Pocket Disneyland


I am so excited to see an iPhone application for Disneyland. The brand new app is called MouseWait. MouseWait is the first free social Disneyland / California Adventure iPhone application. The creators have been Disneyland passholders for over 15 years and understand that Disney guests want accurate wait times for attractions, real-time news about what rides are closed, park hours and what events are going on inside the parks. You can see all of the restaurant menus with pricing for Disneyland, California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney too. Passholders will enjoy the easy access to block out date calendars. Travelers will appreciate having ticket and guided tour information, trip planning and hotel reservation resources right at their fingertips. You can also connect to the top Disney blogs through the app and they have joined the Magic of Disneyland with social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

I downloaded the application this morning and it is very easy to use. As I type, the wait time for Peter Pan's Flight is only 10 minutes, which is unheard of. Oh, it just makes me want to be there so much more. The historic Disneyland videos have me entranced. I always get teary-eyed listening to Walt Disney speak. Here is one that I got a kick out of from the late 60's. It makes me miss the People Mover, Skyway and Adventure Through Inner Space. Come to think of it.... I really miss Country Bear Jamboree too. My kids would have loved that.

MouseWait's live webcam is like having a little window to Disneyland right in your pocket. It's official... I love this app!

Spending too much on groceries?


Want to save on your monthly food budget?
Do you know a family who is struggling to make ends meet?
Do you know of a senior who is living on a limited budget?

The Treasure Box (a pre-assembled box of popular and nutritious grocery food items worth between $65-100) provides 25 pounds of frozen food for just $30. One Treasure Box is enough food to feed a family of four lunch and dinner for almost a week or a senior citizen for nearly a month

Anyone can purchase Treasure Boxes, regardless of your income. There are no restrictions, conditions, coupons or qualifications needed to order one or more Treasure Boxes. You can order as many boxes as you want.

Where do they buy the food from? "The Treasure Box has relationships with more than 500 major food manufacturers across America, including Heinz, USA, Nestle, Jenny O and ConAgra, Kraft, Sara Lee and Harvest Farms. When these manufacturers overproduce for grocery stores and/or restaurants, we are able to purchase that surplus food at a lower cost. Our food is high quality, since it the same food purchased by restaurants and grocery stores. As an "off-price" distributor of food, we deliver value similar to what TJ Maxx and Marshalls offers consumers for apparel."

Visit TheTreasureBox.org to see the monthly menu and convenient pick up locations. Purchasers can order online or directly from the nearly fifty Orange County organizations participating in the program. The food boxes are dropped off at those sites for pick up on specific dates. The holiday box for November is now available for order. The holiday box includes a 10-12 lb. turkey, 2 lb. sliced ham, frozen vegetables, seafood pasta entree, corn bread stuffing and rolls, pumpkin pecan praline pie.

If you are one of the fortunate folks who has a steady income and plenty of food on your table, please consider buying a box and delivering it to a family you know who could use a little extra help right now. You can also donate a Treasure Box directly to our partner organizations throughout the community. Go online, order a Treasure Box and choose a donor organization from the list. The box will be donated to a recipient from that organization.

Pay it forward.

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The Pumpkin Patch Experience


I got a kick out of a recent post over at Peace, Love & Momminess. During the entire month of October Armstrong Garden Center is offering all the pumpkins you can carry for the price of just one. Well, Debbie and her husband made this cute video showing some folks piling on the pumpkins in an effort to beat their previous years record. The man trying to stack them a bit high between his legs was showing some serious determination. I am considering challenging Drew to this one. It would be fun to see if my extra-long reach would fair as well as his muscles.

The kids are getting antsy because I've been putting it off our annual visit to the pumpkin patch. I cant help it. It just feels all wrong in this heat. I let them each choose a pumpkin at Trader Joe's the other day to hold them over (only $3.49 each), but that just isn't the same as the pumpkin patch experience. We were going to head over to Tanaka Farms in Irvine yesterday after our family picnic but it was ridiculously hot and the kids started crashing from their sugar highs as soon as we got in the car. We have all agreed that we will go next weekend regardless of the weather.

