Our Disney Infinity Games Guardians of the Galaxy Party

Posted by Carly Morgan

This Disney Infinity Games shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias

Guardians of the Galaxy party #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop

I am Groot!!

Do you play Disney Infinity? It was our must-have last year and it’s been the most-hours-logged video game for the Morgan household ever since. The basic idea is that it’s an adventure video game but you buy real character toys to go along with it, so it’s this action-ish, Disney-ish, collectible-ish mess of goodness and since we like all of those things we had to have all of the Disney Infinity stuff ever. Walmart carries it all in the video game department (even the toy-like character pieces).

Disney Infinity at Walmart #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop

When we heard they were coming out with Disney Infinity 2.0 we were all “TAKE OUR MONEY” before we even had the details. And then we found out that the new game includes Marvel super heroes like Captain America and Iron Man. And then we found out there was going to be a Guardians of the Galaxy super heroes expansion. And then the world imploded from all the awesome.

Got it! Looove it!

Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop Disney Infinity Guardians of the Galaxy #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop

We did a Guardians of the Galaxy pizza party to celebrate the first night we had the game and a bunch of family came over to try it out. We did classic video game food: pizza, cheese crackers, sugary treats, and “Groot beer” (root beer + dry ice = I’m the coolest mom ever). I also added some salad because we’re all grown up and can no longer survive on pizza and soda alone.

Guardians of the Galaxy salad for party #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop Groot beer for Guardians of the Galaxy #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop Sweet Tooth Fairy cake bites #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop Disney Infinity video game party #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop Guardians of the Galaxy cupcakes #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop Guardians of the Galaxy party food table #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop Tissue tassel for video game party #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop

I did run into a bit of a hostess problem when I couldn’t get people to stop playing the game long enough to eat. If you’re going to be doing a Disney Infinity + dinner combo, I suggest you get dinner going first so everything doesn’t get cold while people are running around trying to find bonuses.

GOG Disney Infinity #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shopSetting up Disney Infinity #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shopParty for Disney infinity #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop

I got them to take a break eventually.

Family video game party #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shopVideo game break #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop

It didn’t last long, before they were back to playing the game. I wasn’t sure how my youngest brother and sister would do since they don’t have a video game system at their house yet and there’s always a bit of a learning curve, but they navigated it all very easily and were excited about the Guardians of the Galaxy characters.

Disney Infinity characters #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop

My older “little” brother switched out when he finally got a turn so he could play with the Avengers characters. He’s a huge Captain America fan, but the basic set doesn’t come with Captain America. He was still happy to fly around as Thor and Iron Man, but I think he was pretty quick to pick up that other expansion. (You also have to get the Hulk separately. I guess there’s a limit on how much awesome you can put in one box.)

Thor and Iron Man Disney Infinity #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shopPlaying Disney Infinity 2.0 #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop

Kyle playing Disney Infinity #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shopPlaying Xbox Disney Infinity #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop

After checking out the Marvel super heroes for a while, we switched over to Toy Box mode, which is my personal favorite. It’s an open-play mode where you can run around doing various activities and it mixes all of the characters together in this play area that feels like you’re walking around a Disney park (complete with area music!). I like it because it’s fun to see all of the different Disney characters together. It will be even better when the next set of Disney characters comes out next month!

Disney Infinity Toy Box Mode #InfinityHeroes #CollectiveBias #shop

To see the fun in action, check out our party video:

Our Disney Infinity Games Guardians of the Galaxy Party

Our Disney Infinity Games Guardians of the Galaxy Party http://everclevermom.com/2014/09/our-disney-infinity-games-guardians-of-the-galaxy-party-infinityheroes/

Posted by Ever Clever Mom on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Start a Blog: Becoming an Advocate

Posted by Carly Morgan

This is the ninth part in my Start a Blog series about blogging. This post is relevant whether you’ve started your blog or not, but you might want to check out my other posts if you haven’t seen them since they lay the groundwork for starting your money-making blog journey. Also, keep in mind that some brands won’t work with you unless you have a dot com and you’re self-hosting (both easy things to do!!) so check out my post about setting up a hosted blog if you aren’t there yet.

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This post is coming to you from Las Vegas, where I am attending the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. It’s my first year attending this conference and it’s been about what I would have expected. Most of the people here either have or are seriously affected by food allergies so there’s a lot of story swapping and tons of brands who cater to people with special diets have come to share their goodies with the attendees.

One of the words that I’ve heard over and over again is advocacy. That’s a hot word in the allergy community, especially among parents who use the word “advocate” to remind themselves (ourselves) that it’s their (our) job to be as crazy overprotective as they (we) are. Obviously, since this is a blogging conference we represent only a sliver of all of the allergy parents out there so there has been a lot of discussion about how important it is to get accurate allergy information out to the public and our responsibility to accurately represent the stories of allergy parents everywhere.

