7 Tips To Save Money at Disneyland + Free Hotel Night


Tips-to-save-money-at-Disneyland-Daniel-Wellington-Watch-Disneyland-Walt Disney-Mickey Mouse-castle

With Disneyland ticket prices increasing year after year, it can be less affordable for even a family of four to visit. Let alone all the extras such as $18 parking, meals, snacks and souvenirs. It all certainly starts to add up pretty quickly. So we’ve made a list of things that will for sure help minimize the cost when visiting the happiest place on Earth. Plus, we’ve teamed up with Country Inn & Suites to give a one-night stay at their newest hotel in Anaheim (just steps away from Disneyland) or to any Country Inn & Suites of choice.

 tips-to-save-money-DISNEYLAND-Birthday-Celebrations-Disney-Where-To-Eat

1. Military, group, employee discounts

Disneyland offers military families and large group discounts throughout the year. Be sure to call ahead to find out when those discounts are available. 

Also, some large companies offer theme park discounts to their employees. Be sure to reach out to your Human Resource department. You might be surprised to know that your employer or your significant other’s employer can get you around 25% off tickets.

 save-money-at-disneyland

2. Visit during off-season

Visiting during holidays or weekends are not only the busiest and most crowded but also the most expensive. Try visiting during ‘value’ dates instead. 

off-peak-disneyland 

3. Take your babies!

Kids under 3 are FREE! And once they turn 3 the ticket price is almost as much as an adult price. So be sure to take advantage of this while they’re young. 

4. Southern California Resident Perks

Southern CA residents can purchase a City Pass which includes:

  • One 3-Day Disneyland® Resort Park Hopper® ticket for Disneyland® Park and Disney California Adventure® Park (includes one Magic Morning admission to a designated Disneyland® Resort Theme Park)
  • One day at LEGOLAND® California Resort
  • One day at SeaWorld® Adventure Park

In addition to the City Pass, residents can also purchase an annual passport. There are different tiered passports and most are by no means inexpensive; however, if you live in Southern CA, plan to visit often and have little ones under 3, this is for sure the way to go.

5. Eat breakfast before

Breakfast at Disney is not only delicious but just as pricey as having a lunch or even dinner there for that matter. Be sure to fill up your tummies before entering the park to cut down on that extra meal cost.

6. Bring snacks

Yes, bringing your own snacks is a no-brainer as it can lower your in-park eating cost; however, it will also help keep you sane. Hear me out. Waiting in long lines and walking around the park will for sure increase your little one’s appetites. And the last thing you’d want is to have a cranky kiddo waiting in another line just to grab a snack.

7. Stay off-site

country-inn-suites-anaheim

If you’re traveling from afar, staying at an off-site hotel will save you the most money. Luckily, there’s a brand new one that just opened near Disneyland. The Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Anaheim, CA has a modern and stylish feel with spacious rooms and spa inspired bathrooms. But my absolute favorite feature is that it offers a complimentary hot breakfast. Their ‘Be Our Guest’ Breakfast, includes a parfait bar, Belgian waffles, biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs, and pastries to name a few. And did I mention this hotel has a great outdoor patio and pool view of Disneyland’s fireworks? How amazing is that, right?

country-inn-suites-anaheim-california-ca-breakfast anaheim-pool-country-inn-suites

country-inn-suites-anaheimDon’t forget to enter our one-night giveaway at a Country Inn & Suites Hotel! Simply check out their site HERE to see what’s your favorite feature about the new Country Inn & Suites By Carlson hotel in Anaheim and leave a comment below.

Abrazos (hugs) — Gladys

5 Mom New Years Resolutions

Mom-New-Year-ResolutionLet me start by saying that I can’t believe 2016 is over. I’m still trying to cross off things on my last resolutions list. So rather than create a new list with things that are for sure just going to sit on the back burner, I’ve simplified it this year and kept it attainable. Just five things that are for sure to make 2017 extra special and all for the better.

5 mom new years resolutions

 

1. Be present – It’s certainly easier said than done with the multitude of social media apps out there and even kid apps. In 2017, I plan to completely disconnect from our phones, T.V. and computer for a few hours each day. Calling it our holy hours.

