Magic and Inspiration ~ 2012 DisneySMMoms Day 2

Magic and Inspiration ~ 2012 DisneySMMoms Day 2

I saw that the dates were announced last week for the 2013 DisneySMMoms Celebration and I’ve been thinking about the magical time I had at last year’s Celebration. Disney has continued to inspire me year after year with the fantastic speakers they always have lined up for this event. So, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to tell you all that I came to the realization TODAY that I never did post my recap of the conference day! So, without further ado, here we go…

We heard from Amy Jo Martin of Digital Royalty. She told her story of how she colors outside the lines to achieve results and how she’s helped celebrities do the same. One of the most important messages I got from Amy was that humans connect with humans, not logos. I love connecting with all of you on every social media outlet I can think of and I agree with Amy Jo that it’s really important for businesses to do the same. She’s written a great book, Renegades Write the Rules, that you’ll definitely want to check out to find out more! Give her a follow on twitter @AmyJoMartin.

Next up was Ramon DeLeon with Domino’s Pizza. He calls himself a “pizza guy who gets it” and I call him an amazing social media and customer service GURU! This guy knows how it’s done. It’s very simple, take care of your customers and if you make a mistake, own it! Apologize to the customer when necessary…in public even. Ramon is the marketing mind behind six Chicago-area Domino’s locations and I’m wishing he was in charge of marketing for ALL of them around the nation. Like Amy Jo, Ramon talked to us about the importance of connecting with our audience/customers. Follow him on twitter at @Ramon_DeLeon.

Peter Shankman was up next and he talked to us about how we need to be a weed because weeds know how to survive no matter what is done to try to kill them…they survive anything and everything! He also reminded us that nothing great ever happens when we remain in our comfort zone. Hmmm…seems like I’ve heard that a time or two! Follow Peter on twitter at @petershankman.

Next up was Lisa Druxman, President of Stroller Strides. Lisa started her company to help moms get back in shape after having a baby. Stroller Strides is a great fitness program that moms can do with their babies. Check out her site and follow her on twitter @LisaDruxman.

Our last speaker was Chris Brogan. Chris has spoken at all three of the DisneySMMoms Celebrations and I always look forward to hearing what new information he’s got to share with us. This time, he gave us some great pointers on how to freshen up our blogs and make them mobile device friendly. You can find out more about Chris’s work on his website Human Business Works. You can also follow him on twitter @ChrisBrogan.

I was able to attend the first DisneySMMoms On The Road in the fall of last year as sort of a mid-year refresher course, and again, Disney did not disappoint! It was really awesome to re-connect mid-year with some of the ‘Moms’ from the past year’s events. Sending a GIANT thank you to Mom Select, Resourceful Mommy Media, Mom Bloggers Club, and 5 Minutes for Mom for all of their hard work every year!

I thought I’d leave you with some of the ambiance of last year’s conference room including some magical touches that you’ll only find at a Disney conference…like a GIANT Castle on the stage!

Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In exchange for my registration fee, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and swag. I am not required nor was I asked to write about the events by Disney or any other party affiliated with the event. Thoughts are 100% my own.

Happy 57th Birthday to the Mickey Mouse Club!

Photo Courtesy: The Walt Disney Company

Happy 57th Birthday to the Mickey Mouse Club!

I was excited to learn this morning that today is the 57th Anniversary of the Mickey Mouse Club because it reminded me that I needed to share a very fun experience I had in the spring at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.

At breakfast on the last day of our sessions, we were treated to a very special performance by one of the original Mouseketeers, Cubby O’Brien! It was awesome to see him on stage playing those drums like he did on the original show. We listened to Sherry Alberoni, also one of the original Mouseketeers, speak about the show and about Walt Disney himself. It was truly wonderful to hear the passion in her voice as she spoke about her experiences with Walt. Cubby and Sherry are front and center in the picture above. Now, I didn’t watch the show as a child, but my mom sure did…and boy did she love it! I was really wishing that she was there to enjoy the experience with me.

