsidiary and joint venture companies, as well as their respective officers, directors, and employees are not responsible for technical, hardware, software, or telephone malfunctions of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications caused by the user or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this event or by any human error which may occur in the processing of the entries in this Contest.

Sponsor, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Katie Stauffer and their respective agents, their parent, subsidiary and joint venture companies, as well as their respective officers, directors and employees are not responsible for errors or failures of any kind, including, without limitation, inaccurate transcription of entry information, errors in any promotional or marketing materials, errors in these rules, any human or electronic error, and entries that are stolen, misdirected, garbled, delayed by computer transmissions, lost, late, damaged, or returned marked “postage due.”

Sponsor, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and Katie Stauffer reserve the right to terminate the Entry Period prior to its scheduled termination and to choose among entries received prior to the date of such early termination. Sponsor reserve the right to review all entries on a rolling basis as they come in. In the event that entry processing challenges or technical malfunctions occur, Sponsor reserves the right to change or discontinue the entry submission procedures.

The Giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram. All entrants agree to a complete release of Instagram upon entry.

Entrants agree to be bound by these rules. Failure to comply with these rules may result in disqualification from this Contest. Sponsor reserves the right to permanently disqualify any person it believes has intentionally violated these rules.

 

 

 

 

TEMPE HERE WE COME!!!

The kids and I escaped from the house this weekend and headed a few miles North West to Tempe…all thanks to Tempe Tourism!!  Tempe just happens to be home to Arizona State University, amazing hotels and resorts (summer time fun for us!) restaurants, great shopping, and really awesome activities for kids of all ages, like the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Sea Life Aquarium, and the IMAX Theatre...just to name a few!

We stayed at the Phoenix Marriott Tempe at The Buttes.  Honestly it was hard to get the kids to leave the resort because it was so fun and there were a ton of kids there.

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If you are ever in Tempe you have to check out Rustlers Rooste Steakhouse.  It’s a true Cowboy Western Experience!! First you are greeted at the door by Horny the Bull, then they have a slide that will take you to the dinning area…it was hard to peel the kids away from this long enough to eat dinner…its pretty fun for adults too!  They also have live music, a fun bar, and a huge outdoor eating area that overlooks the whole city!!

Lastly a few pics from the LEGOLAND Discovery Center and our Ice cream stop… The Baked Bear…this is a MUST STOP!!!!!!! Just think, ice cream donut sandwhiches, scookies, and homemade ice cream cookie sandwhiches…heaven!

 

“Tempe Tourism provided me with compensation in exchange for this post. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own”

ALL ABOUT THE VIDEOS…

So I guess I will start from the beginning.  It started one night last February about 7:00, during the usual ritual of after-dinner-but-before-bedtime boredom. Well, Mila was telling Kaitlin one of her stories–they had been coming straight out of her imagination for a few months by then–when Kaitlin picked up her iphone and just started filming. Moments later, after a little work on iMovie she then showed it to Charley and me.  Our first reaction was…laughing.  laughing out loud and hard.  Then, it was, really? This is our kid, out two year old.  Then I thought to myself…I need to put this on Instagram.  I had actually wanted to start filming more movies anyway because  I love them and I had gotten some really good advice from a friend (story for another time).  I was kind of nervous to put it on my Instagram, not because of the reaction I thought it would get (hadn’t even thought about that yet..LOL) but because I thought it would make my feed ugly…bahahaha, I know some of you feel me!!  But I did it anyway.  And well it was a hit and people seemed to like it.  I shared it to my Facebook page as well…and that is where it all went sort of crazy.

Within minutes of posting the first video–OK, it was actually a few weeks–but it felt like minutes because it all happened so fast, I was approached by these viral video marketing companies asking if they could share them. Without thinking much about it, I said sure!!! Apparently, it wasn’t just Charley and I who liked them, because my Facebook all of a sudden EXPLODED.  I went from having 900 followers to 24k in one night.  And well, so did my Instagram. This is really the 30 second version of how it all started, but, in what seems to me in the blink of an eye, Mila’s videos are now a hit and we continue to do them and it continues to be an absolute blast!   I’ll admit, readily, that my family does love the recognition and the…”viralness” of the whole thing, but there’s something else. There’s another reason we continue to do them. And it’s a reason we could not have imagined in the beginning; it’s the biggest reason why: for our family, it has literally….brought us closer together.  Instagram use to be just my thing, that partly annoyed everyone in the family because I was begging them to be my subjects, but now its our thing we do as a family.

So yeah we do the videos as a family.  We still ask Mila to tell us stories and we film them; either that or we ask her questions to form a story.  But yes in every movie we tell her to say certain things to make it all make sense or a tad more funny.  And we only do it for about 15-20 minutes a week…and ONLY if Mila wants to.  This is just suppose to be funny.  It’s funny that a two year old scripted or not can act with so much emotion…we all continue to marvel at how appropriate her reactions are (can she really understand this concept well enough to have THOSE reactions? I think you know the answer).  Its funny just hearing certain words come out of her mouth.  These video have always been about making people happy–and that includes Mila, who is such a ham and honestly loves doing them (and hopefully soon, Emma).  And helping viewers forget about something crappy happening in their life.  Really they are just like a television program you might watch.  I know sometimes I just need to turn on the TV and watch something senseless to forget about stressful things going on in my own life.  And guess what…99% of tv shows are scripted.  Characters being told what to say in order to make people laugh, cry, scream, or whatever.

