Come With Me to Tomorrowland….

by A Frugal Friend on May 22, 2015

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(I paid a modest fee to attend the 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, which included park tickets, special events and included a special screening of TOMORROWLAND.)

Tomorrowland Pin

Come with me to Tomorrowland….

This weekend the much-anticipated movie featuring George Clooney, TOMORROWLAND, hits theaters nationwide. My family will be heading with me to see TOMORROWLAND, but thanks to Disney, we’ve already been given the opportunity to see an extended part of the film. AND we LOVED it!

The desire to see TOMORROWLAND first started with the trailers, but Disney stepped it up a notch when we were invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration earlier this month.

Tomorrowland at Disney World

As part of the celebration, we spent plenty of time in the Disney Parks. Nestled within the Magic Kingdom is where you’ll find Tomorrowland, the home of attractions and rides like Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and the Astro Orbitor.

The Tomorrowland section of Magic Kingdom takes you into the future, but what you may not realize about the movie TOMORROWLAND, is that you have to take a step back in time.

A step back to when my parents were children….and a visit to the World’s Fair.

Tomorrowland Sneak Peek at Disney World

The Magic Kingdom isn’t the only place you’ll find TOMORROWLAND references. Visitors to Disney World’s Epcot have recently begun to see exclusive sneak peeks of the film.

As special guests of Disney, we headed into Downtown Disney (AMC Theaters) for a special screening of INSIDE OUT. What we didn’t know was that we were also getting a deeper look into TOMORROWLAND. Oh, you should have heard the cheers!

But there’s something else I was surprised about……

It's a Small World Disneyland

I had no idea that the much-loved Disney attraction, “It’s a Small World” would make an important appearance in the film.

It’s in Fantasyland after all, not Tomorrowland.

No spoilers here on why!

Tomorrowland Child Actors
While most of my peeks into the film TOMORROWLAND involved a grown up George Clooney, what we saw during our stay at Disney World was entirely focused on the time of the World Fair – in the 1960s.

It gave everything I’d seen up to that point more perspective. And it drew me in. And my husband. And my 7-year old.

And I’m sorry, but the casting is just genius. Doesn’t this young child look like a young George Clooney? Well, he is, sort of! At least in the movie.

george clooney in tomorrowland

From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s riveting, mystery adventure “Tomorrowland,” starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.

While I have not seen the film in its’ entirety, I simply cannot wait. Butter popcorn in hand, I will be at theaters this weekend!

Come with me to tomorrowland

A little girl I knew couldn’t be more excited. In fact, with her best Tomorrowland pajamas on (okay, so it’s Buzz Lightyear – but it does say “Saving the Galaxy”), she touched the TOMORROWLAND pin we were given at Disney World. She closed her eyes and really thought she was going to be transported somewhere. I love her imagination!

Tomorrowland Printable Maze

Before or after you take your family to see TOMORROWLAND, be sure to grab this Tomorrowland Printable Maze!

Yes, I said family…..because it’s RATED PG!


Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.

Here’s a little peek…….

RATED PG and in theaters NOW!

Be sure to Like TOMORROWLAND on Facebook and visit the official TOMORROWLAND website!

So tell me, will you be heading to see TOMORROWLAND? Can you imagine a place where nothing is impossible?


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Uh-Oh, The Queen Bee is Heading My Way – #Sanewich

by A Frugal Friend on May 21, 2015

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I am excited to bring you this sponsored post courtesy of the #Sanewich campaign from Oscar Mayer! As always, opinions and crazy stories are all my own.

Have you ever visited a fortune teller?

I have.


It wasn’t my idea. During a college road trip someone spotted a fortune teller’s place of business on the side of the road.

We stopped.

Did I believe it? Not for a second. But I did write down everything she said.

Confession….I still have the little piece of paper.


All in good fun, Oscar Mayer created tarot cards to give moms (or dads) a “peek” into their future to help them prepare for the chaos ahead……kind of like a HORRORscope!

Here is mine…..drum roll, please:

OM_Sanewich_Pin_The_Queen_Bee Yikes! There are a lot of things I can handle. I was expecting several possible fortunes……but they all involved my child.

I didn’t expect “The Queen Bee”!

I’ll be honest, I hide from the Queen Bee. I really do.

You see, the Queen Bee would not approve of my outfit in the mornings at school drop-off. Yes, often I’m still in pajamas but it’s not like I’m getting out of the car or anything. Still, I know she would be shaking her head.

