7 Life Lessons Learned at Disneyland (#DisneySMMoms)

by Desiree Miller on April 12, 2014

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(Note to readers: I was an invited guest to Disneyland as part of the Disney Social Media Moms conference.  My opinions remain my own, as always. #disneysmmoms)

Disneyland is where millions of people go to play.  But you can also pick up some valuable life lessons in the park.  Here’s a few I discovered while racing between the rides.

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1. We can all be kids again. Or princesses. Or whatever we want.

As you walk through the arches at the front of Disneyland, you walk under a sign that reads: Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.  We spend every other day being grown ups. Responsible.Reliable. Moms. Dads. Not always fun.  But when you get to Disneyland, you get to be a kid again.  Sure, it might embarrass your children, but why not give Mickey a kiss, right on the nose?  Why not give Balloo a big ole’ bear hug?  These are the characters you grew up with, sang with, pretended with.  At some point, the world made you stop pretending.  But when you step foot in this magical place, you get to put on the princess crown, walk through a castle and eat an entire turkey leg if you feel like it.  And chase it down with a Dole Whip.  Life is good.  We sometimes forget that.  Disneyland puts us back in touch with our kid side.  Our #DisneySide. 

 

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2. ‘It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears.’

No, really. Every day, life can serve up some real doozies, and they can leave us laughing, straight from the gut, or crying tears that won’t stop.  It’s something that unites us all, no matter where we live, what color skin we have, or what language we speak.  But ultimately, ‘there’s so much that we share, that it’s time we’re aware, it’s a small world, after all’.  So, we need to help each other when we can.  As Disney celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the beloved ‘Small World’ ride, there are more opportunities than ever to give to others.  The ride that started at the 1964 World’s Fair as a tribute to peace and hope is still bringing us together, still making people of all ages smile.  The attraction can now be found at all five Disney parks on three continents.  The anniversary was celebrated world wide with a singalong that included people in all five parks, along with singers at the spot of the ’64 World’s Fair (Queens NY) and even an appearance from the Space Station!  You can go to www.SmallWorld50.com and upload your own singalong video or create your own Small World virtual doll.  Disney will donate $1 for each to Unicef (up to $100,000).

 

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3. It’s easy to be misunderstood

The story of Maleficent will show you we are not born bad, but sometimes life takes a turn that changes things.  The soon to be released Maleficent movie is about the villainess and how she came to be bad.  A ruthless betrayal made her heart harden, and now, she is very misunderstood.  We’ve all been there, right?  (Side lesson—free of charge: in life, it’s all in how you react.  Don’t let the bad guys get your good.) The movie is set to be released May 27th.

 

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4. You can always make things better.

Big Thunder Railroad was good enough before, or so most people thought.  Disney officials have now enhanced the audio system and made updates to the train vehicles.  Passengers now say it’s ‘faster and smoother’.  That’s a good thing on any roller coaster ride (in my opinion). The original ride opened in 1979 but was shut down for refurbishment.  Park veterans, who didn’t really have complaints about the way it was before, now say it’s ‘better than ever’.

 

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5. Color is cool.  Especially when you’re playing with water.

The World of Color show at Disney’s California Adventure is going to leave you breathless.  I’ve seen impressive lighting displays before.  I’ve seen dazzling synchronized water musical attractions.  But I’ve never seen anything like the World of Color attraction at Disneyland.  Images of various characters appear in the water as it shoots through the air, all timed perfectly with the story audio and music we love from our favorite Disney movies.  At times, the water shoots so high it seems it could touch the moon.  And sometimes fire appears, too, and you can instantly feel it warm your face.  It’s an amazing experience that you simply won’t see anywhere else.

 

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6. There’s no need to be afraid of a mouse.  Or a bear.

Mickey and Minnie are mice.  Let’s face it.  Not everyone is crazy about mice.  But how can you not love these two?  They are the heart and soul of Walt Disney’s empire.  And as iconic as they are, there are always more characters being added to remind you that what we think about certain creatures isn’t always reality.  Even the newest release from Disneynature, ‘Bears’, shows these critters have to struggle to survive, facing bitter cold, escaping predators, and finding food.  Through it all, it’s family togetherness that helps them survive.  (Hmmm…there’s another lesson they snuck in on me.)

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7. It IS possible to make a mountain out of a molehill. Or other materials.

The Imagineers (Disney’s creative geniuses) behind the Cars Land movie wanted to recreate the town of Radiator Springs for fans of the film, and boy did they ever succeed.  When you step foot onto Route 66, it’s hard not to feel like you’re one of the local folks, sipping a shake at Flo’s V8, or racing cars through the mountain curves, just like Lightning McQueen.  They had to literally build the mountains.  And they did.  And it’s phenomenal.

