Relaxing Family Travel At The Pacific Edge Hotel On Laguna Beach

We recently accepted an invitation to a hosted Press Stay at the Pacific Edge Hotel on Laguna Beach. We received accommodations for one night plus lunch at their on-site restaurant, The Deck for the purpose of review. Our opinions are our own.

Relaxing Family Travel at Pacific Edge Hotel ~

Relaxing Family Travel At Pacific Edge Hotel!

The Pacific Edge Hotel, located in the heart of Laguna Beach, is close to shopping, restaurants, art galleries, and more. The hotel has a variety of accommodations ranging in size, and with different amenities. The property has two heated pools, a jacuzzi, easy beach access, WiFi included with your stay, and upscale dining options at two different on-site restaurants, The Deck and Driftwood Kitchen.

Pacific Edge Hotel On Laguna Beach ~

Easy Check-In and Check-Out

We found check-in and check-out very easy at the Pacific Edge Hotel. There were several people helping guests, and the wait time was minimal. A valet gave us a ticket for our car when we entered, and explained where to move it after we were assigned our room. (All vehicles are valet parked at the hotel.)

The lobby gives you a good feel of the ambiance of the hotel. Here you’ll find comfortable seating and pretty decor both inside and outside the lobby. A beautiful mural by a local artist adorns the wall of the lobby, and a surfboard is attached to the counter at check-in. Coffee, assorted publications, and a restroom are available upon entry. Two pretty birds, Bob, and Marley are fun to visit with as well.

Pacific Edge Hotel Lobby ~

Comfortable Accomodations

Accommodations at the Pacific Edge Hotel include Beach Front Rooms, less expensive Village Rooms, one and two bedroom Apartments which include a kitchenette, and an incredible Presidential Suite. The hotel also has beautiful daytime accommodations steps from the beach, known as The Bungalows.

We stayed in a Beach Front Room with a king size bed, located in the Surf Wing. Our accommodations had a full view of Laguna Beach. The main room had an adjoining bedroom with two single beds, perfect for kids! Both the main room and second bedroom had their own bathrooms, flat screen tv’s, separate entrances, and Keurig coffee makers with complimentary coffee. The main Beach Front Room had a balcony, wet bar, and the option of a microwave, refrigerator, and Pack-In-Play portable crib upon request.

We loved the decor and comfortable bedding in the Beach Front Room! We slept with the sliding glass door open so we could hear the waves. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach was incredibly relaxing!

Pacific Edge Hotel On Laguna Beach ~

Two Heated Pools, Jacuzzi, and Poolside Lounge Area

The Pacific Edge Hotel has two heated pools, a Jacuzzi, and a Poolside Lounge area with a ping pong table and shaded area to relax. Our room was very close to the pool with the Jacuzzi, and the other pool was located close to the entrance to the hotel. Our kids LOVED swimming in the pool!

Pacific Edge Hotel Pools ~

Easy Beach Access with Comfortable Ammenities

The Pacific Edge Hotel has easy beach access, just steps from the hotel. As a mom traveling solo with three young children, I loved that the hotel had lounge chairs, beach chairs, beach towels, shade umbrellas, and beach toys available right at the beach for our use. It was SO nice to simply walk down to the beach and have all of the amenities right there for our use!

Pacific Edge Hotel On Laguna Beach ~

Two On-Site Restaurants

Aside from our accommodations, we were treated to lunch at the on-site restaurant, The Deck. The wait-staff were friendly, and we enjoyed the food, the atmosphere, and the view. The majority of the food is definitely for a more grownup appetite, but there are menu items such as grilled cheese with tomato soup, and hamburger with a side of chips on the menu. I loved that there was plenty of shade provided in the seating area. Upon exit I peeked into the beautiful adjoining restaurant, Driftwood Kitchen. It looks like a beautiful place to dine!

Dining At The Deck ~

Ruby’s Diner, Johnny Rockets, Ralphs, and A Playground Nearby

If you forgot something at home, or simply want to pick up some snacks or drinks, there’s a Ralph’s grocery store about a block away. Main Beach Park, which includes a great playground, is a short distance away. Family-friendly restaurants, Ruby’s Diner and Johnny Rockets are both nearby. You can walk to Johnny Rockets from the hotel, but will need to drive to Ruby’s.