The Queen Bee would not approve of my forgetting it’s “Hat Day” at school, once again shaking her head in disbelief as my child glided through the front doors of school showing her brown locks.

So if I knew the Queen Bee was headed my way. Well, first thing in the morning before leaving the house, I’d change into a power outfit (not the power suit anymore), one that made me feel good. I’d make sure my hair was brushed (and teeth too) – no coffee breath here. And before school pick up, I’d make sure I had a quick and easy lunch, one that would give me the energy I’d need to tackle her.

Thanks to Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh, I know just the sandwich! Maple Club Sandwich

  • 1 thin multi-grain sandwich bun
  • 1 Tbsp. KRAFT Mayo with Olive Oil Reduced Fat Mayonnaise
  • 1 leaf lettuce
  • 2 slices tomato4 slices OSCAR MAYER Deli Fresh Smoked Turkey Breast
  • 1 KRAFT Big Slice Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slice
  • 2 slices cooked OSCAR MAYER Maple Bacon

Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh is deli quality lunch meats available anytime I might need it – from school lunch to fueling up with a Queen Bee battle! :-)

“In a world where we’ve made things unnecessarily complicated, Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh can help keep it simple.”

So tell me, do you avoid the Queen Bee?

For more recipes and extra fun (YES – you can get a tarot card assigned to you randomly there)…..visit!

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(I paid a modest fee to attend the 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, which included park tickets, but the Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine Character Dinner was entirely paid for by my family.)

Jedi Mickey's Star Wars Dine

It’s Star Wars Weekends at Disney World now through June 14th, 2015 and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the place to be.

Last week, while enjoying down time at the parks during Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I secretly made arrangements for an out of this world character experience….Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine Character Dinner!

Jedi Mickey's Star Wars Dine Character Dinner

Hosted exclusively at Disney’s Hollywood & Vine restaurant, Jedi Mickeys Star Wars Dine Character Dinner is an unbelievable experience. The restaurant is inside the Hollywood Studios Theme Park and admission is required (not included in the price of the character meal).

When you first enter the restaurant, Jedi Mickey greets you for an exclusive character photo! Take advantage of this special time with Jedi Mickey as he doesn’t go from table to table like the other characters. So make sure to have your camera ready along with any autograph books.

Star Wars Minnie Princess Leia

But never fear, this one of a kind experience has plenty of character interaction during your meal.

Characters at mealtime who go from table to table for photos, autographs and just plain fun include:

  • Princess Leia Minnie
  • Darth Vader Goofy
  • Storm Trooper Donald
  • Ewoks Chip ‘n’ Dale

More photos later in the post with these characters!

Jedi Mickey's Star Wars Dine Menu

The dinner is buffet style and what struck me was that almost all dishes were themed after Star Wars!

How cool is that?

I had too much fun just looking at all the signs which included dishes like:

  • Princess Leia’s Sweet-and-Sour Pork
  • StormTrooper Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce
  • Kit Fisto’s Green Tip Mussels
  • Obi-Wan Insalata Caprese

The buffet had a large selection of items and as always, there was a children’s section with more typically child-friendly foods.

Jedi Mickey's Star Wars Dine Desserts

But let’s be honest, it’s the desserts that always steal the show!

Here what I grabbed…..looking back now, I see that I might have had too much of the Dark Side on my plate.

Jedi Mickey Star Wars Desserts Jedi Dark Side

Let’s break these desserts down, because they really are the stars of this meal. I almost wanted to begin the dinner with dessert. Wouldn’t you?

The desserts were clearly broken down into two sides……Jedi vs. The Dark Side!

Jedi Mickey Lemon Tarts

I’m going to start with the Jedi because I tend to go with the good guys in any situation. Or it might have something to do with my irrational fear of Storm troopers (which I had to come face to face with on this trip)! :-)

These Jedi Mickey Lemon Tarts with Blackberries and a White Chocolate Jedi Mickey on top were simply amazing!


Yoda Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcake

Yoda was represented well with these Yoda Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes!


Star Wars Cinnamon Apple Tarts

I spy R2D2, don’t you? These were little treats bound by graham cracker crumbs, filled with the heavenly taste of caramel apples, and topped with Jedi themed white chocolate shards.

Mmmmm good!

Dark Side Lemon Tarts

But of course the Dark Side had a very strong presence in the dessert section.

And I must admit, the force was too powerful to deny!

In response to Jedi Mickey’s Lemon Tarts, you’ll spy these Donald Darth Maul Lemon Tarts with Raspberries and black sprinkles, topped with White Chocolate! Yes, delicious, I dare say!

