Disney Igloo Backpack – New Packing Item For Theme Parks

Trying Out a New Disney Igloo Backpack

This year I found a new bag to try – an insulated Disney Igloo “Leftover bag” backpack. It has a front compartment for smaller items which I like. I always wear a Disney Fanny-pack anyway, to my keep my phone and wallet for easy use. I like this bag because it is completely insulated – so I am figuring we will keep our waters and cooling towels in there, instead of a regular backpack. It even has pockets on both sides to hold 2 drinks! I am going to give it a try this coming weekend at Legoland NY!

I decided to add some Disney magic to it and I glued some Disney patches to it – with e6000 glue. E6000 glue seems to be the popular glue everyone is using but the fact that it says it causes cancer made me nervous. So I wore gloves and glued outside. **I took wax paper to place over them and I used full baby wipes to weigh them down while they dried.

  • e6000 glue
  • gloves
  • glue outside
  • put wax paper on top of patches
  • add weight
  • let dry overnight

Link for Disney Igloo from Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3hWqrGr

I do have a lot of Disney backpacks that I use for all trips – even road trips / hiking etc. The backpacks I purchased from Disney World back in 2017 have come in great use – they have several comparments for separating and organizing with outside pockets to hold your drinks. They have been quite sturdy.

I also have a Disney Loungefly as well as a cheaper small backpack purchased at Animal Kingdom – both are small and we cannot fit very much inside. But now that my kids are getting older we do not need to carry quite as much anymore.

What are your favorite bags to travel with??? I love to hear about bags that work well.

Here is my video on how I pack for a night out on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore!

Clothing Essentials for Summer Vacation Travel

A Vacation is an Investment in Your Family

Trying to decide on whether to take the vacation? Here are some things to keep in mind.

DISCLAIMER: I am by no means responsible for any decisions you may make, any vacation that you could take that could go downhill – what is stated below are all of m opinions.

I recently heard by a person that I absolutely love listening to, talk about Disney DVC and she said no matter what you’re doing for vacation, that a VACATION IS AN INVESTMENT IN YOUR FAMILY and I thought wow how true is this. This has been my life motto, something that I have been living by since having babies.

Got little kids? Big Kids? Afraid of making the plunge? DO IT. This is precious time you will never get back. It doesn’t have to be perfect or expensive – you’re family won’t remember the imperfections they will remember the adventure taken with you. It is a way to easily CONNECT and bond with your family.

Issues financially? Frugal family? Wanting to save for future? It all comes down to how much vacations mean to you also… there are ways to save for it and budget for it. If it’s that important to either spouse then it should be something that is alotted for.

With all the hustle and bustle of the normal day-to-day work and school, the best thing you can do is take time for plain family fun making memories. Everyone needs time to JUST HAVE FUN WITH THEIR FAMILIES. Your children need time with you, just you for enjoyment, having fun together, making memories together which you can provide each and every single day but vacation is unique and it helps us rest, recover and grow inside – together.

MY MOST CHERISHED MEMORIES AS A CHILD

I am someone who grew up with a family who had a camper in-tow; my Dad was so fortunate and lucky enough to take all of his vacation time at once – 3 weeks every July. We could take our time venturing off into many of the United States and saw places like Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Bay of Fundy in Canada, Chincoteague Island in Virginia, Myrtle Beach SC, Outer Banks NC, some parts of Maine. We always went to Lake George in NY every summer because my Dad had an aunt that lived in Ticonderoga NY. We even ventured down to Disney World when I was in second grade. THESE TRAVELS ARE MY MOST CHERISHED MEMORIES AS A CHILD.

My Grandmother used to travel the world with her twin sister and other sisters and growing up I didn’t think I would be one to enjoy traveling but when I had a family of my own I learned how really special it is and how exciting.

PASSING THIS ONTO MY CHILDREN

With everything that happened in the world during 2020 and how we went into shutdown / lockdown I felt so fortunate, thankful and blessed that I was able to have taken my children on as many vacations as they have been on. Yes we are truly a Disney World family – we enjoy it ever so much. My husband and I went to Disney World on our honeymoon and the year after, and I just could not wait to get our children there. We did not start taking them there until my youngest Nicky was 2 years old.