Ruby's Diner In Laguna Beach ~

Fun To Visit The Nearby Pacific Marine Mammal Center

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a close drive, and fun to visit. It’s free to park, free to enter, and very educational. We highly recommend checking it out! (P.S. When you stay at the hotel you’ll find a cute stuffed seal in your room. If you choose to take it home, the proceeds from it go directly to this non-profit organization!)

Pacific Marine Mammal Center ~

The Pacific Edge Is Holding A Giveaway!

Want a chance to stay at the Pacific Edge for free?!? The hotel is holding a giveaway for an overnight stay in an oceanfront Surf Tower room, PLUS other great giveaways as well! Click HERE for details, and entry. The last day to enter is May 8th, 2015.

Sunset From The Pacific Edge Hotel

All in all we had an incredible stay at Pacific Edge Hotel. Neither the kids, nor I, wanted leave. I’ve stayed at many beach-front hotels in different areas acround the world, and our stay at the Pacific Edge Hotel was by far one of the most relaxing and memorable of my stays. It was just what I needed for a night away. In my opinion, it would be a great hotel for travelers near or far.

More information about the Pacific Edge Hotel can be found on their website, We look forward to booking a room another time in the future, hopefully for multiple nights! Perhaps we’ll see you there!

Explore and Learn At Pacific Marine Mammal Center In Laguna Beach

Explore and Learn At Pacific Marine Mammal Center!

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center, located in Laguna Beach, rescues and rehabilitates stranded sea animals such as sea lions and seals. Most of the stranded sea life they help are generally found along the beaches of Orange County. We made a visit to the Center, and loved learning about their rehabilitation efforts.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center ~

Non-Profit Organization Formed In 1971

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a non-profit organization, formed in 1971. They do their best to rehabilitate and return the animals they rescue back to the their natural habitat. They’ve cared for countless marine mammals over the years.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center ~

Free Parking and No Cost To Visit

There’s no fee to visit the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, which is open to the public from 10am-4pm daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. They have a parking lot with free parking next to the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter. The Center is just steps past the shelter.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center ~

Lots of Volunteers

The facility has a HUGE amount of volunteers! Some volunteers help care for the animals, others are docents that help visitors, and the on-site gift shop is also run by volunteers. The amount of volunteers varies both by season, and by the amount of sea life in their care. They generally have more rescues during the late Winter and early Spring, and need more volunteers at this time.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center ~

Very Educational

There are several informational boards inside the Visitor Yard of the Center with details about different sea animals that they rescue. Docents are also available to share details about the animals in their care, and to answer questions. We found the docents to be very friendly and helpful! We left knowing a lot more than we did about rescued sea life than when we arrived.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center ~

Separate Areas For Rehabilitation

The rescued animals at Pacific Marine Mammal Center are separated by size during their rehabilitation. Some animals come to the Center so emaciated that they need to be tube fed. There are quite a few different pools that the animals move to as they progress. It was neat seeing them interact with one another in their different areas.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center ~

In-House Educational Programs & Camps

The Center offers a variety of educational programs for both kids and adults. Programs and camps include Mommy & Me Classes, school-age programs, an after-school program, and Scout programs. Adult programs and corporate presentations are offered as well.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center ~

Donations Graciously Accepted

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center accepts monetary donations, donations of goods from their Wish List, sponsorships, and of course, the donation of time. You can also support the Center by purchasing a Membership. Since they’re a non-profit, they can use all the help they can get!

Pacific Marine Mammal Center ~

We found the Pacific Marine Mammal Center to be a neat and educational place to visit. You can find more information about the Center on their website at We’ll be returning for another visit soon. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

6 Things To Experience During Spring At Disneyland!

Celebrating Spring At Disneyland

Spring at Disneyland is extra special with a Springtime Roundup at Big Thunder Ranch, “Egg-stravaganza” Easter Egg Hunts, neat treats, pretty Spring decor, and Disney characters dressed in their seasonal best!

