MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

Disneyland Teaser- Caryn & I

I had such a blast at Disneyland last Friday, and can’t wait to go again on Sunday!

Here is s fun picture of Caryn and I!

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Hallmark Has My Heart!

PhotobucketAs most of you know on April 6th the girls and I left for a three day trip to Kansas City, MO to check out Hallmark Headquarters! We also with 11 other Mom Bloggers were flown out there to see what is behind this amazing company! I was very impressed with Hallmark because they offered us to BRING our children! I mean come on, a company who is willing to fly my girls and I all the way to Kansas City MO from Southern CA is highly ranked in my book!

I of course was so excited about this trip because first, I LOVE Hallmark. I mean I love Hallmark! Anything that has to do with gift giving and making memories you will find Hallmark in there somewhere! Secondly I was extremely excited because I knew the other Moms who were going including my little sister and my  friend Tanya who I have known for 8 years and we have never met in person… until Hallmark brought us together!

Hallmark also gave me the chance to see my sweet little niece who I miss dearly! When she saw me she was shy but gave me a huge hug and I melted!

A few of us moms got together the first night and had dinner together. It was fun chatting at dinner and the kids had a blast together!
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The first evening we were out there it was a great way for us Mom Bloggers to meet and chat. Which by the way we did get in trouble because we were being to loud in the Hallway of the hotel. First off, they put all of us Mom Bloggers on the same floor in the same wing, so while the kids were sleeping in our rooms we sat in the hallway chatting away.

(thanks Sam for this picture)
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The moms and I stayed up rather late chatting away. It was a blast! Samantha even got to sleep with her cousin Kaila!

The next was filled with tons of activities for not only the kids but for us moms as well! After dropping off the little ones (kids under the age of five), we headed over to hallmark Headquarters where we enjoyed a yummy breakfast and to start off the day a tour of Hallmark’s Visitor Center including the History of Hallmark, Hallmark Hall of Fame, and also we saw how some of the products were made!



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The very first spool of ribbon hallmark made:


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It was amazing seeing how the older children reacted to the tour. I think they were just as amazed by hallmark as us moms were!

Here the kids discovered the ribbon making machine, they didn’t want to leave. You could press a button and watch the machine build a bow and then the bow would pop out into your hands. We literally had to peel them away from the machine. I remember hearing Jackson saying “But I only have FIVE!!”
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After the tour we sat down to watch an inspirational film and then a wonderful open discussion with Tara Morrow who is the Vice President of Creative Writing and editorial.

After that we sent our older children to Kaleidoscope at Hallmark where they let their creative juices flow!

Then we headed to the “round table” where we met Patti Streeper who is responsible for providing overall leadership and direction for Hallmark’s innovation process, and Deidre Mize who serves as a national campaign manager for Hallmark Cards. These three wonderful people told us more about how they market products. We also learned about how they generate ideas for products. Patti talked about how they have steps to create a new approach for innovation. They also bring in many people to take a look at products and give their input. Which is what us Mom Bloggers were able to do as well!



Then it was off to lunch! MMMM BBQ!!! At lunch we met Steve Doyal who is Senior Vice
President of Public Affairs! Lunch was yummy! I would gladly go back to Kansas City MO just for the BBQ.. it was amazing! But what was also great is that at each table was a few mom bloggers and we were able to share our ideas with the marketing. They asked us how we reach out to other moms, how we use our sites for marketing. And they also asked us if we had any ideas for Hallmark products. Basically they wanted feedback!


After lunch we headed back to the “round table” where we met creative writers and people behind the product of hallmark! Yes it was AMAZING! We heard from Derek McCracken, Tina Neidlein, Andre du Broc, and Heather Hale. We learned what each does and their role as creative writers!

We also were able to go and see new cards that havn’t been released yet and give our opinion on them! Trust me when they come out your going to love them!

After that we met back up with our kids, and got to see more kid friendly products that are still in their prototype form. More AMAZING products that I will be first to purchase! We also received some beautiful Mother’s Day gifts from Hallmark and our children! Yes, the cards made me tear up.