2. Declutter – Now is the time to get rid of all the toys! Ha- ok not really. I wish I could, though. They are literally taking over every inch of our home. I’ve already started to go through them all and make piles of toys the girls have outgrown or don’t use on the daily. And I’ll be placing the rest of the toys in closets and bins. Anything that does not fit will for sure be donated. Done and done! Now let’s hope Mia, our oldest, doesn’t realize they’re missing. That girl has such a gnarly memory!

3. Get Organized – Having two little ones has made it difficult to stay on top of everything and organizing our home has for sure taken a back seat. I’m going to make a list of 5 things that need to get organized and give myself an actual due date to get it done.

4. Have Patience – Ok, hands down the hardest one on my list. Keeping it real over here. Some days are harder than others but patience is a must with little ones. I just bought a great book for inspiration. Can’t wait to let you know if it works.

5. More Dates – By this, I mean scheduling quality time with both my kids and husband individually. I think it’s so important to do this more so when there’s 2+ kids. Love taking Mia on movie and frozen yogurt dates. Plus, it helps when she’s craving extra attention. Ahem, acting up because of all the attention we now give to the baby.

 

Mom-New-Year-Resolution

Mom-New-Year-ResolutionAnd what are your 2017 mom resolutions? Is your list bigger this year or are you simplifying?

Abrazos (hugs) — Gladys

Mom-New-Year-Resolution

Super Detox Salad

super-detox-salad-kale-quinoaI absolutely love the holidays for so many reasons; however, one thing I don’t love is the overload of holiday sweets and high-calorie fatty foods so readily available to eat. It seriously makes it nearly impossible for me to stay on track with eating healthy. And it sure doesn’t help when my family and my husband’s family both cook delicious traditional Mexican meals and we attend both dinners on Christmas eve. I mean, how could I say no to all the yumminess? Am I right? For this reason, I always feel like I need a detox from it all afterwards.

And, I know what you’re thinking. Really a salad? Puulease. Get outta here with that rabbit food. Well, this salad is not like any other salad. It’s surprisingly really delicious, filling and better yet, it’s jam packed with antioxidants. Perfect to prevent all those pesky colds that are making their way into everyone’s homes this winter.

So what’s in?

baby kale

Great source of fiber, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese

romaine lettuce

Also a great source of fiber, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin, folate, iron, potassium and manganese.


super-detox-salad-kale-quinoa

quinoa

Great source of protein plus it’s gluten-free! Great source of fiber, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, folate, copper, iron, zinc, potassium, vitamins B1, B2 and B6, calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.

fresh blueberries & strawberries

Infection-fighting vitamin C and vitamin K. A very good source of Fiber, Folate, Potassium, and Manganese.

super-detox-salad-kale-quinoacrisp jicama

High in fiber, vitamin C and iron. Since this root contains low calories and it’s rich in fiber, it’s a great item to use for weight loss, for lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar levels.

diced cucumber

Vitamin K, vC, B5 manganese, potassium and magnesium.

roasted brussels sprouts

Fiber, protein, vitamin A, C, B-6, iron, magnesium and potassium.

red grapes

Vitamin A, C, B-6, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

dried cranberries

Although these contains carbs, we only add a teaspoon so it still keeps the salad light and sweet.

toasted pepitas & chia seeds

Protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and Omega-3

 

Super Detox Salad

Super Detox Salad

Ingredients

  • baby kale - 1 cup
  • romaine - 1/2 cup
  • quinoa - 1/4 cup
  • diced jicama - 4 tbsp
  • roasted brussels sprouts - handful (left overs from previous night)
  • toasted pepitas - 1 tsp
  • sliced red grapes - handful
  • sliced strawberries - 1/4 cup
  • blueberries - 1/4 cup
  • cranberries - 1 tsp
  • diced cucumber - 3 tbsp
  • *tossed in a homemade orange vinaigrette (6 tsp freshly squeezed navel orange, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp evo oil, 1/2 teaspoon honey).
http://themotheroverload.com/super-detox-salad/

orange-vinagrette-dressing
Abrazos (hugs) — Gladys

Cranberry Pecan Sea Salt Granola

cranberry-pecan-sea-salt-granolaThis week, we teamed up with my mamá friend, Danielle from mom wife foodie to share one of her delicious yet healthy on-the-go snacks. It’s for sure perfect for snacking on during this busy holiday season.