Spring At Disneyland ~

6 Things To Experience During Spring At Disneyland

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SeaWorld Wild Days Promotes Wildlife Conservation In A Fun Atmosphere

SeaWorld Wild Days Promotes Wildlife Conservation

Wild Days - March 7-28 ~

SeaWorld Wild Days, an all-new event is happening weekends in March 2015. I was especially excited to go when I heard about some of the incredible Animal Ambassadors that were scheduled to be part of the event, including Julie Scardina and TV personality Jack Hanna. I grabbed our passes and took our daughter and youngest son to the park the first day of the event to check it out.

~Up-Close Animal Connections~

SeaWorld Wild Days Animal Connection ~

Some of the neat things that are part of SeaWorld Wild Days include up-close animal connections. Our daughter’s love of penguins began at SeaWorld when she was just two years old, so when we saw an animal connection opportunity with a Magellanic Penguin, we were both super excited! Other animal connections happening the day that we visited included cheetahs visiting from the Columbus Zoo, and a variety of animals from the Animal Connections area of the park.

~Shows Inside Mission Bay Theater~

Wild Days Show with Julie Scardina ~

Special shows are happening inside Mission Bay Theater during SeaWorld Wild Days, including presentations by leading animal experts. There are different themes, varying on the weekends, and assorted people leading the shows (check the lineup below). We saw a presentation by Animal Ambassador Julie Scardina, which was awesome! It included a handful of different animals including a lemur, porcupine, cheetahs, an owl, and more!

~Conservation Tips and Activities~

Generation Nature Booth at Wild Days ~

SeaWorld Wild Days includes an area with lots of booths set up to help families learn about conservation in a fun atmosphere. Generation Nature™, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, the SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, and others are represented. Assorted booths include conservation tips, activities and more. SeaWorld trainers and veterinarians can also be found in this area answering questions from guests, as well as giving a variety of presentations throughout the afternoon. We came late in the day and didn’t get to spend a lot of time in this area so we look forward to heading back there on our next visit.

~SeaWorld Wild Days Is Happening Weekends In March~

SeaWorld Wild Days is included with park admission, and is happening on weekends, March 7th-28th, 2015. There’s no additional fee for the event, or activities related to it. The following are the weekend lineups:

• March 7-8: Conservation presentations by Jack Hanna & Julie Scardina.
• March 14-15: SeaWorld Team Members from the ABC ShowSea Rescue” giving presentations.
• March 21-22 & March 27-28: Generation Nature™ presentations that help inspire kids to become involved in conservation.

More information about SeaWorld Wild Days can be found by visiting the official SeaWorld San Diego website. Be sure to check with SeaWorld prior to your visit to verify event details, as they are subject to change. We can’t wait to return for more fun and educational learning experiences during the event. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

LEGOLAND Death Star Presides Over Star Wars Miniland

LEGOLAND Death Star Display

LEGOLAND Star Wars Death Star ~

The LEGOLAND Death Star has landed in the LEGOⓇ Star Wars™ area of Miniland USA at the popular Carlsbad theme park! We were invited to attend the media unveiling of the new model, and were very impressed by the new addition!

Facts About The LEGOLAND Death Star Display

• The LEGOLAND Death Star took 8 LEGOLAND Master Builders 1800 hours to build. That’s the equivalent of 1 Master Builder working full-time on one project for an entire year!
• The LEGOLAND Death Star is based on the design from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
• The new model is surrounded by a slew of LEGOⓇ starship models consisting of over 20,000 LEGOⓇ bricks.
• The Death Star has 6 animated planet destroying Turbo Laser Turrets.
• The planet shaped model includes interactive buttons that can be pushed by kids of all ages.
• The Death Star weighs 1900 lbs, is 8 ft wide, and is 13 ft high!
• This new display is the largest major addition to date in LEGOⓇ Star Wars™ Miniland.

