Celebrating Mamas at Aulani for Mahalo Mama Month!

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Last month, we had the pleasure of going to Aulani, the Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii! It was such an honor to be invited to visit this magical place that I had on my bucket list. Though we go to Oahu about twice a year, I had never been to this side of the island. I took Jack (of course) and my mom, as JC had to work. We got to preview a few of the special activities Aulani has planned for Mahalo Mama Month! During the whole month of May, the resort will be celebrating moms to thank them for everything they do. 

Of course, I brought my camera and took plenty of video footage compiled into a 22-minute vlog so you could tag along on our little trip to paradise (and so I could relive it anytime I need a happy dose of aloha)! We stayed in a 1-bedroom villa, and it was bliss. 

Our first morning at Aulani started with a delicious room service breakfast! Their chefs whipped up some Hawaiian-style french toast stuffed with chocolate and strawberries, delivered right to my bedside. I considered eating breakfast in bed as they’d intended, but enjoying it at the table was way easier. What can I say?

We toured the amazing resort and learned so much about the property. In true Disney spirit, there are stories and opportunities for wonder around every corner.  it was spa time. I chose the special Mahalo Mama spa package at Aulani’s Laniwai Spa, which includes a 25 minute massage, 25 minute facial, and a 50 minute organic pedicure. The spa itself was gorgeous and they even had pineapple water! Honestly though, 25 minutes felt like such a tease! I wish the massage and facial had been longer. I could have stayed there for hours, but was excited to feel rejuvenated knowing that my mom and Jack were having plenty of fun without me.

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You know how I feel about arts and crafts, so I was excited to check out the Pau Hana Room. It’s a great place where your kids can make photo frames and other keepsakes to take home. Another amazing place is Aunty's Beach House. Jack was super excited about what we called his "power band" that he wore around his wrist the whole time. It's an amazing kids club that is complimentary. There are plenty of fun activities of all sorts in the 5200 square foot space. It's open for a family hour in the morning, so if your children need it (like Jack did) you can even enjoy it with them. That way, you can help them get acclimated so they’ll be more comfortable if you decide to drop them off later.

One of my favorite things about going to a resort is that they take care of your room for you! I love coming back to a hotel room where everything is back to being perfect. The bed’s made, the bathroom’s clean, and my family and I can just focus on enjoying our trip. It’s so nice!

Aulani hosts a beautiful lei ceremony and while we were there, we found a wonderful surprise - Moana! She took photos with all of the kids.

One of the nights, Jack completely passed out 6:30pm and I was so happy about it! He ended up just sleeping in my bed with me later that night. Isn’t it amazing how someone so little can take up the whole bed?

We also got to check out one of the three bedroom villas you can stay in and it had an amazing view. This option would be wonderful for multiple families traveling together. I envision taking a trip with JC's siblings and kids and we can all stay in one of these! While we were there, Jack learned how to make a lei! During every Sunday in May, the Aulani staff will be teaching kids and moms how to make a Lei Po’o (a head lei) if you’d like to try it out too!

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By the time the end of our trip rolled around, we were sad to leave paradise and our daily shave ice! This place had been amazing for all of us. My mom said she couldn't remember the last time she felt so relaxed! People of all ages can really enjoy Aulani since the resort offers so many options. There really is something for everyone. I just kept seeing so many happy little kids running around and honestly, happy adults too. I think that’s the true key to a really great vacation - if mama is happy, the whole family ends up happy too! 

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This May, Aulani is also offering several special deals as part of Mahalo Mama Month, such as 10% off access to the amazing Rainbow Reef (their private snorkel lagoon) and 15% off family portrait sessions with Disney PhotoPass! We had such a wonderful time on our trip and I know you will too. For more information on Mahalo Mama Month at Aulani, click here. Hope JC is reading this so we can all go back together next May! Have you been? Let me know if you have any insider tips!

Hey LA - I'm throwing a little party!

Hope you can make it to Urbanic to help celebrate all kinds of fun things! There will be food, drinks and DIY's along with live lettering! Be sure to RSVP to hello@urbanicpaper.com

Amy Tangerine invite

March Favorites

I really wanted to get Favorites videos to you all every month this year, but I'm starting with March (or really, April). I hope you enjoy my latest video about the random assortment of products and other things I have been loving! 

Here is a list of everything I mentioned in the video and where you can go to find them.

Pixi Glow Tonic - I love the way my skin feels when I use this product! It feels so tight and clean and this is working really well for me. 

Schmidt's Deoderant Stick - I’ve seen and tried natural deodorants before, but I haven’t found one that does its job until now. This is the winner! So far, it’s been great. And from the comments on the video, it appears those of you who have tried it really like it too!

Derma E - This is an activated charcoal cleanser and my skin feels amazing after I use it. I try to use it once a day! 