This got me to thinking. I’m not one of those bloggers who has a dedicated mission, like the bloggers who raise money for specific causes or the ones who work tirelessly until legislation is passed in their favor on some particular issue they feel passionate about. I just write about my life. My blog is exactly the kind of blog that people roll their eyes about and wonder (A) who would ever read that drivel and (B) why I think I’m so special that every photo of my kids needs to be shared like nobody has ever seen kids before.

I am, however, an advocate. I’m an advocate for Eva’s allergies, of course, but I’m also an advocate for people who want to blog full-time. I’m an advocate for people who are just starting to get into the habit of running. I’m an advocate for people who have strict grocery budgets but enjoy creative meals. I’m an advocate for people who forget that there are vacation destinations out there that don’t involve the Disney Dining Plan. I’m even occasionally an advocate for people who are incorrectly parenting their children.

I don’t think that my blog has made a huge impact on the world, but I do feel good about the little contributions that I’ve made in my own way. Every now and then I’ll hear from someone who connected with something I said and ended up being pushed in some new direction because of it. I know that’s happened to me often, reading the everyday stories of other people. It’s grounding to hear about the experiences of others. I, for one, would be able to navigate this world much more easily if I could read everyone like a book.

It can feel scary to share your story, but getting all of those voices out there is how we’re building communities these days. I know that people come to my blog with judgement sometimes, but there are also a lot of people who show up because we’re on the same page and they can relate to what I’m saying. I guarantee that if you start blogging, your community will find you. It’s also a safe bet that something you say will make a difference to someone, although how positive that difference is is up to you and your words. So you can blog for a noble cause and a large purpose, but don’t feel like you have to. Normalcy needs advocates, too.

Go write this weekend. It’s a good season for it.

PS – Remember that you might not know the people who will value your voice the most, so if your friends don’t follow your blog that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth reading. Not even kidding when I say my best friends haven’t been on this site in years! Keep your head up and keep blogging. 

Kid Style: Disney Shirt from Peek

Posted by Carly Morgan

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We were going to do another round of back to school thrift shopping this year, since we were so successful last year, but I ended up spending our entire back to school budget on one shirt. And I’m so happy with that decision!

I’m all about stretching your dollar when it comes to raising kids (because I often have more kid needs than dollars) so most of the kids’ wardrobe comes from secondhand stores. We also get a lot of gifts from grandparents and hand-me-downs from sisters/cousins so it’s rare that I feel like I’ve overspent on the kids. Little things here and there, but nothing big.

This shirt was a big purchase.

It’s from the Disney collection at Peek and I didn’t even know there was a Disney collection at Peek until the day I saw this shirt in the window of the Salt Lake store. As it turned out, they were almost sold out of everything so if you wanted to get this shirt now you might not be able to find it BUT I was assured that new Disney stock would be coming out in October. I almost didn’t buy this shirt because of the price but after I left the store I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I loved it. And let’s face it…the kids are still at an age where their clothes are really for me and I was just dying to see the Eve-ster in this shirt.

Bought it. Love it. Doesn’t phase me that it’s her only back-to-school item.

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Before you feel too sorry for her because she only got one shirt for back-to-school, she actually didn’t grow much last year (that’s a whole other post) so she’s still growing into some of the clothes we bought last fall. Skinny Minnie is in no danger of having nothing to wear!

Oh, and if you wondering why I only splurged on Eva and not her neglected baby brother, (A) they didn’t have any Disney shirts at Peek in his size and (B) I picked up this Janie and Jack blazer and button-down for him on the same day. So don’t you worry about his wardrobe either!

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UPDATE: Thanks to a reader, I found this shirt in stock at Nordstrom so if you want it…

Birthday Party Playdate with Doc McStuffins

Posted by Carly Morgan

Doc McStuffins Birthday Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. We had the opportunity to create a birthday party with a Disney Junior theme and we chose Doc McStuffins because she’s our favorite!! #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias

Doc McStuffins birthday party #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

We had a Doc McStuffins birthday party playdate today!

One of Eva’s best buddies turned 4 today so we had a fun birthday lunch after school. We themed the party after the Disney Junior show Doc McStuffins because Eva and her friends are OBSESSED and can’t get enough. I don’t mind at all that the show is so popular because I think Doc is a great role model and it’s fantastic to be able to find so many things at the store that are themed to the show.

I bought all of the party goods at Walmart in one shopping trip (impressive for me – I always forget something!). I picked up a ton of American Greeting party supplies over near the greeting cards and then I headed to the toy aisle to grab a few other things. It’s hard to miss Doc these days because she takes up quite a bit of shelf real estate.