We did however vacation down in Wildwood Crest every summer – we live in North NJ. There are times where I wish we had branched out but we had some bigger financial struggles when our children were so small so that was all we could afford and I am grateful for the wonderful memories we made down there. My children love the water, the ocean and swimming – we are all fish.

We started taking our children to Disney in Spring 2013 when Mikey just turned 5 and Nicky was 2 heading towards 3. Since my husband and I were married late April we experienced the amazing weather Florida has in April. Since then we have taken our children in 2015, 2016, 2017, and three times in 2019 – well the last time in 2019 was New Year’s Eve so we were technically there in 2020.

DAY TRIPS COUNT TOO – CREATING WELL CULTURED CHILDREN

WE were also fortunate enough to have visited several zoos, aquariums, museums, water parks, theme parks like Sesame Place and Dorney Park. We were even lucky enough to have had short vacations to Hershey Park.

Day trips into NYC to see the Broadway plays Aladdin and the Rockettes were absolutely incredible day trips. We got to explore parts of NYC it was incredible. So much fun and so many amazing memories!

During the time of the quarantine I felt so lucky and grateful that we were fortunate enough to have taken our kids so many wonderful places and had the experiences we had. Especially since we lost a year of traveling with them. Nicky was 9 going on 10 and Mikey had just turned 12 when the Corona Virus hit the US.

LIST OF PLACES I HAVE TRAVELED TO / VACATION IDEAS

  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Mount Rushmore / Crazy Horse
  • Myrtle Beach South Carolina
  • Dollywood – TN
  • Nashville – TN
  • Outer Banks North Carolina
  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg / Historic Jamestown
  • Lake George / Ticonderoga NY
  • Chincoteague Island Virginia
  • Disney World – stayed in Jelly Stone Campground
  • Bay of Fundy Canada
  • Maine Beaches
  • Howe Caverns NY

PLACES WE HAVE TAKEN OUR CHILDREN BOTH DAY TRIPS and VACATION IDEAS

  • Disney World
  • Legoland Florida
  • Wildwood Crest, and Boardwalk
  • Cape May NJ
  • Sunset Beach Cape May NJ
  • Cape May Lighthouse NJ
  • Hershey Park PA
  • Dorney Park PA
  • Busch Kill Falls PA
  • Land of Make Believe NJ
  • Sesame Place PA
  • Morris Museum NJ
  • The Museum of Natural History NY
  • Liberty State Park NJ
  • Aladdin NYC (Broadway) for when that opens back up
  • The Rockettes NYC (Broadway)
  • Legoland Discovery Center Yonkers NY
  • Adventure Aquarium NJ
  • Maritime Aquarium CT
  • Cape May Zoo
  • Bronx Zoo
  • Turtle Back Zoo
  • Space Farms Zoo
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Liberty Science Center NJ
  • Van Saun Zoo and Park in Bergen County NJ
  • Brook Hallow Barnyard in Boonton NJ
  • Point Pleasant Boardwalk, NJ
  • Jenkinson’s Aquarium Point Pleasant Boardwalk, NJ
  • Seaside Heights Boardwalk, NJ
  • Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area, NJ
  • Knoebels Amusement Park, PA

AM I JEALOUS OF EVERYONE’S UPDATED KITCHEN AND BATHROOMS?

Well heck yes I would love to have a beautiful home updated with the newest appliances, gorgeous flooring, kitchens and bathrooms but would I ever take back our travels instead – NO, NEVER!

To the people who can afford both GOD BLESS THEM. Can we afford to both? NO. Do I regret it? Absolutely without a doubt NO. We can always update the house and have a beautiful home when our children are grown but will I care about it then, probably not because I enjoy adventuring too much.

YOU DON’T JUST HAVE TO GO TO DISNEY WORLD

As much as we love Disney World it is a small fortune every time we go. There are so many other places to vacation with your family that is more than half the cost.

We just all LOVE going to Disney – there is nothing so magical and nothing like it in the world. My husband also does not like the beach and cannot swim so Disney is a place where we are ALL happy. We also love the dining aspect of Disney World.