 

I do get a lot of hateful messages on Facebook.  Not to many on Instagram.  But, yep Facebook viewers really give it to me.  I don’t read any of the comments on Facebook at all ( I leave that to my friends and family, watch out for Mary my mom…she loves to give the haters a piece of her mind.) I don’t read the comments not only because they are so bad and hurtful but because I know that if I did, I would simply stop the movies.  It would be a lot easier to stop than to defend myself and my family against each hateful comment.  But one of the main reasons I don’t stop is because there are way more amazingly sweet comments and messages that I get that make it all worth it.  I have received message from people going through a divorce or a breakup that said Mila’s little video made them laugh and feel happy that day!  I have received messages from people who miss their grandkids and watching Mila’s videos help fill that void.  And I have received messages from people who said that because of Mila’s video, they decided not to take their life that night.  So, No. I do not have a need to read or even worry about the mean spirited comments. I’m too busy with work and family, with IG and FB and this blog…and with the videos! And besides, the sweet and meaningful…comments by far out weight the mean ones.

 

So this is just a brief summary about how it all happens, how we do them, why we do them, and what I hope is a clear statement that they aren’t going away anytime soon.  Feel free to email me if you have questions.  I’m happy to answer any that you have.

 

MASSAGE ENVY AND SELF-CARE!!!

I think the number one question I get asked is, How do you do it, how do you have five kids and work a full-time job?   I usually joke and say well I work and they go to daycare, so it’s pretty easy.  But that is just to make people laugh.  Most of the time I don’t really know how I do it.  A lot of stuff slides I’m sure; but, there’s only one of ME, after all! And, I’ve just learned to live with the realization that, yes, the kids are going to miss out on a few things–more interaction with their mother (while they’re still young enough to enjoy my company, anyway) because I’m not home, but I’m OK with it because, as the cliche goes, “you gotta do what you gotta do.” And they are all alive and pretty happy so I would say we are doing okay.  

But really, we must find ways to maintain our sanity while still leading these ADD-like lives. As we hear sooo many times from our concerned friends and family, “you need to take care of yourself before anyone else.” Right?  I have found hiding in my closet–with my cell phone, of course–works quite well…I am not kidding.  But really what are some good ways you can take care of yourself and make it part of your daily routine?  They call it self-care and I am learning it is just as important as diet and exercise!!! Last week I met up with the amazing team at Massage Envy and they taught me all about self-care and  how they are trying to help people de-stress and more importantly what we can do to ultimately keep those stresses at bay.

You’re probably thinking…doesn’t Massage Envy just provide massages…well that is what I thought until now.  ME also provides Total Body Stretch (best thing ever. This will be launching mid-May across the country!!! Seriously, I literally felt the stress leaving my body) skin care services, skin care products, and carries an entire line of essential oils.  So basically if you take this concept of “self-care” and really think about what it is….taking care of you, taking care of the part of you that matters and makes you feel good about yourself and your life, ME will provide…all the tools (you’ll need) to help make your life more calm, more focused and less stressful and in the end be able to do more in your life!!

The cool thing is that it’s membership-based.  So you pay a monthly fee and with that fee you get one service of your choice per month.  I mean, just think about it.  Taking one day out of the month to get a message or a facial, or just have someone stretch all the area of your body that you could never ever do yourself would be pretty amazing.  Plus going once a month makes you consciously aware that all of these areas are important towards your “self-care” goal.  I have always wanted to take better care of my skin.  I try and stick with it for a while but something is always missing…it’s almost like I am lacking accountability.  ME provides the tools for me to show up, get a facial, get advice, get encouragement, see results, love the results, and continue on this path of better self-care. 

 

My favorite part of the whole summit however was the assisted stretching.  I actually didn’t even know this existed and to be honest, I thought they were going to teach us how to stretch before a workout.  I was kind of like okay…this is going to be boring!! But then they laid me on a table and what I got for me was a massage on steroids, well not really but to me it was almost better.  They stretch all–and I mean ALL–the areas I could never do myself…literally it was like I could see the stress lifting from my body as hovering over me…and then it was gone…sounds pretty amazing right??  I truly thing if I could do this one a continual bases, that combined with a massage, a facial every once in a while, I would feel sooo much better about myself and that much closer to the goal of total “self-care”

I sort of think of this in terms of what I need to do to really take care of myself, I need to eat right and excerise (which I do) I need to work and make money (which I do) I need to take care of my family…exeperice life with them (which I do) and I need to also take care of the stresses in between…which ME helps me do.  I am so excited to incorporate ME into my everyday life.  I am so excited to start caring about this part of my life and seeing the amazing ways it will make my life better for my kids and my family.

Head over to the ME website to find a location near and find out more!!!

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