All posts by Jennifer James

Fantasyland: Here We Come!

For all of you Disney aficionados, I am sure you know that Fantasyland will be opening in Magic Kingdom on December 6. It is going to be the biggest expansion of any of the Disney theme parks in history.

I have been invited to cover the opening as press and I would be lying if I didn’t say how extremely excited I am to be at Disney World to see the opening of the widely-anticipated opening of Fantasyland.

I will be there from December 5 – 7. That means I get to, for the very first time, see Disney World in all of its holiday glory. I am excited beyond belief. There really is something magical about Disney World. All of your cares subside for a few minutes. It’s lovely!

I hope you follow along as I cover as much as I can live from Disney World in early December.

Want to learn more about the new Fantasyland expansion? Visit DisneyWorld.com and also keep up with updates on the Disney Parks blog for daily information about Disney and its parks.

Toe Blooms for Sweet Baby Girls’ Tiny Feet

My daughters are nearly as tall as I am now, but when they were wee ones I would have loved these! ToeBlooms. How cute.

As moms, we know there is always that stage where you don’t want to put shoes on your babies so you simply keep their feet warm with socks when it’s cold or let them go barefoot when it’s hot outside. Toe Blooms are an adorable alternative to soft shoes or bland white socks with a small yellow bow. They wrap around your baby girl’s feet and add an adorable charm to any outfit.

Now that the holidays are upon us, there is really no cuter way to dress up those frilly velvet dresses. ToeBlooms let you dress your little girl up with a fashionable flare. And, they are always perfect gifts for new moms.

And, moms with boys, not to worry! They have ToeBuds for the little guys as well.

Plus, this is a mom-owned business and who doesn’t want to help fellow moms get a leg up in the business world?

ToeBlooms retail for around $22 – $24.

Miss Zee: A Coloring Book for Girls of Color

If you are looking for a coloring book for your little girl of color then you definitely want to check out Miss Zee, or at least support the production of the Miss Zee coloring book.

As an artist and mother, Gloria Smith could not find toys and coloring books with images that looked like her daughter. So she created her own coloring book called “Miss Zee.” Gloria Smith uploaded free printables to the Net with overwhelming response. People wanted to buy the coloring book and now all she needs is the money to print them.

I think it’s a worthwhile cause.

Here is a sample page you can download. Or, you can donate to get Miss Zee into the hands of little girls around the country. Check out Smith’s Kickstarter page to make a donation.

Visit Miss Zee at www.misszee.net and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/misszeedoll.

TRAVEL LITE in LA

If you are traveling to Los Angeles from now through the end of the year you can take advantage of their TRAVEL LITE package. I love W Hotels! Last year I visited the W Hotel in midtown Atlanta as well as the W in Times Square and love them! If you have never stayed at a W hotel you won’t be disapppointed!

Starting at $699, the TRAVEL LITE  package includes:

  • A luxurious stay in a Mega Suite (ooh, nice!)
  • Quinny Modd Stroller for use during your stay (fantastic when you don’t want to lug a stroller with you when you travel)
  • Welcome Basket with a Skip Hop Bib, Baby Einstein Rainstick Pal, and $25 gift card to Traveling Tikes (what a nice touch and will keep the littel ones occupied)
  • Choice of 4 hours of babysitting service, or full day poolside cabana rental (I’d go with the cabana rental. You can never go wrong there!)
  • $100 Food and Beverage Credit at NINETHIRTY and The Backyard Restaurants (food = YES!)
  • Complimentary valet and WiFi (I love this because Wifi and valet services can add up!)

This travel package from the W Los Angeles is perfect for out-of-towners as well as those who live in LA or nearby.

Learn more at www.wlosangeles.com/travellite

Free Herb eBook for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Moms

When I was pregnant I read as much about natural remedies as I could. I was a little rabid about it actually. When my daughters were babies I kept them away from all pharmaceutical baby medicines and instead used natural remedies when they were sick like rubbing garlic oil on the bottom of the feet, using Echinacea when they were sick, using tea tree oil when they got a rash, and juicing organic fruits (especially apples, oranges, and lemons) when they got first started getting the sniffles.

Earth Mama Baby Angel, a brand I trust and used when my girls were babies, has a free herb eBook on their site. Make sure to check it out. It has great information in it.
On the Net: www.earthmamaangelbaby.com/herbs-for-breastfeeding-ebook

Snow Day Alternatives – 10 Tips for Kids To Beat the Winter Blues

While record snow fell on the northeastern states last week, more snow is still in the forecast. That means, you guessed it, more snow days!