I was so excited to have had such fun entertainment during breakfast when all-of-a-sudden, I was asked if I’d like to attend a special meet and greet. Without hesitation, I said I’d absolutely love to! Little did I know what was in store. I was asked to meet at the entrance of another one of the conference rooms and headed right over to wait with just three other bloggers. We were so excited that we could hardly stand it and we didn’t even know what was about to happen!

When the doors were opened and we were shown in, there stood Sherry and Cubby along with just a couple of Cast Members!! It was the most amazing experience on the planet to have one on one time with them! They chatted with us all as if we’d known each other for years, and I have to say, I was pretty star-struck!

I was flying high for the rest of the day after that. I just loved how they spent time chatting with us and getting to know us a little bit. It was so cozy. My blogging friend, Connie, also attended the special meet and greet. Read about her experience here.

Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In exchange for my registration fee, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and swag. I am not required nor was I asked to write about the events by Disney or any other party affiliated with the event. Thoughts are 100% my own.

“it’s a small world” by Basq ~ Review and Giveaway!

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“it’s a small world” by Basq ~ Review and Giveaway!

One of my favorite attractions at the Disneyland Resort is “it’s a small world.” My mom actually attended the 1964 New York World’s Fair as a small child and remembers seeing the ride there! It’s been one of her favorites ever since! The entire facade of the ride is so whimsical and magical, I just LOVE it.

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Anywhoo, when I first heard about the “it’s a small world” line of mom and child skin care products by Basq, I was pretty intrigued. I saw the packaging for the first time at this year’s DisneySMMoms Celebration at the Walt Disney World Resort when there was a surprise in my room one evening of their TOUCH Lavender Body Butter. I almost flipped my lid when I saw it because it was so beautiful!

Well, even though it said it was for mother and baby, I thought “hmmm…I’m a mom and my babies are 10 and 14, so I qualify, right?” I think so! I opened up that jar and put it on my arms immediately…my skin gets so dry in that Central Florida climate and I don’t normally take the time down there to do anything about it, but we were at the Yacht Club and it was all about relaxing. The fragrance was simply wonderful and it felt so luxurious! Not too strong at all, just very mild and soothing. I really dislike skin care products with too much fragrance, but I don’t like the plain stuff either. I know…I’m difficult. Anyway, this was perfect and I was really wishing it had been around when my kiddos were babies!

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So, here’s the thing. I really wanted a mom and baby to try the products too and it just so happened that my nephew was just a few months old so I asked my sister-in-law to be my loyal subject and try out the rest of the products I was given to sample. She also has a friend with a baby who was just a little older than my nephew and here’s what they both had to say about the products:

She had this to say about the SHARE Lavender Calming Oil: “Baby loves this on his feet as the directions on the box suggest. He can be fussy, and I put it on his feet and he stops being fussy because he likes his little toes being massaged! I like it because it makes him smell wonderful without using scented lotions on his dry skin.”

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And this to say about the LOVE Nourishing Cleansing Bar: “This soap is nice to use for me. It lathers up nicely and feels luxurious on ~ I am guessing that is due to the coconut base in the ingredient list. However, even though it says it is for mom and baby, I would not use it on baby for two reasons. One, I typically use a liquid soap to make a bubble bath for baby and two, the box says to keep the product out of baby’s eyes. I prefer to use a tear-free soap on baby.”

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They both said the DREAM Sleep Mist “bottle is beautiful and sprays smoothly, smells wonderful when sprayed in the room”. I have to agree because I sprayed some in my bedroom before I handed it over and it was really light and lovely. I know that a beautifully smelling room always makes me feel more relaxed, imagine what it can do for your cranky little one?

I’m hoping that I’ve gotten you excited about these luxurious mom and baby products inspired by It’s A Small World! They’re really fabulous and I hope you’ll give them a try. I’ve also got some FANTASTIC news for all of you! I am hosting a giveaway for a SKIN ESSENTIALS KIT that includes the TOUCH Body Butter, DREAM Sleep Mist, and LOVE Cleansing Bar!! So, you could win these products and give them a try for free!! All you have to do to enter is follow the super fast rafflecopter entry below!

