A Magical Mama’s Day Gift Guide

A Magical Mama’s Day Gift Guide

If you’re anything like me, you love getting and giving gifts. I also really love shopping and supporting small business. So, I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite Magic Makers that are crafting away and supporting their families! As a work from home mama, I can’t tell you how awesome it is to know that I have support in my endeavors because juggling businesses, blog, kids, marriage, and school can be rough. There are many days when I just want to lay on the floor… But, because of my amazing hubby, kids and tribe of friends that are family, I press on.

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Black Loop. Today we are sharing gift ideas for Mother’s Day.


With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I was thinking of what I would love to open for the special occasion, and came up with a few of my top magical gifts that would support small businesses run by Mamas, meaning quality products for me and pixie dust pay for a mama-preneur on Mother’s Day. A win for everyone! There are so many awesome women that are movers and shakers, and while I can’t list them all, I am sure that you will find something for the magical mama in your life (or for yourself) amongst this list! Already picked out your gifts to give for Mother’s Day? You know what they say.

Treat. yo. self.


Mama & Little® Mama & Little®

Mama & Little® Silicone Jewelry • If I had access to these pretty little pieces when I was toting around my babies, it would have been a lifesaver. I can’t tell you how many broken pieces of jewelry I’ve endured from curious little hands and mouths. The jewelry is food-grade silicon and BPA free. These are perfect gifts for new mamas, aunties, and anyone that holds babies!

EllieJoy Boutique EllieJoy Boutique

Custom Wood Signs & Graphics by EllieJoy Boutique • This little shop on Etsy is owned and operated by Rachel, who also happens to be my cousin! She’s an Air Force Chaplain’s wife, mama to five and graphic designer. We both began design around the same time in the early 2000s. I’m super excited for Rach’s new venture and wanted to share that she does custom work outside of what is listed in Etsy, so check out her work and follow her adventures on Instagram and Facebook, too!

LILLIAN & CO LILLIAN & CO

LILLIAN & CO Bracelets • These are beautiful statements to wear. As a mama who dares to live my dream, these are perfect mantras and reminders on a daily basis to live in our magic and spread it far and wide. With twelve (12) different sayings, you’re sure to find one that is perfect for the Mama in your life. I found this little gem of a company on Instagram one day, and drool over the pieces often. They stack perfect with other bangles and watches! I am hoping that the “Go Live Your Dream” bracelet graces my wrist soon. 🙂

Spireside Candles

Spireside Candles (formerly Anthology Candles) • Handmade in the USA, these are whimsically inspired candles and wax melts. I fell in love with their product branding and photos on Instagram! Pineapple Whip is on my wish list, along with Main Street Bakery and The Confectionary. I know, I know so much sugar. 🙂

For more Mother’s Day Gift Guides, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Girls’ Guide to a Hands-On San Francisco Adventure

Girls’ Guide to a Hands-On San Francisco Adventure

I was hosted by Dagne Dover for an exclusive event.

There was no compensation, just great community, good drinks, crafts, and a lot of fun! All opinions are mine.

Unsplash Unsplash

Ever in need of a quick pick me up that portals you to a new space and environment to enjoy something different? Do you have a love affair with crafting with your hands? I love taking trips. They can be anytime of day, for an hour, 24 hours or a week. I also love crafting and making things.

I am pretty sure that getting out of your everyday environment refreshes your spirit and soothes your soul. So, what better way to do that, than with one of your favorite people? I recently had the pleasure of making a fun girls’ Sunday adventure with my little sister. Not only was it a lot of fun, it was budget friendly!

WikimediaImages WikimediaImages

1. Take Public Transportation and/or a private driving service (uber or lyft)

As much as I love driving (it brings clarity), the event we were attending at The WorkshopSF, courtesy of Dagne Dover, was in the evening and I am not fancy with night driving. That being said, I did some research on taking the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) realized it would save me a ton of stress and a couple hours of night driving, plus it was cheaper than parking once in the City. Since we are in the Greater Stockton Area, we parked at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station, which is about an hour or so from us. You can find the closest station to you on their website, which is a lifesaver once you are in the City!

