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.

**Giveaway Closed** Congrats to Jessica Miller for winning this great prize just in time for Spring Break! Be sure to stay tuned in for additional giveaways.

Abrazos (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?

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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

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

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

 

3 Tips for Stress-free Holiday Entertaining

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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


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

 

 

 

Burgundy Love


Forever21-Dress-Burgundy-Sleeveless
Fall fashion is in full swing and I’m excited to share a color that’s currently on repeat over here. And when I say repeat, I mean it’s on myself, the girls and even our accessories. It’s the perfect shade for Fall and goes well with just about any other color — Burgundy.

This Forever21 burgundy mock neck dress is only $12. Love that it has a classic look to it with its short-sleeved silhouette and perfect Fall length. I paired it with some pointy leopard double strap flats (Target clearance score $14). But notice how I didn’t add tights or layers for that matter? Well, that’s due to our Southern California heat wave we’re experiencing at the moment. We’ve been back in the 90s post-Halloween. Yes! You read that correctly. Summer all over again. I can not wait to add a cozy vest, and fancy heels to this dress once the temperatures start to drop a bit.

Little-Miss-Dessa-Dress

Little-Miss-Dessa-Dress

 

And how cute are these ultra soft Little Miss Dessa jersey knit ruffle dresses? Love how they can also be used as tops with leggings as the girls grow.

Little-Miss-Dessa

What colors do you currently have on repeat for Fall?

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

 

3 Ways to Wear Cuddl Duds This Fall


cuddl duds-Khols

I’m always on the hunt for wardrobe pieces that are versatile. More so in the fall and winter. Which is why I absolutely have to share my latest find, Cuddl Duds. These pieces are perfect for layering. I myself, have used them to walk Mia to school in the brisk mornings. Plus, I kid you not, even to a date night and to my husbands’ work function. Talk about versatility right?

Below are 3 ways I layered my Cuddl Duds for fall but I’m currently in the process of adding more ways since the material is extra comfortable and super soft. I could seriously wear them every single day.

Walking Our Oldest to School

cuddl duds-Khols

cuddl duds-Khols

Around The House

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Date Night

cuddl-duds-kholsWhat I love about these pieces is the versatility they have. And I feel extra comfortable wearing them which is a must for this mamá. Because let’s face it, chasing around two littles is no easy task but when you’re wearing something that feels and looks great, that’s just a win-win!

Be sure to visit Kohls.com to find the latest Cuddl Duds styles and colors.

Abrazos (hugs) — Gladys

How To Make Cleaning Fun For Kids

 

bob9When we were looking to purchase our first home, I immediately knew I wanted it to have an open concept living area. I also kept visualizing a color contrast. Black flooring and white walls to be exact. 

We searched and searched until we found one; however, it was a complete fixer upper. I remember my husband trying to convince me to look past all the things that needed to be fixed. He mentioned the words, “ we can add our personal touch to it”. Yet, even though it had so much potential, I simply couldn’t look past all the “ugly.” It could have been due to the fact that I was 8 months pregnant with our first and my pregnancy hormones were on point. But in retrospect, the house really did need a ton of work. 

bObi-bObsweep-review

Once our home was move-in ready, I couldn’t be happier. I realized we made the right choice in focusing on the layout of the house rather than the list of items we’d need to fix, clean or simply replace entirely. 

And although our dark floors are my favorite thing in our home, they’re also my least favorite to clean. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking about the fact that dark floors are hard to keep clean more so with kids. 

bObi-bObsweep-reviewThe food crumbs are obviously inevitable but what bugs me the most is the dust and hair. I can literally see dust the very next day we vacuum. And don’t get me started with the never-ending strands of hair. We don’t even have pets but I can assure you we probably shed more than cats and dogs do. It must be due to the girls and myself having tons of hair. It’s nearly impossible to keep these floors hair-free.bObi-bObsweep-review

Which is why I just had to share with you all our newest family member, bObsweep PetHair (a.k.a Bob). Bob is always there to pick up the food crumbs, the hair, and even mops and disinfects (via UV- light) our floors. Bob even comes with a remote control which Mia is obsessed with.

