The Smells of Disney World

How You Can Bring the Smells of Disney World to Your Home

It has been much too long since we have smelled the smells of Disney World, so I decided for my husband’s birthday I would bring some home! In the midst of the pandemic we have found ourselves unable to get back to our favorite escape, so what is better than bringing those cherished smells home? If you can’t get there, bring it home. It is amazing how just a simple smell can bring back so many memories and lift your spirits.

Disney Resort’s H20 Line’s is the pure aroma of “vacation”. The fragrance recovers your previous Disney World vacations, bringing you back to the Happiest Place On Earth. One whiff and you are reliving earlier trips of pure magic and happiness.

If you’re totally in love with the Sea Salt lotion and body wash that the Disney Resorts leave in your resort bathroom, you have the ability to buy some for your home. Shop Disney has several different options for purchasing Disney’s H20 Line of Sea Salt body wash, lotion, shampoo and conditioner.

For my husband’s birthday gift I picked the Sea Salt Body Wash, Body Butter and Body Lotion Set by H2O+ set since we really enjoy the lotion and body wash the most. This set costs just about $55 for the set.

I personally like to shop online through a website called Rakuten – it is the former “ebates” website. If you watch closely, sometimes Rakuten offers some significant cash back on Shop Disney purchases – especially at times like around the holidays or certain times of the year. Simply copy and paste the link below into your web browser:

https://www.rakuten.com/r/VBRAGA?eeid=28187

Then create an account. Log in and search for stores that you would like to shop in. Click on the store of your choice and earn cash back while shopping.

Thanks to my online Christmas shopping I have a check of $101 coming to me in February! Rakuten sends out checks quarterly. It is so fun to get paid for shopping!

We do hope to start planning our next Disney World Vacation sometime soon. I am a little fearful of learning mask fatigue but we will try to go when its cooler out, in hopes that helps. I am in the midst of researching and stocking up on masks.

What are your most breathable favorite masks that you like to wear?

What types of planning tips would you like to hear about?

What things are you doing to keep your memories of Disney Vacations going while we hang out patiently and safely?!

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LEGO Harry Potter Diagon Alley

LEGO Provides Creative Outlet: Therapy & Inspired Creativity During Pandemic

LEGO Harry Potter Diagon Alley brings my older son Mikey’s LEGO Collection to 743 sets, with 1,676 Minifigures. This delicately detailed set comes with 5,544 pieces, with 21 bags and 4 books of building fun. Mikey spent between 7-10 hours building this set during Christmas week when he received it as a Christmas gift. Mikey found the windows in this particular set to be most interesting. Needless to say it was his favorite gift! Lego Harry Potter Diagon Alley has become one of this LEGO Expert, Builder, and Creator’s all time favorite setsfor NOW. Mikey likes to keep track of all his LEGO Sets and Minifigures in a website called Brickset.com .

Mikey’s Completed Lego Harry Potter Diagon Alley

LEGO has always been a source of therapy for Mikey and a creative outlet. LEGO is so very inspirational…. I have always loved Mikey’s interest and love for LEGO. LEGO building teaches children how to follow directions as well as it is inspiring. It is fantastic for fine motor skills. When we aren’t out hiking and I want my kids off of screens, video games & electronics LEGO is what I turn to. Get off the screens and get creative!

I purchased this set along with many others through Rakuten. Sometimes I purchase Legos through the Rakuten site either from the LEGO Store (which offers a lot of neat promotions), Walmart, Target or Kohls depending on pricing. I enjoy online shopping through a site called Rakuten where I get cash back quarterly just by shopping through them. The LEGO Store – www.lego.com usually provides some good cash back deals through Rakuten.

Simply copy and paste this link into your browser:

https://www.rakuten.com/r/VBRAGA?eeid=28187

Next: create an account. Once you have created an account you click on what store you would like to shop from and that is all you need to do.

My January 2021 Cash Back Balance!

I should be expecting my next Rakuten check to come in February. After all the online Christmas shopping, I have earned $101.00 cash back! I am so excited. Some of the stores I enjoy shopping through Rakuten are: Macy’s, Chewy, Walmart, Target, LEGO, Sephora, Ulta, BAM Books A Million, Kohls, Old Navy, BJ’s and more!

When we visit Disney World one of our must-do stops while there is the LEGO Store in Disney Springs! You never know what Lego statues and decorations you find surrounding you. The LEGO Store in Disney Springs accepts Disney Gift Cards – so you can save money if you are a member of BJ’s or Costco which sells Disney Gift Cards at discounted pricing and use them for your LEGO Store purchases in Disney Springs. Am I the only one who still calls it “Downtown Disney”?!

We are excitedly awaiting the opening of Legoland NY! The new theme park that was supposed to open last year but was delayed to the world pandemic of COVID-19 is located closely in Goshen, NY. Just 40 minutes from our North Jersey home. After a year of being inside, we are really looking forward to hitting this park daily.

We are really hoping to check out the Harry Potter section of Universal Studios in Florida this year!

Coming up for Mikey’s 13th Birthday this March, Mikey is asking for LEGO Ninajago City Gardens which is a 5,685 piece set. We are super excited to see how this set comes out and just how long it takes Mikey to build!