Overall I had an absolute blast at Hallmark and after my experience I can tell you hallmark has my heart! It is a company based on love. That is as simple as I can put it. When your at Hallmark you feel like your apart of a huge family. One supportive and fast paced family! I was also impressed and surprised that the entire creative process is all done on site at Hallmark. So Hallmark if your hiring for an on site Mom Blogger let me know!

I made so many new friends, and so did my girls! Samantha begs me on a daily basis to see Jackson again! Jackson is Janice from 5 Minutes For Mom son. She also loved playing with Olive who is Gabrielle Blair’s daughter.

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Tanya and I stayed a second night just so we could relax and visit. The kids had a lot of fun playing together!

We went out to dinner with Janice and Jackson, which by the way Samantha invited herself to their room so her and Jackson could play with their DS lites’ together. At dinner we all enjoyed each other’s company and our kids ran wild!

Here is a picture of our kids eating breakfast in the hotel room.
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You can see TONS more pictures from the Hallmark Mom-event at:
From Hallmark: Flickr
From Gabrielle: Flickr

I Feel Like an Adult Now…. I got contacts today…

Isn’t it weird that the littlest thing makes me feel old? Today I went to the optometrist and they told me I was better off getting contacts then new glasses. So I did.

Also, both girls had their eyes checked and BOTH are getting glasses. Samantha of course cried because she HAD to get pink and Sarah didn’t care either way. oh my they are going to look so cute.

Sarah needs them to help one of her eyes work MORE (not sure what that means) and Sam needs them mostly for school work and IF she plays video games.

I also wanted to say sorry for not being around the past few days. Hubby had Sunday and Monday off, and yesterday well I got so sunburned that I zonked out at 10. I just didn’t have the energy to blog.

I have lots of winners to pick and more fun things to post about for Mother’s Day! Tanya, Caryn and I have also been BUSY with our Summer Event! Were so excited about that as well!

Mommy Help ME……

A few days ago that is what I heard! Yes I was sitting on the couch enjoying a TV program. Sam was sleeping because she was sick. Sarah was feeling MUCH better and running around like a little maniac.

So I was sitting there and I heard “mommy help me.” I looked to my right and found this

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Can you guess how she got up there? I started laughing at her. and she got real serious “MAMA HELP ME!” she said.

I told her no and I would keep her up there for a while. LOL. She thought I was serious too! Of course I rescued her after I took pictures of course!

IT’s COMING!!! (in May lasting ALL Summer)

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Wordless Wednesday

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The girls enjoying dying Easter Eggs!

He Has Risen – Happy Easter

“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.”
— Matthew 28: 6-10

At this Easter season of hope and renewal we testify of the glorious reality of the atonement and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The empty tomb brought comforting assurance and provided the answer to the question of Job, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14).

Because of the Savior’s resurrection we will overcome death and become the beneficiaries of His mercy and grace. In a world of trouble and uncertainty, His peace fills our hearts and eases our minds. Jesus is in very deed “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

We give our sure witness that Jesus is the Christ. Though He was crucified, He rose triumphant from the tomb to our everlasting blessing and benefit. To each member of the human family He stands as our Advocate, our Savior, and our Friend. lds.org

One of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so.

My Mother’s Day Gift From Hallmark!

Now during the Mother’s day Gift Guide I will be sharing more about these fantastic products but I had to give you all a sneak peek at the wonderful Mother’s Day Gifts you can get!

Nobody does it quite like Hallmark! These gifts we received are precious and PRICELESS!!

oh and Janice, the button to the right is for you.. LOOK they put the address on the envelope AND mail it FOR YOU!!!

Hallmark Gold Crown stores offer a variety of Mother’s Day gifts including photo frames, flower pots, albums and Instant Scrapbooks, stuffed animals, books, CDs, and mugs. Two new photo albums enable the giver to record a message that can be replayed over and over.

Use the store locator on Hallmark.com to find the nearest Hallmark Gold Crown store.

LeapFrog Is Expecting a New Arrival!

Tag Junior

Back in January I received an email about the new Tag Junior coming out this Summer! Sarah loves sam’s Tag so we were really excited for something Sarah cna use and help her with early reading.

