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My family is the biggest fans of all things Disney and Walt Disney World. My husband and I have been traveling to Disney since our honeymoon. We know all the best tips and tricks for navigating your family’s Walt Disney World Vacation on any budget.

We’ve watched all the movies and shows. We own all the costumes and we can throw a Disney party based on any movie. We can be your resource for all things Disney and how to Disney like an insider.

This post is sponsored by Disney’s Pinocchio. All opinions and the wish for my child are my own.

Ever think about what your greatest wish for your child might be? Do you want them to be smart? Successful? Healthy? Happy? Good human beings? Maybe all of thee above. When I was a child, I thought the tale of Pinocchio was just about a boy who lied and when he did, his nose grew. The moral of the story for me, as a child, was to not lie because it’s bad and liars get caught. So not worth it, plus, I didn’t want my nose to grow. I was vain so that lesson quickly stuck with me. Years later, that’s how I became “Truthful mommy.” I simply can’t lie because my face shows every thought that comes into my head. I think it’s a pretty awesome thing and it’s something I’ve taught my girls, the no lying part, the face betrayal is pure genetics (fortunately for me they’ve inherited that too).

As an adult, I’ve read the story of Pinocchio with my children and I see it with a fresh perspective. I see an even deeper aspect to the timeless story. I see a man desperate for a child; someone to love unconditionally. Geppetto wants what all parents want, his own little miracle.

From the moment I knew that I was pregnant and felt those first flutters and kicks, I’ve known that being a mother was a privilege. Sure sometimes I’m exhausted and the minutia of motherhood makes me feel like I’m a little bit brain dead. But, then out of nowhere I’m inspired or flabbergasted and other times I’m just outright amazed by the way they move through the world. They truly are miracles to me. Don’t get me wrong, they can also be a handful. It’s certainly not always sunshine and rainbows but I totally see why Geppetto wished on a star to make his puppet son a real boy. Nothing can substitute the love shared between a parent and a child.

wish for your child, wish upon a star, pinocchio, parenting, motherhood

 

When I was younger, I always knew that when I grew up, I wanted to be a mom. I come from a big family; 6 children. I like to call us the Mexibilly Brady Bunch, only we all came from the same set of Catholic parents. I’m the Marsha of the family. Children have always been a part of my life. I was always the girl who went to family/friend gatherings and spent a bulk of my time entertaining the children. It was all I had ever known and I knew one day, I wanted my own children to love.

I grew up, got married and eventually had a couple little girls of my own. There is nothing quite like motherhood. You can babysit a million children, read every book and watch every movie and it still never prepares you for being a mother to actual children. First, you are overwhelmed with all the heart-exploding love that you never even knew existed in the world that you feel for said ooey, gooey baby from the instant you see them. And forget about it once they put that baby in your arms, you are done for. There is no recovery from that kind of love. Instant and eternal addiction.

Then complete and overwhelming, all-encompassing fear because holy moly you realize this baby is perfection and you have absolutely no idea what you are doing and the last thing you want to do is mess up the most perfect thing you will ever do in your life. When the doctor said I could go home from the hospital with my first baby, I was overcome with sheer panic because what were they thinking? I felt like the world’s biggest imposter. I was terrified. None of my experiences up to that point had prepared me for what I was feeling in that moment.

wish for your child, wish upon a star, pinocchio, parenting, motherhood

Then more fear because, oh my goodness, I love this little person more than anything I’ve ever loved in my entire life and now they are out in the world, exposed to the elements; the crazy (all the crazy), global warming, sharp edges and mean people (people who could hurt their feelings or worse). And what if I messed it up and she stopped breathing or I couldn’t feed her or I dropped her (all of which happened by the way) or the list was endless of ways that I could damage her? That’s when it hit me like a train, loving someone has no guarantees. Being able to love someone so precious so much comes with a price and that price is the uncertainty that it will all be alright. The price for great love is great pain if it’s ever lost but it’s totally worth the risk. Once you’ve seen your child look at you like you are the best thing in the world, you will die, kill and risk it all just to see them smile; everything else becomes meaningless when you have that kind of clarity. When you give love to a tiny human, you accept the responsibility and you never look back, only forward.