So grab yourself a bowl, and the ingredients listed below. Turn on the oven. And make a batch of this delicious granola!

cranberry-pecan-seasalt-granola

Cranberry Pecan Sea Salt Granola

Ingredients

  • • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • • 3/4 cup honey
  • • 2 tsp vanilla
  • • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • • 1/2 tbsp sea salt
  • • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • • 2 cups pecans | crushed
  • • 5 cups old fashioned oats
  • • 1 cups cranberries

Instructions

  1. preheat over to 300°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine 1/2 cup olive oil, 3/4 cups honey, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 tbsp sea salt. Mix together thoroughly.
  3. Add 1/2 cup chia seeds to wet mixture and stir.
  4. Mix in 2 cups ground almonds and 1/2 cup ground flax seed.
  5. Add old fashioned oats 1 cup at a time, mixing between each set till you’ve reached 5 cups of oats. Make sure all oats are coated.
  6. Cover 2 trays with parchment paper.
  7. Spread your granola mixture evenly between both trays. Cook for 45 minutes at 300°F or until golden brown
  8. Sprinkle 1 cup of cranberries over granola.
  9. Once golden brown allow to cool completely before breaking into clusters.
  10. Store in a seal tight container.
http://themotheroverload.com/cranberry-pecan-sea-salt-granola/

cranberry-pecan-seasalt-granolaAbrazos (hugs) — Gladys

First Birthday Must-Haves

First-Birthday-Party-Must-Haves-Photography

Photo Credit: Courtney McManaway

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Minted, Imagine Me Grow and BabyList but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

 

Today, Lexi is exactly 12 months old. How on Earth is this possible? Where did the 365 days go?

I can still vividly picture her birth as if it were yesterday. And I can’t help but feel a little sad knowing that she is our last, knowing that each thing big or small will be the last time she does it. I’m desperately holding onto the newborn onesies, her first pair of shoes, the bouncy seat currently collecting dust in the corner of our room and just about every single baby item she’s ever used.

For this reason, I knew I had to throw Lexi the best first birthday party ever. And boy did I get a little carried away pinning things on Pinterest. So much so that I was starting to feel overwhelmed. So instead, I came up with 10 absolute must-have items that were 100% attainable and more importantly stress-free.

I used Babylist for my baby registry and loved how super convenient it was for us to just add items we really needed and loved from any store or website. I kid you not. Just like adding pins on Pinterest!
So we decided to use the Babylist app again to create a First Birthday registry for our friends and family to use as some had no clue what to get a one-year-old. Our guest mentioned that it was so easy and convenient for them to make purchases directly off of our list. Talk about making things stress-free even for our guest!
Imagine-Me-Grow-First-Birthday-Party-Snow-White-Disney-Party-Snow-White

Birthday Registry

Here’s a look at what we had on our birthday registry:

 babylist-registry-baby-first-birthday

Invitations

Minted-Invitations-First-Birthday

Granted this is a given but since she’s our last baby I had to pull all the stops. Thanks to Minted.com for their impeccable design and paper quality, our invitations were top-notch and a cinch to create online. They even included free recipient address printing (removed from above photo for guests privacy) and shipped within 4 business days. Talk about making my life easier.

Birthday Party Location

Deciding where the party will be held is possibly the most important thing to consider. Since we wanted it to be stress-free not to mention the weather called for rain, we opted to have it at Imagine Me Grow. This place is hands down the cutest indoor playground for kids.

It’s an “upbeat imaginary town where children are able to experience fun adventures in a grown-up’s world.” This playground has multiple rooms for both boys and girls, such as an adorable cafe, Veterinary office, fire station, life-like armed-forces training facility, dance club, restaurant and even a gym to name a few.

But the best part of having Lexi’s party at Imagine Me Grow was that all of our guests had an amazing time. Everyone kept complimenting how fun and cute the place was. Some even mentioned they’d like to throw their next kids birthday party there too!