I’m also happy to tell you that all the products in the “it’s a small world” Line are hypoallergenic, sensitivity tested, and parabin free. One more thing…just in case you aren’t the lucky winner of my giveaway, I’ve got a 20% discount code for you to use on your next purchase from basqitsasmallworld.com or basqnyc.com! Just put in JMM20 during checkout and you’ll receive your discount! Please hurry, this code is only valid through 9/7/2012!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find more information about these fabulous products by becoming a fan of Basq Skin Care on Facebook and following @BasqNYC on twitter too!

Disclosure: This post carries a Level One Compensation.

Our First Day At DisneySMMoms!

My family was pretty excited when I told the Cast Member at the gate that we were checking in and even more ecstatic as we pulled up under the porte-cochere at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Any time we have ever gone to the Yacht Club, it was to have a late night sundae at Beaches and Cream with our dear friends. This time, we were sleeping there!! I immediately saw two familiar faces and practically jumped out of the car before I could get it in park! It was Amy and Valerie! Woo Hoo! And the fun started right that instant!

Our room wasn’t ready yet, so we had all sorts of free time to wander around the absolutely beautiful resort grounds while we waited since our first event wasn’t until 5:00 that afternoon. We were ready for breakfast, so we went over to the Captain’s Grille, which was FANTASTIC! I’ll tell you all about it in another post though. After breakfast, we followed the magical signs leading to the Convention Center to check in and get our credentials for the fabulous Social Media Moms Celebration!

There were some really cool turtles swimming around and a tiny little alligator so we stopped and watched them for almost an hour! The kids were loving the fact that we weren’t in any hurries!

So, I’m not sure how many of you watch ABC’s The Bachelor/ette, but I do, and I’ve been lucky enough to interact with one of the lovely ladies from a prior season! I was so excited to see Marissa behind the counter at the check-in desk, and the coolest thing? She was just as excited to see me!! Seriously you guys, she came around the counter and out to meet me with a giant hug! I was so incredibly tickled and it’s really my favorite thing ever when someone’s personality in real life is just how I imagined it from online interactions! So fun! You can find Marissa over at Disney’s InsidEARS site…she’s the Community Manager for the Walt Disney World side!

One cool thing about arriving so early was that there weren’t many people there yet. We actually got to sit with Jennifer Wilkes, one of the original Walt Disney World Moms Panelists, and she told us all about the fabulous events that were so carefully planned for us. I was practically bursting into Pixie Dust right there just hearing about all of the fabulous plans ahead! She went over everything with us and we were on our way, credentials in-hand! And my lanyard was pink!!

We spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging out by Stormalong Bay, having ice cream at Beaches and Cream, and being very leisurely in our absolutely GORGEOUS room! And I do mean gorgeous…wow! I’ll have my review up soon about Disney’s Yacht Club Resort…just lovely! Now just have a gander at these sundaes…

We don’t splurge on ice cream like this very often, but if you’re gonna do it, this is definitely the place!!! Yum to the O!! That’s a Fudge Mud Slide on the left and a No Way Jose on the right. Someone thought it would be funny to get some all over her cute little face!

I went back to our room to have a little nap afterwards then got ready to go to our “Passport to the World” reception sponsored by Adventures by Disney and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. I did all sorts of vacation dreaming while chit chatting with my fellow bloggers and munching on some great appetizers.

We were sent home with a fabulous Vinylmation from Aulani as a reminder of the event!

Next, we headed back to our room for just a few to get ready for dinner on the beach…yes, ON THE BEACH!! It was time for the “Swashbuckler Soiree’ Dinner”! I really love being on the white sandy beach at Disney…especially at dusk when it’s not so crazy hot! We walked over to the lovely beach area and there was this fabulous entrance…

I just LOVE how it’s all Piratey! See that giant globe lantern? Those magically turned into lights as the sun went down! So cool! Let’s talk about the best backdrop EVER too…

All in all, it was an unbelievably gorgeous evening, the food was just fabulous, and we had the best time! The Soiree’ was sponsored by Disney Junior and they did an amazing job! Thank you for a great evening!

Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In exchange for my registration fee, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and swag. I am not required nor was I asked to write about the events by Disney or any other party affiliated with the event. Thoughts are 100% my own.

May The Fourth Be With You!

I haven’t had 3.5 seconds yet to blog about the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration I just came home from, but, considering today’s date, I just HAD to share this picture I quickly snapped of @Gary_Jerry in his Star Wars garb nodding at Darth Vader! Enjoy!

Also, for those of you who don’t already know about the fabulous Star Wars Weekends, here is some official info for you…

Star Wars Weekends returns to the Walt Disney World Resort during May and June 2012, as Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park celebrates the Star Wars film saga and the hit animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

The annual special event, included in regular theme park admission, will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 18-June 10, 2012.

The power of the Force and magic of Disney combine as more than 60 Star Wars characters – including Wookiees, droids, Rodians, Ewoks, bounty hunters and Jedi – roam the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios for meet-and-greet opportunities with guests.

Star Wars celebrities highlight the event, appearing in themed parades, talk shows, star conversations, behind-the-scenes presentations and autograph sessions. Here are the celebrities attending Star Wars Weekends 2012 (*subject to change):

Weekend I (May 18 – 20)

Ray Park – (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Jerome Blake (Rune Haako/Mas Amedda – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Clone Captain Rex and Clone Commander Cody – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Weekend II (May 25- 27)

Andy Secombe (Watto – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Tom Kane (voice of Yoda – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Weekend III (June 1 -3)

Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Silas Carson (Nute Gunray/Ki-Adi-Mundi – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)

Weekend IV (June 8- 10)

Michonne Bourriague (Aurra Sing – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi)
Daniel Logan (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones)
Nika Futterman (voice of Asajj Ventress – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

The centerpiece of the celebration is the spectacular 3-D attraction, “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.” The attraction, which opened last year, uses eye-popping 3-D, a dramatic musical score and motion simulator-based technology to immerse guests in the Star Wars galaxy like never before on a theme park attraction.

Limited-edition and event-exclusive merchandise is offered each year, and the ever-popular “Hyperspace Hoopla” ends each Star Wars Weekends day with a show filled with comedy, dancing and high-energy music.

For more information and future updates, go online to disneyparks.com/blog (keyword search: “Star Wars Weekends”) disneyworld.com/starwarsweekends or starwars.com.

DisneySMMoms 2012 ~ Gearing Up!

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DisneySMMoms 2012 ~ Gearing Up!

Some of you may have heard about the fabulous Disney Social Media Moms Celebration that has taken place the last two years at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. Well, I have been lucky enough to attend the first two events and I’m so excited that today is the day we’ll be heading down for the third annual DisneySMMoms Celebration! If you’re interested in reading about my previous adventures, you can check out my 2010 articles here and 2011 here. The first year, I went by myself since I flew in from Seattle, but since we moved to the east coast in 2009, I’ve gotten to bring the hubby and kiddos with me since we drive down and they’re crazy excited again for this year’s event!

Each year, we’ve gotten to hear from fantastic speakers who really know their way around the world of Social Media. I have learned so much valuable information and have been able to grow my little blog in different ways after each session! After having a peak at this year’s speakers, I’m once again looking forward to bringing back more great tips and growing professionally online. I’ll be sharing all the fun things I learn with you all in future blog posts, so stay tuned!

One of the things that makes this Celebration so special for us is that it is family-friendly. It’s really so awesome that the fantastic Social Media Team at Walt Disney World works so hard to make this event such a great experience. We are truly honored to be a part of such a great experience!

In the meantime, I have all sorts of last minute packing to do before we take off later today, so I will keep you guys posted when the party gets started!

Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In exchange for my registration fee, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and swag. I am not required nor was I asked to write about the events by Disney or any other party affiliated with the event. Thoughts are 100% my own.

{This article was supposed to go live last night at 11:58pm but it did not because my site was down…sorry friends!}