We just love Tanaka Farms for pumpkin picking. The kids like to take a ride out to the corn maze on the tractor-pulled wagon. We all enjoy the stop at the pumpkin cannon. It just cracks us all up to watch those little pumpkins fly. There's also an excellent petting zoo, fun games for the kids, an arts and crafts area, delicious treats and lots of great photo ops. Tanaka Farms is open everyday from 9am-6pm and you won't find friendlier service anywhere. There is no admission charge and parking is always free.

The Carter Family Adventure Team hamming it up at Tanaka Farms in the past.

Watch the Ellen Show today


In a new segment called "Legs Go Andy", Ellen sends her staffer, Andy Zenor, to ref an OC Roller Girls bout. See what happens on the show today when they get Leggedy Andy out of his ref shirt and into some OCRG gear. Hopefully, Brik and Dirty didn't hurt him too badly.

Here's a sneak peek!

Everyone hail to the pumpkin song!


As a child, I loved Halloween. I would start planning it months in advance. What costume would I wear? How many pumpkins would I carve? How far would I be allowed to walk that year? I savored every little detail. My Mom made most of my costumes as a child and they were always very special. Some of my favorites were the red clown, the Hobo, the Indian Princess, the Gypsy and the French Maid. On the big day I would wear my chosen costume to school and proudly march in the parade. I could hardly wait for the afternoon bell to ring so the real fun could begin. I would rush home to freshen my make-up and hairdo and then impatiently wait for the sun to go down. That darn sun never set fast enough on Halloween, but once it did I was free to begin trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. My parents walked with us as we went door-to-door gathering sweets. As we walked, I always watched the sky for witches and ghosts. When we got back home we would dump all of our candy out on the floor and sort it out. My Dad would pull out anything with a loose wrapper and fill a bowl for himself with all of the candies we didn’t like. Funny thing is… there always seemed to be loose wrappers on his favorite candy bars, which did not end up in the trash but in a bowl at the back of the freezer.
my clown costume
(made with love by mom)

As an adult, I still adore Halloween. I start the planning process a couple of months in advance. What costumes will my children wear? I love it when they choose something creative that I can make for them from scratch (see photos below). How many pumpkins will we carve? One year we had over 30! How far should we walk this year? I guess not much has changed. We spend hours carving out pumpkins and picking just the right candies to pass out to classmates. (Sadly, not one child has knocked on our door in the five years we have lived in our Anaheim Hills townhouse.) As I walk with my children along their chosen trick-or-treat path, I point at the moon and tell them to watch for witches and ghosts flying high across the night sky. Now I am the one searching the loot bags and sneaking out candy bars with the so-called “loose wrappers” to hide in the freezer. I hope that I never grow up so much that I forget the magic of Halloween.
Noah's beloved superman costume

Cole's pink flower with a bug on it
(Daddy helped me make this one.)

Cole's glow in the dark skeleton bunny with green frog boots

Noah's spooky-ookey ghosty

As the moon climbs high o'er the dead oak tree,
Spooks arrive for the midnight spree.
Creepy creeps with eerie eyes,
Start to shriek and harmonize.
Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize.
(Grim Grinning Gjosts lyrics by F. Xavier Atencio)

Nobody Does It Like Disney


The magic of Disney never ceases to amaze me. We went to Mickey's Trick-or-Treat Party at Disney's California Adventure Park on Friday night and it was incredible!

Our fun began as soon as we came in to Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and a little girl was screaming with joy across the lobby because she thought I was one of the Disney Princesses. I have never been more flattered. We all received quite a few compliments on our costumes as we headed for the gates, which helped to build our cheerful mood for the evening. There is something magical about walking around in public wearing a silly costume that just makes people lower their guard. Everywhere we looked children and adults alike had big smiles on their faces. Total strangers were going out of their way to talk to each other. Music and laughter filled the air. It was just pure fun and I couldn't wipe the grin off of my face.

Our boys were some of the lucky few who received special Mickey Mouse pumpkin buckets and flashlights when we arrived so they were feeling like VIPs as we toured the Treat Trails. The staff working at the treat stops seemed to be having a great time as they passed out huge handfuls of candy to the kiddos. They even offered a few treats to Mom and Dad. There were also nutritious snack options (apple slices, fruit leather, etc.) for the more health conscious guests. The lines were fairly short because this is a special ticketed event and the park limits the number of guests.