We arrived in Dublin pleasantly surprised that we did not have to pay for parking on a Sunday. So, it only cost us $12.30 each (round trip) to Union Square, San Francisco. Irrespective of random fear, and the nightmares that I have previously had about people falling on the BART tracks, I put on my big girl pants and hopped (literally, I was not trying to fall through the crack) onto the car. My sister was definitely amused, but she loves me.

For those of you that might be hesitant about public transportation, I have to say that BART is pretty swell. My next adventure will be to take our entire clan on a family trip to SF via the BART system. Woohoo! Mentally preparing for that one.

Once we were in the City, thanks to BART, we had Lyft pick us up to drop us off to our destination. When we left for the evening, we called for an Uber car to return us to Union Square.

2. Find food. because, food.

Just as our pink mustache car dropped us off at the location, we realized we were a tad early and this super cute Mexican restaurant across the street pretty much called our names. At that moment we also realized we were really hungry. The question was, “should we have margaritas before the event?”

Hello, Green Chile Kitchen

As you can see, the food looks gorgeous. It tasted even better. Joy had a burrito – potentially the Chile Verde (I was too busy thinking about my meal I forgot what she ate, but it was around $11) and I had a Pulled Pork Quinoa dinner bowl ($16). If you are gluten free, this is an amazing little spot. The ambience was quaint, refreshing and super chill. They were very accommodating with knowing my allergy and I slept well and most importantly – pain free, score! This restaurant is definitely family-friendly and I can see the kids enjoying the space and drinking water out of mason jars like little adults.

Exploring the City is half of the fun, so make sure you research restaurants prior to your trip, or do as we did and be surprised.

3. Find an Event at workshopsf.

For us, we had an event planned in advance, but for you – if you’re crafty, or secretly want to be, check out WorkshopSF because they have a TON of awesome DIY workshops. Past workshops include sewing bootcamps, screen printing, iPhone and photography, metal smithing and jewelry making!

Seriously, the coolest work space that I have seen. Seriously, the coolest work space that I have seen.

Our fun for the evening consisted of fashion, terrarium making and cocktails. We learned from Jenny Lennick about terrarium making basics. She did a wonderful job keeping us busy and confident in our terrarium making skills. It was really easy and fun. I chose to create a tiny-sized terrarium with three little succulents and moss. Oh, and hello R2 🙂

The Force is strong with this little one. The Force is strong with this little one. Joy makes a mean Gold Rush! Joy makes a mean Gold Rush!

I love a good cocktail. We made the Gold Rush, which is extremely simple and contains only three ingredients: honey simple syrup, bourbon and lemon juice. SO GOOD. I passed on the Moscow Mule, because, beer (wheat), but I was happy with the Gold Rush.

4. Last but not least, travel in style.

The entire reason we attended this event was to check out the awesome Dagne Dover handbag collection. I haven’t had the pleasure of having my own Dagne yet, but I definitely have been drooling over them for a while now. Based out of NYC, the company was founded by Melissa Mash, Jessy Dover, and Deepa Gandhi. It was really cool to see Melissa at the event, she’s so down to earth and I enjoyed chatting about how the bags are game changers.

I shared with her that I am all too familiar with the “two bag schlep” that inspired the Signature tote, as a graduate student and working professional. I carried books, food, and other things along with me in one bag in addition to a fully stocked purse (hey, mama of five. You can never be too prepared. Although I recently found my kids’ socks in my bag at work (mind you, I no longer have toddlers or “little kids” so please tell me what this is about).

The lovely Melissa Mash, CEO of Dagne Dover The lovely Melissa Mash, CEO of Dagne Dover

If you know me, you know that I love a good handbag, clutch, wallet, or anything that helps me to organize my massively chaotic life and responsibilities and feel like I look adorable doing it.

Dagne has recently released its 365 collection, which is “designed for a life in motion” – guys they also have a sweet backpack called Dakota. It would be perfect for a day trip to San Francisco, perhaps to a visit at The Walt Disney Family Museum, just saying. The Landon Carryall is also perfect for a field trip with the kiddos, and yoga or gym session.