Starship Building Station Next To The Death Star

LEGO Star Wars Fight Scene ~

Next to the LEGOLAND Death Star is a new LEGOⓇ Starship Building Station, filled with lots of neat assorted LEGOⓇ bricks for guests to use while at the building station in Star Wars™ Miniland. Our 7 year old son was immediately drawn to this area when we attended the Death Star unveiling, and built a pretty incredible LEGOⓇ starship himself!
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5 Reasons Why The Knott’s Boysenberry Festival Rocks!

~This post is sponsored by GigaSavvy.~

5 Reasons Why Knott’s Boysenberry Festival Rocks!

Knott's Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival ~

Beginning on March 28th, and happening through April 12th, 2015, Knott’s Berry Farm will once again host their annual Boysenberry Festival. This yearly Springtime favorite will be held in the Ghost Town area of the theme park, and feature fun photo opportunities, delicious boysenberry-inspired food, entertainment, and so much more!

Reason #1: NEAT DECOR

Knott's Boysenberry Box

The decor during the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival includes larger-than-life boysenberry decorations, themed cut-outs, “Wanted” posters, and other neat decorations. The special decor, along with the Old-West feel of Ghost Town make for lots of great opportunities for fun photos! Outside of Ghost Town, over in Camp Snoopy, you can find Snoopy dressed as the “Easter Beagle“, and other special Springtime photo opps.


Peanuts Party at Knott's

The Knott’s Boysenberry Festival includes fun entertainment including the daytime Peanuts Party in the Park, nighttime dance party called Jammin in the Dark, pie eating contests, a pie walk, dueling fiddlers and banjos, and performances by Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies.

Reason #3: THE FOOD!

Boysenberry Trifle at Knott's Berry Farm ~

Lots of delicious food, including boysenberry-inspired creations, “Boysenberry Bites“, will be available during the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival. Some of the Boysenberry Bites available for purchase include ribs and chicken with Knott’s Berry Farm’s Boysenberry BBQ Sauce, a fish and chips sandwich with boysenberry tartar sauce, fried cheese curds with boysenberry dipping sauce, Boysenberry Latte and Frappuccino, boysenberry fudge, and Boysenberry ICEE Floats to name a few! Little ones can enjoy boysenberry tart making for a small fee, and inside the Wilderness Dance Hall, adults can partake in a Wine and Craft Brew Garden.


Linus Launcher Ride at Camp Snoopy ~

Aside from the great entertainment, food offerings, and special decor during the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival, you also get to experience everything else that makes Knott’s rock! From the newly upgraded Camp Snoopy, to the recently restored Calico Mine Train, to the roller coasters and more, there’s lots to see and do at America’s 1st Theme Park!

Reason #5: THE VALUE!

Knott's Entrance ~

Knott’s Berry Farm’s Boysenberry Festival is included in the price of daily admission (or with a Knott’s Season Pass) to the amusement park. You don’t need a special ticket or have to pay an additional fee on top of your daily admission to enjoy the Boysenberry Festival, which makes it a great value!

Calico Mine Ride At Knott's Berry Farm ~

If you enjoy social media, be sure to follow (and use!) the hashtag #KnottsSpring for posts from the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival. We look forward to going with the family, and may just even book a room at the Knott’s Hotel to make our visit a weekend getaway. Perhaps we’ll see you there!


Disclosure: We do not have a formal relationship with Knott’s Berry Farm. We have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom we create original content. Our opinions are our own.

2015 MOPA San Diego Youth Photo Exhibition Features Self Portraits

MOPA San Diego Youth Photo Exhibition


The Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego, otherwise known as MOPA, is holding their 10th Anniversary Youth Photo Exhibition! The exhibit theme for 2015 is “Self Portrait“.

Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade, across San Diego County as well as Tijuana, are encouraged to share their self portrait for juried selection. Students may either enter photography or video for their submission. Best of all? It’s FREE to enter!

Full details about the MOPA San Diego Youth Photo Exhibition, including eligibility for submission, can be found on the MOPA Website. Once on the site, you can find further details about submission by clicking on the link next to your desired form of entry, be it digital or by mailing your entry to the museum.