Geppetto’s wish for Pinocchio was that he became a real boy. How could he not? I have two wishes for my daughters and they are these: health and happiness. Sounds simple, right? Not so much because one day I may find myself confronted with the choice of watching my child choose a path that might not be what I would have chosen for their happiness, but it’s not my life to live. I am only the giver of their lives but it is their lives to live.

wish for your child, wish upon a star, pinocchio, parenting, motherhood

Sometimes we have to watch our kids struggle before they reach their goals. That’s how they learn to work for their dreams. That’s how they learn to become who they are meant to be. That letting go to let them grow up is almost impossible but it’s part of the unwritten parent/child agreement.

I can keep my daughters healthy and happy in my house because I control the climate but once they get out in the world, I can only be there to catch them when they stumble. I will always do all that I can to help them make their dreams come true but I can’t do it for them because then the happiness will lose its effect.

wish for your child, wish upon a star, pinocchio, parenting, motherhood

So my wish for my girls is all the happiness that the world has to offer them. I teach them to go for their dreams. I teach them to pursue their joys and to never be afraid to change their expectations because sometimes life and happiness don’t fit neatly into a box. Life is messy and beautiful and I just want my girls to be open to enjoying every single moment of it.

disney, wish for your child, wish upon a star, pinocchio, parenting, motherhood

New to The Walt Disney Signature Collection, the movie that inspired the world to wish upon a star, Pinocchio is a timeless tale for the whole family. Bring home this magical story of friendship and epic adventure now on Digital HD & Disney Movies Anywhere, on Blu-ray Jan 31. Pick up your copy here. It includes hours of new and classic bonus content.

This is the wish for my child, what do you wish for yours?

 

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Holidays, Disney, family traditions, Pete's Dragon

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Disney. All opinions are my own.

Can you believe the holidays are right around the corner? My family is super busy and it seems like the older they get, the busier we get and the faster it all goes by. I remember that first year of motherhood and it felt like we were living in molasses. Everything took forever. I never thought my daughter would roll over and when she did, it felt like years before she crawled and jeez, it was only 10 months, but it felt like ions before she walked. Don’t even get me started on potty training. But now, I just want all the moments and milestones to slow down.

I battle the urge to freeze time between loving their new-found independence and wanting to drop down to the floor and crawl into the fetal position and tantrum until they just stop growing up. I know, when I say it out loud, I sounds quite crazy but I assure you, this is motherhood.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I can’t stop time. Try as I may and, believe me, I do. I’ve realized that I just have to make the most of every single moment we have together. I have to suck the marrow out of motherhood, not unlike the soul sucking task of potty training, I will not go quietly into that good night of parenting. This is why I make a point of finding the special moments in the everyday and I try, though often forget, to remember to breathe in and inhale all of these tiny amazing and devastating moments that make up a life.

One of our favorite holiday traditions is spending time together watching family movies, usually something Disney because we’re all hopeless Disney fanatics. Honestly, it’s something we enjoy all year round but at the holidays it’s just a little more special because there are days off school, snow, hot cider, long days in matching pajamas (yep, we’re that family) and blanket forts involved. It’s magical.

One thing we really love to do together is putting on those crazy matching onesie pajamas (oh yes, did I forget to mention that they are onesies?) and decorate the house for the holidays. The fireplace is usually going, snack mix is in the oven and we are generally behaving goofy but then, we put a movie on and we’re transported, as a family, someplace else. It really is the cheapest vacation ever.

The matching holiday pajamas have been ordered and are on the way (I’ll share those later) so now the only thing left to do is count down the days and settle on a movie that we’ll all love. And just like that, one of my childhood favorites, Pete’s Dragon, got a reboot this year and is available to buy now! Just in time for our holiday break, family fun time.

Nothing like a family friendly adventure story about a boy and his pet dragon to not only ignite the imagination but warm the heart. But it’s more than that. It’s about finding your family, the people who love you, and about friendship, in all of its forms. It’s a beautiful story and I can’t wait to watch it this holiday season as we celebrate our family and make more memories together.

Actually, it’s the best feeling in the world because we are always on the move. These little quiet moments, with just the four of us, are far and few between but mostly they are priceless because we know it won’t be like this for long. One day, our little girls, the two tiny creatures who took forever to grow in that first year, will be living someplace else with their very own families and we will miss them desperately. That’s what I remind myself of every time I want to hurry their childhood up.

