Last Minute DIY Easter Pics

With Covid rules and regulations a lot of people might be skipping out on visiting the Easter Bunny this year but that doesn’t mean you have to skip out on Easter 🐣 Pics πŸ“Έ of your kids!

IDEA 1:

Gather up your kids and head up to your nearest State Park. If you are working they are staying open later now, and it is better to go towards the late afternoon anyway – so the sun won’t be shining in their eyes!

The state park idea is fun because the kids can go exploring around the area while you’re doing it or even have a picnic. Throw some quick dresses πŸ‘— on your girls and cute shirts on your boys and let nature do the rest. Try out Portrait Mode on your iPhone!

It was very windy when we went up last week!

IDEA 2:

Take whatever Easter decorations and props you have and head into your own yard for some pretty pics.

*Have a tripod?! Set up your iPhone to take 10 seconds for an automatic pic of you with your family!

IDEA 3:

Have an early Easter Egg hunt and take ACTION pics of your kiddos hunting for eggs – in their nicest attire.

Also if you have Easter Pics from the year prior that never got sent to anyone? We were in Disney World for Easter 2019 and had pics with Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny that never went to anyone only because they were taken on Easter while there πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Check out my last post on What Is Going In My Kids’ Easter Baskets HERE!

Last Minute Easter Shopping

Home Goods!

Mikey and I ran to Home Goods yesterday afternoon… we were surprised to find LEGO storage boxes that are actual LEGO themselves!

We also spotted 2 MICKEY Mouse plushies!

We spotted 2 Baby Yoda / The Child / Grogu Banks in the children’s section

For some other last minute gifts I am adding to my kids Easter Baskets I am waiting on a few LEGO to come and also waiting on some LED lights for Nicky’s bedroom. Plus they still love to play with Star Wars Light Sabers – so waiting on that as well!

I just need to finish a basket for my parents and my inlaws as well as my nephews!

Happy Easter πŸ£πŸ‡πŸ° Shopping Everyone!

Continue reading “Last Minute Easter Shopping”

Ditch the typical Easter Basket and try something new!

Easter Basket Hack / Creation

New Easter Basket Creation

Over the weekend I watched a new YouTube Video on where instead of using the typical Easter “Basket”, she was using a new beach towel folded as the base/ basket. When it was finished it looked just like a normal Easter Basket with the cello and all! I decided I was going to try this myself.

I have been saving and reusing the same Easter Baskets since my kids are babies – same cello and all. I just store them in plastic bags but the large baskets do take up a lot of space. I like the new idea of using something that is going to be used instead of a basket that either gets thrown out or takes up too much space.

I attempted the towel idea but after that Kohls haul – I just had too much stuff! So I have this pretty light green plaid wrapping paper left over from my in-law’s’ emerald anniversary and some yellow bows stored in our little craft room that we have. This wrapping paper was not flimsy dollar store paper, but a nice strong paper with brawn to become a basket.

I folded the wrapping paper around the towel as a base/basket taping the sides of the wrapping paper to hold up as a basket.

I did not buy any NEW cello or wrap… I was just trying to use what I had laying around and I realized I did not have enough cello. Oops. I one has cello and the other one is just plain wrapping paper.

I am by no means a perfect crafter… I just try to make things look cute and special. I’m really not artistic, I am only a perfectionist when it comes to makeup. LOL

For the chocolate I reused one of my saved Easter Baskets – old cello and all! lol

I hope I helped give you ideas for different and creative ways of designing Easter Baskets for your loved ones!

Check out my new YOUTUBE video on the Easter Basket Ideas!

What are your ideas?

How are you staying safe for Easter this year?

What Is Going In My Kids’ Easter Baskets

Easter Is Approaching! Need ideas on what to put in your kids’ Easter baskets?

Surprise Disney Gifts!

FYI – I don’t have little kids anymore! My two boys are now a teenager and heading towards 11 years old. They are both in men’s clothing now!

KOHLS HAUL

With Summer approaching quickly and an another unusual summer of having to wear added discomfort with the extra heat of masks, I am determined to find as comfortable of clothing as possible for my kids. Since this summer we will be traveling out and about – as safely as possibly – its necessary to be dressed as comfortable as possible. Now I have been searching Marshalls and Walmart every weekend for their dry-fast materials clothing but haven’t really found much. So as I was meandering around Kohls I found a lot of great Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor cooling athletics wear. These clothes could also be worn IF they go back to school in person this fall and with the giant growth spurt my kids had last year I am really hoping to get 2 summer uses out of them now they are in mens’ medium/large sizes.

If you are able to, this is a great investment of some of the stimulus funds, because even if you do not have a trip planned even just shopping or a stroll in the heat will be uncomfortable.

This wasn’t cheap since these brands rarely ever go on sale and coupons do not apply! One way of ensuring a little money back would be shopping online through Rakuten – at least this way you know you will be getting a little cash back at some point. My kids grew so much over the past year – Mikey is now 13 and Nicky is going on 11 and both are super tall so they are now in a size men’s medium (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!) and I am really hoping they make it through next summer too!

GERTRUDE HAWK CHOCOLATE

The kids always have a school fund raiser with a Gertrude Hawk Easter Sale – so we always load up on Easter chocolate from there. Its so delicious as well.

DISNEY FACE MASKS

More face masks from http://www.shopdisney.com – Shop Disney has some excellent breathable masks and have improved a lot since last year.

SURPRISE DISNEY CROCS

I also have some “Baby Yoda” Disney Grogu Crocs that I have had stashed for a while. As soon as I saw them I got them for the kids. They need new Crocs anyway and go along with summer clothing.

Time For The Husband To Get Some New Cooling Clothing

It is past due for my husband to get some comfortable cooling clothing because again it will be hot and it is unfortunate the masks create added body heat. I also bought him a collared Under Armor cooling golf shirt and 2 Under Armor cooling shirts that aren’t as dressy. The hubby is also getting 2 paris of jeans that he really needs and a new pair of workbooks. Can’t forget the sugar free chocolate for my love who has been a diabetic since the age of 7 years old. I also purchased my 3 guys a matching blue cooling shirt from Target. I am excited to try using Peppermint Oil as a cooling agent on the back of the neck.

Easter Basket Hacks

I found this super neat and cool idea on someone else’s YouTube Channel her name is Always Lorna Marie. Her video is about using a new beach towel as an Easter “Basket” instead of using an actual basket because this YouTuber lives in an RV full-time with 4 kids and she does not have the space to save baskets! What a neat and new idea! I think that is an amazing way to live and I love watching her videos on how she packs her bags and preps for parks and vacations. Here is a link to her YouTube video:

Here is a link for MY YOUTUBE Video Discussing my kids’ Easter Basket Kohls Haul!

Since my kids are getting a big amount of clothing this year, I am loving the idea of trying a new beach towel (picture above) as the bottom base of the Easter Basket but I didn’t really copy the towel-basket idea, I sort of made my own make-shift basket with wrapping paper. Find the post on that here: https://familypixiedust.com/2021/03/29/ditch-the-typical-easter-basket-and-try-something-new/

I hope I helped provide you with some ideas for your children’s Easter Baskets this year!

It finally feels like we are growing closer to normal in preparing for the summer with new fresh clothing!

What are your Easter plans?

What are you putting in your family’s Easter Baskets?

Check out my Disney Wardrobe Video by Clicking HERE!

If you would like to know more about planning Walt Disney World Vacations, packing tips, saving tips or anything else please feel free to reach me at victoriabragainvitations@gmail.com

Look for my tips, tricks and Walt Disney World Vlogs on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/vbraga429/videos

Drop me a line
victoriabragainvitations@gmail.com

Let’s hang out

Rating: 1 out of 5.
Advertisements

Last Minute DIY Easter Pics

With Covid rules and regulations a lot of people might be skipping out on visiting the Easter Bunny this year but that doesn’t mean you have to skip out on Easter 🐣 Pics πŸ“Έ of your kids!

IDEA 1:

Gather up your kids and head up to your nearest State Park. If you are working they are staying open later now, and it is better to go towards the late afternoon anyway – so the sun won’t be shining in their eyes!

The state park idea is fun because the kids can go exploring around the area while you’re doing it or even have a picnic. Throw some quick dresses πŸ‘— on your girls and cute shirts on your boys and let nature do the rest. Try out Portrait Mode on your iPhone!

It was very windy when we went up last week!

IDEA 2:

Take whatever Easter decorations and props you have and head into your own yard for some pretty pics.

*Have a tripod?! Set up your iPhone to take 10 seconds for an automatic pic of you with your family!

IDEA 3:

Have an early Easter Egg hunt and take ACTION pics of your kiddos hunting for eggs – in their nicest attire.

Also if you have Easter Pics from the year prior that never got sent to anyone? We were in Disney World for Easter 2019 and had pics with Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny that never went to anyone only because they were taken on Easter while there πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Check out my last post on What Is Going In My Kids’ Easter Baskets HERE!

Last Minute Easter Shopping

Home Goods!

Mikey and I ran to Home Goods yesterday afternoon… we were surprised to find LEGO storage boxes that are actual LEGO themselves!

We also spotted 2 MICKEY Mouse plushies!

We spotted 2 Baby Yoda / The Child / Grogu Banks in the children’s section

For some other last minute gifts I am adding to my kids Easter Baskets I am waiting on a few LEGO to come and also waiting on some LED lights for Nicky’s bedroom. Plus they still love to play with Star Wars Light Sabers – so waiting on that as well!

I just need to finish a basket for my parents and my inlaws as well as my nephews!

Happy Easter πŸ£πŸ‡πŸ° Shopping Everyone!

Continue reading “Last Minute Easter Shopping”

What Eye Shadow Pallet Am I Wearing?

Find out the eye shadow pallet I used to achieve this look

Spring is my favorite time to try out new makeup for Spring / Summer looks!

So funny as I took this picture before I went out side to film a YouTube video, my hair was all nice and curly but as soon as I got outside it was so humid that the curl came right out of my hair! Don’t judge here – I am not using a filter so you can see the colors of my eyeshadow.

I am so glad to be rid of winter and moving onto experimenting with new Spring looks. I gave in and bought Tarte’s new Tartelette pallet and also Ulta’s own Everyday Faves.

As amazing as these colors look I honestly have not been that impressed… yea I know – but everyone loves it. At a $45.00 price point, I am not really too thrilled with the way the pigment comes out. I LOVE the look of the colors when I am looking at the pallet, I am just not very convinced. If I am going to invest almost $50.00 in a makeup pallet it better be off the hook!

First I started out prepping and priming my skin, applied my foundation and concealer making sure my eyes were ready to go.