Mikey has also spent some time designing and building his own LEGO house.

What are you doing to safely pass the time during COVID-19?

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Hiking and Nature; Walking Cures Covid Boredom

Nature Views Fill The Void In The Heart

My how life has changed! Back when Covid hit last March, we were all basically afraid to leave the driveway. It was really hard to relieve some of the boredom and mental anguish of what was going on in the world around us. Having Disney World and Disney Land closed made what was happening in the world all the more REAL. Prayers to the 400,000 Americans that have lost their lives to Covid-19. As someone who was always planning their next family Disney World Trip – I knew I was in for a real struggle, and some real emotional damage. I was someone who not only was planning an upcoming trip, but a trip for the following year after! In 2019 we traveled to Disney World three times! I am forever grateful and thankful for all the wonderful trips we have had, not just in Disney but all over. We went in April 2019 and stayed at Port Orlean’s French Quarter. August we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and New Years Eve through the first week of January 2020 we stayed at the mother of all DW resorts The Grand Floridian.

I knew then that things were not going to be the same for a while so I needed to find some ways to help my whole family – and also as an outlet, a way to keep myself sane! We needed something we could do together while getting exercise all at the same time. So my sister-in-law introduced me to the All Trails App.

It is difficult to put into words how the time walking outside each day really affects and lifts my mental health and wellness. It gives me something to plan with my family. I know they have said it has been proven that nature cures depression – yes! I am telling you it works. As someone who loves, lives and enjoys to plan – I find myself battling so much sadness. I feel grateful and blessed that we are all OK, & healthy and that we have survived Covid but I still feel this deep sorrow… to be missing out on such precious time traveling with my children; while they are still “small” yet not so small. You know really where I would love to be with them.

Being on the “go” 24/7 came to a screeching halt. I was working at an elementary school, (now on leave) and was able to work around the kids being at school. I would pick them up from school and each night of the week we had a different sport, or club that they were running to. In the beginning of the quarantine, it was nice to have a break, but being the very social person I am, has made it a heavy burden to bear. The scenic views we discover while on the trails are absolutely majestic and soul-warming – reassuring that it will be ok. It will be ok even if we don’t see our family, our friends and our favorite mouse for a while.

We even spotted a frozen waterfall about 2 weeks ago at the Wallkill Valley Wildlife Refuge – picture above.

The only way my children have been staying connected with friends is by playing online, and of course they are online for virtual learning all day. I find hiking to be my only way to disconnect from electronics and find special time with them. I love going on a hike into the woods, only to find a beautiful clearing with water! In the spring and summer these water ways are filled with butterflies, turtles, birds and more. Since it has been winter here in North Jersey it has been a little rough to hike in the cold, but it is still interesting to see what we might find when we venture out.

Additionally, when the kids are finished with school each day we go to our local park which has a beautiful track to walk. This is about a 40 minute walk and we all seem to really look forward to it. We can disconnect from school embracing the good vibes of nature. The movement forcing our blood to flow and fresh air helping lift everyone’s moods and focus. Amazing conversations can happen – most of the time. My youngest is still 10 (who suffers with POTS and EDS) so sometimes he still has a meltdown here and there. We have been lucky enough to spot some wildlife here and there on the park track like snakes, deer and most recently a Barred Owl!

Barred Owl

I have also gotten really excited about the sunsets we see while walking at the park after school as well. There is just something about it that is so beautiful & it brings this calm peaceful feeling. This spring I hope to find pretty flowers and butterflies to photograph while out and about exploring.

Bald Eagle

Hiking is FREE. Hiking is safe: outside – safe and distanced from people. It makes you feel like you are “away” almost on vacation. You never know what you are going to see!

What are you doing to safely pass the time during the pandemic?

Do you have any plans of an adventure into the unknown? Click here for some Walt Disney World Planning Tips

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Our Experience with Covid-19 and Tips on What We Did to Treat It.

When you have something as serious as COVID-19, why not try everything in your power to battle it with home remedies and all?

While many people decided to continue to celebrate and partake in Thanksgiving festivities, my husband, our two children and I were isolated to our bedrooms positive with Covid-19 trying desperately not to pass it to my elderly parents who have a slew of pre-existing health conditions. This is our story on how we got through it.

Lucky for us, praying still and knocking on wood, none of us had to be taken to the hospital. Here is what we did to help and prevent it from going to our lungs. ** I am by no means a DR, so please check with your physician first on adding any new supplements, medication etc. to your daily regimen.

I am writing to inform you on everything we did to survive Covid – if you happen to know anyone who has it – there isn’t a lot of information going around for people that have it… and we believe what we did prevented it from going to the lungs.  Feel free to forward this information to anyone you think may have it. It can only help – cannot hurt. But for vitamins and medications everyone should always ask their doctor. ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN FIRST.


1) Keep moving – take walks several times a day – even if they are small walks – don’t lay flat / sleep on stomach – or in recliner but try to walk every half hour.  We took the kids for long walks in the driveway 3 times a day regardless if we had fevers. * If the sun is out, get your face in the sun for a few minutes every day.