Disney World is not just your typical theme park. It is not just rides, but Disney World is encompassed of SMELLS, SIGHTS, SOUNDS, TASTES, EXPERIENCES, EDUCATION, – really a full body experiences. This is known as the “DISNEY BUBBLE” people speak of and you won’t really know what it is until you experience it for yourself, staying inside a Disney World Resort.

YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE THOSE TREASURED MEMORIES AND TIME SPENT TOGETHER 💓

This is time – now, right now. You are not going to get this time back. Money will always be ready to be made. Work will be there when you get back. No matter where you choose to go, you are making the most cherished memories with precious time that you will treasure forever. I am a firm believer in experiences over things and I just love our family time spent together because our children are growing so fast – I cannot believe how fast time is going.

If you’re worried about distancing there are plenty of options to still vacation like for example maybe visiting the Smokey Mountains, or a beach vacation – so many adventures out there to explore!

What are your ideas for family trips this spring and summer?!

Check out my blog on Travel Necessities for Summer 2021 by clicking here!

Here is my vlog on Summer Travel Necessities:

It says for people who have POTS but this video is really for everyone since it will be a summer of wearing masks in the heat – we all need extra tips for keeping cool this summer!

New Lego Harry Potter Fawke’s, Dumbledore’s Phoenix

Mikey completed this 597 piece Lego in 1.5 hours

Thinking of going to Legoland NY? Click here for some hot tips!

Legoland NY June 2021 HOT TIP

Legoland NY is now open to everyone but by reservations only which you can access online through their website. Legoland NY officially opens to the public I believe June 4th or June 5th.

All but 2 rides are open at Legoland NY!

It is absolutely amazing – *but be sure to pack sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, a sun umbrella, neck fans. spray bottle and lots of drinking water because there is no shade to be seen and it is hot! Even waiting online for the very popular Ninjago Ride was outside in the blazing sun for about 30 min. Needless to say we were all sunburned and very overheated (since I forgot to pack sunscreen).

Hopefully the long lines will calm down as they iron out their kinks but until they do definitely prepare!

For some pictures and video previews check my Instagram account at FamilyPixieDust429 and check back regularly on my YouTube Channel for a tour at Family Pixie Dust https://youtu.be/N_QAFau-jKw

https://www.youtube.com/user/vbraga429/videos

Disney Igloo Backpack – New Packing Item For Theme Parks

Trying Out a New Disney Igloo Backpack

This year I found a new bag to try – an insulated Disney Igloo “Leftover bag” backpack. It has a front compartment for smaller items which I like. I always wear a Disney Fanny-pack anyway, to my keep my phone and wallet for easy use. I like this bag because it is completely insulated – so I am figuring we will keep our waters and cooling towels in there, instead of a regular backpack. It even has pockets on both sides to hold 2 drinks! I am going to give it a try this coming weekend at Legoland NY!

I decided to add some Disney magic to it and I glued some Disney patches to it – with e6000 glue. E6000 glue seems to be the popular glue everyone is using but the fact that it says it causes cancer made me nervous. So I wore gloves and glued outside. **I took wax paper to place over them and I used full baby wipes to weigh them down while they dried.

  • e6000 glue
  • gloves
  • glue outside
  • put wax paper on top of patches
  • add weight
  • let dry overnight

Link for Disney Igloo from Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3hWqrGr

I do have a lot of Disney backpacks that I use for all trips – even road trips / hiking etc. The backpacks I purchased from Disney World back in 2017 have come in great use – they have several comparments for separating and organizing with outside pockets to hold your drinks. They have been quite sturdy.

I also have a Disney Loungefly as well as a cheaper small backpack purchased at Animal Kingdom – both are small and we cannot fit very much inside. But now that my kids are getting older we do not need to carry quite as much anymore.

What are your favorite bags to travel with??? I love to hear about bags that work well.

Here is my video on how I pack for a night out on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore!

Clothing Essentials for Summer Vacation Travel

Are You Backing Up Your Smart Phone Photos?

DISCLAIMER: I am by no means responsible for anything that may happen to your photos, your iPhone or anything associated. These are my opinions and my suggestions on ways to help.

