Fresno Chaffee Zoo's Zoolights

One of my favorites parts of the season are the activities that we get to do as a family.  We have several Christmas Season traditions and we've added one to our list this year: ZooLights at Fresno Chaffee Zoo.  We absolutely love our Zoo, it really is a local treasure and so we have an annual membership.  Even though we've been members for several years we've never attended ZooLights so it was loads of fun to go for the first time.  The Zoo turns into a magical Winter Wonderland with miles of colorful lights.  There is also live entertainment, festive treats, hot cocoa stations, crafts and even pictures with Santa Claus.

We walked around admiring all the lights but only after first seeing the big guy!  I recommend heading straight to take pictures with Santa before the long gets crazy long.  He is in Kopje Lodge next to where you order food.  After seeing Santa, children can do crafts also in the Lodge.  Emily and Madison loved making ornaments and taking them home.  We then walked around to admire all of the lights.  I want to forewarn you do not expect to see many animals (if any) since its dark and cold.  Instead of looking for the lions, tigers and bears you can grab a cup of hot cocoa or even roast a marshmallow for s'mores.

ZooLights was sponsored in part by Vista Energya national third-party provider of electricity and natural gas solutions.  During this festive time of year your energy bills probably go up just like ours.  Vista Energy is not only concerned about helping you save money on energy bills this holiday season but also wants to make sure you’re safely decking the halls by heeding their holiday electricity tips.  You can see those tips HERE.  The precautions we're taking around our home include making sure all lights are unplugged before going to bed and all candles blown out.  One way to make sure nothing stays on is to put your lights on a timer.  We also like to plug all the "extras" into a power strip for added safety.  We have a fake Christmas Tree which you want to make sure is certified as fire resistant.  If you have a real tree make sure you keep it watered so it doesn't get dry which is a major fire hazard.

ZooLights is running December 14th-23rd and 26th-30th from 5:00-8:00 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased at the door or online.  Be sure to arrive a little early because the line gets very long.  We arrived just after 4:15 and there wasn't a line but by 4:30 people started to line up.  I'm giving away 3 tickets to ZooLights with the help of Vista Energy.  Enter to win on my Instagram.

North Pole Breakfast & Elf on the Shelf

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Jingle our elf returned last weekend and we celebrated with a North Pole Breakfast.  I look forward to throwing this breakfast nearly all year long.  I try to come up with a bit of new decor and new breakfast ideas.  The girls love it and I love seeing their joy.  This year I made Santa pancakes and Jingle brought snow covered donuts.  I found the vibrant placemats from Target.

Every year Jingle brings the girls a few gifts and I'm always looking for new ideas to give him.  This year I passed along the new magical Christmas books from Hooray Heroes.  They are the cutest personalized books which the girls got a total kick out of.  They immediately compared their avatar on the front of the book and then started thumbing through the pages.  Not only can you customize the hero you also can choose ten stories to include in the book and write a personalized inscription on the inside.

I love the idea of the elf but my gosh I struggle with remembering to move him.  I can't tell you how many times I've just settled into bed and then I remember he hasn't moved.  Even worse is when I completely forget and the girls wake up and say, "Mom can we go look for Jingle?!?!?"  I have a mini heart attack in that moment.  In order to help myself and hopefully a few others I've created a calendar (below) to take all the guess work out. They are simple ideas and easy to execute.

Wishing everyone a very magical Christmas season.  I'm hoping to slow down and enjoy time together making memories.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands and companies that have received my stamp of approval.

An American Girl Birthday Party-Emily's 7th Birthday

I think it's every little girl's dream to go shopping at American Girl and even more magical to have a birthday party at the store.  Emily was super blessed on her Golden Birthday to experience just that.  Emily celebrated in the most special way with a birthday weekend away with family and friends.  

A birthday party at American Girl is held in the private cafe which is sweet, girly and inviting.  The birthday table is fit for a pink princess where every girl had a seat, plate and crown for her doll.  The girls got to take their American Girl Dolls to the hair salon where each doll got a special hairstyle from an in store stylist.  While the dolls were getting a new do, the girls worked on crafts including a mask for their dolls.  The party coordinator then played a game of telephone with the girls.  No party would be complete without cake and ice cream and singing to the birthday girl.  Each guest went home with a WellieWisher favor bag and after the party fun the girls started their shopping in the store for their dolls.

Emily's party was a WellieWishers deluxe party which was 90 minutes long and for a group up to 8 people.  There are other party options which you can find more details HERE.  I was so impressed from start to finish with the attention to detail, the care of the party coordinator and the amount of joy that came from the party.  It's the kind of party that just brings a smile to your face the whole time.  Watching these girls experience the magic with their dolls was just the sweetest experience.

A birthday party at American Girl is unique and truly memorable.  Emily and her guests had the best time and it was one that I'm sure she will remember for a lifetime.  

For Emily's actual birthday she woke up to a special breakfast and for dinner we had pizza and cupcakes with the grandparents.  Both of which are birthday traditions in our family. 

This is a sponsored post.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands and companies that have received my stamp of approval.