I started out blending happiness across my brow-bone, to raise my “hooded eye”. It looks much darker than it really is.

Then on the outside corners to make my eyes look bigger I blended luscious from the corners of my eyelash line up to the brow bone for a “winged” effect. In addition to this area I blended Tarte’s “dusk” color and also the Ulta pallet’s purple/brownish color seen below that is the bottom row – middle.

For the INNER CORNERS of the eye, I blended Tarte’s water lily color. Then the center of the eye was blended with paradise. The very top, underneath the eyebrow I used Tarte’s wishful. My bottom and top eyeliner is Tarte’s euphoric, followed by mascara.

I am forever sitting and trying new makeup looks and I am always on the hunt for some fresh new ideas!

I always like having what makeup I will be wearing while on vacation figured out ahead of time, this way when I am on the go I can just apply and be on my way. This is one look I will be using throughout the spring and definitely into the summer.

I need to get back to some Spring CLEANING – with a black lab mix, I feel like every other day is spring cleaning! ugh! I just have too many people in my house at all times. YIKES LOL But as we get into the weekend I definitely cannot wait to spend sometime outside!

What are your weekend plans?

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Ditch the typical Easter Basket and try something new!

Easter Basket Hack / Creation

New Easter Basket Creation

Over the weekend I watched a new YouTube Video on where instead of using the typical Easter “Basket”, she was using a new beach towel folded as the base/ basket. When it was finished it looked just like a normal Easter Basket with the cello and all! I decided I was going to try this myself.

I have been saving and reusing the same Easter Baskets since my kids are babies – same cello and all. I just store them in plastic bags but the large baskets do take up a lot of space. I like the new idea of using something that is going to be used instead of a basket that either gets thrown out or takes up too much space.

I attempted the towel idea but after that Kohls haul – I just had too much stuff! So I have this pretty light green plaid wrapping paper left over from my in-law’s’ emerald anniversary and some yellow bows stored in our little craft room that we have. This wrapping paper was not flimsy dollar store paper, but a nice strong paper with brawn to become a basket.

I folded the wrapping paper around the towel as a base/basket taping the sides of the wrapping paper to hold up as a basket.

I did not buy any NEW cello or wrap… I was just trying to use what I had laying around and I realized I did not have enough cello. Oops. I one has cello and the other one is just plain wrapping paper.

I am by no means a perfect crafter… I just try to make things look cute and special. I’m really not artistic, I am only a perfectionist when it comes to makeup. LOL

For the chocolate I reused one of my saved Easter Baskets – old cello and all! lol

I hope I helped give you ideas for different and creative ways of designing Easter Baskets for your loved ones!

Check out my new YOUTUBE video on the Easter Basket Ideas!

What are your ideas?

How are you staying safe for Easter this year?

What Is Going In My Kids’ Easter Baskets

Easter Is Approaching! Need ideas on what to put in your kids’ Easter baskets?

Surprise Disney Gifts!

FYI – I don’t have little kids anymore! My two boys are now a teenager and heading towards 11 years old. They are both in men’s clothing now!

KOHLS HAUL

With Summer approaching quickly and an another unusual summer of having to wear added discomfort with the extra heat of masks, I am determined to find as comfortable of clothing as possible for my kids. Since this summer we will be traveling out and about – as safely as possibly – its necessary to be dressed as comfortable as possible. Now I have been searching Marshalls and Walmart every weekend for their dry-fast materials clothing but haven’t really found much. So as I was meandering around Kohls I found a lot of great Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor cooling athletics wear. These clothes could also be worn IF they go back to school in person this fall and with the giant growth spurt my kids had last year I am really hoping to get 2 summer uses out of them now they are in mens’ medium/large sizes.

If you are able to, this is a great investment of some of the stimulus funds, because even if you do not have a trip planned even just shopping or a stroll in the heat will be uncomfortable.

This wasn’t cheap since these brands rarely ever go on sale and coupons do not apply! One way of ensuring a little money back would be shopping online through Rakuten – at least this way you know you will be getting a little cash back at some point. My kids grew so much over the past year – Mikey is now 13 and Nicky is going on 11 and both are super tall so they are now in a size men’s medium (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!) and I am really hoping they make it through next summer too!

GERTRUDE HAWK CHOCOLATE

The kids always have a school fund raiser with a Gertrude Hawk Easter Sale – so we always load up on Easter chocolate from there. Its so delicious as well.

DISNEY FACE MASKS

More face masks from http://www.shopdisney.com – Shop Disney has some excellent breathable masks and have improved a lot since last year.

SURPRISE DISNEY CROCS

I also have some “Baby Yoda” Disney Grogu Crocs that I have had stashed for a while. As soon as I saw them I got them for the kids. They need new Crocs anyway and go along with summer clothing.

Time For The Husband To Get Some New Cooling Clothing

It is past due for my husband to get some comfortable cooling clothing because again it will be hot and it is unfortunate the masks create added body heat. I also bought him a collared Under Armor cooling golf shirt and 2 Under Armor cooling shirts that aren’t as dressy. The hubby is also getting 2 paris of jeans that he really needs and a new pair of workbooks. Can’t forget the sugar free chocolate for my love who has been a diabetic since the age of 7 years old. I also purchased my 3 guys a matching blue cooling shirt from Target. I am excited to try using Peppermint Oil as a cooling agent on the back of the neck.

Easter Basket Hacks

I found this super neat and cool idea on someone else’s YouTube Channel her name is Always Lorna Marie. Her video is about using a new beach towel as an Easter “Basket” instead of using an actual basket because this YouTuber lives in an RV full-time with 4 kids and she does not have the space to save baskets! What a neat and new idea! I think that is an amazing way to live and I love watching her videos on how she packs her bags and preps for parks and vacations. Here is a link to her YouTube video:

Here is a link for MY YOUTUBE Video Discussing my kids’ Easter Basket Kohls Haul!

Since my kids are getting a big amount of clothing this year, I am loving the idea of trying a new beach towel (picture above) as the bottom base of the Easter Basket but I didn’t really copy the towel-basket idea, I sort of made my own make-shift basket with wrapping paper. Find the post on that here: https://familypixiedust.com/2021/03/29/ditch-the-typical-easter-basket-and-try-something-new/

I hope I helped provide you with some ideas for your children’s Easter Baskets this year!

It finally feels like we are growing closer to normal in preparing for the summer with new fresh clothing!

What are your Easter plans?

What are you putting in your family’s Easter Baskets?

Check out my Disney Wardrobe Video by Clicking HERE!

If you would like to know more about planning Walt Disney World Vacations, packing tips, saving tips or anything else please feel free to reach me at victoriabragainvitations@gmail.com

Look for my tips, tricks and Walt Disney World Vlogs on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/vbraga429/videos

Drop me a line
victoriabragainvitations@gmail.com

Let’s hang out

Rating: 1 out of 5.
Advertisements

What Eye Shadow Pallet Am I Wearing?

Find out the eye shadow pallet I used to achieve this look

Spring is my favorite time to try out new makeup for Spring / Summer looks!

So funny as I took this picture before I went out side to film a YouTube video, my hair was all nice and curly but as soon as I got outside it was so humid that the curl came right out of my hair! Don’t judge here – I am not using a filter so you can see the colors of my eyeshadow.

I am so glad to be rid of winter and moving onto experimenting with new Spring looks. I gave in and bought Tarte’s new Tartelette pallet and also Ulta’s own Everyday Faves.

As amazing as these colors look I honestly have not been that impressed… yea I know – but everyone loves it. At a $45.00 price point, I am not really too thrilled with the way the pigment comes out. I LOVE the look of the colors when I am looking at the pallet, I am just not very convinced. If I am going to invest almost $50.00 in a makeup pallet it better be off the hook!

First I started out prepping and priming my skin, applied my foundation and concealer making sure my eyes were ready to go.

I started out blending happiness across my brow-bone, to raise my “hooded eye”. It looks much darker than it really is.

Then on the outside corners to make my eyes look bigger I blended luscious from the corners of my eyelash line up to the brow bone for a “winged” effect. In addition to this area I blended Tarte’s “dusk” color and also the Ulta pallet’s purple/brownish color seen below that is the bottom row – middle.

For the INNER CORNERS of the eye, I blended Tarte’s water lily color. Then the center of the eye was blended with paradise. The very top, underneath the eyebrow I used Tarte’s wishful. My bottom and top eyeliner is Tarte’s euphoric, followed by mascara.

I am forever sitting and trying new makeup looks and I am always on the hunt for some fresh new ideas!

I always like having what makeup I will be wearing while on vacation figured out ahead of time, this way when I am on the go I can just apply and be on my way. This is one look I will be using throughout the spring and definitely into the summer.

I need to get back to some Spring CLEANING – with a black lab mix, I feel like every other day is spring cleaning! ugh! I just have too many people in my house at all times. YIKES LOL But as we get into the weekend I definitely cannot wait to spend sometime outside!

What are your weekend plans?

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Let’s Book A Resort! (Part 1)

Let Me Help You Choose Your Next Walt Disney World Resort. Each week I will pick and write about MY recommended resort for the upcoming Summer months.

Depending on what time of the year you plan on vacation, what resort you pick can make a big difference on the comfort level of your trip.

Disclaimer: these are my personal thoughts and opinions, I am not in any way affiliated with Disney or paid by Disney – I cannot be held responsible for anything that may or could go wrong on your vacation. I have had 9 Disney World Vacations since 2006, and eat, breath and live Disney. I LOVE talking Disney.

YOU’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!

Heading to Disney World anytime soon or trying to decide for the following year?

Planning out your next Disney World Vacation but trying to decide which resort to stay with? I can help. It…

View original post 1,590 more words

Let’s Book A Resort! (Part 1)

Let Me Help You Choose Your Next Walt Disney World Resort. Each week I will pick and write about MY recommended resort for the upcoming Summer months.

Depending on what time of the year you plan on vacation, what resort you pick can make a big difference on the comfort level of your trip.

Disclaimer: these are my personal thoughts and opinions, I am not in any way affiliated with Disney or paid by Disney – I cannot be held responsible for anything that may or could go wrong on your vacation. I have had 9 Disney World Vacations since 2006, and eat, breath and live Disney. I LOVE talking Disney.

YOU’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!

Heading to Disney World anytime soon or trying to decide for the following year?

Planning out your next Disney World Vacation but trying to decide which resort to stay with? I can help. It all pretty much depends on you, your traveling companions, budget and the travel party’s health.

Budgeting for a Value Resort?

