Disney Wonder NEW Oceaneers Kid’s Club and Lab


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In late 2016 Disney refurbished their Disney Wonder cruise ship, to update and add Tiana’s Place, a new restaurant, an AquaLab at the pool, Frozen at the Walt Disney Theater, additional bars and entertainment in the adult district, plus so much more. But, the number one thing my kids were most excited to experience on the updated Disney Wonder, was the NEW Oceaneers Kid’s Club and Lab, a massive play and learning space for kids, full of pure Disney fantasy, or should I say “Wonder”.

Disney Wonder Cruise

Disney’s Oceaneer Club includes character-driven performances, special storytelling sessions, larger-than-life playgrounds, dress-up opportunities and cool interactive activities. Where in the Oceaneer Lab kids can play and learn at sea through imaginative themed activities and games, and perform crazy experiments.

My kids aged 6 and 3 begged to hang out in the youth clubs from sunrise to sunset, with Disney toys, Disney games, an open seating area for arts and crafts, and ongoing Disney movies they definitely never had a dull moment inside. And I was happy that they were entertained and happy to hang out in there.

Disney Oceaneer Club

Central Library, perfect for larger group activities

Oceaneer Club Craft Studio

Craft Studio

Oceaneer Club open seating

Disney youth club open seating

Oceaneer Club Animators Studio

Animator’s Studio with a light table for tracing and coloring your favorite Disney characters.

In the Disney Oceaneer Club Children 3 to 12 years old can interact with Disney characters and each other, as they explore four multi-themed magical lands.

Andy’s Room: Is where kids feel toy-sized and can reach for the sky! lilStrange is in the photo below, can you find her? Disney’s Toy Story comes alive in this multi-level play area, lilStrange loved the supersized Slinky Dog slide. My kids also danced at a hoedown with Woody, joined Jessie for a scavenger hunt, and did space training with Buzz Lightyear.

Disney Wonder Andy's Bedroom Disney Wonder Slinky Dog Slide

MARVEL’s Super Hero Academy: Swoop into the top-secret command post of S.H.I.E.L.D. and wield the weaponry of your favorite Avenger—including Thor’s hammer and Captain America’s shield! My kids did arts and crafts, played computer games and summoned their inner crime fighter with surprise Super Hero visits (Yes, real Super Heroes interacted with the kids!)

MARVEL Super Hero Academy

You can control the movement of a character on screen to practice super skills like repulsor blasting.

Disney Junior: Enter the worlds of your fave Disney Junior pals with games, Character fun and more!

Oceaneer Club Disney Junior

Frozen Adventures: Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post- Prepare for a royal coronation with Anna and Elsa, then join Olaf for a summery sing-along and games that celebrate the seasons.

Disney Wonder Frozen Adventures

It’s almost like you are right in the Frozen movie.

My kids were able to move easily between the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab by a “secret” hallway that connects the two from inside. They enjoyed picking their own daily itinerary, and choosing some activities to do together and others on their own.

I always felt safe with my kids inside the Oceaneer’s Club, they could call us at anytime (even though they never did), they had personalized wrist bands (similar to the Magic Band you get at WDW) that they wore at all times, and could literally be tracked to what room they were playing in. The checkin and checkout process was super easy with security checks each and every time. Plus the kids had to wash their hands before going in and out, with super high power washing sinks (wash those germs away).

The staff was always easy to spot with their signature uniforms and got to know the kids names really fast.

Disney Wonder Oceaneers Club Check inWe were never a cruise family before this trip on the Disney Wonder, but we are defiantly a cruise family now. Everyone in our family had an amazing time on our Disney Cruise and can’t wait to take another one, hopefully longer next time. The Oceaneer Club and Lab is definantly the number one selling point for my kids. When I asked my son if he could have one extra day at WDW or on the Disney Wonder, he enthusiastically said “One more day on the MICKEY boat!”

We travel on the Disney Wonder through the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, our trip was heavily discounted, but all opinions expressed here are my own.


Fletcher Cove Beach Park


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Growing up in Southern California we used to go to the beach all of the time, but mostly on the weekends and for the whole day. So my beach memories are of very crowded beaches, getting sand kicked on all my stuff and always wanting to leave after a few hours. Now that we have the luxury to go to the beach midweek, and a few hours at a time, my appreciation has changed. This is the dream beach of my childhood.
Fletcher Cove 2017
Fletcher Cove is Solana Beach’s main central beach park located a couple blocks west of the intersection of Highway 101 and Loma Santa Fe Drive. The beach at Fletcher Cove isn’t big, but is still usable during high tide vs many other beaches along Solana Beach. Fletcher Cove Park has a nice little playground with grassy areas, a basketball court, and picnic tables that look out over the ocean. Plus showers and bathroom facilities (these are key when you have kids). Lifeguards here are on staff year-round.Fletcher Cove North
Fletcher Cove Sand Castle

We plan to explore Tide Beach Park next!

Meet your favorite celebrity authors at Barnes & Noble


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We are currently in the process of moving across country, so I am in full on purge mode. If I haven’t used something in the past fours years its getting thrown in the trash or donated. However, one evening I came across a box full of physical books (that were never unpacked from our last move) and a box full of books is super heavy. Not the most practical things to cart from apartment to house, state to state. Even though I rarely read books more than once, I don’t have the heart to donate them away. I love a good physical book, and every time I see my collection I am reminded of the times I read them. Many found memories of world travels, vacations and staying up late reading when my kids were newborns. So, I guess my box of book will be making it’s way across country in another move.