ORLY Breathable Nail Treatment + Color - I got a manicure and they put this nail polish on me. It stayed for eight days without chipping, so I knew I had to try it at home too. The first color I got is a light gray called ‘Power Packed’. I’ve also been loving the color ‘Pamper Me’ which is a baby pink color. I think it’s perfect for spring and summer! I would like this pink even more if it were slightly more white, but it’s great and kind of fun! 

LipSense - The color I got was Napa and I tried it for the first time in this video so you can see how it goes on. It survived the kiss test without leaving a mark! To get it with a special 10% off discount through Friday 4/14, email Claudette at ClaudiesLastingLippies@gmail.com and tell her I sent you! Mention the code Amy10. 

Essentialism by Greg McKeown - I’m obsessed with the theories that he shares. There’s so much in life that we try to cram in but it’s really important to focus on the things that make our lives better. Totally recommended read! 

Jack's car bed - We got this bed for him a few months ago and he’s obsessed with it. This bed is currently on sale as well, if you were considering buying one! Check out the blog post I wrote about it right here.

Jack's Kitchen Helper - We love using this because Jack enjoys helping us in the kitchen while we’re cooking. It’s sturdy and he can get up and back down by himself! 

Minions Perler Beads - I love that my son enjoys doing crafts of all kinds. His focus and concentration lasted through to the finish. Although he wanted to keep it like it was instead of me ironing it for him, so I didn't get that part on video. This project reminded me of when I was younger and we had such a good time working on it together! 

Yoobi products - We got Jack the Yoobi colored pencils, a watercolor paper pad, and an activity book. He loves them!

Jonathan Adler coaster set - I just love how beautiful and functional these coasters are! They come in a set of four and I kind of wish I’d bought two of these boxes.

Paul Smith Sock Subscription - JC has always loved fun socks and Paul Smith has a monthly service that I paid a year in advance for and it is quite pricey, but the fact that he gets really cool socks every month makes for a fun little surprise every month. 

Christine Herrin Everyday Explorers - I met her in person at Adobe Max last year! We had so much fun talking about our shared love for paper. These are adorable cards and this whole kit is something that you can take with you. It’s so well-designed and awesome! 

Bullet Journaling - My bullet journal obsession continues! I’ve been loving this system so much. I can add color and do grayscale. If you want to know more about it, watch my playlist of bullet journaling videos

California Dreaming Mural - If you’re in LA, check out this new wall mural by It's A Living in Culver City at the Chinese Laundry Headquarters! It's right next to the See's Candies and it is gorgeous. I’d recommend going late afternoon on the weekends - I got this weird shadow when I visited in the morning. Here's a photoshoot I did there!

Let me know if you use any of this stuff too or if you want to share your current faves with me! Thanks for stopping by, fangerines. You're the best!

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. I receive a small percentage of sales at no cost to you. My creative partners and I really appreciate your continued support and every little bit helps me to bring you consistent content! 

Creative Community at PlannerCon2017

Amy Tangerine at PlannerCon

Last month, I had the exciting opportunity to speak and sell my products at the very first PlannerCon in San Francisco! By far, my favorite part was getting to interact with the creative community of planners who attended. Check out my vlog from the trip to see how much fun we had!

Bullet Journal and breakfast
Amy Tangerine PlannerCon

By the way, this romper is SO comfy and fun and I borrowed it from this amazing new company that a friend of a friend started - Haute & Borrowed - use code AMY for $50 off your first month!

Amy Tangerine PlannerCon

We put together a table selling Traveler’s Notebooks, stickers, and other products from my On A Whim line and it was super busy the whole time. One of the best things about running our own little popup shop is that we were right in the middle of the action.

During the conference, I got to meet so many Fangerines and fellow planner enthusiasts! People traveled from all over the world to be there. Thank you to everyone who came up and said hello! I had a wonderful time meeting all of you and seeing how you’ve colored in the pages of my book.

There’s something really invigorating about being surrounded by so many creatives. It’s not just every day that I can talk to any random stranger about washi tape and Traveler’s Notebooks, and as someone who gets particularly excited about those things, I absolutely loved being at PlannerCon.

Amy Tangerine PlannerCon

I grabbed this shot from Avery's Instagram story. Basically my message was that even if you're struggling, even if things don't seem to be going as you had thought they would... if you're kind, and doing the best that you can, life will give you more than you ever could've planned.

So many of you have asked when the next one will be and you can find more info on PlannerCon 2018 on the Facebook page and you can get your tickets here before they sell out.

Are any of you as obsessed with planners as I am? Which system is your favorite - are you into bullet journaling, Traveler’s Notebook, Hobonichi, or something else? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

Shop ON A WHIM now! Check your local retailer and online: Simon Says Stamp | Scrapbook.com

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. I receive a small percentage of sales at no cost to you. My creative partners and I really appreciate your continued support and every little bit helps me to bring you consistent content! 