So with the news of being able to reserve a park pass for passholders only for the soft opening of Legoland NY I became really excited this morning! With thoughts of this and summer approaching, it has been a while since I backed up the photos on my iPhone and decided now is the time to save them and clear up my phone’s capacity for even more photos! I am so excited for all the photos to come this summer!! We all know how many photos we can capture while visiting WDW and I automatically get Memory Maker being an Annual Passholder! Follow me on Instagram – familypixiedust429 for our upcoming Legoland and Disney World Adventures and Content! https://www.instagram.com/familypixiedust429/?hl=en

I decided to attack this project this morning in the midst of my daily chores. I need to vacuum every day since getting a black lab/boxer puppy mix. I love her to pieces but the amount of hair is just overwhelming. I try to brush her every day – but it is just ALL over all the time – plus it is so fine it blows around so easily. Not to mention working on the laundry, folding towels, dishes, breakfast for my kids, drop off / pick-up for my younger son who went back to in-person school and his lunch etc – being at home is much harder than being at work! I should be going back to work this fall….

A few years ago I learned a hard lesson not to just save my iPhone photos to my WD External Hard Drive because I was also using it to work inside of Photoshop and I blew its brains out – losing all of my photos along with the work I created. Luckily I had some photos saved to the computer we were using at the time but I knew from then on I needed multiple places for storing my precious photos.

Google Photos

Google Photos easily automatically backs up all of your iPhone photos just by opening the app. I believe the phone needs to stay on and the app opened to save all. I just go into the phone’s settings to Display & Brightness, then change “Auto-Lock” to NEVER. Then you can create albums to organize the photos. It also lets you share as well. Don’t forget to go back in and change the auto-lock back after you are finished. You can also upload any photos saved from your computer to Google Photos as well.

Shutterfly

Although this app is a touch more difficult because it takes much longer to upload the photos – I like to have them in more than one place. To upload to Shutterfly I recommend doing this one night when going to bed. Make sure you are fully connected to the wi-fi. I would again change my iPhone’s Auto-Lock in the settings to never and then proceed into Shutterfly keeping it open. Here you can also create albums as well. This app seems to take several hours, so face your iPhone face down for the evening and let it upload from there. I also like having my pictures printed and mailed through Shutterfly as well.

WD External Hard Drive

This would be where you connect your iPhone and WD Drive to your computer. You would create files inside your WD Drive through your computer, and then access your iPhone photos (also through your computer). You highlight which photos you want to save and drag/drop to the file of your choice. I usually name the files by month and year. The problem I have been having with this method lately is that my computer loses my iPhone, or isn’t reading it correctly or does not obtain all of the photos. If anyone has any suggestions for this by all means please let me know!

Here is a link to a WD Drive on amazon – https://amzn.to/3f3tuLa

Uploading to Facebook is nice because your memories pop up – and you can make your albums viewable to you only, or specified people if you prefer. Instagram is also nice for saving photos as well.

With the thousands of pictures we are taking daily we have to make sure to keep up on saving them! I often wonder what will happen to all of the digital pictures when we are gone! AHH What a thought!

What are some ways you save your photos???

Legoland NY June 2021 HOT TIP

Legoland NY is now open to everyone but by reservations only which you can access online through their website. Legoland NY officially opens to the public I believe June 4th or June 5th.

All but 2 rides are open at Legoland NY!

It is absolutely amazing – *but be sure to pack sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, a sun umbrella, neck fans. spray bottle and lots of drinking water because there is no shade to be seen and it is hot! Even waiting online for the very popular Ninjago Ride was outside in the blazing sun for about 30 min. Needless to say we were all sunburned and very overheated (since I forgot to pack sunscreen).

Hopefully the long lines will calm down as they iron out their kinks but until they do definitely prepare!