Meet Sherman Alexie at Barnes and Noble

When buying a physical book I can spend hours wandering through a book store, and thankfully I live close to a Barnes & Noble location in New York City to wander as often as I like. Plus my local Barnes & Nobel and other locations across the country are destinations for tons of exciting events. Barnes & Noble host more than 100,000 events per year, bringing major authors, actors, musicians to the stores across the country. At these events Barnes & Noble stores connect celebrity authors with local customers for just the price of purchasing their book.

Barnes and Noble Events

In June alone, the list of authors appearing across the country includes Sherman Alexie, Chelsea Clinton, Roxane Gay, John Grisham, Kevin Hart, Bethany Mota, Mike Tyson, and many more big name celebrities. Check out the Barnes & Noble Store and Event Locator for upcoming events near you.

Sherman Alexie Barnes and Noble

  • Sherman Alexie, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir, Barnes & Noble Union Square in New York City, June 16 at 7 PM.
  • Don Winslow, The Force, Upper West Side Barnes & Noble in New York City, June 20 at 7 PM; Barnes & Noble Concord Pike in Wilmington, DE, June 21 at 6 PM; Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles, CA, June 27 at 7 PM.

My local Barnes & Noble was packed for the Sherman Alexie event, for the release of You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir, about his mother and her unrealized greatness, that he is now realizing. He read from a chapter and some pomes from the book and told stories from his childhood and adult life. The best line of the event was “I don’t believe in ghosts, but I see them all the time”.

Barnes and Noble June Events

You Dont Have to say you love me

If these are not great enough, wait till you see the next announcement unveiling the fantastic events lineup for July.

Fully stocked felt bodega by Lucy Sparrow


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New York never ceases to amaze me, so when I heard there is a fully stocked felt bodega at The Standard, High Line, I knew we had to check out this colorful art installation. 8’till late, a fully stocked felt convenience store created by Lucy Sparrow, one of the UK’s most exciting and original artists. Her practice is quirky yet subversive, luring the audience in with her soft, tactile, colorful felt creations.

8 till late its great

Open to the public for one month from Monday, June 5th, 8 ’till late’s felt fittings, freezers and fixtures is overflowed with every product you would expect to find in a Manhattan bodega; from candy to cereal, frozen pizza to Band Aids; all hand stitched in the inimitable Lucy Sparrow style. Customers will be invited to grab a felt basket, browse the aisles and select fluffy goods to fill their cupboards with all the home comforts.

Lucy Sparrow Ice CreamLucy Sparrow Frozen Food Deli counter Lucy Sparrow

Taking over six months to research, create and install, Lucy Sparrow is massively excited to be able to bring her felt creations to the USA, “Creating all of these iconic American brands has been brilliant and I can’t wait to see the reaction from local people on seeing a felt world full of their favorite treats!”

So Many Choices 8 till late

8 till late at your convenience

8’till late: A felt Convenience Store
The Standard, High Line
8am – 8pm
69 Little West 12th Street New York, NY 10014
Monday, June 5th – Friday, June 30th 2017

My budding photographer


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Before my son had his own camera, he would always hijack my phone. I got tired of deleting hundreds of blurry pictures of the floor and the top half of his face from my phone, so his own camera was a great way to solve this problem. He now has free-rage to take photos of whatever he would like, and continues to get better at his craft. I still find blurry photos and “selfies” (see last photo in the post, lol) but every once in a while I find some treasures like these of his sister lilStrange.

H Strange

My Budding Photographer @growingupcultured

We were exploring DUMBO (short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and my son was chasing my daughter around trying to capture a photo of her with the New York City skyline in the background. He ended up getting his desired shot, plus of few other keepers in the process.

DUMBO NYC skyline lilStrange

NYC Skyline with @misslilstrange

Photo by H of lilStrange

jojo bow photo by H

Plus his token blurry selfie…

H blurry Selfie

Do your kids have their own camera?

Protect Like a Mother with Lysol


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Across the animal kingdom, there is something universal and primal about a mother’s instinct to protect. Different species demonstrate amazing feats to protect their young… including human mothers. I’m working with Lysol to celebrate a mother’s natural protective instinct, honoring that a mother’s first priority is always the safety of her children – weather she is a lion, tiger, bear or a person.

Protect Like a Mother

Protect like a Mother LysolThis free, family-friendly exhibit pays tribute to the fiercest moms on the planet through larger-than-life interactive animal installations, including an orangutan, an octopus and an eagle. The installations will also chronicle motherly instincts through visual storyboards of the most incredible moms on Earth.

Lysol Orangutan

The mother orangutan remains in constant contact with her child for the first 6 months of its life.

Octopus sculpture

The mother octopus spends five, six months protecting her 56,000 eggs and then dies in the end to yield a possible two new octopus babies.

Baby Eagles

The mother golden eagle uses her 8-foot wingspan to protect her eaglets from danger.

Protect like a Mother in Brooklyn

Moms know what it takes to protect

It’s their DNA, and it’s in Lysol’s, too. Which is why Lysol is paying homage to the most incredible and protective moms on the planet – both animals and humans alike. Because no one protects like a mother. And nothing helps mothers protect against germs like Lysol.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Map

Head on over to the Brooklyn Bridge Park between 9AM and 6PM May 20th and 21st to take a look at this free exhibit. The image above shows you exactly where the exhibit is stationed – right under the Brooklyn Bridge.

My kids also enjoyed making a special card for me. My sons says “You’re my golden eagle, The mother golden eagle uses her 8-foot wingspan to protect her eaglets from danger. I feel safe under your wing, too.” My daughters card says “You’re my humpback whale, The mother humpback whale escorts her baby 3,000 miles through shark-infested waters. She’s one fierce mama. Just like you.”

Making Mama a card

Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfecting Wipes kill 99.9% of harmful bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces. For more information on the brand, visit Lysol.com or Lysol.com/ProtectLikeaMother.

Do not miss this pop-up event because it is for this weekend only!