Darth Vader Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

But the force just grew stronger and stronger.

The Dark Vader Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes were too hard to resist.

Star Wars Dark Side Cookies


There were cookies too. At one point (as you saw earlier on my dessert plate), the Jedi were represented, but when I went back to take pictures, the Dark Side had taken over, just as I had feared. With Dark Vader and Stormtrooper sugar cookies, it seemed like the bad guys were winning.

Jaba the Hut Cupcakes

Okay, to be honest, I couldn’t bring myself to even attempt to eat Jaba the Hutt cupcakes – he creeps me out too much! :-)

Star Wars Chip and Dale Ewoks

The experience was simply so much fun.

Fun for both little kids and big kids too. Little kids who might love Star Wars but would find the real Darth Vader too intimidating and scary, will absolutely adore being able to have fun with their favorite Disney friends dressed up.


Stormtrooper Donald Duck

I even warmed up to the Dark Side.

How could I resist? Storm Trooper Donald was just too cute.

Jedi Mickey's Star Wars Darth Vader

And Goofy as Darth Vader – well, he was the best! He tried to intimidate you but then offered a hug, a genuine hug!

You’ll see my daughter holding a paper lightsaber in this picture. Everyone is given a piece of paper decorated with either a blue (Jedi) or red (Dark Side) lightsaber. Simply roll it up during dinner and hold with provided rubber band and voila! You are ready to battle!


  • Prices -$57.99 per adult and $34.99 per child age 3 to 9 (tax and gratuity not included).
  • Daily from 4:15 PM to 8:00 PM, through June 14, 2015

Optional Fantasmic! Dining Package

  • Prices – $63.99 per adult and $38.99 per child age 3 to 9 (tax and gratuity not included).
  • We opted for this package for our Jedi Mickey meal as it provided us with special reserved seating for the Fantasmic! show later that evening. The seats were amazing – front and center, best we’ve ever had!

I highly recommend getting Disney dining reservations in advance but it never hurts to walk on up to the restaurant and ask about availability!

Are you a Star Wars Fan?

Have you ever visited Disney World during Star Wars Weekends?

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #IKnowAFighter #CollectiveBias

I remember walking through the door. It was around midnight and I had just traveled home from California. Exhaustion was settling in as I set down my suitcase in the hallway. Then I stopped in my tracks.

The look on his face.

Something was wrong. Seriously wrong.

My first thought… Grandma has passed away. I had just said what I knew to be my last goodbye with her just days before.

I was wrong.

Tears started to flow.

Our niece had a brain tumor.


Trying to explain to my 7-year old daughter that her older cousin had a brain tumor proved to be challenging, but we decided something needed to be said. Tragedy isn’t new to our family, but having my daughter live through it is. We needed her to know about the hospital visits and the prayers needed. Most of all, we wanted to her know that she has a cousin who is a fighter, fighting a battle we hope and pray she will win.

But there are so many other families who know a fighter.

#Iknowafighter star wars

With so many diseases in this world, it’s only a matter of time before someone you know or love is fighting a battle against “the dark side”.

This can be so hard for an adult, but when the patient is a child….heartwrenching.

Have you heard of NF?

NF stands for Neurofibromatosis, a set of distinct genetic disorders that cause tumors to grow along various types of nerves, growing anywhere on or in the body.

NF affects 1 in 3,000 children. There is no cure. There is no effective treatment.

NF Awareness Month

Why am I talking about this today?

This month, May, is NF Awareness Month. It’s a great time to learn about NF. In fact, by just being a part of this campaign, I’ve learned that several friends of mine have a child or relative with NF. I had no idea.

Thankfully there are organizations out there which help. In fact, The Children’s Tumor Foundation is one such organization which is committed to finding effective treatments.

#IKnowafighter slide

From helping out with babysitting for siblings or raising money to help much needed research, there is something we all can do.

In fact, there are events in New York, North Carolina and even Miami, Florida just this coming weekend. Visit The Children’s Tumor Foundation for more information on these events and more which are upcoming.

Not to spoil the ending

With love and support, my hope and prayer is that we will find a cure to end NF.

Do you know someone with NF?

What can you do to help education others or help those fighting this battle?

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Tips to Handle Bedwetting while on Vacation

by A Frugal Friend on May 11, 2015

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I’m excited to partner up with Pampers UnderJams in this sponsored post about an important topic – and I’ll bring you my best tips to handle bedwetting while on vacation.