Every time I forget to move the elves or put a coin under their pillow from the tooth fairy, every time I grow weary from, what seems like endless ballet classes, violin and choir concerts, Nutcracker performances, junior high football games to support my cheerleaders, or kissing boo-boos and blisters from gymnastics I tell myself that these are the moments; the best moments of life.

Pete's Dragon, family traditions, holiday, Disney

Planning to watch Pete’s Dragon with your family this year? Disney Movie Rewards has a special promotion – when you purchase the film through DMR you can also purchase the ‘Elliot Gets Lost’ children’s book from the film at an exclusive price of $9.99 when you buy Pete’s Dragon on Blu-ray, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on Disney Movie Rewards!

You can find out more information about Pete’s Dragon on the following social media channels.

Facebook Pete’s Dragon: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPetesDragon

Twitter @DisneyPetes: https://twitter.com/disneypetes

Instagram @DisneyPetes: https://instagram.com/disneypetes

What’s your favorite family tradition that you look forward to this holiday season?

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Disney, Elena of Avalor, Latina, Princess

Elena of Avalor is a princess for my little girls. Latinas, how long have we been waiting for a Latina princess to share with our daughters? Seems like a lifetime, right? The closest we’ve had has been Dora and she’s not even a princess. She was a little explorer with a blue monkey in wellies but we loved her because she was all we had at the time, when my girls were babies.

Then a few years back, we were super excited about Sophia the First but that kind of fizzled and, while she is adorable and my niece’s favorite princess, she is not really Latina in any discernable way, unless you count her brown hair.

Well, no more. She is here. Disney’s new Elena of Avalor is an animated series that follows the story of Elena, a brave and adventurous teenager who saves her kingdom from an evil sorceress and must now learn to rule as crown princess until she is old enough to be queen. Set in Avalor, an enchanted fairytale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore, Elena’s journey will lead her to understand that her new role requires thoughtfulness, resilience and compassion, the traits of all truly great leaders.

Disney, Elena of Avalor, Latina, Princess

Elena of Avalor is a princess for every little Latina girl.

I am excited for Elena and so are my girls but, honestly, I am reserving judgement for after I see a few episodes and see just what Disney did with their first ever Latina princess. I want to see if she is really a true representation of a Latina girl. Is she someone my daughters can look to and recognize themselves? Or is she simply like every other princess but with a slightly tanner complexion? These things are important to me and my daughters and they matter.

I’ve watched two episodes and I love the focus of the importance of family. I love the fact that her grandparents call her mija and they play guitars like my father, my daughters and I. I also loved that they made it all begin when she was 15, which is a very important year for a Latina girl because it is the year of our Quincinera. This is especially exciting for my girls because they are already planning their quincineras that are 4 and 6 years away.

One of my most favorite things is that the people of Avalor, though Latino, are all different shades of skin tone, hair and eyes and that is more realistic than most portrayals on television. I also really appreciate the references to Latino culture and language. In fact, my daughters said, “They only got one thing wrong…our Grandpa Manny doesn’t have grey hair.”

Disney, Elena of Avalor, Latina, Princess

Meanwhile, I know all the little Latina girls are going to want to get their hands on Elena of Avalor merchandise because, you know how we Latinas are, we support one another and we really want to love Elena. I just hope she can live up to our expectations. I had the opportunity to get my hands on a few pieces and my daughters really loved them. They really love the “Sister Time” song and love both Elena and Isabel.

Hasbro provided me with three dolls from the Elena of Avalor collection for review purposes.

My girls are loving them and I have partnered with Hasbro to giveaway a gift pack of Elena of Avalor prize pack for that special little girl in your life.

Disney, Elena of Avalor, Latina, Princess

*Disney Elena of Avalor and Skyler 2-Pack; ages 3 years & up; $34.99

*Disney My Time Singing Elena of Avalor Doll; ages 3 years & up; $29.99

*Disney Elena of Avalor Doll; ages 3 years & up; $14.99

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To enter to win all you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter and leave a comment below telling me what you love the most about Disney’s newest princess Elena of Avalor.