Image via Dagne Dover - The Dakota Backpack comes in 3 colors Image via Dagne Dover – The Dakota Backpack comes in 3 colors Image via Dagne Dover - The Landon Carryall - comes in 3 sizes and four main colors (availability varies)  Image via Dagne Dover – The Landon Carryall – comes in 3 sizes and four main colors (availability varies) Image via Dagne Dover - The Essentials Clutch Wallet comes in 10 colors! Image via Dagne Dover – The Essentials Clutch Wallet comes in 10 colors!

I also love the Essentials Clutch Wallet, it would be the perfect go-to for a quick run to the store, or to keep as an everyday wallet when I need to hop out the car and leave my tote in the trunk. The Signature collection is made from coated canvas so it will hold up to spills and frills.

For a client meeting or a coffee-house work session that would involve some homework or blogging, they have beautiful options with a new set of leather styles. I am crushing on this Simone Satchel. The leather is gorgeous and the hand is amazing. The quality of the bags, the philosophy of the company and the options in colors and styles is pretty awesome.

Thank you Dagne Dover for such a wonderful event!


No matter how you decide to spend the day in the City, make sure you’ve figured out your transportation (or suck it up and just drive), keep your hangry in check by exploring local restaurants, plan a fun activity or attend an event, and make sure you’re keeping your day stress free by having a handbag or clutch that looks great and keeps you organized on-the-go.

 

Spread Magic

Rock the Dots in Everyday Minnie Style on National Polka Dot Day!

Rock the Dots in Everyday Minnie Style on National Polka Dot Day!

If you’re obsessed with Minnie, like many of us that are Disney fanatics, you’ll be excited to know that January 22nd is National Polka Dot day!

In honor of the true wearer of polka dots, Minnie Mouse, my dear friend and Disney sister – Sarah, has so graciously shared her closet and curated some magical outfit inspiration for us! This is also a great time to announce that Sarah will be joining Sparks of Magic as my partner in crime, focusing on Disney Lifestyle! Yay!


Minnie Mouse inspired outfits are not just for Disney Parks, so I put together some of my favorite looks to inspire Disney magic for your everyday lives.

 

The office look

Who says your office look has to be all business? Add a Minnie Mouse shirt to your business attire, like a pencil skirt or slacks, to add a little Disney magic to any outfit. Need to dress it up more? Top it off with a blazer!

Swing into spring!

The magic is in the details with this Minnie-inspired look. We paired a swing skirt with a polka dotted top, then finished it with a black cardigan. We added some touches of Disney magic with our Disney-inspired Minnie Mouse vans and Minnie Mouse earrings.

Yoo-hoo, Valentine!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we put together a  look that is sure to charm your sweetheart.

When Minnie Mouse made her debut in 1928, her accessories included a tiny red flower hat, which inspired this vintage hat. We kept the vintage look going and paired it with a red vintage swing dress and of course Minnie Mouse-inspired wedges.

The Casual look

Minnie mouse is all about the bows so when I saw this scarf at disneyland I had to buy it. I paired it with a red jacket, inspired by Minnie Mouse’s red dress for those chilly spring mornings.

Traveling this spring?

Travel in style with this Minnie Mouse-inspired casual look, so you can #rockthedots across the country! Minnie Mouse’s signature bow dazzles the front, and of course, we can’t forget about Mickey on this fun luggage piece!


We would love to hear about and see your favorite Minnie Mouse inspired looks! Share them on instagram with #rockthedots and #sparksofmagic!

xo, Sarah

I am a twenty-something entrepreneur, vintage model, newbie blogger and Disney enthusiast. I have always had a passion for all things Disney. Camille and I met working for Disney Baby in 2012, and instantly became best friends. We decided to collaborate for the #rockthedots campaign and look forward to working together in the future!

 

Styling Simple and Perfect Fall Bags

Styling Simple and Perfect Fall Bags

I LOVE a good bag. It could be a hand bag, tote bag, clutch, satchel, and even back pack! Let’s be honest, I have a lot of things. My friends can attest that I am the “prepared” one and if you need anything, I probably have it in my bag!