2) Definitely take acetaminophen and ibuprofen round the clock – especially Ibuprofen or possibly asprin to avoid blood clots because for some reason Covid can cause blood clots. Talk to your physician.


3) We took Mucinex as a preventative. Unfortunately, our kids had cough and congestion so they took it for that but Mike and I took it for a few days to be safe even though we didn’t have coughs. (So yes, children can catch it and their symptoms can be mild – severe).


4) We all used Claritin and Flonase, as well as Saline Nasal Spray and humidifiers in our bedrooms as well as Vicks on the chest at night. The 4 of us take probiotics daily and the kids always take small doses of melatonin.  My husband and I took magnesium at different points during the virus as well. 


5) ESSENTIAL OILS – we strongly believe the Young Living Essential Oils blends we used helped with preventing chest congestion and also helps with fever.  The blend we used are: Frankincense, Thieves, Lemon, Peppermint, R.C. and Eucalyptus.  The Frank, Peppermint and Thieves all have antiviral properties and fight against infection as well as are good for upper respiratory. It is expensive but I have been using them for years when anyone gets sick – helps fight it.  *Apply 3 times during the day and when going to bed on  the neck, temples, spine and soles of the feet. 


6) Vitamins C, D, & Zinc – ask your physician how much is good for you. For our children they said 1200mg of vitamin C a day but we only gave them around 700mg a day and my husband and I took around 1000mg. We tried to eat a lot of fruit during this time.


7) We tried to eat as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible – I made a home made chicken soup and put turmeric, cinnamon and ginger in it…. Turmeric, Cinnamon and Ginger are all natural anti-inflammatories. 

8) Try to eat alkaline foods like almonds and watermelon and bananas. 


9) Stay hydrated – try beverages with electrolytes to avoid dehydration.


10) Bleach surfaces and silverware constantly. We tried to get a lot of throw away plates and cutlery : to make sure we got rid of the virus. 


11) Take baths in Epsom Salts – (we use Dr. Teal’s Bath Wash) supposedly magnesium helps drain the body of virus faster. I have found this information in my efforts researching my son with POTS and working diagnosis for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

Covid-19 can definitely affect your hormones, as it did ours…. So do yourself a favor and maybe not join the Covid survivor groups just yet. These groups have many survivors but also many people posting about their several loved ones lost to Covid. Reading too much information made my already-high-anxiety SO high, that at times, I felt like I wasn’t able to breath. When this happened, I just dabbed some R.C. on my chest and that helped incredibly. Out of whack hormones, and anxiety levels can and may last for months after having Covid. We even know of a doctor who committed suicide from having hallucinations that lasted 6 months post positive for Covid.

HALLUCINATIONS, HIGH ANXIETY & DEPRESSION CAUSED BY COVID:

Do not think that children cannot get it, because they can. My children had fevers, lots of chest congestion and cough. They were white as the walls and we still have some lingering effects like our fingers and toes always being cold etc. My 10 year old, Nick who suffers with POTS and has a working diagnosis for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome suffered with hallucinations about 6 days into being positive for COVID. He was hearing footsteps that were not there, and people talking. That was quite scary.

Nick’s anxiety was worrying about death for the whole family, especially since my elderly parents living with us were also postive so it was a very scary experience. Nick also was worrying about things like: at 10 years old now, so he only has “90 years to go”. Now that we are heading towards 2 months post being positive, Nick and my high anxiety levels have started to dissipate somewhat.

COVID CAUSED MY 10 YEAR OLD TO HAVE LOOSE ADULT TEETH

While in the midst of being sick, Nick (10 year old son) had extremely painful canker sores on his gums inside his mouth. It made it hard to keep up with eating and drinking. 2 weeks post positive, Nick’s front adult tooth became loose – where we could see him wiggling it. When I called the dentist he was astonished, and since not knowing any other Covid patients at this point, he said to make sure that Nicky did not wiggle it. After a week, it hardened up, but then another adult tooth towards the back became loose.

Covid also accelerated up my parent’s pre-exisiting conditions. For my father it made his diabetes go to extremes while sick – at times it went as low as a reading of blood sugar level 41 at some points and in the 500’s at others. My Mom already had a lot of back and hip pain – Covid accerlated all of that and also sped up her teeth issues. Four of her teeth have completely rotted in that short amount of time.

COVID CAUSED JOINT PAIN IN MY CHILDREN

Nicky always suffers with joint pain from having a hyper mobility disorder, but my older son Mikey who is heading towards becoming a teenager suffered with joint pain for the first time in his life in the midst of the sickness. While we had fevers and felt awful the joints in Mikey’s feet became painful as well as his knee joints.

Two weeks being post-positive and a week of being fever-free, Mikey had a surprise fever creep back up. As well as pain in his legs and feet. His bloodwork was tested (He had antibodies in the bloodwork) and looked good for being inflammation free but he will need to have an EKG at his next checkup.

ALWAYS THANKFUL & GRATEFUL

While we are so thankful for surviving Covid-19 and not having more severity, we continue to pray for all the countless lives lost to this horrible disease. We pray we soon find cures, answers and a vaccine to help the children as well .