New Additions to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

My favorite time of the year has arrived. From now until December, we are one giddy family because we love the holidays so much. If we could live at Disney during this time, our happiness would be over the top for us all. Starting off with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The park is decorated with all our favorite fall colors and decorations.


Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog

This year’s event will feature many spectacular returning guest favorites, including “Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade,” “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular,” and “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks. But there are a few new additions to keep an eye out for.

Zootopia” Clawhauser Stars In This Year’s Exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card – This year’s exclusive card is “Clawhauser’s Tricky Treat,” and when an “apprentice” uses this card to cast a spell in the game, dozens of magical donuts appear. (Learn how you can pick up your game card in this previous blog post).

“Zootopia” Nick and Judy Join The Creepa Crew – The Creepa Crew, which entertains guests waiting on Main Street, U.S.A. will be led by two of the Zootopia PD’s finest, BFFs Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps.

The “Boo to You” Parade Will Give You A Sugar Rush – Vanellope von Schweetz from “Wreck It Ralph” will bring in the candy this year during the “Boo To You” parade. Spy her and her squad of dancers toward the end of the parade.

As a reminder, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party requires a separate ticket (a party specific ticket) that can be purchased here and is available for the following dates.

September – 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30

October – 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31

Don’t forget about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas starting November 7th.

PBS Announces Family Holiday Television Specials

I love this time of year. My husband, our daughters, and I enjoy watching all the holiday specials in December. PBS KIDS’ holiday programming kicks off this week with themed holiday episodes from favorites such as WILD KRATTS, SUPER WHY!, and PEG + CAT. Ring in the holiday season with your family by watching new and classic holiday specials from PBS KIDS.

PBS Kids Holiday Shows

New episodes this year include:

SUPER WHY! – “Judith’s Happy Chanukah” Premieres 12/7; encore on 12/9
Whyatt is excited to have been invited to Red’s Gramma’s house to celebrate Chanukah, but doesn’t know much about the holiday. To learn more, the Super Readers jump into the book Judith’s Happy Chanukah, where they meet Judith, who loves Chanukah so much that she can’t wait to share it with her new friends.

DINOSAUR TRAIN – “Trains, Submarines and Zeppelins” Premieres 12/7; encores on 12/17, 12/25, 12/27
When Mr. Pteranodon and Larry go out to the Big Pond to find some red platanoids for the Winter Solstice Celebration, they accidentally miss the last train home. Will Larry and Mr. Pteranodon stop bickering long enough to figure out a way home, or will they be stranded in the middle of nowhere and miss the family Winter Solstice Celebration?

PBS KIDS Holiday Program Descriptions & Airdates (check local listings)

December 7, 18, 20, 24 and 25
In this one-hour special, it’s Christmas time and the Wild Kratts are taking a break from creature adventuring to celebrate. But when the Wild Kratts receive an alert that their favorite creatures are suddenly disappearing around the globe, their holiday party quickly turns into a rescue mission. The Wild Kratts must race against time to thwart their greedy archrivals’ most miserly scheme yet! Will they be able to travel to the ends of the earth and return their baby animal friends to their homes in time for the holidays?

DINOSAUR TRAIN – “Trains, Submarines and Zeppelins”
Premieres December 7; encore presentations on 12/17, 12/25, 12/27
When Mr. Pteranodon and Larry go out to the Big Pond to find some red platanoids for the Winter Solstice Celebration, they accidentally miss the last train home. Will Larry and Mr. Pteranodon stop bickering long enough to figure out a way home, or will they be stranded in the middle of nowhere and miss the family Winter Solstice Celebration?

SUPER WHY! – “Judith’s Happy Chanukah”
Premieres December 7; encore presentation on December 9
Whyatt is excited to have been invited to Red’s Gramma’s house to celebrate Chanukah, but doesn’t know much about the holiday. To learn more, the Super Readers jump into the book Judith’s Happy Chanukah, where they meet Judith, who loves Chanukah so much that she can’t wait to share it with her new friends.

Airs December 7, 12 and 25
Everyone’s favorite aardvark gives kids a new spin on seasonal traditions in this one-hour special, showing children the many ways to celebrate. Plans are underway in Elwood City for the best holiday season ever as Arthur, D.W., their family and friends make preparations for perfect gifts, perfect parties and perfect family traditions for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and even “Baxter Day” (Buster and his mom’s special celebration). However, just as in real life, perfection is hard to attain and Arthur learns that the real joy of the holidays is spending it with his family.