For some pictures and video previews check my Instagram account at FamilyPixieDust429 and check back regularly on my YouTube Channel for a tour at Family Pixie Dust https://youtu.be/N_QAFau-jKw

https://www.youtube.com/user/vbraga429/videos

Disney Igloo Backpack – New Packing Item For Theme Parks

Trying Out a New Disney Igloo Backpack

This year I found a new bag to try – an insulated Disney Igloo “Leftover bag” backpack. It has a front compartment for smaller items which I like. I always wear a Disney Fanny-pack anyway, to my keep my phone and wallet for easy use. I like this bag because it is completely insulated – so I am figuring we will keep our waters and cooling towels in there, instead of a regular backpack. It even has pockets on both sides to hold 2 drinks! I am going to give it a try this coming weekend at Legoland NY!

I decided to add some Disney magic to it and I glued some Disney patches to it – with e6000 glue. E6000 glue seems to be the popular glue everyone is using but the fact that it says it causes cancer made me nervous. So I wore gloves and glued outside. **I took wax paper to place over them and I used full baby wipes to weigh them down while they dried.

  • e6000 glue
  • gloves
  • glue outside
  • put wax paper on top of patches
  • add weight
  • let dry overnight

Link for Disney Igloo from Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3hWqrGr

I do have a lot of Disney backpacks that I use for all trips – even road trips / hiking etc. The backpacks I purchased from Disney World back in 2017 have come in great use – they have several comparments for separating and organizing with outside pockets to hold your drinks. They have been quite sturdy.

I also have a Disney Loungefly as well as a cheaper small backpack purchased at Animal Kingdom – both are small and we cannot fit very much inside. But now that my kids are getting older we do not need to carry quite as much anymore.

What are your favorite bags to travel with??? I love to hear about bags that work well.

Here is my video on how I pack for a night out on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore!

Clothing Essentials for Summer Vacation Travel

“Adopting A Senior” on FB?

Adopting A Senior Can Brighten a High School Senior’s World

GIFT IDEAS HERE

It is now April 2021 and the high school seniors across the U.S. are missing out on so much of what they would have been enjoying if this pandemic never hit. No senior proms, no senior dinners, no senior dances, no senior trips. UGH What can we do to help make it a little more memorable?! I just did my FIRST round of Adopt a Senior Gifts! I chose 3 high school seniors from our town (usually there is a group on FB where you can “adopt“)- one of them happens to be one of our families’ best friends and the others we know from other occasions.

FIRST, USE CANVA.COM FOR SOME FREE GRAPHICS TO CREATE PERSONALIZED CARDS

I always go to http://www.canva.com for creating some free designs of my own. There are images that you can pay for but when you’re trying to be frugal, I just use what is available for free. You can create whatever size you like and save it to your computer. You can insert your own pictures as well.

SECOND, USE STAPLES TO PRINT FROM-THE-HEART CREATION

Since we are always out of ink and our printer never works all that well, I like to go through Rakuten to send over your creations to Staples.com and have them print it out. When you are on http://www.staples.com and go to the drop down for printing services: then choose Document Print from the drop down menu – I like to choose Simple Print and from there you click start project and just follow the steps for uploading with all of your choices. Your documents are usually ready in the same day and you can choose better quality paper like card stock or glossy thick stock.

Click on this link here to create a Rakuten Account to start saving money while shopping!

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

Then you simply choose Staples and you will get a percentage back on what your paying to have printed!

These are some of the creations I have made so far:

FIRST ROUND OF GIFTS GO WITH THE “YOU’RE A SMART COOKIE THEME”

So I wanted to do more than one round of gifts – right now I am thinking its going to be 3 or 4 by the last one. I will do either 1 or 2 in May and then the last one in June. Yesterday, April 23, I just dropped off the first gift which was the “YOU’RE A SMART COOKIE” theme. I picked up some bigger snack packs of random cookies and some chocolates. The Dollar Tree had so many excellent graduation decorations! I bought these little plastic plates to make a gift basket on. 5 plates for 1 dollar.

These treats are just a little something, to help the kids smile.

After I had everything put together, I left them at their doorsteps for a surprise.

As I complete the following gifts I will share with you but for now I cannot disclose that information because I do not wish to ruin any future surprises!

Mothers Day is right around the corner! CLICK HERE FOR MY ULTIMATE MOTHERS DAY GIFT IDEA!