Disney World has 3, well 4 “Value Resorts” to offer. There is Pop Century (most popular), The All Star Resorts and Art of Animation. The All Star Resorts are comprised of The All Star Movies, The All Star Music and the All Stars Sports. All of the resorts mentioned are very Disney themed and super fun! However they are the smallest of rooms on Disney property but the most affordable. Each has their own quick service food court and super fun themed pools. Art of Animation is considered “Value” because it is geared for families and the 2 double bed rooms in the Little Mermaid Section are the cheapest of rooms but the hardest to get, since there aren’t many. The Lion King section and Nemo section have family suites which sleep 6 people and have 2 bedrooms, but do not be fooled – you will be paying closer to the cost of a deluxe resort for these accommodations.

Traveling During Summer Months? Summer in Florida starts in May and ends around November.

Summer is approaching!

Something to keep in mind:

The Value Resorts are amazingly themed and so incredibly fun but they are not well shaded, and if you do not have a preferred room there is a possibility of having a long walk to your room. So if you are planning a vacation during anytime between the months of June through the end of October keep in mind it is going to be HOT. ALL of these resorts do not have much shade or trees so they are HOT. My family has found that when we travel to Disney during the summer months we try to avoid these resorts. With that being said, if you are traveling anytime between November through April these resorts are absolutely lovely and lively to meet your budget. If you can only travel between these summer months and are only able to stay at one of the value resorts (Excluding Art of Animation) I recommend spending a little more for a preferred room – it will definitely be worth it!

Art of Animation is considered “Value” because it is geared for larger families and the 2 double bed rooms in the Little Mermaid Section are the cheapest of rooms but the hardest to get, since there aren’t many. *NOTE* If you book a Little Mermaid Room, you will have about a *10-15 minute walk *OUTSIDE* from your room to the food/busing* and this extra walking can be tough when you are already putting in a lot of walking inside the parks and it is hot. During the Winter months, this walk may not feel as tough. At Art of Animation at The Lion King section and Nemo section, both have family suites which sleep 6 people (1 master bedroom, 1 murphy bed and 1 pull-out sofa) and have 2 bathrooms which is closer to the food and busing, but do not be fooled – you will be paying closer to the cost of a deluxe resort for these accommodations. We stayed in the Cars section in August of 2016 and while my children loved the resort it was a lot of hot extra walking in the sun and my kids ended up getting heat rash during that trip – it wasn’t the worst thing in the world but it was definitely easier the following year when we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in 2017.

This week’s Hotel of Choice for Summer Travel:

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

We all know how quickly those summer Florida rainstorms fly in out of nowhere, it is nice to being lodging at a resort where all the rooms are condensed into 1 main building for convenience, ease and comfort.

It is easier to walk through air conditioned buildings than in the hot Florida summer sun.*

Join Chip and Dale at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge themed to the Pacific North West.

It is very rare to find characters at a Value Resort! You are more likely to have interactions at mainly Deluxe and sometimes Moderate Resorts.

Once again Disney has outdone themselves with another massive and gorgeous lobby with impressive details in all of it’s architecture at the Wilderness Lodge, a Deluxe Resort. ***Avoid heat rash*** by staying here where inside the main building you will find your lobby, restaurants, gift shop and rooms – all while being inside the A/C. A small walk to the boat to get to Magic Kingdom and a quick and easy walk to Disney’s transportation bus stop. Having the boat as an alternate method of transportation makes it all the more magical. Boat rides tend to make it feel a little more like vacation getaway for me anyway! Wilderness Lodge is set to open fully in just a few months, June 2021!

This deluxe resort is the cheapest among the Magic Kingdom Resorts and is well liked by guests. Compared to value resorts: along with your quick service you have 2 additional restaurants plus a lounge. Furthermore, you have Geyser Point Bar and Grill offered as an outdoor dining option which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with a beautiful view of the lake and your typical pool bar with snacks and refreshments.

At the Wilderness Lodge we dined at Whispering Canyon CafΓ© where you definitely need to ask for ketchup! Inside joke here! The Whispering Canyon CafΓ© is an interactive western-themed experience with fun games and delicious food. Since I had booked this trip last minute we were not able to get a reservation at Artist Point which is Story Book Dining with Snow White and other characters.

Value resorts only offer 1 quick service dining location and pool bars (but no indoor lounge) per each value resort. At the Wilderness Lodge you also have boat rental access, and a lake beach area (no swimming) which again are not offered at a Value. All Moderate and Deluxe pools have a slide in their main pool. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge also gains EASY ACCESS to the surrounding resorts for dining options with the boat. You can actually take the boat to the Contemporary and walk through the Grand Floridian to the Polynesian if you wanted to!

When we vacationed at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in August of 2019 our room had a beautiful view of the Magic Kingdom Castle and we were able to view the fireworks from our room! At any of the Magic Kingdom Resorts there are areas usually on the beaches where you can view the fireworks. It was a terrific surprise and an added bonus!

More than a resort… More than a vacation….

Each time we vacation at Disney we always choose a NEW sabbatical and that always gives us the feeling of a different trip. Each resort has a different vibe and theme creating a new exciting adventure! We NEVER have the feeling of “Oh we’re doing this again” or “its the same thing again” – its a new and exciting feeling of being in that Disney bubble, escaping reality and being pampered along the way.

For Future Post-Covid Times Stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge when it is fully open.

Become Whisked Away Into the Savanna by staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in the Jambo House.

On a budget? No problem, do not book a room with a view of the Savanna to save hundreds. There are viewing areas all over this intricately designed immersive resort. Basically dropped at the door of the resort from Disney’s transportation buses, you enter into the lobby of the lodge you instantly view the breathtaking cathedral window and you are instantly immersed in the atmosphere, and blown away by the integrated thematic African decorative details and conveniently located award winning restaurants. In addition to everything being inside, the resort is a very shaded resort; even while waiting for the busing, no matter what time of the day you are NEVER in the sun! Considered a deluxe resort but when choosing a room with no views, it is more of a moderate resort pricing. Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo house offers an attractive dimly-lit ambiance with the smells of delicious food that radiates the hotel. What could be more magical then staring off into the savanna watching giraffes and zebra play right from inside your resort? Read my full review here of the Animal Kingdom Lodge! At this current time (March 2021) Animal Kingdom Lodge is not fully opened and operating to capacity – but hoping within the next year it will be! Keep checking for updates.

It is possible to stay in one of the DVC Villas at Jambo House or Kidani Village currently, but the resort itself is not fully open.

Disney Deluxe Resorts can be pretty pricey – you can always stay for LESS at a Disney World Deluxe Resort by renting DVC (Disney Vacation Club) points through an accredited DVC rental like http://www.dvcrentalstore.com and https://dvcrequest.com/ with David’s DVC Vacation Rentals.

ALWAYS CALL AHEAD TO CHECK TO SEE WHAT IS OPEN AND WHAT IS CLOSED AT YOUR RESORT OF CHOICE!

With current Covid regulations there is a lot more that is involved into going into planning your next Disney World Vacation and you need to have things planned out well in advanced.

Look out for my next recommendation coming next week!

Check out my latest post on how to pack for this coming summer travel by clicking here!

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Take Advantage Of Spring Days AND Plan An Adventure

ESCAPADING INTO A NEW NORMAL

Soaking Up The Gifts Of Spring

Spring has sprung and it is absolutely imperative to get outside and immerse yourself in nature when we are given the gift of beautiful days where the temps are so comfortable and the sun is energizing the Earth. A lot of people have started their early gardening and spring cleaning but for some excellent exercise try seeking out your nearby nature trails. From someone that never hiked before in her life, something that the year 2020 has taught me is to appreciate nature. Getting out into nature and for walks was about one of the few things that got us through 2020. Not only does this help to stimulate healthy mental balance but easy complimentary exercise comes along with it.

Invest In Your Mind, Soul and Body

There are plenty of apps to utilize to find scenic trails not far from your own home to enjoy the beautiful views. I like checking up on nature, seeing what is blooming and what wildlife my children and I may spot. We just saw a beaver swimming in a stream just 2 days ago!

Seek Out State Parks Close To Your House

State Parks always have so much to offer and currently there is no charge to get in. State Parks usually have water views, nature trails and more. Some parks offer kayaking, paddle sports, trail running, wildflowers, and all kinds of classes. Birding is something interesting to look into – you can always order some birding books from the library to educate yourself and this way it doesn’t cost anything to learn and to go searching. There are apps to help assist you with your birding adventure. Photography is another great hobby to get into as you seek out such beauty.

The All Trails App

This app is super easy and accessible providing directions to whichever route you choose opening up into your apple maps on your iPhone. This app will give you ratings on each trail and you can filter your search results to your difficult level, views, if pets are allowed, bikes etc. I like to search out rail trails or “running” paths this way I know I am not climbing any mountains or hiking in the deep woods – although my boys would prefer the adventure of the deep woods. If you are able to bike maybe seek out all the bike paths near you to conquer.

I Prefer Trails With a Water View

I am the type of person who feels at peace when near water. When there is water you know you’re definitely going to see more wildlife happenings. We have even seen Bald Eagles during the winter when the rest of the birds are south. The sound of running water helps me feel calm and one with the earth. In late Spring and Summer we enjoy seeing picturesque landscapes of butterflies, wildflowers along with a plethora of different kinds of birds near trails with water views. I feel so fulfilled after visiting such tranquility.

Trail Link App

The Trail Link app will provide you with all rail trails – easier to walk or bike on without the worry of having to climb mountains or trek into the unknown of the deep woods. It is also pretty cool to be walking on what used to be a working railroad at one time.

Geocache App

My brother and his family really enjoy using the Geocache app and have been using it for years! You can decide on an area that you would like to explore and use the app to search for a Geocache (“treasure”) and find it there. You can put the treasure back where you found it or place something new in it’s spot. You can also create Geocaches and plant them in obscure places to make the hunt more interested but remember to post your coordinates. This is all completely free and so much fun.

What are you doing to enjoy the season?

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Let’s Book A Resort! (Part 1)

Let Me Help You Choose Your Next Walt Disney World Resort. Each week I will pick and write about MY recommended resort for the upcoming Summer months.

Depending on what time of the year you plan on vacation, what resort you pick can make a big difference on the comfort level of your trip.

Disclaimer: these are my personal thoughts and opinions, I am not in any way affiliated with Disney or paid by Disney – I cannot be held responsible for anything that may or could go wrong on your vacation. I have had 9 Disney World Vacations since 2006, and eat, breath and live Disney. I LOVE talking Disney.

YOU’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!

Heading to Disney World anytime soon or trying to decide for the following year?

Planning out your next Disney World Vacation but trying to decide which resort to stay with? I can help. It…

View original post 1,590 more words

Let’s Book A Resort! (Part 1)

Let Me Help You Choose Your Next Walt Disney World Resort. Each week I will pick and write about MY recommended resort for the upcoming Summer months.