Airs December 7 and 24
“The Hanukkah Problem” – When Albert Einstein invites Peg and Cat over for Hanukkah, he shows them how to make a 2D piece of paper into a 3D dreidel. Later, they need to use this process to bring peace to Al’s home and save his Hanukkah.
“The Christmas Problem” – When Santa Claus is in trouble, Peg and Cat have to solve their biggest problem ever: how to make and wrap presents for all the children of the world and then deliver them using 100 sleighs.
“The Penguin Problem” – Peg and Cat coach a team of skiing penguins, who would have a shot at the Olympic gold medal if only they knew “over,” “under,” and “in between.”

Airs December 7, 12, 20, 24 and 25
Join George and The Man with the Yellow Hat as they count down the days until Christmas. There’s only one puzzle: neither of them can figure out what to give the other for a present. The Man is having trouble reading George’s wish list and George doesn’t have a clue about what to get for the Man who has everything. Will they be able to find the answers before Christmas morning?

Airs December 8, 16 and 24
This adventure finds the Cat in the Hat, Nick and Sally on a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his way home to Freezeyourknees Snowland in time for Christmas. On the way, the Thinga-ma-jigger breaks down and they depend on a variety of animals – from African bush elephants to bottlenose dolphins to red crabs – and their remarkable abilities to help them make an amazing journey home.

Top Ten Family Christmas Events in North Carolina

It’s my favorite time of the year. Christmas in the Carolinas can bring forth great joy for your family. North Carolina is an amazing state as we have the beautiful blue ridge mountains on the western side and the great Atlantic Ocean beaches on the eastern side. In no particular order, here are our top ten Christmas events you will enjoy with your family this holiday season!

1. Christmas at the Billy Graham LibraryFrom December 1, 2015 until December 23, 2015,  you and your family can enjoy this event by taking a short drive down Highway 321! Beginning at 5:00 pm each day (except Sunday), you will see the beautiful Billy Graham Library all decorated for Christmas. Your family can enjoy the live nativity scene that offers a glimpse into the first Christmas. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides ($7 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under) through beautiful light displays. (Begins at 5 p.m.) Listen to heartwarming sounds of joyful carolers and festive Christmas music and a delightful story time with the kids.


2. The 23rd National Gingerbread House Competition, the largest of its kind in the U.S. and hosted by The Omni Grove Park Inn, is taking place Monday, November 16! To celebrate the annual event, the edible gingerbread masterpieces will be on display at the property from Nov. 18, 2015, through Jan. 3, 2016. This holiday season, The Omni Grove Park Inn will also be dressing up, displaying 80-themed Christmas trees, thousands of twinkling lights and multiple roaring fireplaces throughout the property — with the sweet scent of gingerbread in the air. Since launching the contest in 1992, the competition remains a beloved celebration at the historic Inn, with resort guests and visitors eagerly anticipating the hundreds of intricate and stunning holiday designs on display.

Grove Park Inn Gingerbread Competition

2014 Grand Prize Winner in Teen Category

3. Speedway Christmas – (November 21 – December 30) Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway and is even bigger and better in its sixth year. Speedway Christmas will have over 3,000,000 lights with a new and greatly improved lights-to-music drive-thru section!

Christmas Village will be open Thursday-Sunday and will include a petting zoo, Bethlehem village, horse-drawn wagon rides, photos with Santa, and more.

Movie nights have been expanded to every village night – Thursday through Sunday! Come see your favorite Christmas movies like Frozen, Elf, and more on a giant 16,000-square-foot high-definition TV!


4. Chetola Resort Festival of Lights – Chetola has a beautiful array of Christmas lights that your family can take a stroll or drive thru for free. They also have Blue Ridge Mountain Holiday Packages that your family can take part in and create wonderful Christmas memories.

Chetola Festival of Lights

5. McAdenville Christmas Town – I have been visiting McAdenville since I was a little girl. This will be the 60th year that this little town has turned into a Christmas Town. There is no charge to go see these lights and your will create new Christmas memories each time you go. The lights are turned on December 1st through December 26th. Monday through Friday the lights are on from 5:30 to 9:30pm and on Saturday and Sunday nights, the lights are lit from 5:30 – 11:00pm.



