Join the Sandy Toes and Popsicles CHOC Walk Team

hi friends! i am so excited to announce that Sandy Toes and Popsicles is heading to the CHOC Walk in the Park! lately, i’ve been working on promoting the CHOC Walk in the Park and it has become a cause near and dear to my heart. the boys and i went to their Paint Your Way to Miracles and Magic event and the boys were inspired to help the children at CHOC as well. so….

it’s perfect! have been wanting to do some good for the community and what could be better than to raise money for CHOC, Orange County’s very own children’s hospital. thus, Sandy Toes and Popsicles has created our first team to head to CHOC Walk in the Park. will you join us????

the CHOC Walk in the Park is coming up quickly. it will be happening at Disneyland Resort on Sunday, August 27, 2017. walkers who have met the fundraising goal, get to walk through the park for this amazing cause…with your favorite Disney® characters cheering you on, celebrating children has never been so fun!

Join Sandy Toes and Popsicles at the CHOC Walk in the Park

i would love to have you join my team and walk at the CHOC Walk in the Park! it’s going to be a morning of fun…walking through Disneyland Resort as a team. i would love to meet and walk with all of you the morning of August 27, 2017. i hope to secure team t-shirts and either host a pre-party or a post-party to get some more one-on-one time with you all. it’s going to be so fun.

to join, all you have to do is register here! make sure to choose Sandy Toes and Popsicles as your team. we will be walking up in front that morning. i will have my whole family…and hopefully some of you. i can’t wait.

How the CHOC Walk in the Park Works

anyone can register for CHOC Walk in the Park. to be eligible to walk, you just need to raise $85 per person. (it’s not as hard as it seems…I will help you!) if you raise more money, you will be eligible for different prizes. you can check them out here. anyone who walks can also buy up to (5) discounted Disneyland tickets the day of the CHOC Walk. $86.00 for Disneyland® Resort 1-Day Park Hopper® ticket or $57.00 for a 1-Day, 1-Park ticket valid at either Disneyland® Park or Disney California Adventure® Park. good on 8/27/17 or your next trip to the Disneyland® Resort before 9/23/17!

can’t walk on August 27th? no problem. you can still register as a sleepy bear. you will still be eligible for the fundraising prizes and still be helping a great cause. plus, you are welcome to come to the Sandy Toes and Popsicles pre or post party!

How to Raise the Money

this is what i am most excited about. there are many ways to earn money for your team. i am making this a family affair….we are going to have a lemonade stand, a popsicle stand, and make homemade dog and cat treats to sell to our friends. we also hope to have a silent auction on the Sandy Toes and Popsicles Facebook page. there are so many ways you and your family can earn the funds to walk in the CHOC Walk in the Park. it’s a great way to show our kids how to get involved for the good of our community…helping other children in need.

PLUS, CHOC Walk in the Park has made it really easy. just download the CHOC Walk FUNdraiser app on your mobile device! the CHOC Walk FUNdraiser helps you raise money by:
• Providing pre-written fundraising messages for texting, Facebook and Twitter updates and emails.
• Effortlessly links to your phone contacts and email apps so that you can start fundraising right away.
• Allowing you to quickly and easily check your fundraising status and see how close you are to meeting your goals!
• Providing the option to put your Facebook fundraising efforts on “auto pilot” with our automated social media posting service.

Please Join Team Sandy Toes and Popsicles!

if i haven’t convinced you yet, i hope that this little girl can. this is Jordin, she is the CHOC Walk in the Park 2017 Ambassador. she has been battling sickle-cell anemia all of her life. she and her family have been fundraising for CHOC for many years. they know what it is like to be sick in the hospital for weeks and months on end. please join and know that you will be helping children just like Jordin get the help and services they need.

CHOC Walk in the Park brings the community together for one single goal – to raise funds for health care programs, education and research for Southern California’s kids. if you have an questions at all, you can message me on Facebook or send me an email. i am happy to help!

Click here to sign up for CHOC Walk in the Park. don’t forget to sign up for Team Sandy Toes and Popsicles!

if you do sign up, let me know, and i will add you to my private Facebook group! And if you are a local business who would like to partner with me, message or email me and we will collaborate.

My Kids Back to School Photos for 2017

last year on a whim, i decided to get the boys back-to-school photos done by local Orange County photographer, Bonnie Elliot of Short & Sweet Photography. she does Back-to-School mini sessions that are quick and easy…all done in about 15 minutes. a bunch of my friends were getting them, so i thought i would too. i LOVED how they turned out so much, that i had to get them done again this year!

we ended up getting them done last week, and i wanted to share with you how they turned out. i LOVE them. this year we decided to take them at a different location. i am glad we changed it up…the red house adds the perfect pop of color. plus Bonnie has great props and is great with the kids. she managed to get all these photos in just one mini session. all i had to do was show up with my boys dressed and ready to go. you all know how much i love to dress up my kids! (you can see last year’s photos here. awwww….i am so sad, my boys have grown up so much from last year. it’s so hard to see their baby faces disappear as they grow older.)

we got a photo of all the boys together…

and one with all the kids together, just because.