I thought it would be fun to gather a list of some of my top bag styles I’m eyeing for the fall for both work and play. I created these sets with Polyvore, and everything seen in my set, within this post are under $50. I like a good deal, what can I say?! 🙂

Casual Monday Meeting

When I meet with clients I dress business casual. I always love throwing on a bit of Disney magic and then dressing it up! This awesome tote will fit my MacBook Air, notepad, and my life essentials! If I need more space, I can unzip the sides of the bag and if I want a more square look, I can zip it right up!

Too Cool for School

So take it to Disneyland! Just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you can’t have some cool class with your backpack! My favorite detail feature of this VANS backpack is the trim! This backpack would also be amazing for a trip to Disney Parks! Just think of all the pins you could add to it. Not to mention the room available for souvenirs, a sweater and leggings to throw on in the evening… or if you happened to get soaked on Splash Mountain – you’ll be good with a spare change. Going back to school doesn’t have to be a drag.

Make it a Date

Heading out for a date night means I bust out the fancy. Comfort is always key for me, even if I choose to dress up. This faux crocodile print bag adds some strength to a fairly feminine outfit. I could easily fit my iPad, a light sweater, bottle of water, and my everyday essentials in this handbag.


I don’t know about you, but I love to switch up my bags with my mood. It also depends a lot on what my plans for that day are, and if I’ll need extra space for things. If I am with my kids, I almost always have a big “mom” bag. But switching it up for a smaller one for date nights are great, unless we go to the movies and I need to bring gluten free snacks. 🙂

How about you? What’s your favorite type of bag?

 

Magic Kids: DisneyBounding

Magic Kids: DisneyBounding

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Yellow Loop! Today we are sharing DisneyBounding ideas for you and your family.

Last year I was swept into the world of Disneybounding as I attended my first Disney Social Media Moms On the Road event. I went as Ariel!

Then in January I met Leslie Kay, the fabulous gal that started this phenomenon, at the Star Wars marathon weekend. 

I’ve always loved getting dressed up and I think costumes are awesome, but the concept of creating an outfit from what you have in your closet to represent a character is pretty fun. Not only is it usually easier to wear, you can mix and match pieces for other characters. You are only limited too your own imagination. 

Well, it’s almost Halloween and instead of spending a bunch of money on costumes, I thought it would be awesome to do a family DisneyBound! My kids have not quite jumped on the scene so I’ll share some ideas and then I have to show you some of my favorite looks from friends that have done Disney events with their kids’ Disney styles!  

Since we are a large family, I’ve tried to think of how we could accomplish a bound that has enough characters, but also a group that we can all agree on – and like. Let me tell you that is no easy feat! So, after taking to the kids and Jeff, I’ve come up with Peter Pan. There are enough characters and we love the film, so it works!

When we think of outfits we draw inspiration from the characters’ outfit colors and styles and then interpret that into what we wear.  There is a really cool app called Polyvore that is all about styling and has a huge library of apparel and accessories that you can create an inspiration board from.

I plan on having some extra fun with scoping out inspiration online and from friends! Here is my friend’s son – he went to a local ComiCon event as Han Solo!

photo courtesy Amanda Zimmerman

photo courtesy Amanda Zimmerman

I’m seriously very excited for this project; it will take a little bit to gather all of the pieces for everyone, but it’s going to make an amazing family photo! 🙂

Do you DisneyBound with your kids?  

For more DisneyBounding ideas, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Yellow  | DisneyBounding Ideas

Disney x Vans

Disney x Vans

Photo © Vans & Disney

Photo © Vans & Disney

There’s just something about “classic Disney” that makes me smile!  

So, when I heard that Disney x Vans were collaborating, I knew it would be amazing. From the first set of images released on Disney Style, I can tell you that I am loving the Minnie Mouse pieces! You’ll see Mickey & Friends, Winnie the Pooh, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck! 

Photo © Vans & Disney

Photo © Vans & Disney

I’ll be sure to keep you posted but it sounds like June is going to be the magic month for release!