Depending on what time of the year you plan on vacation, what resort you pick can make a big difference on the comfort level of your trip.

Disclaimer: these are my personal thoughts and opinions, I am not in any way affiliated with Disney or paid by Disney – I cannot be held responsible for anything that may or could go wrong on your vacation. I have had 9 Disney World Vacations since 2006, and eat, breath and live Disney. I LOVE talking Disney.

YOU’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!

Heading to Disney World anytime soon or trying to decide for the following year?

Planning out your next Disney World Vacation but trying to decide which resort to stay with? I can help. It all pretty much depends on you, your traveling companions, budget and the travel party’s health.

Budgeting for a Value Resort?

Disney World has 3, well 4 “Value Resorts” to offer. There is Pop Century (most popular), The All Star Resorts and Art of Animation. The All Star Resorts are comprised of The All Star Movies, The All Star Music and the All Stars Sports. All of the resorts mentioned are very Disney themed and super fun! However they are the smallest of rooms on Disney property but the most affordable. Each has their own quick service food court and super fun themed pools. Art of Animation is considered “Value” because it is geared for families and the 2 double bed rooms in the Little Mermaid Section are the cheapest of rooms but the hardest to get, since there aren’t many. The Lion King section and Nemo section have family suites which sleep 6 people and have 2 bedrooms, but do not be fooled – you will be paying closer to the cost of a deluxe resort for these accommodations.

Traveling During Summer Months? Summer in Florida starts in May and ends around November.

Summer is approaching!

Something to keep in mind:

The Value Resorts are amazingly themed and so incredibly fun but they are not well shaded, and if you do not have a preferred room there is a possibility of having a long walk to your room. So if you are planning a vacation during anytime between the months of June through the end of October keep in mind it is going to be HOT. ALL of these resorts do not have much shade or trees so they are HOT. My family has found that when we travel to Disney during the summer months we try to avoid these resorts. With that being said, if you are traveling anytime between November through April these resorts are absolutely lovely and lively to meet your budget. If you can only travel between these summer months and are only able to stay at one of the value resorts (Excluding Art of Animation) I recommend spending a little more for a preferred room – it will definitely be worth it!

Art of Animation is considered “Value” because it is geared for larger families and the 2 double bed rooms in the Little Mermaid Section are the cheapest of rooms but the hardest to get, since there aren’t many. *NOTE* If you book a Little Mermaid Room, you will have about a *10-15 minute walk *OUTSIDE* from your room to the food/busing* and this extra walking can be tough when you are already putting in a lot of walking inside the parks and it is hot. During the Winter months, this walk may not feel as tough. At Art of Animation at The Lion King section and Nemo section, both have family suites which sleep 6 people (1 master bedroom, 1 murphy bed and 1 pull-out sofa) and have 2 bathrooms which is closer to the food and busing, but do not be fooled – you will be paying closer to the cost of a deluxe resort for these accommodations. We stayed in the Cars section in August of 2016 and while my children loved the resort it was a lot of hot extra walking in the sun and my kids ended up getting heat rash during that trip – it wasn’t the worst thing in the world but it was definitely easier the following year when we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in 2017.

This week’s Hotel of Choice for Summer Travel:

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

We all know how quickly those summer Florida rainstorms fly in out of nowhere, it is nice to being lodging at a resort where all the rooms are condensed into 1 main building for convenience, ease and comfort.

It is easier to walk through air conditioned buildings than in the hot Florida summer sun.*

Join Chip and Dale at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge themed to the Pacific North West.

It is very rare to find characters at a Value Resort! You are more likely to have interactions at mainly Deluxe and sometimes Moderate Resorts.

Once again Disney has outdone themselves with another massive and gorgeous lobby with impressive details in all of it’s architecture at the Wilderness Lodge, a Deluxe Resort. ***Avoid heat rash*** by staying here where inside the main building you will find your lobby, restaurants, gift shop and rooms – all while being inside the A/C. A small walk to the boat to get to Magic Kingdom and a quick and easy walk to Disney’s transportation bus stop. Having the boat as an alternate method of transportation makes it all the more magical. Boat rides tend to make it feel a little more like vacation getaway for me anyway! Wilderness Lodge is set to open fully in just a few months, June 2021!

This deluxe resort is the cheapest among the Magic Kingdom Resorts and is well liked by guests. Compared to value resorts: along with your quick service you have 2 additional restaurants plus a lounge. Furthermore, you have Geyser Point Bar and Grill offered as an outdoor dining option which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with a beautiful view of the lake and your typical pool bar with snacks and refreshments.

At the Wilderness Lodge we dined at Whispering Canyon CafΓ© where you definitely need to ask for ketchup! Inside joke here! The Whispering Canyon CafΓ© is an interactive western-themed experience with fun games and delicious food. Since I had booked this trip last minute we were not able to get a reservation at Artist Point which is Story Book Dining with Snow White and other characters.

Value resorts only offer 1 quick service dining location and pool bars (but no indoor lounge) per each value resort. At the Wilderness Lodge you also have boat rental access, and a lake beach area (no swimming) which again are not offered at a Value. All Moderate and Deluxe pools have a slide in their main pool. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge also gains EASY ACCESS to the surrounding resorts for dining options with the boat. You can actually take the boat to the Contemporary and walk through the Grand Floridian to the Polynesian if you wanted to!

When we vacationed at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in August of 2019 our room had a beautiful view of the Magic Kingdom Castle and we were able to view the fireworks from our room! At any of the Magic Kingdom Resorts there are areas usually on the beaches where you can view the fireworks. It was a terrific surprise and an added bonus!

More than a resort… More than a vacation….

Each time we vacation at Disney we always choose a NEW sabbatical and that always gives us the feeling of a different trip. Each resort has a different vibe and theme creating a new exciting adventure! We NEVER have the feeling of “Oh we’re doing this again” or “its the same thing again” – its a new and exciting feeling of being in that Disney bubble, escaping reality and being pampered along the way.

For Future Post-Covid Times Stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge when it is fully open.

Become Whisked Away Into the Savanna by staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in the Jambo House.

On a budget? No problem, do not book a room with a view of the Savanna to save hundreds. There are viewing areas all over this intricately designed immersive resort. Basically dropped at the door of the resort from Disney’s transportation buses, you enter into the lobby of the lodge you instantly view the breathtaking cathedral window and you are instantly immersed in the atmosphere, and blown away by the integrated thematic African decorative details and conveniently located award winning restaurants. In addition to everything being inside, the resort is a very shaded resort; even while waiting for the busing, no matter what time of the day you are NEVER in the sun! Considered a deluxe resort but when choosing a room with no views, it is more of a moderate resort pricing. Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo house offers an attractive dimly-lit ambiance with the smells of delicious food that radiates the hotel. What could be more magical then staring off into the savanna watching giraffes and zebra play right from inside your resort? Read my full review here of the Animal Kingdom Lodge! At this current time (March 2021) Animal Kingdom Lodge is not fully opened and operating to capacity – but hoping within the next year it will be! Keep checking for updates.

It is possible to stay in one of the DVC Villas at Jambo House or Kidani Village currently, but the resort itself is not fully open.

Disney Deluxe Resorts can be pretty pricey – you can always stay for LESS at a Disney World Deluxe Resort by renting DVC (Disney Vacation Club) points through an accredited DVC rental like http://www.dvcrentalstore.com and https://dvcrequest.com/ with David’s DVC Vacation Rentals.

ALWAYS CALL AHEAD TO CHECK TO SEE WHAT IS OPEN AND WHAT IS CLOSED AT YOUR RESORT OF CHOICE!

With current Covid regulations there is a lot more that is involved into going into planning your next Disney World Vacation and you need to have things planned out well in advanced.

Look out for my next recommendation coming next week!

Check out my latest post on how to pack for this coming summer travel by clicking here!

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April 2021
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19202122232425
2627282930  
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Let’s Book A Resort! (Part 1)

Let Me Help You Choose Your Next Walt Disney World Resort. Each week I will pick and write about MY recommended resort for the upcoming Summer months.

Depending on what time of the year you plan on vacation, what resort you pick can make a big difference on the comfort level of your trip.

Disclaimer: these are my personal thoughts and opinions, I am not in any way affiliated with Disney or paid by Disney – I cannot be held responsible for anything that may or could go wrong on your vacation. I have had 9 Disney World Vacations since 2006, and eat, breath and live Disney. I LOVE talking Disney.

YOU’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!

Heading to Disney World anytime soon or trying to decide for the following year?

Planning out your next Disney World Vacation but trying to decide which resort to stay with? I can help. It…

View original post 1,590 more words

Let’s Book A Resort! (Part 1)

Let Me Help You Choose Your Next Walt Disney World Resort. Each week I will pick and write about MY recommended resort for the upcoming Summer months.

Depending on what time of the year you plan on vacation, what resort you pick can make a big difference on the comfort level of your trip.

Disclaimer: these are my personal thoughts and opinions, I am not in any way affiliated with Disney or paid by Disney – I cannot be held responsible for anything that may or could go wrong on your vacation. I have had 9 Disney World Vacations since 2006, and eat, breath and live Disney. I LOVE talking Disney.

YOU’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!

Heading to Disney World anytime soon or trying to decide for the following year?

Planning out your next Disney World Vacation but trying to decide which resort to stay with? I can help. It…

View original post 1,590 more words

Let’s Book A Resort! (Part 1)

Let Me Help You Choose Your Next Walt Disney World Resort. Each week I will pick and write about MY recommended resort for the upcoming Summer months.

Depending on what time of the year you plan on vacation, what resort you pick can make a big difference on the comfort level of your trip.

Disclaimer: these are my personal thoughts and opinions, I am not in any way affiliated with Disney or paid by Disney – I cannot be held responsible for anything that may or could go wrong on your vacation. I have had 9 Disney World Vacations since 2006, and eat, breath and live Disney. I LOVE talking Disney.

YOU’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!

Heading to Disney World anytime soon or trying to decide for the following year?

Planning out your next Disney World Vacation but trying to decide which resort to stay with? I can help. It all pretty much depends on you, your traveling companions, budget and the travel party’s health.

Budgeting for a Value Resort?