Tips to Handle Bedwetting while on vacation

Ahhhhh, you are on vacation.

The ocean breeze on your skin. Or smells of exotic foods. Or goosebumps as the fireworks go off over the castle.

Vacation. There’s no stress, right? Especially when traveling with children.


And while there are always issues to tackle as a parent while traveling, there’s one that might sneak up on you if you aren’t prepared. Bedwetting. It is incredibly common for older children to still deal with bedwetting issues, despite being completely potty trained. But even those who have had no bedwetting issues in a while may find themselves dealing with it on vacation.

Magic Kingdom

EXCITEMENT: Think about it. Kids almost can’t wait for vacation to begin. The excitement of it all can be a lot for their bodies. My daughter has sometimes been so excited that she can’t eat much at all. Same goes for bedwetting. You can see an increase during vacation.

NERVOUSNESS: Depending on the trip, your child could be nervous and have some anxiety. This might increase nightmares and even bedwetting. Are they flying on a plane for the first time? Are they about to fight Darth Vader in a Jedi Training exercise at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? (I’d be anxious about that LOL).


HYDRATION: One thing we do as parents is make sure our children stay hydrated. Whether it’s a hot summer day in a theme park or a day spent on the beach, they are consuming more water than usual. It should be no surprise that bedwetting can occur simply due to the increase in water consumption.

Pampers UnderJams


  • On the Airplane – I have my daughter wear Pampers UnderJams on the airplane, both going and returning. This way if she falls asleep, I don’t have to worry about accidents on the airplane. With girls, have them wear leggings under a dress so any bulkiness doesn’t show with a full UnderJam.
  • In the Hotel – Have your child wear Pampers UnderJams at naptime or bedtime. This way you don’t have any issues with wet sheets in the middle of the night (no calls to the front desk or miserable sleeping arrangements).  This will make life easier – TRUST ME!
  • Don’t Avoid Water at Night – Let’s be honest, those of us who have children with bedwetting issues try to avoid liquids at night. That’s not always smart on vacation. Hydration is key. So take Pampers UnderJams with you on vacation and keep the hydration going.
  • Keep the Stress at a Minimum – Family vacations are amazing but can be stressful. If you are prepared and remember bedwetting can easily happen and it’s totally not your child’s fault, you are less likely to get stressed out.

This is key about Pampers UnderJams -

  • Night wear leakage protection that features a NightLock ultra-absorbent core.
  • ComfortWear quiet, cloth-like materials for privacy.
  • Low waist so only your child knows they are wearing them!
  • Available at your local Walmart stores.

Go ahead! Enjoy your vacation. Grab a pack of Pampers UnderJams and reduce the stress!

Have you dealt with bedwetting on vacation? Any other tips to share with parents?

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When an Invitation from The White House Arrives…..

by A Frugal Friend on May 5, 2015

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Invitation to the White House

No matter whether you are Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, there is something invigorating about Washington, D.C.. And though you can walk mile after mile and feel the history surround you , there is but one house which symbolizes so much of our American history.

The White House.

And when an invitation from the White House arrives in your inbox……..

Let’s just say you might have heard a squeal or two from somewhere within the State of Texas before unequivocally replying YES!

Within the week I was on a plane bound for D.C., somewhere I hadn’t been since before 9-11. This was a town I felt a deep connection to. A town I almost called home after college. I was heading back and it felt really, really good. But despite all my adventures in D.C. during my 20s, the hours spent perusing the Smithsonian and admiring the various memorials, I never once had stepped on the grounds of the White House.

That was about to change.

The White House Spring Garden Tour

Along with other social media correspondents from around the country, I was invited to attend The White House Spring Garden Tour 2015.

Twice a year the White House opens the historic grounds, in both the Spring and Fall. This is a tradition that was started by First Lady Patricia Nixon well over 40 years ago.

I was so proud to be a part of this tradition. So few American citizens get to actually visit Washington, D.C., much less the White House. This was an opportunity for me to take you on a virtual tour, through my camera lens.

White House Social

The White House grounds have such a historic place in our minds. After all, we routinely see the President leaving in Marine One from the South Lawn and the Rose Garden stands out in my memory as the place I’ve seen Presidents over the years walk from the Residence to the Oval Office.

FACT: Did you know that the White House grounds are the oldest continually maintained landscape in the United States?

White House Rose Garden

In 1913, First Lady Ellen Wilson (wife to President Woodrow Wilson) replaced an old colonial garden with what we now call the Rose Garden. During the Kennedy Administration it was redesigned to serve as a Presidential reception area.