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Disney, Walt Disney World, disabled, tips for getting around Disney when you're disbaled

Last week, my family went to the happiest place on earth, Disney World, and I was disabled. We were all very excited. We’d been planning this trip since last year; everything got postponed when my life came to a screeching halt thanks to my slip and fall in my sister’s wedding last fall. Come hell or high water, we were going to Disney World. There was just a couple issues 1) my broken leg is still recovering (it’s an 18-month process y’all.) 2) the week before we left, I was in the ER with a severe gallbladder attack. I was far from 100% but I was going to Disney World.

Here is how I navigated the happiest place on earth with a messed up leg. I can tell you that it was no fun but I figured out a way to get around all of those parks and not end up back in the hospital. This post is just about getting around if you are physically disabled, I will write a separate post about eating at Disney World when you are on a restricted diet because, you know, I couldn’t just be hobbled I had to do it starving.

My advice for anyone who has a broken leg, is recovering from a broken leg, a sprained ankle, a bum knee or broken hip or just doesn’t do well with walking in high heat because they are sickly, especially the elderly…rent a wheelchair! I believe it’s $12/$13 a day or you can get 3 days for $30, which is what my husband did for me. But get to the parks early, especially the Magic Kingdom. Also, the wheelchairs are located to the right after you scan in but before you enter the park (the same place as where you rent the strollers).

Disney, travel, Walt Disney World, disabled, tips for getting around Disney when you're disbaled

I thought I could do it on my own. After all, I am 7 months out from the original break but I was wrong. I tried everything, ankle brace, ankle wrap, Kinesio Tape for the tendonitis, crutches and even took my walking boot. Nothing can make a recovering broken leg walk around the Magic Kingdom for 15 hours pain free, not even a strong will and multiple vicodin. Believe me I tried.

The first night we arrived, we went to Hollywood studios. We arrived around 4:30 p.m. we returned to our room around 10 pm, in those 5.5 hours, my ankle (that was firmly in a brace) had swollen up to the size of my calf and the pain was excruciating. I knew then and there that there was no way that I was going to survive the Magic Kingdom on foot.

A few things you should know about being physically disabled in a wheelchair at Walt Disney World:

Firstly, it’s not as embarrassing as you might think and don’t worry about your spouse or children pushing you around, they’d prefer that to hearing you complain and be in misery any day.

Secondly, if you do find yourself in a wheelchair, check with the cast members at each ride because some have steps and they will need to reroute you. Sometimes they just give you a fast pass and have you come back so you don’t have to wait in the long lines in your chair.

Thirdly, check when you go to the restaurants, some have special seating for people in wheelchairs and some you need to leave the chair outside but for the most part all the parks were very wheelchair friendly.

Fourth, check with cast members at each park about seating for fireworks and such. They are very accommodating and there are special seating locations for those in wheelchairs. It was very nice that they provide these spaces because it’s hard to see when you are at wheelchair level.

Fifth, and this is the important one, if you are not disabled do not rent the wheelchairs. Leave those for those people who actually need them. Laziness is not a disability. Also, don’t use the handicapped bathrooms; those of us who are actually handicapped need those larger bathrooms for a reason. A wheelchair does not fit in a standard restroom stall.

Disney, Walt Disney World, disabled, tips for getting around Disney when you're disbaled, travel

I won’t lie, being at Walt Disney World in a wheelchair was a humbling experience for me but, like most of these past 7 months, it’s given me a new respect for the disabled and respect for their situations. Disney did a great job of making the parks easily enjoyed by the disabled as well as the able bodied.

If it hadn’t been for the wheelchair rental service, the entire trip would have been ruined. If you find yourself, physically unable to walk Disney World, don’t be too proud to use the wheelchairs. They are there for those of us who are disabled in some way and need them.

Have you ever been to Disney World when you weren’t 100% physically?

 

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Inside Out, Halloween, trick-or-treating

Our entire lives have been upside down and inside out since I broke my leg but we are learning to deal with it. Honestly, this broken leg has not just changed my life it’s upset the entire ecosystem of my family. It’s been a crazy couple of months so this Halloween, we fittingly went as characters from Inside Out.

joy

I haven’t been out a lot lately so I was really excited to take the girls Trick or Treating. The Big Guy was Anger, which made us all laugh since Anger is small and my husband is 6’5”. My oldest was Joy and my youngest was Disgust. The obvious choice for me was Sadness, to round out the crew, but I figured there’s been enough sadness so I chose to go another route. I decided to be Bing Bong.