Disney World has 3, well 4 “Value Resorts” to offer. There is Pop Century (most popular), The All Star Resorts and Art of Animation. The All Star Resorts are comprised of The All Star Movies, The All Star Music and the All Stars Sports. All of the resorts mentioned are very Disney themed and super fun! However they are the smallest of rooms on Disney property but the most affordable. Each has their own quick service food court and super fun themed pools. Art of Animation is considered “Value” because it is geared for families and the 2 double bed rooms in the Little Mermaid Section are the cheapest of rooms but the hardest to get, since there aren’t many. The Lion King section and Nemo section have family suites which sleep 6 people and have 2 bedrooms, but do not be fooled – you will be paying closer to the cost of a deluxe resort for these accommodations.

Traveling During Summer Months? Summer in Florida starts in May and ends around November.

Summer is approaching!

Something to keep in mind:

The Value Resorts are amazingly themed and so incredibly fun but they are not well shaded, and if you do not have a preferred room there is a possibility of having a long walk to your room. So if you are planning a vacation during anytime between the months of June through the end of October keep in mind it is going to be HOT. ALL of these resorts do not have much shade or trees so they are HOT. My family has found that when we travel to Disney during the summer months we try to avoid these resorts. With that being said, if you are traveling anytime between November through April these resorts are absolutely lovely and lively to meet your budget. If you can only travel between these summer months and are only able to stay at one of the value resorts (Excluding Art of Animation) I recommend spending a little more for a preferred room – it will definitely be worth it!

Art of Animation is considered “Value” because it is geared for larger families and the 2 double bed rooms in the Little Mermaid Section are the cheapest of rooms but the hardest to get, since there aren’t many. *NOTE* If you book a Little Mermaid Room, you will have about a *10-15 minute walk *OUTSIDE* from your room to the food/busing* and this extra walking can be tough when you are already putting in a lot of walking inside the parks and it is hot. During the Winter months, this walk may not feel as tough. At Art of Animation at The Lion King section and Nemo section, both have family suites which sleep 6 people (1 master bedroom, 1 murphy bed and 1 pull-out sofa) and have 2 bathrooms which is closer to the food and busing, but do not be fooled – you will be paying closer to the cost of a deluxe resort for these accommodations. We stayed in the Cars section in August of 2016 and while my children loved the resort it was a lot of hot extra walking in the sun and my kids ended up getting heat rash during that trip – it wasn’t the worst thing in the world but it was definitely easier the following year when we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in 2017.

This week’s Hotel of Choice for Summer Travel:

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

We all know how quickly those summer Florida rainstorms fly in out of nowhere, it is nice to being lodging at a resort where all the rooms are condensed into 1 main building for convenience, ease and comfort.

It is easier to walk through air conditioned buildings than in the hot Florida summer sun.*

Join Chip and Dale at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge themed to the Pacific North West.

It is very rare to find characters at a Value Resort! You are more likely to have interactions at mainly Deluxe and sometimes Moderate Resorts.

Once again Disney has outdone themselves with another massive and gorgeous lobby with impressive details in all of it’s architecture at the Wilderness Lodge, a Deluxe Resort. ***Avoid heat rash*** by staying here where inside the main building you will find your lobby, restaurants, gift shop and rooms – all while being inside the A/C. A small walk to the boat to get to Magic Kingdom and a quick and easy walk to Disney’s transportation bus stop. Having the boat as an alternate method of transportation makes it all the more magical. Boat rides tend to make it feel a little more like vacation getaway for me anyway! Wilderness Lodge is set to open fully in just a few months, June 2021!

This deluxe resort is the cheapest among the Magic Kingdom Resorts and is well liked by guests. Compared to value resorts: along with your quick service you have 2 additional restaurants plus a lounge. Furthermore, you have Geyser Point Bar and Grill offered as an outdoor dining option which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with a beautiful view of the lake and your typical pool bar with snacks and refreshments.

At the Wilderness Lodge we dined at Whispering Canyon CafΓ© where you definitely need to ask for ketchup! Inside joke here! The Whispering Canyon CafΓ© is an interactive western-themed experience with fun games and delicious food. Since I had booked this trip last minute we were not able to get a reservation at Artist Point which is Story Book Dining with Snow White and other characters.

Value resorts only offer 1 quick service dining location and pool bars (but no indoor lounge) per each value resort. At the Wilderness Lodge you also have boat rental access, and a lake beach area (no swimming) which again are not offered at a Value. All Moderate and Deluxe pools have a slide in their main pool. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge also gains EASY ACCESS to the surrounding resorts for dining options with the boat. You can actually take the boat to the Contemporary and walk through the Grand Floridian to the Polynesian if you wanted to!

When we vacationed at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in August of 2019 our room had a beautiful view of the Magic Kingdom Castle and we were able to view the fireworks from our room! At any of the Magic Kingdom Resorts there are areas usually on the beaches where you can view the fireworks. It was a terrific surprise and an added bonus!

More than a resort… More than a vacation….

Each time we vacation at Disney we always choose a NEW sabbatical and that always gives us the feeling of a different trip. Each resort has a different vibe and theme creating a new exciting adventure! We NEVER have the feeling of “Oh we’re doing this again” or “its the same thing again” – its a new and exciting feeling of being in that Disney bubble, escaping reality and being pampered along the way.

For Future Post-Covid Times Stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge when it is fully open.

Become Whisked Away Into the Savanna by staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in the Jambo House.

On a budget? No problem, do not book a room with a view of the Savanna to save hundreds. There are viewing areas all over this intricately designed immersive resort. Basically dropped at the door of the resort from Disney’s transportation buses, you enter into the lobby of the lodge you instantly view the breathtaking cathedral window and you are instantly immersed in the atmosphere, and blown away by the integrated thematic African decorative details and conveniently located award winning restaurants. In addition to everything being inside, the resort is a very shaded resort; even while waiting for the busing, no matter what time of the day you are NEVER in the sun! Considered a deluxe resort but when choosing a room with no views, it is more of a moderate resort pricing. Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo house offers an attractive dimly-lit ambiance with the smells of delicious food that radiates the hotel. What could be more magical then staring off into the savanna watching giraffes and zebra play right from inside your resort? Read my full review here of the Animal Kingdom Lodge! At this current time (March 2021) Animal Kingdom Lodge is not fully opened and operating to capacity – but hoping within the next year it will be! Keep checking for updates.

It is possible to stay in one of the DVC Villas at Jambo House or Kidani Village currently, but the resort itself is not fully open.

Disney Deluxe Resorts can be pretty pricey – you can always stay for LESS at a Disney World Deluxe Resort by renting DVC (Disney Vacation Club) points through an accredited DVC rental like http://www.dvcrentalstore.com and https://dvcrequest.com/ with David’s DVC Vacation Rentals.

ALWAYS CALL AHEAD TO CHECK TO SEE WHAT IS OPEN AND WHAT IS CLOSED AT YOUR RESORT OF CHOICE!

With current Covid regulations there is a lot more that is involved into going into planning your next Disney World Vacation and you need to have things planned out well in advanced.

Look out for my next recommendation coming next week!

Check out my latest post on how to pack for this coming summer travel by clicking here!

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April 2021
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567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  
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Take Advantage Of Spring Days AND Plan An Adventure

ESCAPADING INTO A NEW NORMAL

Soaking Up The Gifts Of Spring

Spring has sprung and it is absolutely imperative to get outside and immerse yourself in nature when we are given the gift of beautiful days where the temps are so comfortable and the sun is energizing the Earth. A lot of people have started their early gardening and spring cleaning but for some excellent exercise try seeking out your nearby nature trails. From someone that never hiked before in her life, something that the year 2020 has taught me is to appreciate nature. Getting out into nature and for walks was about one of the few things that got us through 2020. Not only does this help to stimulate healthy mental balance but easy complimentary exercise comes along with it.

Invest In Your Mind, Soul and Body

There are plenty of apps to utilize to find scenic trails not far from your own home to enjoy the beautiful views. I like checking up on nature, seeing what is blooming and what wildlife my children and I may spot. We just saw a beaver swimming in a stream just 2 days ago!

Seek Out State Parks Close To Your House

State Parks always have so much to offer and currently there is no charge to get in. State Parks usually have water views, nature trails and more. Some parks offer kayaking, paddle sports, trail running, wildflowers, and all kinds of classes. Birding is something interesting to look into – you can always order some birding books from the library to educate yourself and this way it doesn’t cost anything to learn and to go searching. There are apps to help assist you with your birding adventure. Photography is another great hobby to get into as you seek out such beauty.

The All Trails App

This app is super easy and accessible providing directions to whichever route you choose opening up into your apple maps on your iPhone. This app will give you ratings on each trail and you can filter your search results to your difficult level, views, if pets are allowed, bikes etc. I like to search out rail trails or “running” paths this way I know I am not climbing any mountains or hiking in the deep woods – although my boys would prefer the adventure of the deep woods. If you are able to bike maybe seek out all the bike paths near you to conquer.

I Prefer Trails With a Water View

I am the type of person who feels at peace when near water. When there is water you know you’re definitely going to see more wildlife happenings. We have even seen Bald Eagles during the winter when the rest of the birds are south. The sound of running water helps me feel calm and one with the earth. In late Spring and Summer we enjoy seeing picturesque landscapes of butterflies, wildflowers along with a plethora of different kinds of birds near trails with water views. I feel so fulfilled after visiting such tranquility.

Trail Link App

The Trail Link app will provide you with all rail trails – easier to walk or bike on without the worry of having to climb mountains or trek into the unknown of the deep woods. It is also pretty cool to be walking on what used to be a working railroad at one time.

Geocache App

My brother and his family really enjoy using the Geocache app and have been using it for years! You can decide on an area that you would like to explore and use the app to search for a Geocache (“treasure”) and find it there. You can put the treasure back where you found it or place something new in it’s spot. You can also create Geocaches and plant them in obscure places to make the hunt more interested but remember to post your coordinates. This is all completely free and so much fun.

What are you doing to enjoy the season?

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We Got Vaccinated After Having Covid!

What it was like getting vaccinated after actually having Covid

Living in North Jersey I was super lucky to have a friend help my husband and I secure vaccination appointments, as I am obese and my husband has had diabetes since he is 7 years old. These appointments have been a struggle for most people, causing anxiety and feeling impossible. My husband works in the public and that is also how Covid was brought home to us; with my elderly parents living with us it was imperative that we get vaccinated ASAP in order to not bring it into our home again. So currently still working on getting vaccine appointments for my elderly parents who have a slew of underlying conditions! This is like trying to get tickets for a TicketMaster Pre-sale! LOL

Vacation planning going forward! YIPPEE!!!

Now that my husband and I are vaccinated it leaves us feeling much more comfortable of returning to plan vacations – where we feel safe – of course – and still following protocols, enforcing masks, distancing and sanitizing. We would never go any where that did not enforce masks. However we are excited to go out and about feeling a little more comfortable.