Imagine-Me-Grow-First-Birthday-Party-Snow-White-Disney-Party

Imagine-Me-Grow-Murrieta-California-CA-Birthday-Party

Imagine-Me-Grow-Murrieta-California-CA-Birthday-PartyFirst-Birthday-Party-Imagine-Me-GrowBirthday Outfit

Most parents would dress up their kiddo in a Sunday’s best kinda birthday outfit. But not us. We opted for a costume. I mean, I can’t even handle the cuteness. Biased over here! We purchased this one on Amazon Prime and it arrived within 2 days.

imagine-me-grow-first-birthday-party-snow-white-disney-party-snow-whiteDecor

I’ve always secretly wanted to have an October baby just so that we could throw a costume birthday party. Well, that didn’t happen. So instead, we went with a Snow White theme party because you all know we love Disney plus Lexi’s sweet personality just remind us of her.

First-Birthday-Party-Disney-Snow-White-Theme-Imagine-Me-Grow-Cake-Dessert-Table

snow-white-birthday-party-centerpiece-cookies-decorationsSmash Cake

What’s a first bIrthday party without a smash cake? Thanks to my very talented mamá for making the smash cake, Snow White cake, cake pops and apple cookies. How cute is this dessert table?

First-Birthday-Party-Disney-Snow-White-Theme-Imagine-Me-Grow-Smash-Cake

Photo Collage

I created this one on CostcoPhoto.com and picked it up the very next day.

First-Birthday-poster-Costco

Decorate High Chair

Since this is the most photographed chair in the house, it’s important to add a cute decoration to it.  We purchased this ribbon banner at Target for just under $5. It went with our party decor plus it was simple to put up and take down.First-Birthday-Party-Disney-Snow-White-Theme-Imagine-Me-Grow-Smash-Cake

Food

Luckily, Imagine Me Grow allowed us to bring in our own food which was key for us as our oldest, Mia, is severely allergic to eggs and tree nuts. This was a major win as it was one less thing to worry about.

Photographer

Imagine Me Grow’s staff not only helped us set-up and take down the food stations and decorations but also took digital photos of the entire celebration for us. Definitely an added bonus!  

Happy celebrating!

Imagine-Me-Grow-Murrieta-California-CA-Birthday-Party

Imagine-Me-Grow-Murrieta-California-CA-Birthday-Party

imagine-me-grow-first-birthday-party-snow-white-disney-party-snow-white-firefighters

Imagine-Me-Grow-Murrieta-California-CA-Birthday-Party

First-Birthday-Party-Imagine-Me-GrowAbrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

 

3 Tips for Stress-free Holiday Entertaining

black-and-decker-2-1-Stick-Vacuum

3 Tips for Stress-free Holiday Entertaining

I love entertaining and admit I tend to go a little overboard with all the party details. And although I absolutely love it all, it can be quite overwhelming at times. But over the years, I’ve learned to let go and just focus on what’s important. Such as checking off items from a must-have list and making sure the party is as stress-free as possible. Because let’s face it, the holidays are already stressful as it is, am I right? So here are 3 tips to help with your holiday entertaining parties.

stress-free-tips-entertain-holidays

  • Create A Vision Board: This is crucial as it will help you visualize everything you’d like to include. Pinterest is always easy to use and you can build a board instantly. Just be sure to stay focused and add items that are attainable and only work within your timeline.
  • Lists  Create a list of items needed as well as a to-do list. Always keep in mind the time you have to work with. For example, it might not be a good idea to add an elaborate dessert bar if you only have a couple of days to plan, make or purchase all the items. Remember to keep it simple first. Focus on your must-have items such as food, bar, music list and holiday decor. You can always add more if time permits.
  • Prep Time: It’s always a good idea to prep as early as possible. Starting with tidying up your place.