Our 10 year old daughter is very interested in photography, and just may enter a photo or video herself! The photo used above is one she took with a cell phone camera at the San Diego Zoo. I love how her portrait, as well as her baby brother’s are reflected against the glass, along with seeing the face of the orangutan. It combines her love of animals as well as family in one shot, all just by chance.

Submissions for the MOPA San Diego Youth Photo Exhibition must be received by by 11:59pm PST on June 15th, 2015. Artists accepted into the 2015 Youth Photo Exhibition will be notified in late July, and their work will be on view from October 3rd, 2015 – January 24th, 2016. Perhaps we’ll see your child’s submission featured later this year!

SoCal Indoor Family Friendly Activity Deals!

SoCal Indoor Family Friendly Activity Deals!

Dinosaur L.A. County Museum of Natural History
We’ve searched our affiliates (links within post) to find some great SoCal Indoor Family Friendly Activity Deals. There are some awesome discounts to neat places across Southern California, including San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, and the Inland Empire. Here are our top picks:

Indoor Fun Deals In San Diego

• Indoor play at Urban Jungle in Santee, at a discount of $8 per entry! Our kids have been begging me to take them here! It’s located in the previous spot of Jungle Gym and Cafe.

• Take the family ice skating at San Diego Ice Arena, located in Mira Mesa. This special is just $20 for 4 people!

• Check out the all-new indoor play spot, Jump Around Now, located in Chula Vista, for one hour for just $10!

• Take in a movie at UltraStar Cinemas, in the Mission Valley area of San Diego. This special includes 2 tickets, PLUS 2 large drinks and a large popcorn to share for only $24!

• Jump around for just $10 with a 90 minute open pass for 2 kids at Pump It Up in the Poway area of San Diego. Our kids LOVE it here!

• Run around for three hours at San Diego Paintball Park, located in the Miramar area of San Diego, for just $20 for one person! The deal includes entry, a paintball gun, goggles, and neck brace for use during your session, and 200 paintballs.

• Check out The San Diego Soccers at the Valley View Casino Center for just $12 each for mid-level tickets!

Indoor Fun Deals In The OC

• Enjoy a visit to Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, in Buena Park. Ticket includes a 2 hour Pirate Dinner Theater performance PLUS a 4 course dinner starting at $21 for kids, and $29 for adults. I really want to do this with our pirate-loving toddler!

• SOLD OUT! Visit Lyon Air Museum for just $12 per person (1/2 off), or purchase a membership at a great discount!

Indoor Fun Deals In Los Angeles

• Admission for 2 to the L.A. County Museum of Natural History, including the Grandes Maestros Exhibit for only $29!

• Visit the new Ship Model Gallery on The Queen Mary, in Long Beach! This special includes entry to the new exhibit PLUS 2 Queen Mary Passports for just $27!

Indoor Fun Deals In The Inland Empire

• Enjoy an open jump pass for 2 kids for just $8 at Pump It Up in Murrieta!

• Get your thrills with discount Fast Lap Indoor Racing in Ontario. $25 includes two go-kart races PLUS a one year membership!

Be sure to check the details from each link for specific details regarding the SoCal indoor family friendly activity deals, including the suggested age for each establishment. The specials were current as of posting, but won’t last forever! If you see a deal you’re interested in, jump to it! Perhaps we’ll see you at one of these neat family-friendly indoor places soon!

SeaWorld Lunar New Year Celebrates Asian Traditions!

SeaWorld Lunar New Year Celebrates Asian Traditions!

As yearly passholders to SeaWorld San Diego, we visit often. We’re also invited to preview special events on occasion, and recently had the opportunity to experience the sites, sounds, and flavors of the inaugural SeaWorld Lunar New Year Celebration.

SeaWorld Lunar New Year

Family-Friendly Event

The family-friendly SeaWorld Lunar New Year event is free with park admission, and includes live performances such lion dancers, Chinese Heibei acrobats, drummers, and more. Guests receive a red envelope with a special gift inside upon entry through the turnstiles. Gifts range from free drinks to front-of-the line ride passes, to return entry tickets, and more. Be sure to get yours when you enter!