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Pretty much everything Disney does is phenomenal.  It’s a way of thinking for the company.  And maybe that’s another life lesson.  When I walk through Disney parks, or see a Disney movie, I am constantly thinking, ‘Only Disney would think to do that!’.  Maybe that should be our mentality, too: find a way to always amaze and inspire.  It’s the Disney Way.

 

 

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If you are pregnant, have you considered yet what you plan to do with your baby’s umbilical cord after birth?

Researchers are able to do more and more with the information they’re discovering from umbilical cord blood.  It contains the stem cells that can be used by patients needing marrow transplants for treating leukemia and other serious diseases. 

You can choose to have your cord blood banked or donated.  Considering it would otherwise just be tossed into the trash, it’s worth considering.

If you decide to donate yours, you should look into LifeCord as an option.  LifeCord is a public non-profit cord blood bank licensed by the FDA under LifeSouth Community Blood Centers.  The company is located in Georgia, Alabama and Florida.  

LifeCord is only the fifth public cord blood bank in the country to receive its FDA license, and the first in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, where it currently operates.

As a public cord blood bank, there is no charge for donating cord blood to LifeCord.  The process of collecting the blood is completely painless to the mother and the baby and does not interfere with the labor or delivery process in any way.  The collection is done AFTER the birth of the  baby and truly takes seconds.

You can find out more by visiting www.lifesouthcord.org or calling 888-795-2707.

They also will be at the Atlanta Baby and Child Expo and you can find out more by visiting the LifeCord booth there.  Find out more about that by clicking here.

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4moms Creates Products to Make Parenting Easier

by Desiree Miller on April 8, 2014

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If you want to find funky, high-tech baby gear that makes life as a new parent simple, 4moms is your brand.

4moms products are sold worldwide in more than 40 countries.  In the US, 4moms products are sold in retail stores, including buybuyBaby, Babies “R” Us and Nordstrom, as well as in specialty stores and online.

It’s hard not to love the 4moms products.  They pair sleek design with high-tech robotics to provide parents with dramatically different baby gear.  What I love best about the stuff they make: the simple setup. You won’t spend half an hour figuring out how to open your stroller if you’re using a 4moms product, like the Origami.  It’s a stroller that sets up with the push of a button.  Seriously.

The company, which will be part of the Atlanta Baby and Child Expo, tells me its target consumer is the first-time expectant parent (there are 1.6 million births each year to first-time mothers). The goal is to reach first-time parents during the second trimester, as they create their registries (2/3 of first-time parents create registries).

The 4moms team creates products that address real consumer pain points with existing products, and uses designs entirely their own. No other infant tub is designed for use with running water. No other infant seat mimics a mom’s natural motions. No other stroller can fold or unfold at the touch of a button. No other playard is assembled with just one simple motion. You can find out about each of these products by going to their online site www.4moms.com.

Here’s a list of some of their current product line:

  • 4moms rockaRoo®: The rockaRoo flips the traditional swing on its head – literally – by moving the pivot point below the seat. It moves like a rocking horse to maximize a baby’s sensation of motion. At 70 percent smaller than a typical swing, the rockaRoo is significantly less clutter and features five speeds and an mp3 hookup. In upholding its mission to deliver dramatically better products, 4moms has now presented the ultimate question to parents: Why swing when you can rock?™
  • 4moms origami®: Stroller mechanics and design hadn’t changed much for decades, until the 4moms origami power-folding stroller came along. It’s not only visually different, but by the touch of a button, it unfolds and folds itself. The origami is also a cell phone-charging, mileage-counting, LCD-sporting stroller, with generators in the rear wheels that charge the stroller as you walk. Plus, it has daytime running lights, pathway lights and child safety sensors. From function to design, it’s what strollers should be.
  • 4moms mamaRoo®: Parents don’t vibrate like a bouncy seat or swing like a swing. They bounce and sway, and that’s what the 4moms mamaRoo does: it moves like you do. It’s the only infant seat with five unique motions – Car Ride, Kangaroo, Tree Swing, Rock A Bye and Ocean – that mimic the natural movements parents make to comfort their baby.  ·
  • 4moms breeze®: Playards are hard to use. The 4moms breeze is easy. Just push down on the center hub to open and pull up to close – the latches are automatic and there’s no tricky sequence of steps. In March 2013, the breeze won the prestigious red dot “Best of the Best” award for outstanding product design.  ·
  • 4moms infant tub™ and 4moms spout cover™: The 4moms infant tub is designed to let clean water flow in while dirty water flows out, so your baby is always bathing in fresh water. A built-in, digital, color-coded thermometer makes it easy to control the water temperature so parents are confident their baby is safe and comfortable. The 4moms spout cover helps keep babies and children safe and comfortable at bath time by featuring a digital, color-coded thermometer that makes it easy to set the perfect water temperature. The cover’s cushy foam also helps protect children from bumps and bruises caused by bumping into the faucet.

Be sure to check them out at the expo.  You can find out more about that by clicking here: www.AtlantaBabyandChildExpo.com.