1st Doses

When my husband and I both got our first vaccination shots, a day apart from each other, we were just under the 90 day mark of having Covid. My husband did much better with it than I, but it did not leave us without symptoms. My vaccination appointment was an hour away from the house – on cold, gloomy Valentine’s Day this year. I came home feeling instantly fatigued and by that night I felt like I had a fever generally feeling crummy.

After 24 hours passed….

The next day I woke up achy ALL over, and could barely lift my arm. That night my arm was throbbing in pain, with a big red blotch over the injection site. So I gave in and took a Benadryl… for some reason we had heard only to take acetaminophen. About 4:00am I could not take the pain of my arm throbbing which had also traveled into my breast – so between both in pain I gave in and took Ibuprofen. I finally woke up feeling better heading into 48 hours later.

Honestly, it took me a few days to feel better!

My husband felt ok the afternoon he had the vaccine dose and went back to work for the rest of the day. But when he came home that was another story…

By that evening, he was feeling feverish and achy.

My husband had a rough night of not really sleeping and feeling like he had a fever, with severe aches. He woke up late and made it into work but within 2 hours was home again. But by the next morning he was feeling like himself again! I didn’t wait as long to give him ibuprofen as acetaminophen really wasn’t helpful. We also used a lot of essential oils

But not to worry – it did pass and we did NOT re-catch COVID.

Second Dose

I felt pretty good after the second dose, as it was my son’s 13th birthday and my brother was bringing his family over for cake who we haven’t seen in a while. Wearing masks of course! It was sunny and a great distraction to see them again. It really felt so good for all of us. But by that evening I felt like a ton of bricks hit me and that evening I was not waiting around to take Benadryl. *Previous to all the shots my husband and I took extra vitamins and were keeping ourselves hydrated.*The next morning is when I woke up with a super sore arm, unable to lift it. I took ibuprofen that morning but did not have to take it again until later that night. I am an avid fitness enthusiast where I workout 6-7 days per week lifting weights, using my elliptical and lots of walking outside. I made sure to walk a lot that afternoon.

My husband did a little worse than I, with the second dose. He came home feeling achy with a headache and fever with pure exhaustion. He did not sleep well and actually made it through the day at work – but when he came home he felt simply awful. We used some essential oils and took ibuprofen which lead him to waking up feeling ok.

Again we did not re-catch COVID!

Hooray!

Overall it wasn’t anything that we couldn’t handle. It was definitely NOT pleasant but we are happy to be vaccinated to prevent the spread to other people who may not do well with it, and to our loved ones. We are still on the road to “normal”, or closer to what was normal and with PATIENCE we will get there, I promise. The key to the world right now is not being so selfish, in a world where we are used to being utterly selfish. For those out there only thinking of their own discomfort, think more about how you might hurt the people around you if you aren’t following protocols. Think more about the people that may not survive or have long term health aliments because you could have passed it to them as a carrier. It’s time to do your part. It is not taking away your rights it is being courteous to those around you and those who you love. Let us all be more helpful to the world around us, so we can get through it.

Read about what we did to survive Covid here!

How is your state doing regarding vaccine availability?

Need some packing tips for upcoming vacations – click here!

DIY Lego Birthday Lawn Signs

Pandemic Birthday Ideas

Going out of our way to make pandemic birthdays all the more special

In January when I realized my older son Mikey’s 13 birthday was just around the bend, I was trying to figure out how to make it all the more special especially since we have another year where we can’t have a nice family gathering like in past years. All the more special without spending a crazy amount of money. Mikey has always been a creative Lego builder so I wanted to bring that into play. During the winter I saw some friends who live in Florida celebrating their elderly Mother’s birthday, social-distance-style, with these beautiful lawn signs!

I am by no means this perfect, classy crafter designer that you see on YouTube and Instagram. I am not talented. This is real, down-to-earth decorating to liven up my son’s 13th birthday. I am here just trying to brighten up a not-so-bright world that we are living in at the moment. I don’t complain, I plan out exactly how to make it better.

In researching I found that Birthday Lawn Signs could get very pricey – and for something that may not last due to weather conditions, I really didn’t want to spend too much. I order a simple “Happy Birthday” lawn sign off of Walmart. com and decided I was going to create “Mikey” and “13” myself, with the help of my husband.

Walmart Sign

Making Mikey’s name plus the number 13 was a little more complicated but they are much easier to see from the road and much more vibrant!

Supplies You Will Need To Make Your Amazing Lawn Sign:

We needed 7 foam boards for M-I-K-E-Y and then 1 and 3. My husband was so good for bringing home the DeWALT Utility Knife to cut the foam boards into letters and the 13. He used an old piece of wood slap to cut over so to not destroy anything underneath. Each letter got its own board. My husband eyed it up on his own and used a pencil to trace where he wanted to cut.

Since my birthday kid is still very much into LEGO, I decided on using old LEGO plastic tablecloth as the design as opposed to painting. The end result was cute but the darker parts of the LEGO tablecloth blended in too much with our brick house so if I were to do this again, I would choose solid vibrant paint. Paint is also a much easier and neater option.

Thank Goodness The Snow Has Since Melted!

HEAD OUTSIDE TO COMPLETE THE REST

The remainder was to be done OUTSIDE, as the 3M Adhesive is toxic, flammable and should not be sprayed inside an enclosed non-ventilated area. I placed a letter over the table cloth and proceeded as if I was wrapping a giant Christmas gift. I cut off any extra to save for the remaining letters. I sprayed the 3M Adhesive all over the foam board and wrapped the table cloth around the letter/number as tightly as I could.

USE CLEAR PACKING TAPE TO WRAP IT UP

I used the retractable DeWALT knife to cut through any holes as well as any extra table cloth. After I completed all the letters I sprayed them with Scotch Guard. The only issue was, it prevented the duck tape from adhering to the letters and numbers. What worked best and mounting it to the landscaping spikes was wrapping the letters to the spikes with clear packing tape. I realized I needed to wrap each letter and number completely in the clear packing tape to secure it, as well as keep it safe. Even the little Happy Birthday sign from Walmart needed to have the backs of the letters taped to each other since the March winds have been wreaking havoc!

We have been lucky that all of the signs have not budged in these crazy North Jersey winds! I think the key is using the clear packing tape and wrapping them around the steaks tightly, which also seals up the letters. If I could do it again I would pick solid vibrant paints because I feel like it would be a little easier, less messier (perhaps lol) and more evident from afar. After it was all done, I took my jar of glitter, sprayed some 3M adhesive on top of each letter and threw glitter on top. Now they sparkle too!

Check out my post on the LEGO Harry Potter Diagon Alley

What are some of your ideas for making your loved ones birthdays more special?

What plans do you have for Easter?

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Planning a Summer Vacation?

Let Me Help You Pack

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome Makes It Tough To Attend Theme Parks, Zoos, And well, Anything That Requires Walking Or Standing In Heat and Humidity

How To Pack For A Vacation During Florida’s Heat And Humidity… or…well… Any Trip During The Summer

This post goes for just about anyone as most people have trouble when they are in extreme heat.

Our 10 year old son Nick suffers with a medical condition called POTS: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome which is a form of Dysautonomia; which is a glitch in the nervous system where the blood does not flow to the extremities properly causing easy dehydration, rapid heart rate, blood pressure hypotension or hypertension. We believe may have this due to having Ehlers Danlos Syndrome – which he has a working diagnosis for. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, “EDS” is a joint connective tissue disorder causing joint hypermobility, frequent dislocations and pain. POTS seems to go hand-in-hand with EDS or possibly EDS causing the POTS? Both being a form of Dysautonomia and both still a lot of research being done on these chronic medical conditions. POTS also creates dizziness and for some people like my son Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It can cause him to have extreme pain at random times, while it may wake him from his sleep or we may be arriving to a breakfast reservation and he spends most of the time in the bathroom. Thankfully Nick has a more mild case so it will pass with a little time some people are more severe and some bedridden. Individuals that are more severe with mobility issues should consider speaking with their physician before their trip and possibly renting a scooter or wheelchair.

When you know you’re going to Florida during the summer heat, OR ANYWHERE DURING THE SUMMER you have a lot to consider. The Florida Heat and Humidity Season typically starts in the Spring and ends late fall. But this goes for really any trip planned during the summer months in any part of the U.S. that requires being outside, in the sun, and lots of walking.

August 2017

Keep in mind during the summer months, no matter where you go people are on vacation so it will most likely be crowded – especially in Disney World. Prepare yourself for lines and when we are post-Covid most likely being in crowds once again. A lot of this will come in handy for walking zoos, museums, boardwalks, nature trails and pretty much any outdoor activity during heat and humidity. For POTS patients this list is pretty much a daily necessity regardless of weather. You can never be too prepared.

Hot and sweaty at Hollywood Studios in August 2019

Your Packing Itinerary:

  • Your Salt Sticks and Medicine! First and foremost, do NOT forget your salt sticks and whatever medicine you use daily! It is a pill filled with electrolytes and salts to help your body retain water. Make sure you have your acetaminophen and ibuprofen with you for any unexpected headaches or muscle pain. Link provided for salt sticks:
  • Cooling towels – I know you’re not supposed to but I pack mine in zip log bags with ice… Disney won’t let you enter the park with ice but you can ask for a cup of ice at any quick service. **TIP** Grab a FREE cup of ice or ice water from any quick service. Chewing on ice helps cool your insides. Link provided for cooling towels:
  • Lightweight Sun Umbrella – for when you’re tired of feeling the heat of the sun on your body. Comes in handy for parades – hopefully we will see them again in 2022?! But during the summer it rains often in Florida, so these are nice to have in your backpack for an unexpected rain storm. Link provided – click link for umbrella:
This isn’t the exact sun umbrella I purchased, but looks close enough to what we use. Easy enough to put on side of backpack.
  • Electrolyte Water / Gatorade: PACK YOUR OWN – Shoprite now has a Bowl And Basket Brand which is much cheaper than Smart Water. Smart Water and Gatorade are ridiculous at any park! Hershey Park let us bring in our own drinks and snacks. Disney World always lets you bring in as much food as you want. Some parks will only tolerate one drink per person, but you could always leave a cooler in your car (If you have it with you) in the parking lot and run back to fill up.
  • Pack Snacks – Nick tends to have some hypoglycemic symptoms (along with my Type 1 Diabetic husband). It is always best to have some salty or healthy snacks packed to help boost energy levels and prohibit crankiness. This rule falls true for just about anyone!
  • Utilize Disney’s DAS (Disability Access System) – *if you or a member of your party has a disability or medical condition where they are not able to stand at long periods of time: Disney’s DAS gives you the freedom to not have to wait in long lines. Simply pick a ride that you are not able to stand in, and someone scans your Magic Band – giving you a return time to enter Fast Pass. So you are not cutting anyone, just giving you the freedom to sit if you need to until the time to return for the ride. You set this up when you arrive at any Disney Park and if you ask there is always a Cast Member with an IPAD around to help you get started.
  • Neck Fans! – we basically wear Neck Fans the entire time we are walking parks, nature trails, boardwalks, zoos etc. Especially with having to wear masks for a while…
  • Breathable Masks – this stands for itself! Just ordered some masks off of Shop Disney and we are hoping they are breathable and comfortable – but time will tell. A lot of people find that the simple blue disposable masks are the easiest to
  • Lightweight/ Breathable Hats / Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen – a sunburn will not help anyone feel well especially if you are affect by POTS or another form of Dysautonomia. I love an easy stick-for-the-face sunscreen.