Inside Out, Halloween, trick-or-treating

Why Bing Bong from Inside Out, you ask?

Well, I felt like I needed a little whimsy in my life. Though I must say, it’s a challenge trying to bring a child’s imaginary friend to life on Halloween or any other day of the week. I spent the night being confused for Katy Perry and Niki Minaj as the Big Guy wheeled me around the neighborhood.

Inside Out, Halloween, trick-or-treating

It was exhausting to be out and around in the chilly, autumn night air but at the same time it was invigorating. I felt like a human again. Hearing my girls giggle as they ran door-to-door trick or treating made my heart happy.

It’s funny how sometimes the simple things like being outside of your own four walls, participating in life can make all the difference. For one night, I felt like I got to escape my injury and do the things I’ve always done with my family. I felt normal and it was amazing, even if it was while I was dressed as an imaginary friend.

Inside Out, Halloween, trick-or-treating

In the end, maybe I looked like Katy Perry in a wheelchair with a broken leg and a crazy pair of Olivia Newton John sparkly hot pants and not Bing Bong. Maybe no one quite got what I was supposed to be but I needed it.

 

We all needed a little Inside Out to get right side up.

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Disney,Sleeping beauty, sponsored, dreams for our children

When you have a baby, you instantly have dreams for them, before they are ever born. It’s all part of loving them unconditionally. We want them to have, be and do everything they could ever dream of. We dream of a “perfect” life for them, one in which they enjoy all the good that the world has to offer. We dream of our children having lives filled with happiness, health, marriage, career success and 2.5 children. We have dreams of six figure salaries and big houses in gated communities. We dream of our children never having to want for anything and never feeling any of the world’s pain and hurt. In short, our dreams are big and beautiful but not very realistic.

 

I decided early on, after actually having children, that I couldn’t control what my daughters’ dreams were going to be. Their dreams are their dreams, not mine. The dreams I have, are my dreams for them and the two may not be anything alike and that is all right. I’ve streamlined my dreams for them, all I really want for my children are health and happiness; whatever their happiness may look like, I want them to have that. If there were room, I’d love for them to get to pursue their passions.

 

From the moment I found out that I was pregnant with little girls, my brain was flooded with pink, taffeta, tulle and hair bows as big as Gerbera daisies, ballet and all things girly. My head was swimming with all the possibilities to share with my girls; all the likes and dislikes. Like most parents, my children were, in a way, an opportunity to give them all that I never had and always wanted or to recreate all of my favorite memories from my own childhood. It was a chance to help someone else avoid making those mistakes that I had already experienced. I know, when I read it out loud it sounds like I’m some crazy stage mom. I’m not. I just always try to afford my daughters every opportunity that they want; every chance to be who they want to be.

 

I have two daughters. One daughter is all about everything prim, proper and princess. She loves the refinement of ballet, all things pink (in all shades) and the fancier and girlier something is, the better it is in her mind. She loves big full dresses and giant hair flowers. She fulfills every one of those fantasies I had when I first found out that I was pregnant with a girl. She is obedient, pensive, social, philanthropic and kind. She is very Audrey Hepburn. Everyone who meets her tells me what a pleasure she is to be around. I am proud of her. She says that when she grows up, she wants to be a fashion designer and a mother of 4. She wants it all and I respect that but I know there will be choices that will have to be made with those dreams; sacrifices to be made.

 

My youngest daughter loves blue and green, which also happen to be my favorite colors. She is a little tomboyish and rough around the edges but she is 100% genuine all the time. She can’t tell a lie to save her life and she wears her heart on her sleeve and her every mood on her face. She is honest to a fault and fierce beyond any sass I have ever seen on another child her age. She is gruff but she is graceful and I see a lot of Grace Kelly beneath that somewhat wild first impression. When she dances, it’s like a soft breeze blowing off the ocean. She loves animals and says when she grows up she wants to go to Purdue (where her father and I went) and be a veterinarian. She’s 7 but she says she’s not sure she wants kids. I know this might change but it also might not.