We love using the Black & Decker SMARTECH™ Cordless Lithium 2-IN-1 Stick Vacuum before and after our parties. This cordless self-standing floor vacuum converts to a hand vacuum instantly. It’s also super light-weight. We’re talking the lightest one we’ve yet to own. Makes it a cinch to clean our stairs even while carrying Lexi around. It also has a SMARTECH™ sensing technology which displays battery and filter status as you work. But the best part about the Black & Decker vacuum is that it automatically adjusts suction to the surface your vacuuming. And it swivels right into every corner of our dark floors. black-and-decker-stick-vacuum

black-and-decker-stick-vacuum

Black-and-decker-stick-vacuum

This vacuum is definitely our go-to holiday helper and we’re ultra-excited to partner up with Black & Decker to giveaway not 1 not 2 but 20 of these!!!

Simply enter the Black & Decker site here and leave a comment on our blog below with which qualities you like about the 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum. Please note that a comment is the only form of entry for this giveaway. Winners will be announced 1/04/17 on The Mother Overload’s Facebook page.

Best of luck to you all!

Black-and-decker-stick-vacuum

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

 

5 Must-have Boots Under $50

Over the knee boots-outfit
I love boots. Riding boots, over the knee boots, booties, rain boots, pointy boots, wedge ankle boots, high heel boots. Yes, pretty much every single style that exists. However, is it just me or do they seem to go up in price every year? Ok, inflation but seriously, some of my favorite styles can be way pricey. Determined to make my budget stretch this year, I rounded up a handful of my favorites for under $50! Yes, these are not only super rad and perfect for Fall/Winter but they’re also affordable.


1. Over the Knee Boots

$39.99 TJ Maxx (in-store)

These boots were a steal and are beyond comfortable. Perfect for a date night with the Mister. I love how I’m able to wear a skirt or even a comfy sweater dress during cold nights and still stay warm. Well, warm enough for us Californian residents, that is. My husband always jokes with me that I could never handle living in a city with real seasons. And he’s absolutely right. I’m cold once it hits below 70 degrees folks. It’s safe to say I’m not moving to Milwaukee anytime soon. I’d love to visit that gorgeous city, though. ;)

 

Over the knee boots-outfit

Over the knee boots-outfit

 

2. Ankle Boots

$49.99 Me Too Leather Bootie

I mean look at this color and style. These are currently on my holiday wish list.

Me-too-Leather-Ankle-Bootie

3. Pointy Toe Boots

$39.99 + 30% off Target Faryl Robin Pointy Toe Knee High Boots

Oh, Target! You always somehow find a way to never disappoint. These are just perfect!
Women's by-Farylrobin-Tia-Pointy-Toe-Dress-Boots

 4. Rain Boots

$49.95 or price match! Nordstrom Joules Welly Rain Boot

We don’t get much rain out here but lately it’s been pouring. These fit in perfectly with my black and white wardrobe obsession and they’re currently on sale at Nordstrom!


Joules-rain-boots

 

5. Lace Up Boots

$49.99 + 30% off Karlee Lace Up Boots

Target for the win again! These boots are by far my favorite as they have a full side zipper which makes them easy to get on and off. And the chunky heel is comfortable enough to run errands even with the kids.

Women's A+ Karlee Lace-Up Boots-Shop-Women's-Winter

 

Happy Shopping!

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys


7 Amazing Gifts For Men

gifts-for-men-mens-gift-guide-2016It’s Black Friday eve and if you’re still looking for the perfect Christmas gift to buy your guy, look no further. We’re sharing 7 amazing gifts for men. These must-have items are picks from 5 lifestyle/mom bloggers. Yes, 5! How neat is that? So you’ll get to see a variety of items which are perfect for just about all the men in your life (husbands, brothers, dads, grandfathers, etc.) So sit back, serve yourself some Thanksgiving seconds, and pick out your favorites.  

1. Daniel Wellington Classic Black 40mm Watch $229

For the business suit and tie kinda guy in your life, this Daniel Wellington Classic Black watch surely sets the bar high in terms of quality and design. My husband loves black on black so this watch is just perfect for work.

Daniel-Wellington-watch2. Stainless Steel Beer Growler – 64 oz $24.99

Calling all mamas with beer lovin’ husbands. Nikki from NikkiAndal.com purchased this Stainless Steel Beer Growler – 64 oz from Kegworks for her husband. It’s made of food grade 18/8 stainless steel and passivated to ensure tap fresh flavor and retails under $25!