Once Mia gets home from school, she goes straight to pick up the remote to start cleaning our floors. Seriously, what 5-year-old wants to help clean floors? Ours does now. And she even plays with Bob as if it were her pet. Just the other day I heard her say, “Bob, fetch! Good job! Here’s some dinos so that you can play with them and give them a ride.” This kid cracks me up. Lexi, on the other hand, pauses everything she’s doing (even tantrums) and just gets excited to see Bob go.

bObi-bObsweep-review

bObi-bObsweep-review

Bob not only makes cleaning fun for the kids, but he can also get things done alone. Get this, you can even program him too! We have him programmed to start cleaning post breakfast around the kitchen and into the family room. And right around 10p, once everyone’s asleep, I go downstairs to tidy up the kitchen while my sidekick, Bob, jumps off his dock and cleans around our kitchen, family room, entrance and main living room. He navigates really well on and off our rugs and even our fireplace brick flooring.

But my absolute favorite thing Bob cleans is under our beds!! Since we have dark floors in our entire house (with the exception of our bathrooms) it’s super neat that Bob vacuums and even mops (by attaching a microfiber cloth) underneath them. I no longer have to crawl on the floor with multiple items just to get the bottom of our beds clean. Talk about best invention ever!bObi-bObsweep-review

Bob definitely has tons of pros; however, I bet you’re thinking what the cons are, right? Well, for us, it’s the staircase. We need to use our handheld vacuum and mop for that still but it’s a cinch to clean anyways.

And what about the best part about having Bob around? For us, it’s the fact that we have one less chore to do which means more time to spend with our girls. And you can’t put a price on that, right?

To find out more about the bObsweep options click here.

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

Disclosure: Bob from bObsweep was gifted for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

How To-Make Cleaning-Fun-For-Kids-bObi-bObsweep-Review

They Grow Up So Fast

Daniel-Wellington-Watch-Review-Baby-MomI’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “they grow up so fast” a billion times. I, myself, have said it repeatedly since we had our first born. But it wasn’t until recently that this statement really hit home.

While looking over a roll of photos from a recent trip to the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland; I stopped everything I was doing and stared at this photo for a good fifteen minutes. In complete disbelief, I began to question why our little kindergartner looked so grown up here. Isn’t it interesting that as parents we see our kids daily yet we can’t grasp just how fast they’re really growing physically?Kids-black-halloween-sweater-ghost-taty-kids

According to KidsHealth.org, children grow the fastest during their first year.  “After age 1, a baby’s growth in length slows considerably, and by 2 years, growth in height usually continues at a fairly steady rate of approximately 2½ inches (6 centimeters) per year until adolescence. Weeks or months of slightly slower growth alternate with mini “growth spurts.” And interestingly enough, “Kids actually tend to grow a bit faster in the spring than during other times of the year!” So I guess Mia had that growth spurt this past Spring.

I wish I could keep both of our little ones little forever. Perhaps we could somehow invent a way to just freeze time? In the meantime, we’ll just be trying our best to create as many memories with our girls as they grow up.             

And speaking of time, this Daniel Wellington watch will not be coming off of my hand anytime soon. It’s now one of my favorite timeless wardrobe pieces. This classic style is part of Daniel Wellington’s Sheffield Collection.Daniel-Wellington-Watch-Disneyland-Walt Disney-Mickey Mouse-castle

And today, I’m excited to share with you all that I’m not the only one who gets to have this cool well-made watch. Daniel Wellington is offering all The Mother Overload followers a discount! If you’d like to treat yourself and take advantage of this special offer simply enter MOTHEROVERLOAD code at www.danielwellington.com.



Daniel-Wellington-Watch-Disneyland-Walt Disney-Jack Skellington
Abrazos (hugs) — Gladys

Disclosure: I received a watch of choice from DW but all opinions expressed within are my own.