Just because snow days are nearly always synonymous with play days you can always get your kids prepped for school again by keeping learning fresh, even after a day of playing in the snow.

Here are a few tips courtesy of Sylvan.com to beat the winter blues.

1. Read. Yes, of course. Everyone has his or her favorite book, so read them to each other. It’s fun for the older kids to read their favorite childhood books to their younger siblings. Act out your favorite scenes for the enjoyment of everyone.

2. Tell stories. This is a great time to trot out the old family photo albums and tell stories of your happy memories. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, favorite friends and neighbors. Connect the kids to your past — and theirs.

3. Keep a snow journal. As a family, write a few sentences every day about the snow. What time did it start to fall? What did it look like on the trees? How did it affect the traffic on your street? Did you feed the birds? Does your dog like the snow? The cat? Write about sledding, snowman building, snowball battles, snow forts. Write how you felt when you learned there’d be no school. What friends will you miss for the days you’re away from the classroom?

4. Do some weather science. Measure the snow as it’s falling. Keep a log of the temperatures hourly. How long does it take for the snow to melt on the south side of the house? On the north side? How do those icicles form?

5. Play games as a family and, for some quiet time, as individuals. Some mind-engaging activities include board games, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, coloring, finger painting, water colors, scrapbooking.

6. Keep up the lessons. Check those spelling words — if there aren’t any from school, assign your own. Practice math facts. Read the next chapter in the social studies book.

7. Organize. Take this found-time to organize notebooks, planners, back packs, and study areas at home. Make sure everyone’s up-to-date on assignments that will be due when school starts again.

8. Try to keep up normal routines. Yes, the snow throws everything off, and that’s okay. It’s good to take a break (or have one thrust upon you) from time to time. But try to keep bedtimes, mealtimes, study times, and other important personal routines (medications, for example) as close to normal as possible. When you know schools will reopen again, start to get back into the swing of things right away.

9. Be a role model. Use your homebound time for catching up on some put-off tasks. Enlist the kids’ help in rearranging furniture, organizing closets and donating unused clothing to the homeless shelter. Talk about how warm and cozy you are — not everyone is as lucky.

10. Stay positive. Spring will arrive. Promise.

For resources and additional information, visit http://www.SylvanLearning.com or call 1-800-31-SUCCESS.

Disney’s Newest Ship, The Dream, Really Delivers

Last week I was on board the Disney Dream as a part of the media to cover Disney’s newest cruise ship. I have so much to share about the ship that I can easily post something new every day this week and more than likely I will.

I took my entire family along with me on the Disney Dream because I really wanted to see how the cruise accommodates families. I cannot express to you the level of friendliness, attention to detail, and unparalleled service we experienced from the moment we embarked to the moment we debarked. Suffice it to say, the Disney Dream operated like a very well-oiled machine.

Right after we walked across the gangway, members of the Disney Dream crew waited for each guest, asked our names, announced us with a microphone and clapped us on board. Then a member of the crew took us aside and personally told us how to find our rooms and something to eat. I loved all of that!

The Grand Lobby - The Disney Dream

Continue reading Disney’s Newest Ship, The Dream, Really Delivers

Maternity Coupons + Books for Expectant Moms

Be sure not to miss Destination Maternity’s up to 50% off fall sale: www.destinationmaternity.com/sale.asp

Free Shipping at Destination Maternity on orders over $100 use promo code: DMFS10. Valid Oct 7-11.

Also, there is an up to 30% off fall sale at Motherhood Maternity
http://www.motherhood.com/sale.asp

Free Shipping at Motherhood Maternity on orders over $75 use promo code: MHFS10. Valid Oct 7-11.

New Books for Expectant Moms from Meadowbrook Press:

The Official Lamaze Guide (2nd Edition)
This new edition has been updated to reflect the latest evidence-based research on pregnancy and childbirth. Since the first edition, childbirth in the U.S. has gotten riskier. The cesarean rate has continued to rise; now almost one third of women in the U.S. have a cesarean. There’s been a shocking rise in the maternal mortality rate. More babies are admitted to NICUs, and there’s been an alarming increase in incidences of postpartum depression and post traumatic stress disorder related to childbirth. BUY ONLINE (no affiliate link)

Guía sencilla para tener un bebé (Spanish Edition of The Simple Guide to Having a Baby)
This Spanish edition of The Simple Guide to Having a Baby is available at the same price as the English edition—a welcome change for healthcare organizations, hospitals, clinics, and childbirth educators who had been paying significantly more for an imported Spanish edition. BUY ONLINE (no affiliate link)