here are the photos we got of Vann. he just lost a tooth, so it was fun to capture that.

here are Kyle’s photos. he is very photogenic….probably since he’s had a lot of practice with all my crazy picture taking ideas.

here are Jackson’s photos. he’s going to high school this year, and thought he was too old to get photos done. but i had to get a few. i wanted all the boys to have matching photos! i am glad he agreed to do these few even if we couldn’t put a cute outfit together in time. this close up captures him perfectly.

finally, we couldn’t end the session without  photo of little Dani Kat. she won’t be in preschool for at least 3 years, kindergarten for 5 years, and high school for 14 years, but i thought this was adorable. it’s going to be so fun to show her this picture in 2035 when she is hopefully graduating high school.i’m so glad we did another year of back-to-school photos. Bonnie does such a great job…we love all of them. she still has a bunch of mini sessions available on different dates, so visit her Facebook page to get the info. you can also email her if you’d like! you won’t regret getting them. Thanks Bonnie for the great work!

 

A Visit to Fazoli’s Italian Restaurant…Italian Food Fast

Tracking Pixel This is a sponsored post.

Fazoli's Italian Restaurant

The first time i heard of Fazoli’s® was a couple of weeks ago. I’m always looking for great family-friendly restaurants in Southern California to share with my readers, and after reading about Fazoli’s, i thought i should take the family and give it a try. Fazoli’s is Italian food….fast! and i wasn’t sure what to expect until got there. what most interested me, was that as of June 19th, they’ve changed things at their restaurants to remove all artificial ingredients from the entire menu. this being part of the 0% Artificial 100% Delicious Naturally Italian initiative. i knew i had to check it out!

so we packed up the family and headed over to have dinner at Fazoli’s®. my kids love eating out but we only have “take-out night” once a week. and since we only go once a week, i need to make sure the food is good!

right away we noticed the daily deals. the prices were awesome…which for us is an extra bonus, especially now that we have 6 mouths to feed. we always appreciate a good value.Fazoli's Italian Restaurant Deals

there a 3 top things that my family does when going out to dinner. first of all, they argue. no one agrees on a single place, they always want to go to different restaurant. next, they whine. there’s always someone that doesn’t want to go where the rest of the family decides to go. finally, there is always that one kid that’s mad. they sit there angry that they didn’t get to go to the restaurant of their choice. UGH!!!! this is another reason why we don’t go out a lot. however, i knew Fazoli’s® would be different. all my kids like Italian food, so i was pretty sure everyone would be happy at this dinner. WIN WIN for mom and dad, because we both like Italian food too.

and this was just the case! everyone was happy, no whining. we ordered our meal….we decided to get one of the family-style meals where you pick two entrees and also get a salad and unlimited breadsticks. that’s right…unlimited breadsticks (when you dine-in). we also got an extra order of Fetticcini just because we wanted to try it. they brought the food out and everyone served themselves up a plate.

Fazoli's Italian RestaurantFazoli's Italian RestaurantFazoli's Italian RestaurantFazoli's Italian RestaurantFazoli's Italian Restaurant

so what does Fazoli’s® Italian Food….fast mean? that’s what i was wondering.

well, that’s just what it means….i would call Fazoli’s® “Fast-Casual” since it’s not a restaurant where you sit down and have waiters serve you the entire time. you order your food at the front of the restaurant, which then is brought out to you when it’s ready. there’s actually also a drive-thru where you can order from your car. so yes, the food is ready fast! not many places that have a drive-thru window have accomplished the significant milestone of clean food. especially not a chain store. way to go Fazoli’s®.

knowing that a restaurant serves artificial ingredient free food matters to me because i want to make sure that my children aren’t eating unnecessary chemicals in their food that could potentially cause problems in the future. there is no need for it, so if i can avoid it, i do. and Fazoli’s works with almost 50 suppliers to guarantee that all their food….a total of 81 artificial ingredients, colors and preservatives were eliminated from the food menu.

Fazoli’s® ended up being a hit with the family. good food. fast service. happy kids and happy parents. That’s really what we look for when we add a restaurant to our favorites list. And Fazoli’s® is the only brand that i know of, who offers an Italian dining experience for people who want a break from ordinary fast food, but without spending more. such a great value. plus we had leftovers!

even baby Dani wanted to get in on the action. she tried to steal mommy’s breadstick. yum yum

Fazoli’s® is a great place for family-friendly dining in Southern California. we visited the one in Chino Hills which is just a few miles north of the OC.

$3 off Coupon to Fazoli’s®

if you would like to check out Fazoli’s, make sure to us this coupon for $3 off $10 or more at Fazoli’s.

{Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Fazoli’s. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.}

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Every Car Has a Personality: How to Choose the Best One for Your Family

This is a sponsored post.

this weekend, the boys and i finally got to see Cars 3 in the theater…yay! we’ve been waiting months for it to finally come to theaters. little miss Dani also tagged along…it was her first time ever at a movie theater. of course, we all loved Cars 3, and enjoyed watching it complete with popcorn and drinks. the movie had a great message and the ending of the movie was perfect. the new characters in the film were also awesome, we especially loved Cruz Ramirez – she rocks! the newer, more cutting-edge race cars were cool as well with their different personalities and specialty functions that made winning races for older cars much more difficult.

check out some of photos from our Cars 3 movie adventures….

wouldn’t it be fun if the cars we drove, were like the ones on the movie?!!! my boys sure think so! a car with personality?!!! well,  Autotrader, the most visited third-party car-shopping site, thinks every car has a personality. and they encourage people to find the car that best fits their own unique lifestyle, by using their online Car Match Tool. it can help narrow your car buying choices based on the selections you make.

Autotrader Car Match Tool

with the Autotrader Car Match Tool, you can choose body style, price range, power efficiency, features and technology, even the color! once you make your choices, you then get a list of all the cars that fit that criteria. it’s so helpful. and if you’ve narrowed down your car options, but need a bit more information, Autotrader allows you to compare cars and features. this provides you with valuable information to make a final, smart choice. you definitely don’t want to get stuck only on a vehicle’s “reputation.” rest assured, Autotrader helps you do your due diligence to research specific models.

in the spirit of Cars 3, Autotrader has made this great little commercial highlighting some of the favorite characters from Cars 3 and their unique personalities. o ver here, we’re more of a “Mater” family, and tend to buy the more reliable cars. more times than not, it’s a used one that’s not flashy and not going to go out of style for a while.

it was fun checking out the “Car Matching Tool” on Autotrader’s website. i would have thought we’d be a minivan family all the way. however, since we need a little more power and a toe-hitch to pull our travel trailer, we actually were matched with a handful of SUV’s. surprising…especially since i never thought we would need a large SUV. i don’t even think i can park one…hee hee.

do you know what car you really need? next time you are going to go car shopping…head over to Autotrader and try the  Car Match Tool for yourself and see which is best for your personality. you may be surprise with a perfect match you’d never considered. “Every car has a personality. Find the one that fits yours at Autotrader.” 

{Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Autotrader. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. }

Family Fun on the New Slides at Knott’s Soak City


Knott’s Soak City has opened for summer and we couldn’t be more excited! and what’s even better, is that this year, Soak City has some great new slides, more cabanas and a new restaurant with yummy new food options. Knott’s invited our family to check it out a couple of weeks ago and we were really impressed. here’s what you have to look forward to when you visit the waterpark.

this was the first time we have visited a waterpark as a family of six! i was nervous bringing a baby, but it ended up being fine…and i even dipped her toes in the cool water. 
our first stop of the day was the new waterslides. Knott’s Soak City just opened 7 new slides. we were able to attend the ribbon cutting with Snoopy himself and the mayor of Buena Park just before heading over to check out the new slides.

The Wedge slide is an open air family raft ride was our favorite. up to six guests at a time can ride through twists, turns and surprise drops. even Vann could ride it since the height requirement is only 42 inches barefoot. as you can see, he really loved it. my brother in-law and niece loved it too!

Shore Break Towers is over seven stories tall and and has two  different kinds of slides. one has guests climbing inside an Aqua-Launch chamber where they wait anxiously for the floor to drop out from underneath their feet, sending them into a high-speed, almost vertical free fall through a series of flat loops and S-curves in a translucent flume. and then there are  dueling tube slides that zip riders through an enchanting series of drops and turns. the height requirements for all of the Shore Break slides are 48 inches barefoot. the older boy rode the tube slide…but everyone except dad was too scared to ride the drop-out side. yikes! but so many people we loving it.

next up was the lazy river, which is our family’s favorite ride at Soak City. perfect for all ages to relax and lounge around in while enjoying the SoCal summer sun.

after a few times around, it was time for baby Dani and i to chill out in the cabana we rented. i was worried the baby would get to much sun, so we decided that we should rent one. it was a great choice because we could order food, hang out on the lounge chairs, and it came with 4 tube rentals, so the kids didn’t have to wait to get them on the rides.nice and shady!we ordered some food from Soak City’s new restaurant, Longboard’s Grill. there are a lot of new food choices such as sandwiches, wraps, hand-breaded chicken tenders, pizza, hamburgers, hotdogs, fries and onion rings. it was all pretty yummy!

then it was time for some more water fun. the boys ran off to ride some of the big slides….

and Dani, Kyle and i hung out in the wave pool. well actually, we just sat on the edge and got our feet wet. maybe in a couple of years this little girl will be ready to enjoy the waves!

next up was the Gremmie Lagoon. Vann loves this area the most. it’s perfect for little ones, with shallow water, mini slides, extra lifeguards and fun water features to play in.

finally, you can’t go to Knott’s Soak City without playing at the Soak City Beach House and getting wet and splashed in the Harbor Waterworks. every few minutes, the giant red bucket dumps hundreds of gallons of water on everyone below.

it’s always fun time when we spend the day at Knott’s Soak City. we are lucky there is such a great waterpark in our very own backyards. it’s the place to be on a hot day in Orange County. look for our family the next time you visit….we’ll probably be there too!{Disclosure: We were invited guests of Knott’s Soak City. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. }