Links provided for neck fans:

I just ordered these new Neck Fans – we have yet to try them but I’ll let you know how it works out!

Hands Free Portable Neck Fan – Rechargeable Mini USB Personal Fan Battery Operated – these fans are rechargable and do not seem to hold a charge for an entire day… but you can always recharge during an afternoon break. The only concern I have is I broke one side because my hair got tangled in it.
These mini neck fans are always a must-have item in my Disney travel backpack!

You would want to consider bringing along a few pair of lightweight, supportive, breathable shoes. My son enjoys his Crocs but he also likes Under Armour Sneakers with his inserts. Everyone should bring more than 1 pair of shoes especially to Disney because you never know when you will get caught in a rain shower or down pour.

August 2019

My advice is to practice walking every day before you head out on your trip. Any vacation to any theme park, or virtually anywhere is going to be a LOT of walking. Try to get yourself in shape before you venture out. Start by trying to walk a half mile, and then after a week increase to walking a full mile each day. Not only is this beneficial for your health but you will avoid any unwanted muscle pain, blisters etc. Make sure you break-in, and wear whatever shoes you plan on bringing with you to ensure that they will be the upmost comfort.

My tip for any sore feet and muscles is this Epsom salt lotion that I purchase off Amazon as well as bringing some Magnesium supplements but please check with your physician first. Magnesium can also give you the runs, so you want to check into it prior.

Epsom Salt Lotion for aches and pains.
Amazon link below:

I also believe in soaking in Epsom salts when sore so I like to purchase Dr. Teal’s bath wash off Amazon, Walmart or Harmon’s Face Values.

Dr Teals bath wash for aches and pains.
Amazon link below:

Always soak with Epsom salts and use the Muscle It cream at night – because it does make you sleepy.

HOT TIP: if you decide to shower in the morning before you start your day, especially in Disney World, try a cool shower so you start out cool and refreshed ready for the day! Just remember not to use anything that will make you sleepy and definitely as cool of a temp that your body can handle and feel good!!

When staying in Disney World on property, try to pick a resort where you do most of the walking INSIDE.

If this is not possible financially, then try to pick a preferred room so your room is closest to the bus, food and lobby. Sometimes if you pay a little more for a better resort you do most of your walking inside the air conditioning and this is very helpful. Staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge vs staying at Art of Animation during the summer months can make a huge difference and pricing is comparable. Animal Kingdom Lodge has ALL of the rooms inside, so there is no need for extra outside walking in the heat, where Art of Animation can be a LOT of extra walking outside with no shade whatsoever. This can make a huge impact on how you’re feeling. Do not misunderstand me, Art of Animation is fabulous with fantastic Disney theming but while we stayed there in August 2016 in the Cars Section we all had heat rash from the extra walking in sun with no shade. Some of our favorite resorts with indoor rooms consolidated into 1 building, (or walk INSIDE between buildings) would be the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Wilderness Lodge. Port Orleans French Quarter is an extremely small and shady resort so this resort may be fine, where Port Orleans Riverside can be a LOT of walking if you do not have a preferred room.*

Check out my YouTube Video on Packing Tips and prepare to have a chuckle

What tips do you have for traveling during the summer or in the tropics?

August 2016 – cooling towels

What are your future plans?

I would love to hear about any tips or suggestions you may have below!

We Got Vaccinated After Having Covid!

What it was like getting vaccinated after actually having Covid

Living in North Jersey I was super lucky to have a friend help my husband and I secure vaccination appointments, as I am obese and my husband has had diabetes since he is 7 years old. These appointments have been a struggle for most people, causing anxiety and feeling impossible. My husband works in the public and that is also how Covid was brought home to us; with my elderly parents living with us it was imperative that we get vaccinated ASAP in order to not bring it into our home again. So currently still working on getting vaccine appointments for my elderly parents who have a slew of underlying conditions! This is like trying to get tickets for a TicketMaster Pre-sale! LOL

Vacation planning going forward! YIPPEE!!!

Now that my husband and I are vaccinated it leaves us feeling much more comfortable of returning to plan vacations – where we feel safe – of course – and still following protocols, enforcing masks, distancing and sanitizing. We would never go any where that did not enforce masks. However we are excited to go out and about feeling a little more comfortable.

1st Doses

When my husband and I both got our first vaccination shots, a day apart from each other, we were just under the 90 day mark of having Covid. My husband did much better with it than I, but it did not leave us without symptoms. My vaccination appointment was an hour away from the house – on cold, gloomy Valentine’s Day this year. I came home feeling instantly fatigued and by that night I felt like I had a fever generally feeling crummy.

After 24 hours passed….

The next day I woke up achy ALL over, and could barely lift my arm. That night my arm was throbbing in pain, with a big red blotch over the injection site. So I gave in and took a Benadryl… for some reason we had heard only to take acetaminophen. About 4:00am I could not take the pain of my arm throbbing which had also traveled into my breast – so between both in pain I gave in and took Ibuprofen. I finally woke up feeling better heading into 48 hours later.

Honestly, it took me a few days to feel better!

My husband felt ok the afternoon he had the vaccine dose and went back to work for the rest of the day. But when he came home that was another story…

By that evening, he was feeling feverish and achy.

My husband had a rough night of not really sleeping and feeling like he had a fever, with severe aches. He woke up late and made it into work but within 2 hours was home again. But by the next morning he was feeling like himself again! I didn’t wait as long to give him ibuprofen as acetaminophen really wasn’t helpful. We also used a lot of essential oils

But not to worry – it did pass and we did NOT re-catch COVID.

Second Dose

I felt pretty good after the second dose, as it was my son’s 13th birthday and my brother was bringing his family over for cake who we haven’t seen in a while. Wearing masks of course! It was sunny and a great distraction to see them again. It really felt so good for all of us. But by that evening I felt like a ton of bricks hit me and that evening I was not waiting around to take Benadryl. *Previous to all the shots my husband and I took extra vitamins and were keeping ourselves hydrated.*The next morning is when I woke up with a super sore arm, unable to lift it. I took ibuprofen that morning but did not have to take it again until later that night. I am an avid fitness enthusiast where I workout 6-7 days per week lifting weights, using my elliptical and lots of walking outside. I made sure to walk a lot that afternoon.

My husband did a little worse than I, with the second dose. He came home feeling achy with a headache and fever with pure exhaustion. He did not sleep well and actually made it through the day at work – but when he came home he felt simply awful. We used some essential oils and took ibuprofen which lead him to waking up feeling ok.

Again we did not re-catch COVID!

Hooray!

Overall it wasn’t anything that we couldn’t handle. It was definitely NOT pleasant but we are happy to be vaccinated to prevent the spread to other people who may not do well with it, and to our loved ones. We are still on the road to “normal”, or closer to what was normal and with PATIENCE we will get there, I promise. The key to the world right now is not being so selfish, in a world where we are used to being utterly selfish. For those out there only thinking of their own discomfort, think more about how you might hurt the people around you if you aren’t following protocols. Think more about the people that may not survive or have long term health aliments because you could have passed it to them as a carrier. It’s time to do your part. It is not taking away your rights it is being courteous to those around you and those who you love. Let us all be more helpful to the world around us, so we can get through it.

Read about what we did to survive Covid here!

How is your state doing regarding vaccine availability?

Need some packing tips for upcoming vacations – click here!

What’s Coming UP…

Planning True Support For Seasonal/Covid Dysthymia

Overcoming Pandemic Depression: Prepping For The Upcoming Spring/Summer

So normally just to get through typical, non-pandemic years and daily struggles I like to plan vacations. I am a planner! When I first had babies I enjoyed planning their giant first birthday parties! I planned beach vacations. I am just the type of person who needs activities, vacations and occasions to look forward to. Since 2020 hit, this has become rather difficult for everyone.

This is an exciting year ahead (as exciting as it can be) in that my older son is turning 13 next week! My husband and I are celebrating our 15th Wedding Anniversary, my Dad and Mother-In-Law both turn 75 and I turn 40 this coming Fall. I feel the need to celebrate at least with our own little immediate family by vacationing. Vacationing you keep to yourselves, you can social distance, sanitize, Clorox surfaces and wear masks. Any type of a party would be too hard and too risky at this point.

In the past few months I have driven my husband absolutely crazy trying to figure out when and where our next vacation will be…. I thought we had decided on an early May vacation but my older son being in all advanced classes isn’t up to missing and having the extra workload. I think after this year my kids want summer to come and just be done, and be free of the virtual, remote learning. (Although he has no desire to go back into school at all physically.) It is definitely easier to go away when it is Summer and there is no stress of work waiting for him, hanging over his head.

We have all been feeling somewhat of a depression and feeling of being repressed, haven’t we all? In by no means would I ever want to risk causing someone else to get sick, so we take it very seriously to wear masks, stay home, sanitize etc. But it has been a hard year! The back and forth of vacation planning has really given me a sort of manic-depression. In my strong desire to plan a vacation, to have somewhere to go with my family was giving me so much excitement that I haven’t felt maybe since the night before our wedding and before that since I was a little kid. But then the major let down of discussing finances (I haven’t been working and funds just aren’t the same since the pandemic hit) its almost devastating; as selfish as that is. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to anyone that has lost someone due to COVID-19 or that has had a super difficult time with it themselves – my children and I pray every night for anyone that might have it and for the world to heal. But WOW, I have never had this much trouble getting through a winter funk, every before. Every time we had to reschedule, I felt my heart crumble into a million pieces. I know things can be much worse, and I realize that I am blessed and lucky, but I supposed I have been fighting a depression. With the snow refusing to melt, and the endless cold it has been super hard trying to get outside which always help heal my soul.