3-4. Google Home $99 & Moment iPhone 7 Lenses $89.99

For the Techy men in your life, Danielle from Momwifefoodie.com suggests Google Home (a.k.a personal assistant) and the Moment iPhone 7 / 7 Plus DSLR-Shutter Button Lenses. Per her husband Michael, “Simplifying my life one piece of info at a time…because with 2 little dudes running around you easily lose track of your day + obligations.” AndBeing a true #instagramhusband means having the proper equipment on hand at all times. When the big boy camera doesn’t fit the wardrobe of date night, these small but powerful moment lenses get the job done.”

5.  Men’s Otago Long Sleeve Zip $199

If you’re looking for the perfect gift to give your outdoorsy guy, we’ve got you covered! Joanna from Lazymomsblog.com shares with us this 100% merino versatile sweater she’s getting for her husband.

“My hubby loves outdoors , running and winter sports, and he loves merino for it’s quality. And so this Xmas I’m getting him a merino sweater from his all-time favourite brand, the Ice Breaker.” — Joanna  

6. Parabo Press Calendar $30

And for all the dad’s out there that love personalized items, this one melts my heart! Sarah from Amultifacitedmama.com shares a personalized calendar she’s getting her husband.

“Every year we get my husband a calendar of my favorite pictures of the kids from Instagram. It works out great because he doesn’t have an instagram so more often than not they’re new to him.  We like this calendar from Parabo Press because you can detach the print and keep.

7. Amazon Fire TV Stick $39.99

This little device allows you to get an all-in-one access to a world of instant entertainment. From Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, YouTube.com, music, movies, and even sports events.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Abrazos (hugs) — Gladys

3 Tips To Create Gorgeous Family Holiday Cards

Perfect-Holiday-Family-Cards

 

3 Tips To Create Gorgeous Family Holiday Cards

It’s that time again for my absolute favorite part of the holidays, creating and mailing out our annual family holiday cards. I have to admit it’s the one item on my to-do list that I absolutely love getting checked off first. I’m that mom that tries to get photos taken early November so that our holiday cards are printed and ready to be shipped pre-Thanksgiving. I know, it must sound like I’m on top of everything but in reality, I’m not. I’m just slightly obsessed with getting these cards out in time.

And year after year, I try to improve the quality and look of our cards as well. I focus on making sure our wardrobe meshes well with the photo shoot location, that we work with an amazing photographer, and that we use an awesome card design.  

Wardrobe & Location

It’s so important to know or have in mind what backdrop colors you’ll be working with. It definitely sets the tone in choosing the best colors for your family wardrobe. Just be sure to choose wardrobe colors that pop against the backdrop so that your family doesn’t get camouflaged in the photos, sorta speak. This year we went with black, burgundy and white. If you read my previous post, you know burgundy is my go-to color for Fall.

Hire A Top Notch Local Photographer

Lucky for us, we were able to work with Courtney from Courtney McManaway Photography. My heart seriously melts every time I look at these candid moments she snapped for us. I was beyond impressed with how Courtney was able to take so many amazing photos with two little ones all within 30 minutes! And I love using a local photographer that knows the best local photo locations. It keeps our drive short and prevents the little ladies from falling asleep in the car. Let’s just say, they would not be camera ready if this happened. 

So if you’re in Southern California, looking for a top-notch photographer with affordable rates that does wonders with family mini sessions, Courtney is your gal.

Exceptional Card Design

If you want the absolute highest quality family holiday cards, Minted.com is the only way to go! After being disappointed year after year with just ‘ok’ quality of other online card companies, I can tell you that Minted really sets the bar high. Their incredible paper quality and gorgeous designs are on a whole other level. They will be our go-to from now on for any occasion! 

3 Reasons why Minted.com is not your ordinary card printing company:

1) FREE Address Assistant makes addressing holiday cards so easy. Simply add addresses and choose an envelope design for FREE. Once you receive your order, your envelopes will be addressed and all you have to do is add postage and mail them out. Now how easy is that? And by the way, the envelope address designs are stunning!