Do you have any travel coming up? Check out my packing necessities video here:

Read my recommended travel necessities in my blog post by clicking here!

Why Disney World is NOT Your Typical Theme Park Experience:

Luxury

Oh NO – Disney is not just about rides! You have your offerings from Deluxe Resort Accommodations that offer spa treatments along with upscale dining options not found in typical theme parks; as well as dinner shows and more – during normal non-Covid times. Disney World is not just about just riding rides – it encompasses a cluster of full blown experiences to fulfill all your senses. You can take a full Disney World Vacation WITHOUT EVEN HITTING UP THE PARKS if you didn’t want to. In fact, a lot of adult-only vacationers spend the majority of their time at the resorts. Even vacationers with children like to make sure they include a lot of resort time. All Disney deluxe resort accommodations offer several restaurants, pool side grills and bars as well as inside lounges located on premises, where some Deluxe Resorts will offer you alternate modes of transportation like the monorail, skyliner or boat to the parks. Disney’s Moderate Resort accommodations will offer you a restaurant, possibly 1 or 2 lounges and always pool side bars; Caribbean Beach now offers the skyliner and Port Orleans French Resort has always had a river boat to Disney Springs as well as busing to the parks. Value Resort accommodations will offer a quick service cafeteria located inside, with outside pool bars; Art of Animation and Pop Century now offer the skyliner and busing.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Fact: A $120 bottle of water? Yes… The restaurant Victoria and Alberts, a AAA five diamond star restaurant located inside the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa sell a $120 bottle of water that contains water from a 15,000 year old glacier water from icebergs located in the remote polar region of the North Pole.

Interested in night life? Disney Springs has it all plus more. Disney Springs’ endless choice of restaurants will keep you full with countless shopping options to keep you busy all week long. Ever been in a car that doubles as a boat and drives right into the water? Springs has it! Want to take a ride in a hot air balloon? Springs has it! Rumor has it that Cirque du Soleil will be returning some time in Fall 2021.

Disney Springs at night

Sights

Oh my goodness, 🤩 everywhere you turn is a sight to be seen when you are walking around Walt Disney World! Each resort is unique themed to the extreme from the ground up with some outstanding architectural work. Whether you want to feel as though you are staying in Africa at the Savanah watching zebras and giraffes from your room’s balcony, or, maybe you want to feel like you’re in the middle of the wilderness or maybe the Caribbean, perhaps the Big Easy, to your choice of modern, or Hawaiian, to the most luxurious Victorian style elegance.

Take a tour of Disney World’s most themed resorts. Inside the parks you are encompassed with beautiful grounds, gardens, flowers, decorative architectural theming and magical sights to be seen everywhere you look.

Smells

Disney World has iconic scents and smells. Yes SMELLS.. Smells so divine! Each theme park, guest shop, resort lobbies and even RIDES and attractions have their very own unique smells. Disney World fragrances do something to your mind where you associate each smell with a memory and excitement. These smells are so wonderful that people actually buy them to smell while at home, from candles to hand sanitizers and now essential oils!

Disney even has their own line of bath products such as shampoo, conditioner, lotions and body butter. You can purchase them in the Disney Resort Gift Shops and online at ShopDisney.com.

Experiences

These just aren’t JUST rides – they are full blown experiences and shows to blow your mind! Some are shows mixed into rides! Even just talking to some of the Cast Members can make an experience. Having a boat ride back from your resort to Magic Kingdom is an experience in itself – or maybe taking the friendship boat from Yacht and Beach Club to Hollywood Studios! Inside of Disney World you will find attractions like no other in the world. You must see it to believe it.

Theatrical Themed Bars and Lounges

Disney Signature Cocktails. Where else are you going to find a bar that is themed to Indiana Jones or an elegant lounge that is Beauty and Beast Fairy-Tale themed? How about “a tropical paradise with tiki cocktails, good food and island ambiance”? That’s right – only in Walt Disney World!