Going to Disneyland with Preschoolers

Taking your preschoolers to Disneyland can seem like a pretty daunting task, but since there are so many wonderful things to do there, I think it’s totally worth the work involved! Plus, with the Southern California special they have going on, now is the perfect time for any SoCal locals to plan a day (or three, actually!) at Disney with little ones. 

I was invited to Disneyland for a preschooler event and of course I took Jack (and mommy). For my latest video, I thought it would be fun for you to see the day unfold with us and also see how I documented it in a scrapbook page. We packed up the car at 6am and headed out bright and early (so early, in fact, that Jack thought it was still night time). 

1. Take it easy (and pack snacks).

Because we live just over an hour away, we like to not jam too much into our day at Disneyland. It can definitely be tempting to go on as many rides and see as many shows as you can, but it’s much easier to get through a full day if you occasionally give yourself (and your kids!) a chance to relax. I recommend planning on doing no more than 5 things, and considering the others a bonus if you get to it. We always bring Jack's waterbottle and refill it at either drinking fountains or restaurants. You can also bring things to snack on, which is a great way to spend your time in line.

2. Character dining!

These meals give your family a great opportunity to interact with your favorite Disney characters without having to wait in line! They come up to the table and can take the time for autographs and photos. This time around, we went to Goofy’s Kitchen. On our first trip to Disneyland with Jack last year, we went to Disney's PCH Grill. The buffets are great and full of wonderful options. You can check out a full list of restaurants here. Make reservations ahead of time to make sure you can get in. And maybe brush up on the difference between Pluto and Goofy before you go. ;)

3. Visit the Baby Center.

This is an amazing resource for mamas with even younger kids in the park! They have everything you need to feed and change your baby on the go. It's located near the front of the park. If you're in the potty training phase or just prefer it, this place has the lower toilets. They have anything you might need for your little ones and they even have a dedicated private space for nursing moms.

4. It’s A Small World AFTER ALL.

This was my favorite ride when I was little. I also loved 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - does anyone remember that ride? Well now it's Finding Dory, and Jack has been on it only once as the line was quite long, but we loved it just the same. We stopped at It's a Small World first at the request of Jack and Harper! We always do the ride at least once as it's Jack's favorite. In fact he got to go on it four times this particular day. Mommy took him for the third and fourth time while I got to take a little ride break and catch up on some emails.

5. Take plenty of pictures! 

After we ride It’s A Small World, we like to have a mini photo shoot in front of this wall. This time, we were even joined by a pair of ducks! There's also a large restroom that we like to stop in as it never seems to be crowded.

6. Two words. Bubble. Wand.

These Disney bubble wands are our favorite thing. Jack had two of them (though the first one saw a lot of action and broke after countless hours of play). They are a complete life-saver when it comes to keeping kids entertained on long lines or wherever you are in the park. You may remember Jack outside of The Little Mermaid in California Adventure with his very first bubble wand in this video. Bring a small bottle of bubble solution from home with you because inevitably, they want to use the bubble wand ALL THE TIME. Instead of asking them to constantly turn it off, and risking a flood of tears, extra bubble solution (and maybe even some extra batteries) would come in handy! 

I also always ask the kiosk person to set up the bubble wand for us since they have the proper tools and can do it quickly and efficiently. 

Next, here are some of my tips for making sure you have a great way to look back at your special day!

Disneyland is one of the best places to make memories with your kids, so of course, I wanted to document the day when I got back home. I think you can easily use the supplies you have on hand instead of feeling like you need to purchase themed papers or stickers. Anything that makes you happy should be good enough for using for these special memories. I decided to use my latest collection with American Crafts, On A Whim

1. Add your favorite photos from the day to a “To Print” folder on your phone! 

That way, it’s easier to find the best pictures when it’s time to print them. For this spread, I used the Instax Share SP-2 printer (the newest one) to print out cute instant photos right from my iPhone. Once you’ve printed them, you can just remove the photos from that folder so you’ll be ready for the next round of memories! 

2. Harness your creative energy, even if it happens before the trip.

Sometimes you get creative before you’re able to take the photos! Some of my best work has come out of my anticipation of an upcoming vacation. Cut out small pieces of paper the size of your photos and use those templates to plan out your page. Then, you can add the photos later and you’ll have exactly the right amount space for them!

3. PUT little pieces of memorabilia TO USE. 

I think this adds so much. For my spread, I decided to carefully tear the pieces apart instead of cutting them. The torn edge adds a bit of texture and personality! 

4. Work quickly and impulsively.

Sometimes, it's just easier to stick something down rather than deliberating for too long. I like the idea of just going with it because so many times, we intend to scrapbook and document our memories, but life gets in the way. I would rather just commit and make adjustments later if necessary. 

So Cal residents, don't forget to check out the Southern California special they have going on that is valid through May 25! Maybe Jack and I will even see you there soon!

What are your favorite tips for taking your preschoolers to Disneyland (or any other theme park)? And how do you document your Disney trip when you get home? Leave your best advice in the comments below!

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