 

Their dreams are big and beautiful in their own way. I hope they get everything they desire out of life but, as their mother, all I really want them to have is health, love and happiness. I don’t care who it’s with or whether they have children or not or where they live or who they marry or what they do; all I want for them is loads and loads of good health and happiness. All the rest is not my dream to have.

 

Speaking of Dreams Coming True,

Sleeping-Beauty-dreams-for-our-children

 

Disney’s Ultimate Fairy Tale, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition will be released on Blu-ray™ and Digital HD for the first time on October 7, 2014. So why not create some memories that will last a lifetime with Disney’s illustrious #SleepingBeauty- a must own for every family’s classic collection, and order now!

 

What is your dream for your child?

 

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travel-family travel-Orlando-Florida-Cirque du Soleil-La Nouba-culture-parenting

When my family and I traveled to Orlando, Florida recently, we had the pleasure of attending Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba at Disney World. We love taking our girls to the theater and letting them enjoy cultural events while they are still young enough to really enjoy the magic because of the infinite possibilities of their imaginations and let them develop a love for the arts naturally.We’ve been taking them to the ballet and the Chicago Shakespeare theater for years; next stop, Broadway. La Nouba tells the fascinating story of the boundless and festive journey of the imagination. The Big Guy and I first saw La Nouba on our honeymoon in 1999. Since then, the Cirque du Soleil and, more specifically, La Nouba have held a special place in our heart. So, imagine how excited we were to share it with our daughters?

travel-family travel-Orlando-Florida-Cirque du Soleil-La Nouba-culture-parenting, Disney World

In case you are unfamiliar with Cirque du Soleil, it is a version of the circus that is humane, uses no animals and captivates the audience, young and old alike, with acrobatic feats that defy the imagination and music that makes your feel like the whole thing is a wonderful, magical dream. Dazzling costumes, dramatic lighting, bizarre choreography and ethereal operatic music set the stage for clownish observations, a human puppet and a host of amazing acrobats that all bend and weave together to create one of the most exciting and engaging shows under the soleil.

travel-family travel-Orlando-Florida-Cirque du Soleil-La Nouba-culture-parenting, Disney World

A door opens and the two worlds collide. Enter the attic of make-believe, where the mundane meets the marvelous. Dreams and nightmares intertwine. La Nouba which calls on both individual and collective memory, is an unforgettable journey into a world at once threatening and exhilarating, frightening and familiar. La Nouba beckons to us, challenges us to uncover passions we thought we had lost long ago; to frolic in our childhood dreams and enter a place where the extraordinary transforms and overcomes the ordinary.

 

travel-family travel-Orlando-Florida-Cirque du Soleil-La Nouba-culture-parenting, Disney World

We took our daughters, ages 6 and 9 at the time, and they both were enthralled with the performers. My 6-year-old LOVED the Titan, especially when he performed on the trampolines and the little girls doing the Diabolos act. In fact, she made me buy her her very own set and plays with them almost daily. My 9-year-old was smitten with the Green Bird and the dancers. The Big Guy finds the power track/ trampoline act to be the big show stopper. Me, I must confess, I am mesmerized by the aerial ballet in silk. The show definitely has something for everyone and I could go on for days talking about La Nouba but as a picture is worth a 1000 words, a production like La Nouba leaves me speechless. La Nouba is something that has to be experienced to be believed and to fully enjoy it.

travel-family travel-Orlando-Florida-Cirque du Soleil-La Nouba-culture-parenting, Disney World

Next time you are at Disney World, and I know you will be if you have kids, if you are on the fence on whether or not to take your children to see La Nouba, I am here to tell you that it will be something they will never forget.

travel-family travel-Orlando-Florida-Cirque du Soleil-La Nouba-culture-parenting

Have you been to a Cirque du Soleil production? What was your favorite act or character?

travel-family travel-Orlando-Florida-Cirque du Soleil-La Nouba-culture-parenting, Disney World

If you’ve seen La Nouba, what was your favorite part of the show?

Photo Cirque du Soleil

Disclosure: I was provided 2 tickets for review purposes, but all opinions and thoughts are my own. I’ve been in love with La Nouba since the first time I saw it on my honeymoon in 1999.