So now the idea is to go away after school ends. Which means Summer. Which means heat and humidity and masks. I am in the middle of researching breathable masks, so that we can still go and enjoy as much as we can. My Type 1 Diabetic husband and my younger son who suffers with POTS and a hypermobility disorder both struggle walking through the heat and humidity, never mind wearing a mask. Who wants anyone to feel miserable while on vacation? I am in the midst of purchasing better neck fans and cooling clothing, as well as a sun umbrella to help. But since everyone in my family is just plain sick and tired of a lot of nothing, maybe their excitement to be away from home will overcome the added heat and sweat of a wearing a mask. Can you tell how much this means to me?

So in the short-term this week we are having temps in the low 60’s which is super exciting to be able to be outside and feel pleasant! It will melt the snow! We can plan hikes and find new trails. There is nothing like a good hike in nature to help calm your brain and feed your senses! This will surely help my mind, my heart and my emotions. Easter Sunday is only a few weeks away and that always brings renewal and happiness. I have some surprises for my kids in their Easter Baskets this year. We also have a Legoland in New York, just 4o minutes from our home opening up this spring! We will be there vlogging and we will surely be posting on my YouTube channel. There are some other day trips that I am interested in trying before it gets too hot and humid. Just the thought of all these ventures brings me such joy.

One thing that I have ALWAYS done to keep moving forward is working out daily. It is one thing that I always do for ME. I am not skinny by any means but I do enjoy exercise, it is a therapy just for me. Since the pandemic hit and my kids are a little bigger now, I have added walking with my kids to part of my exercise regimen. I really enjoy the walks and hikes I have had with my kids this past year. I am really looking forward to the snow to melt and enjoying the warmer weather with my kids as we move into Spring. Plus with the all virtual remote learning it has been the only exercise they have been getting since we closed the pool in September for the season. One fabulous thing to look forward to is opening the pool the beginning of May.

My husband and I were walking every night after dinner until the Fall time change and then it became too dark to walk. With the time change in less than a week, and the snow melting I am super excited to be able to walk with him again in the evenings. I will have to change my weight lifting routine to maybe mornings or early afternoons while the kids are still in school.

I am currently in the midst of making a giant lawn sign for my son’s 13 birthday next week. Since it is not yet safe to celebrate with family and friends we need to go all out making it special, somehow, don’t we?! I did purchase the “Happy Birthday” part of it from Walmart, but for his name and the number 13, I purchased a foam board along with some other tools for decorating and installation. I will post a list of the the supplies I used and how it was done. Last August while we were lucky enough to have the pool to celebrate my younger son’s birthday, I purchased 20 balloons from the dollar store and decorated the entire deck and pool area. I used some tablecloths to drape over parts of the deck and hung a bunch of birthday decorations.

Every March I like to start an early spring cleaning, just in time for Mikey’s birthday. Over the weekend I scrubbed down the kitchen cabinets with polish. I was on my hands and knees cleaning the edges of the floors to where they meet the cabinets with a mixture of water, Dawn dish detergent and vinegar. We have a new black lab puppy so if I don’t vacuum every 2 days the hair just gets out of control. I feel like all I do is clean. But so begins the deep cleaning and wiping down of everything. I wish I could just hose off everything inside my house.

Not really sure what the current plan is for our 15th wedding anniversary at the end of April. If the weather behaves and permits I would really love a dinner that overlooks the ocean – but April is generally super chilly in April – so only time will tell! I despise having to make plans around the weather. πŸ˜•

If you have any suggestions or ideas on most breathable masks to wear during the summer, and any suggestions on what we should do for our anniversary coming up, I would love to hear and see your comments below!

What have you been doing to fight the winter blues?

What are your spring plans?

I would love to hear from you.

Saving For Your Next Disney Vacation By Using Your Rakuten Check!

Save MONEY towards your future Walt Disney World Vacation by using Rakuten to earn cash back for all your online shopping and purchase discounted Disney Gift Cards

Here’s How:

How exciting is it when your quarterly Rakuten check arrives from all of your daily online shopping? As soon as I get mine, I get online to see where I can find the best discount on getting a DISNEY GIFT CARD to put towards my future Walt Disney World Vacation! If you don’t already know, you can book your Walt Disney World Vacation around a year in advance and make payments as often you can, to have the vacation PAID OFF before you even arrive! Or if you need more time to save up and pay for a Disney World Vacation start stocking up on Disney Gift Cards – they NEVER expire.

Click here to sign up with Rakuten to start earning money while shopping!

Money * Funds * Cash * Coins * Bucks * Bills…. it all means the same thing and has been tight for most people lately, so every cent saved counts and it can go a long way. It is never a good idea to go into debt over a vacation so the best thing to do is save for it and have it paid off before it even starts.

I save money by ordering my Disney Gift Cards online (through Rakuten of course) through either Target or BJ’s. (Sam’s Club and Costco have around the same member pricing as BJ’s.) However, pricing is not set in stone and is subject to change at any time.

Disney Gift Cards can be used for MORE than your next Disney Vacation in Florida but also California, and also online at Shop Disney, any Disney Stores located near you, and through most stores and restaurants located through the Disney Parks, Disney Resorts and at Disney Springs!

Using your gift card online at Shop Disney? Shop through Rakuten and get cash back for your next gift card!

With this Rakuten check (as I usually do) I went on BJ’s website to check pricing on a $100 Disney Gift Card…. but then I thought, “Hmmm, well the Target Red Card lets you save 5% when purchasing by using your Red Card – why not check that out?!“…. low and behold Target was cheaper by using my Red Card! As soon as the charge is posted I will pay the card off with the money from my Rakuten check.

HOT TIP: Learn how Disney Visa can help save you MONEY

If you do not have a Target Red Card and you DO have a DISNEY CHASE VISA take these steps to earn the most amount of money:

  • First go through Rakuten and then sign into your BJ’s account. Add preferred Disney Gift Card to cart. (Sometimes Rakuten does not offer cash back at BJ’s lately so you may want to look into a wholesale club that it does offer cash back through Rakuten)
  • Order your discounted Disney Gift Card ( a lesser cost than the true value of the card) by using your Disney Visa
  • Earn Reward Bucks TO BE USED at Disney on your vacation or while saving for your vacation from your Disney Visa. Use the Disney Visa while on vacation to start earning reward bucks for your next Disney Vacation. Use your Disney Visa at any authorized Disney Store for a discount on your total bill, as well as at MOST Disney owned restaurants at the parks and in Disney Springs.
  • Pay off your Disney Visa as soon as the total is posted!!!
  • ** Disney Visa allows vacation financing: up to 6 months interest free for your vacation package**

So yes you are buying a $100 Disney Gift Card – worth $100 for only $95.00 through Target or at different pricing through BJ’s. They also sell Disney Gift Cards for $25.00, $50.00, $150.00 and $500.00. The latest $500 Disney Gift Card is available at BJ’s for $479.00 – that is a pretty good deal.

I really enjoy these fun little ways of saving some cash $$ here and there for Disney!

What are some of your ideas and tips for saving money for vacation?

Click here to see an older post about saving for your next Disney World Vacation!

Treasured Photos From Disney’s Memory Maker

Memory Maker Provides Countless Cherished Memories

Some of my most favorite pictures are from Disney’s Memory Maker.

Going to Disney world as often as we have while the kids were growing up was like having our own professional group of photographers traveling with us, simply by adding the Memory Maker to our vacation package. Memory Maker provides to you all pictures that your family takes with Disney Photographers around the parks and photos/videos taken while on rides. I have some of the most beautiful pictures of my 2 beautiful boys while in Disney. We can look back from year to year and see them growing up Disney.

We have COUNTLESS beautiful family photos and photos of just my 2 children through the years from our Disney Vacations thanks to Memory Maker. In fact there are so many, there are just too many to share with you! Not sure how much you want to see someone else’s boring old pictures but it can show you just how amazing they can be and the special effects that come along with them. But I will share with you some of my favorite.

The video I have displayed below is from our May 2015 trip – this photo was taken across from Star Tours on a speeder. Not sure if that is even there anymore – they had it closed for the longest time. It was so beautiful I blew it up on a canvas – I had purchased a Groupon so I only paid $16 for this gorgeous blow up. I believe is a 36″ x 22″.

Here is the actual picture:

2015 Disney World

Here are some other magical pictures that were taken from that trip – just a few **there are just too many to share!

We happened to be at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park on Mother’s Day that year and I really cherish those few special pics.

2015 Memory Maker Special Effects

The special effects part comes when you download your Memory Maker Vacation Pictures in my Disney Experience during and after your vacation. I believe you have 60 days to download before they disappear. You can log in from your computer and save to anything you like.

Disney 2015 special Star Wars Jedi Mickey Dinner at Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood Studios

Memory Maker is added to your Walt Disney World Vacation Package as an add-on. There are now different options for adding your Memory Maker into your vacation package! An advance purchase will cost you $169.00 to have the ability to save and download ALL your vacation pictures and videos from MDE from all your vacation days! If you wait and add on late, they will charge you $200.00. You can purchase only 1 day out of your vacation to download all of your pictures and videos from that particular day for $69.00. I have always done the pre-order at $169.00.

In 2019 we upgraded to Annual Passholder because we went not just in August 2019, but also for New Years Even 2019… so when you are an annual pass holder, Memory Maker is INCLUDED. You will have ALL of your pictures of that year including all the times you have vacationed at Disney World and they will not expire until your annual pass is set to expire.

Below are some pics from our August 2016 Trip and we actually got to experience Talking Mickey before he disappeared – check out the video by clicking here!

Check out my post on upgrading to Annual Pass Holder – click here!

Here we have some 2017 Memory Maker pics:

With everything that has happened in the world during this past year and just how fast my kids are growing I really treasure all these beautiful pictures of I have of them and us together as a family. What precious happy memories.

Below are some pictures from April, August 2019 and January 2019-2020:

Going through all of these pictures made me realize that I was smart to save some of them in more than one place – because you never know if on an external hard drive they may accidentally get deleted! Save all of your pictures in more than one place!

I recommend:

  • Shutterfly
  • GooglePhotos
  • External Hard Drive (WD Drive)

Along with your own pictures, the Memory Maker also provides and includes some Disney stock photos that are absolutely all yours’s – you have all the rights to do whatever you want with them.

Below is from our April 2019 Trip where we stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter:

Looking through all of our pictures reminds me of how much we love Disney and how much we enjoy all of our Memory Maker pictures. But I have to say I am really undecided if we will invest in it until we are passed COVID. Masks in every single pictures seems to just take a little bit of magic away. Maybe I need to look at it differently?

Below is a more recent trip when we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge August 2019. You can see how much bigger my kids got at this point but currently they are even bigger – as tall as me now and I am 5’7.