List of exotic lounges to try (when things are back to normal past COVID times) while visiting WDW most located outside of the parks:

  • Jellyrolls
  • Trader Sams
  • The Enchanted Rose
  • California Grill Lounge
  • Top of the World Lounge
  • Dahlia Lounge
  • River Roost (Hopefully Disney hires back the amazing cabaret performer Yehaa Bob)
  • Oga’s Cantina at Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios (by reservation only available 60 days in advance)
  • Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar – theming from the motion picture Indiana Jones

*Always check back on availability, hours, and what may be opening or closed during your stay even while visiting because things seem to be changing overnight these days!*

Disney Signature Dining

Some are theatrical themed and some have amazing entertainment. So much is cultural themed with dishes for the most adventurous pallet. Some restaurants are located inside the parks, some located at Disney Springs and some located at the Resorts. Yes – you don’t have to eat “theme park” food during your stay at all, or as little as you wish. You have plenty of choices. Maybe you want German cuisine and performers; or perhaps enjoy traditional Irish food while watching some amazing Riverdancing. There is just so much more.

Sounds

Everywhere you go inside of Disney World you are always hearing Disney-made and owned music themed uniquely to the very spot you happen to be standing in. If you are in a resort lobby – there is specific music for that. Walking into any of the parks you will hear music themed specifically to the type of park you are in. Each ride and attraction has it’s very own music that when you hear, will bring many memories for years to come. Stepping into a Disney bus – yep there will be Disney music played in there too and I am not talking about only Disney Movie Music but some music played by orchestras. The resorts even have their own unique music themed specifically to that type of resort. There is even music for Halloween and Christmas time only played during these times!

Back in 2017 Hollywood Studios had a live orchestra play Pixar music. It was simply fantastic

Disney World has customer service magic like no other!

Grand Floridian Society Orchestra

*Do you want culture and authentic architecture with cuisine to match? Try Epcot! Let’s not forget about Epcot’s Food and Wine Festivals where you can “eat and drink around the world”.

If you’re unsure about Disney World being just like any old typical theme park please know you’re mistaken and please go try it out- choose between more than 25 hotels to stay at. Do a little research before you go!

There are so many interesting and unique little hidden gems inside of Disney World that make it so unique and special.

Have anyone you’re trying to convince to visit Disney World?

Read about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Review Here

Heading to Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Ideas for Star Wars Inspired Looks

Planning a trip to visit Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios soon? Here are some EASY non-over-the-top Star Wars Inspired Looks you can create for cute photo ops.

If you’re already a Star Wars Fan you probably already have some cute clothing to represent. Need some makeup ideas to match? Not to worry. There are plenty of easy looks you can create without having to spend a fortune or go over the top.

Use the makeup you’ve already got! No one wants to pack anything extra than needed when visiting Walt Disney World anyway. I know that from all the years we have been visiting we love taking cute photo ops whenever available and hoping that character meet and greets return sooner than later!

R2-D2 INSPIRED MAKE UP

This isn’t too hard as R2-D2 are basic colors of blue and white -which anyone that wears makeup already has in their stock.

Always remember to prep and prime your face prior to makeup application – especially necessary now when visiting WDW in the heat and with masks!

Always make sure to stay on top of washing your brushes for the most optimal outcome

Current Prep and Prime:

  • Oil of Olay Regenerating Lotion with SPF 15
  • IT Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream
  • ELF Poreless Putty Primer

As we head into summer I will make sure to add a primer that includes an SPF of 30 like Mabelline’s Master Prime Octinoxate Sunscreen SPF 30.

I also just ordered some ***Oil of Olay REGENERIST Mineral Sunscreen Face Moisturizer Zinc Oxide SPF 30****for defense against the summer sun and also ***Olay Regenerist Retinol Max Night Face Moisturizer***.

(Links to items listed below)

The foundation I used for these particular looks are Loreal’s Infallible 24 Hour Freshware Foundation which is an awesome foundation – smells so refreshing.

Foundation that I really recommend for Disney World heat anyway would be MAC Cosmetics Prolongwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation followed by Dermablend Setting Powder.