The Rose Garden was breathtaking. While the roses certainly were not in bloom (might I say despite the late April date and Spring label, it was freezing cold), the tulips planted next to the rose bushes were stunning in color. I can certainly see why one Presidential daughter had her wedding in the garden.

And while there are many receptions in the Rose Garden, you often see the President at work here with bill signings and press conferences. The podium was set up the day I was there. Yes, the President was working and at the White House. In fact, I’m sure President Obama was working on his speech for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner later that evening.

White House Jacqueline Kennedy Garden

Opposite the Rose Garden is the Jacqueline Kennedy garden, dedicated so by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson in 1965. This garden is filled with flower beds, boxwood and topiary trees in addition to lavender and rosemary herbs (actually used by the White House Chef)! Here the standouts were the topiary trees, so I took this wider image for you to see. (The First Lady has an office to the right)

White House

I’m always in awe of the places that social media has taken me……and now this building, inhabited by all Presidents except one, George Washington.

White House Back Side

I can just imagine the talks that have happened here. Apparently, President Lincoln would often lie on a sofa in the Blue Room and listen to the concerts from the President’s Own Marine Band through the windows.

White House Wisteria

While I spotted wisteria throughout Washington, D.C., the most inviting by far was located on this staircase at the White House.

White House Putting Green

I thought you’d like to see some lesser known areas of the White House grounds.

Here is the White House Putting Green! It looked as if the President was ready for us as it’s not far from the Oval Office. See the bucket of balls and golf clubs?

White House Playground

In recent years there have been plenty of children in the White House. Check out this playground!

White House Beehive

I’d heard the story about President Obama having to tell children at the recent Easter Egg Roll not to worry about the bees.

Now I know why.

Did you know that the White House has an actual beehive that they maintain?

White House Beehive Location

Nestled within the trees, the White House beehive is home to 70,000 bees.

White House Kitchen Garden Location

In 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama and several local students began the White House Kitchen Garden. While not as large as I’d imagined, the garden features over 50 varieties of seeds.

The garden is actually used in meals for the First Family and events such as official State dinners. But what I love most is that one-third of the harvest is donated to Miriam’s Kitchen, a local charity that deals with the homeless.

White House Kitchen Garden

While there I spied many vegetables like lettuce, kale, and even artichokes.

White House South Lawn View

White House Fountain

The South Lawn was stunning with the Washington Monument in the background and a large fountain surrounded by colorful blooms. I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful view for the First Family.

My daughter would have loved the Presidential ducks…….that’s what I called a family of ducks I spotted floating in the fountain down by the Garden Kitchen.

President's Own Marine Band

The President’s Own Marine Band played for us and later on the Army Band would too.

White House Trip


Though it was an overcast and cold day, the rain held off until my time at the White House was over.

I took hundreds of photos, made new friends, and walked among history.

It was an amazing day, one that I won’t soon forget.

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I am excited to share this sponsored post because Buddy Valastro is coming to Dallas. You can meet the Cake Boss at Michaels!

Cake Boss Buddy

Are you a fan of Cake Boss?

I’ve been watching TLC’s Cake Boss for years and have grown to love Carlo’s Bakery, a New Jersey favorite, from afar. The show follows Buddy Valastro and his family, many of whom work at the family bakery. Buddy took over the bakery after his father passed away and as I’ve watched the show for so long, it almost feels like they are family. I’d be lying if I say I don’t recognize some things having married into an Italian family myself. :-)

And while I adore that the show brings real life family issues into my living room, things I can relate to on a personal level, I love watching Buddy and his team create amazing cakes and Italian treats.

I’ve got big news for Dallas/Ft Worth! You can meet the Cake Boss at Michaels…..Buddy Valastro is coming this week!

Michaels is hosting the famous Buddy Valastro for a special meet and greet, autograph signing, and demonstration of some of his new products, including 14 brand new colorful decorating products like Color Gels, Decorating Icing and Fabulous Fondant. He will also show off his new 2-tier cakelette pan and cast-aluminum decorating turntable.

Want to meet Buddy?

Those who attend can get an autographed picture and meet Buddy when they purchase $25 or more of Cake Boss products at Michaels.

Meet the Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro
Tuesday, May 5
4 – 5:30 p.m.
Michaels Southlake
1051 East Southlake Blvd.
Southlake, Texas

For those of you who love Twitter parties, be sure to check out the #AskCakeBoss Twitter Party on Thursday, May 7th at @ 7pm CST!

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