4 Highlights from Pop Up Disney!

Pop Up Disney!

We all know Disney is a magical place. Dreams come true. Animals can talk and wonder is around every corner. And of course, who could forget the mouse who started it all? That’s why it was so exciting to have the magic come a little closer to us. Recently, Jack and I got to preview Pop-Up Disney! in Downtown Disney with one of his friends, Heidi, and her mom. It opened today and you gotta see it for yourself. It’s the perfect place to capture fun shots to post on Instagram, or just to take in all the Mickey and friends magic. You can watch our whole adventure here and book your own tickets here.

  1. We got to stop at the LEGO Store!  LEGOs are a huge thing at our house. Jack loves taking the time to assemble new creations and most of the time, he can follow the directions without any help. While we were there, we had the chance to see all kinds of amazing LEGO Creations– including a beautiful Disney Castle and a full-sized Hulk LEGO sculpture of truly epic proportions. That guy was almost as tall as me!

  2. Rainbow Room. Sometimes, you bring the rainbow vibes with you. Sometimes, it’s already there and in this case, it was a little bit of both. The rainbow room matched Jack’s shirt (a happy coincidence we didn’t plan) and it was really fun to see.

  3. Interactive Displays. The one that stood out to Jack the most was probably the entire wall made of tiny Mickey Mouse figurines. I enjoyed the wall of hearts. If you stood close to it, it looked like you were blowing kisses!

  4. Hidden Minnies. It was a big day for us and it was nice for Jack to have something to focus on as we explored the pop-up. The hidden Minnies were so fun for him– especially when he spied two in a row before I even found one.

Pop Up Disney

It was a wonderful way to spend the morning. I wish I had brought a better camera for taking photos (although my iPhone and Canon G7X did just fine), but I will on the next visit. Do you plan on going to Pop-Up Disney?

You're Invited to a Fun-filled Fundraiser

Fun-Filled Fundraiser

Many of you comment on all the amazing events I am so blessed to be able to attend. That’s why I am so excited to show you the little invitation I made for City Year Los Angeles and to let you know that yes, YOU are invited. It’s not just good food, drinks, and awesome people. It’s also the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other people. The event takes place October 18, 2018 and if you’re in Los Angeles during that time, we hope to see you there. It’s a fun-filled fundraiser for City Year– a non-profit that sends hundreds of young people into at-risk public schools across the country. These individuals spend a year tutoring students (1-9th Grade) in English and Math, providing support as tutors, mentors, and role models.

Fun-Filled Fundraiser

City Year means a lot to me personally because I believe in the mission— to provide every child in America with a quality education and because JC actually served in the inaugural corps in New York City right out of college. More recently, my new assistant finished a term working with City Year in Los Angeles before joining me in the studio. The organization is all about positivity, making a difference, and bringing just a little more joy into the lives of others. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity when City Year approached me about designing the invitation for this incredible fundraiser. After all, how often do you get to create beautiful art for a company you believe in?!? So, what do you think of the invite? Will you be joining me in October? Let me know in the comments!

Great Wolf Lodge + crafting with kids

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I was recently given the opportunity to pack up the family & spend some time at Great Wolf Lodge. It was our first trip there (and to any indoor waterpark), and wow, what an experience! Even from the very start of our stay, I was tremendously impressed. They are so high tech! Upon arrival, I got a warm text welcome from Brinley, our personal in-house assistant. How cool is that? We stayed in a family suite which was cute & cozy. It truly had the perfect cabin aesthetic with two queen sized beds and a pull out sofa. 

As far as activities went - we had a non-stop blast! Our friends came along for the adventure. The kids loved experiencing the waterpark and taking brief breaks to munch on tasty nachos. My college friend Dana even convinced me to go down a giant waterslide which was all at once nerve wracking and oh so fun. It reminded me of being a teenager as we sat in one of those figure 8 rafts and coasted down the huge tube. After we dried off we got down & boogied at the bubble party. Guys, this kiddie celebration was too cute! They played popular pop tunes while the room filled up with bubbles. Another fun adventure was playing a mystical, interactive video game where Jack and I got to wave wands & make some magic of our very own! Apparently doing the entire course can take 8 hours, so it's a wonderful thing to do over the span of a couple days. 

The meals there were delicious & extremely accommodating for those with specific dietary needs. The menu is marked accordingly so I was able to order gluten-free calamari & a gluten-free wedge salad with ease. For all of my meat eaters out there, I suggest ordering the steak. It was delicious!

After putting ourselves into a little bit of a food coma, the kids got personalized leather bracelets from a kiosk downstairs. The stand had a machine that etched the kids' names on colorful cuffs. In addition to the stuffed animals they got to see get stuffed and dressed, these were perfect souvenirs!