There are lots of fancy Disney character photo stations all over the park and those lines weren't ridiculously long either. I really enjoyed the gathering of Disney Villains in Candy Corn Acres. The Bowler Hat Guy from Meet The Robinson's stood next to me as I prepared to take a photo of my family and just as I snapped the picture he stepped right in front of the camera then sauntered off. He is a dastardly villain indeed!

We had such a good time pointing out the elaborate decorations and other guest's costumes to each other. There has probably never been a larger gathering of glittering fairies, pretty princesses and Clone Troopers in one place. Even with the abundance of Star Wars characters, Cole was the only Obi-Wan Kenobi we saw that night. He had a tiny lightsaber and pointed it in warning toward a few small Darth Vaders as they walked past him. It's so cute when the kids get into the character of their costume.

Drew and Noah's costumes were a BIG hit. It's surprising how many people know and love the Jabbawockeez. All over the park people were pointing them out and giving them compliments. When someone would excitedly call out, "JABBAWOCKEEZ!" Noah would thump his chest and toss up peace signs at them. It was hilarious! Noah's confidence grew with all of the positive attention. By the end of the night, he was doing arm waves and showing off his robot dance moves whenever he heard music. Coley also enjoyed the the festive music and, as bashful as he can be, was caught dancing more than once.

At the end of the night, as they headed for the gates with candy buckets almost too heavy to carry, the boys agreed that this was one of the best nights of their whole lives. It just doesn't get any better than that!

What are you waiting for? Order your tickets online.

Value-minded vacationers have plenty to celebrate this fall with a special travel offer: savings of $400* at the Disneyland Resort in Southern California. From Aug. 12 through Dec. 19, 2009, guests will save $400 when they book a 4-Day/4-Night Disneyland Resort vacation package, featuring Disneyland Resort hotel accommodations – Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier – and park hopper tickets. The offer is valid for arrivals Aug. 23 through Dec. 20, 2009. Pricing starts as low as $87 per person, per day, at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.

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Countdown to Mickey's Trick-or-Treat Party


We are super excited to go to Mickey's Trick-or-Treat Party on Friday! I'm so excited I probably won't be able to sleep tonight. I'm such a kid! If you happen to be there tomorrow and see a princess in pink flanked by a tiny Obi-Wan Kenobi and two Jabbawockeez (from America's Best Dance Crew) say "boo"!

Disney's website info:
Dress up and trick-or-treat in the ultimate Disney neighborhood! Excited Guests wear their Halloween best and make Disney's California Adventure® Park their playground at this amazing party! Treat yourselves to a night of fun with friendly, costumed Disney Characters and such delights as trick-or-treat stations featuring Ghirardelli chocolate, live music, entertainment and more on select dates throughout October. Save on ticket costs with advance purchase of select dates.

Ticket Prices and Event Dates*

Advanced Purchase Ticket Prices

$32 Regular Admission Price for These Dates — October 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29

Day-of-Event Ticket Prices
$39 If Purchased and Used on These Dates — October 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29
$42 If Purchased and Used on These Dates — October 30 and 31

Ages Two and Under: No Charge

Special Annual Passholder Rates

Event Times
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday — 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Friday and Halloween Night — 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Mickey's Trick-or-Treat Party promises not-so-scary fun for the littlest trick-or-treaters as well as adults! Throughout the spookiest month of the year, Disney's California Adventure® Park hosts an exciting event where Guests experience Disney's unique spin on Halloween.

Don't miss out on:
* Memorable Disney Characters decked out in colorful costumes
* Trick-or-treat stations offering both candy and healthy treats
* Live entertainment for getting into the groove — alongside some familiar faces
* Festive crafts perfect for the whole family
* Spooktacular activities befitting the evening's spirit
* The wondrously gigantic candy corn in Candy Corn Acres
* You'll also enjoy complimentary parking for one vehicle at the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure. Larger vehicles may require an additional fee.

Photo stolen from MouseInfo.com.

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About me

  • I'm Karen (Cupcake) Carter
  • From Orange County, California, United States
  • I am happily married to my best friend and proud to be the Mommy of two sweet little boys. My world revolves around these three handsome guys. Everything I do is for or because of them. I am happy to the core!
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