The Tag Junior will read downloaded MP3s and use an infrared camera to figure out letters and words on the page. It has enough memory to store up to five books’ worth of material. Some familiar characters include Winnie the Pooh and Dora the Explorer. The device will hit the shelves this summer for $34.99.

Wordless Wednesday – Hallmark Pictures

I have a few pictures from Hallmark! I will give more information when I get home, maybe tomorrow.

I just wanted to say that I had a blast, and am sad to leave here in two hours, Tanya and I stayed up late chatting away.

I was really excited to finally meet her in real life. I have known her for over 6 years, and am so excited to have met her.

I also got to see my sister and my niece which I havn’t seen since April 2006. It was so nice to see them.

I also met some of the mom blogs who I have followed for a few years. Let me just tell you Janice from 5 Minutes For Mom is such a riot! She made me laugh and her son Jackson is such a sweet kid! Him and Samantha hit it off and were instant friends! Steph from Adventures in Babywearing brought Ivy. and everyone was in love with her! What a doll! Now there were a handful of moms who didn’t bring their kids (ohh are they lucky!!) and they were so sweet! Like Natalie from Red Sox Mommy, I have followed her blog for two years so it was nice to finally meet her.

Although I am still sad I didn’t win that washer and dryer, Trisha from Sweet N Sassy Girls was so nice!

I have to tell you Mom Bloggers have such an awesome sense of humor and everyone made me laugh! This was a MUCH needed mini-vacation. I had so much fun learning about Hallmark, seeing the products and how they are made, learning about how they come up with ideas and even giving my opinion on possible upcoming products.

Us Moms also received the most AMAZING Mother’s Day Gifts, which I’ll post about probably tomorrow. I will tell you they made me tear up.

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The girls first plane ride!

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Tanya & I from today

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Tucker (Tanya‘s son) Sarah, Kaila (Kristin’s daughter) and Samantha

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Kristin, me , Elizabeth, and Janice

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Samantha making mini bows at Hallmark Headquarters

Were Having a BLAST!!

Natalie from Red Sox Mommy, Trisha from Sweet N Sassy Girls, Tanya from Mommy Goggles, Kristin from An Ordianry Life and I are having a lot of fun sitting in the hallway of the hotel chatting away!

Of course to us west coast people have kids who are refusing to go to bed!!!!

I am having so much fun with everyone! This is just what I needed!

Ohh, and Janice from 5 Minutes for Mom just showed up!

UPDATE:
We got kicked ou of the Hallway for being too loud! whooppppsss….

Samantha is such a ham!

Sam at school

Samantha is such a ham! Today while helping out in her class, she started singing tomorrow, what is is funny is that her entire group always sings a long with her. Cracks me up because she is the one who taught them the song.

I happened to have my camera on me so I set it on the video setting and took this video.

I have a belly button too!

oh my goodness, Sarah just cracks me up!

ME: “what’s that Sarah?”
S: “umm, blumy bummim”
ME: “it’s a what?”
S: “I said, it’s a blumy bummim!!!!”

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Tootsie Roll & Fun Easter Carfts

Well, after receiving that HUGE box of wonderful Tootsie Products, I tried to think of what I could do with all that candy!

I decided to donate it to my mother in law’s Kindergarten class for their Easter Party! All week I have been helping out in the class and getting ready for the party tomorrow.

Below are the adorable Easter Baskets the kids made this week. As you can see I filled them with all the goodies from Tootsie!

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I also had fun making Yarn Eggs. This is basically a paper mache technique. I got the idea from FamilyFun.com

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2009

Photobucket Hey everyone! I wanted to let you know I have teamed up with two other Mom Bloggers to bring one FANTASTIC Mother’s Day Gift Guide! Caryn from Rockin’ Mama and Kristin from Our Ordinary Life and I are bringing you one huge party!

We have pulled together one amazing party, with many fantastic giveaways for MOMS!!

That’s right, finally a Gift List that is all about MOM!

The party starts on April 13th and will run until all the gifts have been sent!

I am sure your all wondering what the prizes are right?