The next day I got the opportunity to host a craft session for a bunch of great kiddos and parents! Each participant got a pre-made design kit to help them style their very own mini traveler's notebook. All of the children took an Instax picture using the SQ10 with Wiley - the adorable, furry Great Wolf Lodge mascot - which served as the centerpiece of their project! Everyone was so creative & colorful with their individual books. It truly was a fun craft.

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We ended our trip with a visit to the candy store where we got some sweet parting gifts! While our stay at Great Wolf Lodge was quick, it definitely was a memory that will last a lifetime! If you have little ones or are just young at heart I highly recommend you stop by for your very own adventure!

Thanks to Great Wolf Lodge for hosting my family for the night in exchange for leading the workshop!

*****

Since May is National Water Safety Month, Aquatics Director at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California Wendy Rosales is sharing her top water safety tips, to spread awareness and educate families on the importance of staying safe around water. 

Nationally recognized as a leader in water safety by Ellis & Associates, a renowned international organization focused on aquatic safety, Great Wolf Lodge has safely welcomed millions of families over the years to its resorts. Whether planning a family vacation this summer to the beach, lake or waterpark, families can prepare for fun-filled time in the splash zone with these top tips: 

  • Never swim alone.  Always use the buddy system and be sure the area is well supervised by lifeguards before you or other family members enter the water. 
  • Encourage your child to wear a life jacket. Many public pools and water parks provide life jackets for your use free of charge and it’s better to be on the safe side if your child is not a confident swimmer.
  • Never assume someone else is watching your child. Even with lifeguards nearby, you have the responsibility for your child. The best way to keep your child safe is to play right alongside them.
  • Stay hydrated.  Swimming and playing takes a lot of energy, especially during the hot summer months. Drink plenty of water or sports drinks and rest in a cool location.
  • Forget the Bling.  Before heading to the beach, pool or water park, avoid swimsuits that have ties, grommets or decorations that could get caught on something during water activities.
  • Skip the flip-flops. Look for sandals with a heel strap or a full-coverage slip-on water shoe that will stay in place both in and out of the water.
  • Too much sun is no fun.  Be sure to limit your exposure during peak hours of 12pm-3pm and reapply waterproof/sweat proof sunscreen every 80 minutes.
  • Take a CPR course. Knowing these skills can be important in any environment. This is a skill we all can benefit from – on land and around water.
  • Read all of the signs before going on a waterslide, pool or attraction. Make sure your child meets the posted requirements.  If you have questions about an attraction, ask an employee at the facility.
  • Plan ahead. As a family, decide on a meeting place to go to if anyone gets separated.  Kids can take off in instant and crowded parks and beaches can make it difficult for little ones to find you.  Choose an easy-to-spot location that can be easily found by all family members.
  • If you see someone struggling in the water, call for help. Remember “Reach or Throw, Don’t Go!” Even professionally trained lifeguards don’t enter the water without having the proper flotation devices to keep themselves safe.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Lunar New Year CA Adventure Pluto

Happy Chinese New Year from our crew and Pluto too ✨❤️  

Macaron

We were invited to check out the Lunar New Year celebrations at California Adventure and we had a wonderful time! Wrote a recap of the fun for Disney Family. Check out the size of that macaron that Jack had! I think it’s so cool to have him experience these things because when I was younger, I didn’t see many opportunities to celebrate my heritage. Even though I was born and raised in a diverse suburb of Chicago and we got red envelopes every year, it’s amazing to see how the traditions are being shared in so many creative ways for everyone to enjoy. 

Fun with Ferdinand!

Most friends I've asked can remember the first movie they saw in the theatre. My mom took me when I was four and it was probably one of my first memories. Thanks to Nickelodeon, we had the fun opportunity to attend a screening of the film, Ferdinand. We invited my friend from college, Dana, and her daughter Star to come along for Jack's
first movie in the theatre!

Ferdinand!

Star let Jack choose where we would sit and we got settled with our popcorn. Jack literally sat at the edge of his seat the entire time and laughed out loud a lot. Seeing his face light up and turn towards me at various points in the movie made me so happy to have Ferdinand be the first film for him in the theatre. It was an inspiring tale about
choosing love, doing the right thing, and not being afraid to be yourself. When we were walking out, Jack said, "I want to see it again!" Star said she loved the whole movie, especially the end, and I agree with both of them. I don't think this is a spoiler alert, but you will want to stay through the credits!

Ferdinand LA premiere

Then we went to a studio where Nickelodeon recreated a set that was an obstacle course inspired by the "bull in a china shop" scene from Ferdinand.

Ferdinand Bull in a china shop
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I put on the bull sumo suit with the assistance of two others and waddled my way onto the set. It was such a fun experience overall and Jack and Star got to take some stuffies as well as the book!

Jack even took his first nap in weeks on our way home and we had the most magical sunset.

Ferdinand
sunset

Relive the fun with us in this video:

Let me know if you check out Ferdinand in theatres December 15!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nickelodeon in partnership with Fox. The opinions and text are all mine.

As always, my creative partners and I appreciate the support.