 

 

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Izzy Maternity: Where Atlanta Expectants Find Fashion

by Desiree Miller on April 8, 2014

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Being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to stop being fashionable.  Izzy Maternity proves there are beautiful options with its store full of clothing and accessories for expectants.

The Atlanta-based maternity store caters to all shapes and sizes and can fit nearly any body.  They specialize in clothing that is pretty and comfortable for maternity and nursing.  Not just that…they also carry tops, bottoms, and dresses for business or casual needs, along with lingerie and now bridal pieces, too.

Most customers visit the Alpharetta and Buckhead locations, although many other customers from around the country make purchases online.

What makes Izzy stand out from other maternity stores is the members of its team, or personal shoppers.  They are each educated about maternity clothes and fashion.  They can help show you which fashions and styles will look best on your body.

Shoppers are helped based on their individual needs and wishes and the store prides itself on its customer service.

They also can help connect customers to other pregnancy and baby services when they need referrals.

One such referral is the annual Atlanta Baby and Child Expo.  Izzy Maternity organizes the fashion show portion of the event.  Be sure to catch the show at the expo this year.  You can find out more by clicking the link for the expo above.

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Anjo Bag: Alternative to Heavy Diaper Bags

by Desiree Miller on April 7, 2014

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You’d be surprised just how heavy a baby’s diaper bag can get, but the company LUCCA ENTERPRISES is looking to change that for moms and dads everywhere. 

LUCCA ENTERPRISES has created the Anjo Bag.

It is smaller than a diaper bag and has all kinds of flexibility.

There are six compartments for storage, allowing for quick access and versatility.

It can be carried on the shoulder or by hand, like a purse, and, when you just HAVE to bring more supplies than you’d need on a quick outing, it can simply be placed in a larger bag.

This bag also can be used as a bathing /drying station in a pinch and is made from an easy-clean, durable material.

If you believe ‘less is more’, you’ll want to see more of the Anjo Bag.

LUCCA ENTERPRISES will be at the Atlanta Baby and Child Expo.  Be sure to stop by their booth to see it first-hand.  You can find out more about the expo at www.AtlantaBabyandChildExpo.com.

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The Natural Baby Store Offers All Natural Options for Parents

April 7, 2014

Have you ever heard of a cloth diaper consultant?  The Natural Baby, based out of Athens, Georgia, offers them to help parents figure out the best fit for their children. The company, which is one of the participating vendors at the 2014 Atlanta Baby and Child Expo, conducts business across the country through its website www.thenaturalbaby.com, but primarily serves the areas of Atlanta, GA, Pensacola, FL and Louisville, KY with the cloth diaper consultants, in addition to its home store in Athens, GA. The Natural Baby specializes in cloth diapers and […]

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Daddy & Company Offers the Perfect Gifts for Dads

April 6, 2014

We all know moms play center stage when it comes to babies, but we also know dads play a role in making things happen, and deserve a little love for that role. That’s where Daddy & Company enters the picture. Daddy & Company is an online store shipping all over the country and internationally! The site features gifts for new and expecting dads, as well as dads in all stages of fatherhood. The one-of-a-kind items help involve dad before the baby is born.  They make great baby shower gifts, from […]

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Baby Pibu Offers New Skincare Choice for Infants

April 6, 2014

A baby’s skin is incredibly delicate and new parents need to be especially careful about what they use to keep it soft and safe. Well, leave it to a dermatologist-mom to come up with a product to help. Baby Pibu(TM), created by Dr. Amy Kim, offers parents a luxury infant skincare line available nationwide in select boutiques or at babypibu.com and on amazon.com.  You’ll be able to find out more about them at the Atlanta Baby and Child Expo. Baby Pibu’s(TM) ingredients have been clinically tested and are recommended by the National Eczema […]

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Kohl’s Releases New Disney Line from Jumping Beans (and #Giveaway)

April 6, 2014

(Note to readers: I was given a gift card to purchase some of these clothes to help with writing this post.  I was not otherwise compensated and my opinion remains my own. @Kohls @DisneyLiving #MagicatPlay) Parents have a new place to pick up cute Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse outfits for their infants, toddlers and young children, thanks to a new partnership between Kohls, Disney and the Jumping Beans Capsule Collection. The new Americana line is filled with adorable clothes for boys and girls.  You can see the different choices […]

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Merging Culture and Childcare: Chi Au Pair USA

April 5, 2014

It’s like merging culture and childcare, all in one…Cultural Homestay International, or (CHI) Au Pair USA.  The company has Au Pairs placed with Host Families in all the major cities around the US, including the metro-Atlanta region. The company, which is one of the participating vendors at the 2014 Atlanta Baby and Child Expo, brings qualified Au Pairs from all over the world to live with American host families for one to two years and provide “loving, affordable childcare and engage in a meaningful cultural exchange experience”. When asked about […]

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