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disneynature, bears, disney

For a year, my little one has been waiting for this Disneynature’s Bears to come to theaters. She is a huge animal lover and from the moment she found out that all proceeds on opening weekend were being donated, she was counting down the days even saving her own money to take and donate. This kid, she is something else.  So , guess who is seeing Disneynature’s Bears this weekend? Me and my entire family, even grandma.

In an epic tale of breathtaking beauty, Disneynature’s new true life adventure “Bears” follows the year in the life of two mother bears as they raise and impart life lessons to their impressionable young cubs.

“Bears” is set against the majestic Alaskan backdrop. The journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold.

The world outside is exciting and dangerous as the cubs’ descent down the mountain carries with it the threat of avalanches. As it changes from spring to summer, brown bear families work together to find food, feasting at a plentiful salmon run, while staying safe from predators, such as wolf pack that constantly seem to be around.

“Bears” captures the action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses. The very survival of the cubs depends on adhering to their mothers’ instruction, and family togetherness is the shelter that protects them from the elements of Alaska.

Like “Chimpanzees”, Disneynature has a way of infiltrating the natural habitat of the animals being filmed without disturbing them. The result is capturing amazing footage of some of the world’s most awe inspiring creatures doing exactly what they do when humans are not present. This is unprecedented and thrilling to watch.

These films give us a look into the mind of these animals and demonstrate just how alike we all really are when it comes to nurturing our children.  I cannot wait to see this film.

Photo Source: Disney

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#ProHealthKids, @OralB, Crest, DIsney Magic Timer,Disney, #DisneySIde, Crest, Oral-B

This paid post is brought to you by the new free Oral-B Disney Timer App as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post.
I, myself, am a self-proclaimed tooth brushing fanatic. I am obsessed with clean, straight and perfectly kept teeth. I picked up this habit as a teenager while I wore braces. Sure, my mom always warned us of cavities and horror stories of teeth falling out but not even the four cavities that I had filled at age 10 made me a believer. Fast-forward 3 years, imagine a young me sitting at the orthodontist office getting braces put on. I was terrified, it was 1985 and I just knew my brothers and sisters were not going to be wanting for torturous nicknames like Trap Jaw and Tin Grin but what I didn’t expect was the speech from my orthodontist.

“Debi, if you do not brush your teeth three times a day and floss and you continue to drink pop or any dark colored liquids, when I take these things off in a year or two, your teeth could be discolored or worse…rotten!”

Now, maybe that was the standard scare a kid straight speech given in the 80’s and maybe he was full of caca but what I heard was, “Girl, when I take these things off, if you haven’t been brushing like your life depended on it…the only thing holding those not so pearly whites in your mouth will be the wires and brackets I am torturing you with right now!”

You know, sort of like that time when I was seven and had to get tubes put in my ears. I heard, “We will need to chop your ears off!” Crazy imagination gets the better of me a lot of the time. Anyways, the speech about the teeth stuck and I have been a brushaholic ever since and I have the recession to prove it.

**Tip for parents, if you’re going to scare the kiddies straight with tales of rotten teeth, buy them an electric toothbrush unless you want them to brush away all of their gums.

#ProHealthKids, @OralB, Crest, DIsney Magic Timer,Disney, #DisneySIde, Crest, Oral-B

Anyways, I have “tried” to pass the urgency of teeth brushing down to my daughters. Apparently, it is not genetic because they are not one bit afraid of losing teeth. It may have something to do with the fact that my 6 –year-old is currently losing all of her baby teeth at an alarming rate. So, I have tried using an egg timer, a sand timer, sang happy birthday the required amount of times and we’ve even tried swishing our mouths with red dye to show them the residue that was left behind (that used to scare me to death in elementary school). Nope, none of it has worked. I even pulled out the magnifying glass to show them up close what they had missed in their brushing efforts. They laughed and went on about their business. Basically, short of their teeth actually falling out and rotting, they have no interest in brushing for two minutes. If you’re having the same problem with your kids, you may ask your family dentist to explain to them the importance of regular brushing of teeth.

I even have a 9-year-old with invisalign braces who I have shared the horrific tale of teeth held in place only by braces and still she poopooed me. So, when I learned of the Disney Magic Timer app I was ready to try anything and let’s be honest, my kids are crazy for the Mouse and all the princesses. I still can’t get them to stop singing Let it Go and I won’t even embarrass myself and tell you how many times we’ve had to watch all the Princess movies.