2) The Find it fast option allows you to upload your photo and watch it appear in hundreds of different holiday card designs all at once. This tool by far saved metons of time! And it let me see exactly which design looked best for our photos. Absolutely fell in love with the foil-pressed glittery font and it happens to be on our 2016 holiday cards.Minted Gorgeous-ornament-holiday-cards

3) Minted also allows you to purchase holiday cards now with discounted codes and personalize them at a later time. This is genius and perfect for usmoms that can’t get to it all at one time.

The entire process from choosing a perfect design to placing our order was a snap. But hands down the best part was the fact that our cards arrived packaged so neatly (the attention to detail on this was beyond my expectations) and within a few days. And by the way, I just had to order these super cute glittery ornaments for our family. I mean, I can’t even!

Gorgeous-ornament-holiday-cards

Be sure to stop by Minted.com this Friday for their BLACK FRIDAY EVENT to receive 20% off Minted Holiday Photo Cards , art, and gift orders of $150+ as well as 15% off the entire site no minimum.  today! In the meantime, we’re giving away not one, not two but three $100 Minted gift cards to 3 awesome followers! Enter here.

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

Sponsored by Minted.com but my love for Minted is completely my own!holiday-photo-cards

Courtney McManaway Photography

 

 

 

Real Behind The Scenes of A Mom Blog

Behind-The-Scenes-mom-blogAs a stay-at-home mom of two little ones, I can tell you that it’s truly a blessing. But being a stay-at-home mom/lifestyle blogger, well that’s a whole other story. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my girls with every ounce in me and blogging is my outlet but it’s definitely hard work to do both. Yes, I get to stay home and be a boss mom; but imagine going to a 9-5 job with a little one still nursing around the clock, super attached, and another one tugging on your shirt because she just wants to play all day long? My oldest, Mia, definitely has the energy of a whole soccer team put together!

Because of this, I realize that I have to put all my work aside to parent and be present as that is what’s most important. However, what about brand collaboration deadlines? Photos that need to be taken and edited. Creative ideas that need to be pitched. And responding to emails and social media to name a few. Oh and all my mom duties. You know, washing last-minute laundry because I forgot Mia had a soccer game and her uniform still needed to be washed. And breakfast, lunch and dinner that needs to be made and served. You get the idea.

So when do I have time to work? And who takes my photos when I’m in them?

Well, the truth is I work around the clock. Lexi, our 11-month old is nocturnal and still wakes up every 3 hours and only takes cat naps during the day. So you can imagine. I just keep saying, “This to shall pass, this too shall pass.”

And as far as photo shoots go, I occasionally collaborate with a handful of photographers but 97% of the photos on this blog are taken either by myself or a family member. You know how they say “it takes a village to raise kids?” Well, my village is seriously the best and I owe everything to them. Without them, this little space of mine I call The Mother Overload, would not be possible. Behind-The-Scenes-mom-blog

Behind-The-Scenes-mom-blogAnd in case you missed it, we shared our photography secrets over on the very talented Nikki Andal’s Blog. I can tell you that I’ve used her awesome photography tips multiple times and in fact still do. Be sure to head on over to her site to read all about them. In the meantime, we’d love to share 2 additional tips on what we use to create our colorful and bright photos.

And if you’re wondering, we use a Nikkon D3300 camera with a handful of lenses but our photography tips can be used even on camera phone photos.

One of the tools I mentioned I use all the time is PicMonkey.com. Aside from it being user-friendly, it also has a photo editing option that lightens up all photos — Curve. Curve is hands down my favorite filter to use.

Behind-the-scenes-blog

Testing background for a flatlay pre-editing

fosterfarms-chicken-stew-recipe

After photo editing

But the best tip I can share is taking photos outside right before the sun goes down. Something about that time that’s just the perfect lighting. Although, with two little ones schedules, catching that perfect sunlight could be a bit of a challenge with feedings, bathroom breaks and nap times. But when we can make it happen, the photos turn out absolutely amazing.

So there you have it. A bit of what it’s like to be a stay-at-home mom blogger with two little ones. Hope you find some of our photography tips to be useful. And here’s to being boss moms regardless if you’re a SAHM, a work from home mom or a working mom. We got this mamás!

 

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

Behind-the-scenes-Mom blogger