SeaWorld Lunar New Year Character

Character Photo Opps, Animal Encounters & More!

The Lunar New Year festivity area is located just east of Explorer’s Reef. There are some fun character photo opps, including one with an adorable otter character dressed in Asian attire, as well as Shamu dressed in his Lunar New Year best. You’ll also find beautiful Lunar New Year decor in this area, animal encounters, and a shaded seating area as well. Games and food can also be found surrounding the stage, and are an additional fee.

SeaWorld Lunar New Year Lion Dancers

Incredible Entertainment Included With Park Admission

The lion dancers, which perform at the festival area, are absolutely incredible! Our kids, as well as all the other kids around us loved watching them. We highly recommend taking in one of their performances.

SeaWorld Lunar New Year Acrobat
We were in awe of the incredible Chinese acrobats of Heibei! This acrobat show is set at the indoor Mission Bay Theater, and includes chair stacking, hoop diving, plate spinning, acrobatics, and more. Be sure to catch one of the 25 minute performances! The entertainment is comparable to that which you would pay top dollar for at a performance hall or event center.

SeaWorld Lunar New Year Festivities

Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Food Options

Asian-inspired cuisine is available for purchase, and includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian selections, including boa sandwiches, lumpia, spring rolls, pot stickers, noodle soup and more. Yummy desserts and beverages are available too. I never knew I liked macarons as much as I do until I tried the mouth-watering green tea ones available during the event!

SeaWorld Lunar New Year Coin Game

Free Companion Ticket Offer For SeaWorld Premium Passholders

SeaWorld Premium Passholders can receive a free companion ticket for the event by registering their pass barcode on the SeaWorld Passholder Website, and requesting the ticket from there. We’ve already done so with ours, and are excited to bring additional family members to experience the SeaWorld Lunar New Year Celebration with us as well. Daily admission tickets as well as yearly passes can be purchased on the SeaWorld San Diego website. Discount entry can also be purchased through our affiliate, at the following link:

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Knott’s For The Cure Promotion To Benefit Susan G. Komen OC

“Pink Tickets” & “Pink” Merchandise Support Knott’s for the Cure

Knott's for the Cure Pink Ticket

Knott’s Berry Farm and Susan G. Komen Orange County, and are collaborating once again by offering Knott’s for the Cure special “Pink Tickets“, and limited edition Knott’s “pink” merchandise to benefit breast cancer awareness and services for Komen OC. This is the 2nd year that Knott’s has collaborated with the organization, which devotes the majority of their funds to local breast health outreach and education.

Knott's Berry Farm Entrance ~

Knott’s “Pink Tickets” Are Discount Priced!

Knott’s for the Cure special “Pink Tickets” are discount priced at $39 for adults. “Pink Tickets” are $35 for kids age 3-11 (kids under 3 are free), plus seniors age 62+. Discount tickets plus an opportunity to help raise funds for breast cancer awareness! Win-win! The “Pink Ticket” allows the ticket holder to experience all the entertainment and attractions that they would normally experience at the theme park, as well as some special “pink” decor during the duration of the campaign, at a discount price.

Knott's Berry Farm

Knott’s for the Cure Raised Almost $100,000 For Komen OC In 2014!

Knott’s raised almost $100,000 in 2014, their inagural year teaming up with Komen OC. Cedar Fair, the parent company of Knott’s Berry Farm, is very familiar with supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation. They’ve raised almost one million dollars for Susan G. Komen over the past 5 years!

Knott's Berry Bloom Train ~

Knott’s “Pink Tickets” Can Be Used During Knott’s Berry Farm’s Springtime Festival!

The discounted “Pink Tickets” and Knott’s for the Cure merchandise are available now through March 27th, 2015. “Pink Tickets” are only available online, through the Knott’s Berry Farm website. “Pink Ticketscan be used through April 10th, 2015, which means you can use even use them during the Knott’s Springtime Boysenberry Festival. Just make sure you redeem the tickets by 4/10/15. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

P.S. If you enjoy social media, and visit during Knott’s for the Cure, use the hashtag #KnottsPink to share your updates about the campaign.