#ProHealthKids, @OralB, Crest, DIsney Magic Timer,Disney, #DisneySIde, Crest, Oral-B

I opened the free Disney Magic Timer app on my phone (next time we will be using my old ipod because they covered my phone in tooth paste) and created accounts for both girls. They get to choose from a few different characters; Bella chose Belle, of course, and Gabs chose Ariel. Next, you have the option of scanning in your Oral-B products to unlock character. I had a little trouble scanning on my phone but I am very impatient. My husband did it and said it was a breeze. We happen to have a lot of Oral-B products because every time the girls go to the dentist, he gives them a new one. They also earn stickers to unlock character by brushing regularly. Think of it as the way we potty trained with stickers. It still works.

#ProHealthKids, @OralB, Crest, DIsney Magic Timer,Disney, #DisneySIde, Crest, Oral-B

Then you choose your unlocked character and start your timer. Then this happens; a tiny toothbrush appears on the screen and starts brushing (yep, the kids can copy and do a great job at brushing the teeth) and as the 2 minutes passes, with music playing in the background, a cute Disney scene appears. I won’t lie; it totally kept the girls brushing because they wanted to reveal the photo. I told them if they stopped brushing, I was stopping the timer and no photo for them. And that, is how I got my girls to brush their teeth twice a day for 2 complete minutes each time. Now, our only problem is they want to brush their teeth constantly but we are working on it.

How do you get your kids to brush their teeth the recommended 2 minutes?

This is a paid post is brought to you by the new free Oral-B Disney Timer App as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post. Featuring sixteen of your favorite Disney and Marvel characters, use this app to seamlessly encourage your kids to brush longer. Collect a new digital sticker after each successful two minutes of brushing; track progress with stars and milestone badges on the Brushing Calendar. Longer, happier brushing for your little one is just a download away!

Download the Free App Here

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Frozen, Elsa, Frozen Party, frozen recipes, #disneyside, Disney, Olaf, Anna

Bella’s Frozen party is fast approaching so I have been searching the internet (especially Pinterest) high and low for how to pull off a Frozen birthday party that will have my daughter smiling ear-to-ear.  Earlier this week, I shared with you how to make an Elsa costume which turned out fantastic. Today, I am sharing the great Frozen recipes that I found.

They can all be found on my Pinterest board #Disneyside Frozen Party Ideas.

disney-frozen-party-blue-punch-with-snowballs, Frozen, Elsa, Frozen Party, frozen recipes, #disneyside, Disney, Olaf, Anna

Our first order of business for our Frozen party was the perfect punch. Blue Party Punch with Snowballs by Comfy in the Kitchen fit the bill. This is a super easy punch that looks gorgeous and tastes even better! Aside from the sweet, fizzy bubbles from the carbonation the ice cream snowballs will be sure to delight the little ones.

disney-frozen-party-hot-chocolate-Frozen, Elsa, Frozen Party, frozen recipes, #disneyside, Disney, Olaf, Anna

It wouldn’t be a Frozen party without a Hot Chocolate bar by Joyful Details – how perfect are these for a Frozen-themed party?  I love the idea of hot chocolate on a cold day, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and Pirouettes.  This is such a simple delight that all children ( young and old) will love to sip on.

Frozen party, Frozen, Elsa, Olaf, Anna, #DisneySide Disney, recipes

OK, Gabs is dressing as Olaf for our Frozen party so this Snowman Snack Mix by Spoonful is the perfect build a snowman snack!  Snowman parts tossed together in a bowl makes for an adorable display and I am sure that you will find the little people assembling their own tiny army of Olafs and it tastes pretty good too!

The movie FROZEN mentions three foods specifically: chocolate, carrots and sandwiches. So, of course, they must all make an appearance.

Frozen, Elsa, Frozen Party, frozen recipes, #disneyside, Disney, Olaf, Anna, chocolate fountain

So we are having mini sandwiches, a white chocolate fountain to dip strawberries in  ( Remember, Anna’s Frozen Heart) and having a veggie tray with carrots as a tribute to Olaf.

What would you add? What is your favorite Frozen party recipe?

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