6. Beary Merry Christmas officially begins with “Light Up the Season,” an annual family event that welcomes Santa and illuminates Bear Plaza with hundreds of lights Nov. 27. During the following days during this festive holiday celebration, you can enjoy a Mistletoe March, sledding, shopping and other activities.


Photo Credit:

7. Meadow Lights – Located in Benson, NC. Their website says: “The largest and oldest Christmas attraction in Eastern North Carolina!” Meadow Lights began more than 40 years ago and they keep growing larger with lights every year. Some of the displays include an authentic manger scene, carousel scenes, and much more. The Meadow Lights also offers three trains that travel through a colorful area of lights that children and adults can enjoy.

Meadow Lights

8. Tanglewood Festival of Lights – Tanglewood is another fun festival of lights that has been a long tradition of my family’s Christmas! My girls enjoy this so much. We ride through with our windows rolled down and just ohhh and ahhh over all the lights. Each year Tanglewood will add more additions so it is fun to see the new traditions. Also, halfway through the lights, you can park and go through a Christmas shop from local crafters. When you finish shopping, you can go go the the fire pit and stand around and roast marshmallows. The Festival of Lights is open nightly from November 21 through January 3, 2016 from 6:00 – 11:00 pm, including holidays. Suggestion: Attend Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday to avoid long lines.Tanglewood festival_of_lights

Rates are the same throughout the week.
– Family: cars, vans and trucks: $15
– Commercial: vans, limos and mini-buses: $35
– Motorcoaches and buses: $100

Save money by coming on a Discount Night:
On the following nights ONLY, receive reduced pricing!
– Monday, November 23rd
– Tuesday, November 24th
– Monday, November 30th
– Tuesday, December 1st

– Family: cars, vans and trucks: $5
– Commercial: vans, limos and mini-buses: $15
– Motorcoaches and buses: $65

9. Lights on the Neuse – Clayton, NC is the place for a fun family Christmas hayride. Their site says: “The hayride whisks you and your loved ones away to a transformed world of Christmas spirit. Pause to reflect on the true reason for the season, celebrate the joy of the birth of Jesus and feel the merriness of Christmas cheer and magic invade you and your family members with an outstanding Christmas Lights Extravaganza at Lights on the Neuse.” Ticket prices are Adults (12 and over) – $10 and Children (3-11) – $7.


10. Christmas at the Barnyard – (Newport, NC) Celebrate the Christmas season Barnyard-style! Enjoy an evening farm tour petting the animals under hundreds of Christmas lights and decorations. Let the kids visit with Santa in his big red sleigh while sipping on hot chocolate. Hang out with your family by our bonfire as you listened to Christmas music and watch the lights on the farm twinkle. All activities are included in the gate fee except hot chocolate. Decorated live Christmas wreaths for sale.

Admission: Gate fee is $6 per person, 2-years-old and older; under 2 is free

Did you hear about the Pumpkin Spice PEEPS? #PEEPSONALITY

I am loving the pumpkin spice craze. It’s true and I am not afraid to admit my love of all things pumpkin spice. My co-workers and I are even having a “pumpkin” day in the office. The countdown is on for one of the best days ever at work.

Pumpkin Spice Peeps


PEEPS® sent me this wide variety of their fall flavors to review. As you know, I tell the truth and no fluff. The girls and I are in love with the candy corn and the pumpkin spice. Each of us are not real crazy about peeps, but both of these flavors could bring us around to being crazy about peeps. There are new flavors this year. Personally, I think PEEPS® nailed it by dipping the chicks in white fudge and caramel fudge. Believe me, you will not be able to eat just one. It’s a different taste than regular PEEPS®.

  • NEW PEEPS® Pumpkin Spice Flavored Chicks Dipped in White Fudge: PEEPS® is joining the highly anticipated trend with new marshmallow Chicks in a pumpkin spice flavor that are dipped in white fudge. SRP: $1.99 for three count package.
  • NEW PEEPS® Caramel Apple Flavored Chicks Dipped in Caramel Fudge: Caramel apples now come in a cute and quirky Chick shape! PEEPS® captured the taste of this fall tradition with marshmallow Chicks that are apple flavored and dipped in caramel fudge. SRP: $1.99 for three count package.
  • NEW PEEPS® Candy Corn Flavored Chicks Dipped in White Fudge: Orange, yellow and white, these PEEPS® Chicks are sure to delight! PEEPS® is now making Chicks that are candy corn flavored that will be gobbled up this fall. To really give your taste buds an extra treat these festive Chicks are dipped in white fudge. SRP: $1.99 for three count package.