Doc McStuffins at Walmart #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop Disney Junior party supplies #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

I was really excited when I found not one but TWO new Doc McStuffins costumes – one in the Halloween section (kind of a sparkly Doc McStuffins tutu) and one in the toy section (pink scrubs with a bandage print on them).

Doc McStuffins toys #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop Doc McStuffins Halloween costume #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

Eva has the standard Doc costume with the shirt and the lab coat so with the addition of these two I was able to create a cute check-in station at the party so everyone had the option to “doctor up” upon arrival.

Doc McStuffins party #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shopBirthday party dress up station #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shopDisney costumes at birthday party #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

I also designed a little party station around a new Doc McStuffins toy that I had never seen before. It’s called the “Just Play Doc Mcstuffins Diagnose-a-tosis Eye Doctor Set” and basically it’s a little kit to do eye exams. I used it to set up an eye exam area at the party so the kids didn’t have to fight over our Doc McStuffins clinic and it was a big hit! I just did a simple eye exam chart on the dry erase board but if you were really creative and handy with a printer I think you could easily do a Pinterest-worthy eye chart with all of the birthday girl’s info!

Doc McStuffins party station #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shopDoc McStuffins eye exam #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

Little tip: to create a bunch of empty eyeglasses for the party guests to try on, I picked up some reading glasses and cheap sunglasses and took the lenses out. If you want to do the same, heating the lenses up with a hot hairdryer usually makes them a little easier to pop out of the frames.

Glasses for dress up #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

We also had the clinic, of course, and I filled the wagon with our collection of Doc McStuffins doctor tools so everyone would have easy access.

Doc McStuffins clinic #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

I didn’t add anything else to the playspace for the party since I knew that preschool parties are usually pretty chaotic just on their own. I wasn’t wrong either – these two photos are only about five minutes apart! I took the first right as guests were walking up and the second right after everyone had gotten into costume. It’s amazing what a few preschoolers can do with the help of their little brothers!

Disney preschool birthday party #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shopDoc McStuffins birthday party for Disney Junior #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

The dining room was decorated with the party supplies we bought at the store. I went pretty simple this time since it’s a small space and the decorations were cute enough on their own:

Doc McStuffins party decorations #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shopDoc McStuffins birthday banner #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shopDoc McStuffins party #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

I tried something new this time and picked up some Doc McStuffins paint pages from the art supplies aisle to use as placemats. I secured them with a little washi tape and each guest got a small jar of water and some cotton swab sticks to paint with while they munched. It was a fun way to keep the kids entertained and it gave the moms more of a break while everyone was eating!

Paint pages placemats #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shopDoc party for Disney #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shopPreschool birthday lunch #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

As you can see, I went easy on the food again and just grabbed lunches that I knew everyone would like. I did pick up some party cups, napkins, and plates to keep it feeling festive.

Doc McStuffins plates and napkins #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

For the party favors, each party guest got a Doc McStuffins cup (you can find them near the party supplies), some candy, and a box of Disney Junior Band-Aids.

Doc McStuffins party favors #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

The kids had a lot of fun, clean up was easy, and it was great (as always) to sit back and catch up with the moms while everyone ran around. Super fun and super easy birthday celebration for one of our favorite girls!

Four year old Doc McStuffins party #JuniorCelebrates #CollectiveBias #shop

Food and Books: Snacks for Reading

Posted by Carly Morgan

My Facebook wall has been buzzing with the new Outlander series on Starz. It’s taken the place of Downton Abbey for many of my friends, but I prefer books to TV so I picked up the first book in the series to see if I could keep up. I think I read it forever ago, but it didn’t make an impression. I might have been too young because I’m really enjoying it this time!

The story takes place in Scotland and I noticed as I was reading that I started to crave the food that the characters were talking about. Breads and meats and ale…it got to the point where I was so hungry I had to take a break from reading. I finally gave in and hit the grocery store to get fixings for a ploughman’s dinner: cucumbers, breads, cheeses, pears, and herring.

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I find nothing more satisfying than nibbling on a little something that happens to go with the book I’m reading. Here are 7 of my favorite literary lunch combos:

Raspberry Cordial and Mrs. Irving’s Delicious Shortbread Cookies – Anne of Green Gables

Chocolate Chicken with Rose Petals – Like Water for Chocolate

Southern Tea Cakes – To Kill a Mockingbird

Peasant Bread – The Pillars of the Earth

Gingerbread and Homemade Butter – the Little House on the Prairie books

Minnie’s Fried Chicken – The Help

Goat Cheese Toast and milk – Heidi

 

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