Would you like to try the new flavors? You are in luck. Head over to the PEEPS website and receive 30% off through October 31, 2015 with this discount code: HALLOWPEEPS15

If you like the regular PEEPS®, then you will not want to miss out on the other flavors:

  • NEW PEEPS® Tombstones: Fun and frightening  marshmallow grave markers
  • PEEPS® Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Cats: Black cat chocolate mousse marshmallows
  • PEEPS® Marshmallow Ghosts: White ghost-shaped marshmallows adorned with spooky faces
  • PEEPS® Marshmallow Pumpkins: Orange pumpkin-shaped marshmallows decorated with jack-o-lantern faces
  • PEEPS® Milk Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow Orange Chicks: Package of three delectable marshmallow Chicks dipped in milk chocolate

PEEPS® and Company have other great candies that you can enjoy this fall. Each evening I come in from work, I have been enjoying a couple of the peanut chews. Peanut and chocolate is a great combination and just a little taste of sweetness needed at the end of a work day. The girls and their friends are enjoying the Mummy’s Mix. This would be a great treat to give out at Halloween or Fall Festival party. You can purchase these on the PEEPS® and Company website and save 30% off as well until October 31, 2015.

peanut chews

Mummy Mix Mike and Ike

Stay updated with PEEPS & COMPANY® new products and exisiting products by visiting their Facebook page, Instagram page, and/or Twitter page.

PEEPS & COMPANY® provided me with product information, samples and a discount code for this post. 


Verizon Gives Free Wireless Data To Make Thanksgiving Travel Easier

I am so happy to share good news!

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is about to become a little more enjoyable. Verizon Wireless has declared Nov. 26 “Connection Day” – a day designed to say “Thanks” to our customers by giving them the gift of data, special offers and content.


Verizon is giving its customers the gift of 1GB of data at no extra cost with great promotions courtesy of Amazon, Apple, Boingo Wireless, Conde Nast, Gogo Technologies, JetBlue and Pandora.

Ever wonder how much you could do with 1 GB free data?

Surf the web for 44.5 hours, stream 256 songs, Facebook for 51 hours, stream 10 of your favorite 30-minute shows, or navigate on Google Maps for 17 hours. All perfect for a long car ride with the kids in tow.

Starting today, MORE Everything customers who register for connection day at are eligible to immediately receive 1GB of shareable data on their account.

Nov. 26 is the day before Thanksgiving, traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year. Many of Verizon’s Connection Day gifts can make not only this hectic day, but the season as well, a bit more manageable.

On Nov. 26, all customers can receive everything from movies to free wifi to audio books to streaming music, all courtesy of Verizon. The complete list of offers includes:

  • Verizon FiOS: In FiOS markets, special mobile access to popular movies and TV shows from Nov. 26 to Dec. 1, compliments of Verizon FiOS by downloading the free FiOS Preview app.
  • Amazon: Selection of 10 free/discounted apps, plus two free Audible book downloads (new members) or $10 Audible credit (current members)
  • Apple: special offer from iTunes to be revealed on Nov. 26
  • Conde Nast: Free Digital Edition downloads of all 18 Conde Nast Publications, including Wired, Vanity Fair and GQ
  • Free Wi-Fi: 30-minute complimentary Internet sessions through Boingo Wireless (at airports) and Gogo Technologies (inflight)
  • JetBlue: Free in-flight Fly Fi (Wi-Fi) for the duration flights between Nov.26 and Dec. 24.
  • Pandora Media: Free seven-day trial of Pandora One.

Simply go to and choose the gifts you’re interested in.

Not a More Everything customer? No problem. All Verizon Wireless customers are eligible for a special discount on the mophie powerstation 4000, a great tool to keep your devices charged and connected while traveling.

“As we approach the holiday season, we wanted to show how much we appreciate our customers,” said Jerry Fountain, region president, Verizon Wireless. “We hope that our customers will take advantage of this day—a day to connect with family and friends, to learn something new about their device, or just to provide a little more entertainment during what can often be a hectic kick off to the holiday season.”

More free digital content and more free data, all on the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network, a great way to kick of the gift giving season.

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