Eye Shadow Pallets and Foundation Used in Looks Below

  • Tarte Tartelette Juicy Amazonian Clay
  • L’Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation Lightweight
  • ELF Eyeshadow Pallet Rose Gold – Nude
  • Mabelline Nudes of New York
  • Hard Candy Navy Blue Shimmer Shadow
  • MAC Cosmetics Silver Pigment

Darth Vader Inspired Look

I definitely like myself in the R2-D2 look with the blues or the Ahsoka tans over the black Vader coloring… Personal preference ☺️😄

Makeup I recommend for Hot Sunny Disney World / Universal Orlando Etc

  • MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation
  • Dermablend Loose Setting Powder
  • Too Faced Cosmetics Better than Sex Mascara
  • Too Faced Cosmetics Better than Sex Mascara WATERPROOF to seal in your mascara
  • Revlon Color Stay Liquid Eyeliner

You Don’t Have To Spend A Lot of Money!

For Sith Look, I used the darker blue ELF shadow all the way to the right on the pallet listed above. I didn’t want to go with completely black because that would not look good with my skin tone. I think grey’s and dark blues are perfect for that.

As you can see I do not currently own any pallets that have grey – because typically I do not like the way I look / my skin tone with grey.

I will have more pictures / ideas and looks after our upcoming trip! Stay tuned!

Links for Makeup!

Maybelline Eyeshadow – https://amzn.to/3xT8QEN

ELF Eye Shadow – https://amzn.to/33C14l7

MAC Longwear Foundation – https://amzn.to/2RwNUmr

Dermablend Setting Powder – https://amzn.to/3ut0Lo9

Loreal Infallible Freshwear Foundation – https://amzn.to/3nUOHK9

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara – https://amzn.to/3nYokDe

ELF Poreless Putty Primer – https://amzn.to/33lnDKF

Here is the link for the Ahsoka inspired look!

Are you planning a trip to Disney World this summer? Read my resort recommendation here!

NEED TIPS FOR SAVING FOR DISNEY!? CLICK HERE!

Here are my packing necessities for travel in the summer heat!

In Honor Of May the Fourth: Celebrate With Me! Star Wars Day Inspired Clothing, Looks and Collections

Star Wars Day: May the Force Be With You

Who else is celebrating today? Wishing we were at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Galaxy’s Edge Today! Maybe next year!

Star Wars Inspired Makeup For May the Fourth

Don’t have any fancy makeup to work with? Don’t worry about it – use what you’ve got!

It is time to put our Star Wars Style to the test! This week is a fun and exciting week with the most fantastic day to celebrate Star Wars “May the Fourth”. Whether you have an actual event or party to attend to or you’re simply participating online you can really use your own makeup to manipulate any looks you want to create.

Ahsoka

The first inspired look that I wanted to try to manipulate is Ahsoka who is a Jedi since my first Instagram post tomorrow will be Jedi – Inspired. The first thing I did was venture into Pinterest researching Ahsoka inspired makeup looks. You could also search for Jedi inspired makeup looks.

No filter here

Plans to roam the Disney Parks on May the 4th? Work with what you’ve got!

We all try not to overpack when we are hitting up the Disney Parks but one of my priorities is not to forget my makeup. I am sure Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios will be filled with all sorts of fascinating Star Wars characters on May the 4th and will maybe hold some interesting surprises. We will have to wait and find out. If you are going to be there and want to join in on the fun, try to work with whatever makeup you packed. Think of which character you would like to look like and search Pinterest for ideas – I like to type in “Star Wars Inspired Makeup” in the search.

First

I used a slightly tanner foundation (that I have for when I use self-tan or for the summer months) since Ahsoka is so tan herself which is the Loreal Infallible 24 hour Fresh Wear foundation number 475. Then I used my Derma Blend Setting Powder color Cool Beige to set the makeup. I did not utilize my concealer like I normally do.

Next

For the Ahsoka face decorations I did not have any white paint… so the only thing I thought of to try using was my Revlon Photoready Candid Concealer. The tip of it actually worked pretty well. I don’t consider it perfect or even close to being professional but for some fun photos – why not? I was not able to apply any white eyeshadow either because it just wasn’t working.

Last

Using my Sephora Pro Pigment Pallet in Warm, I used a mix of the Burnt Umber color and Cocoa for under my eyes, down the sides of my nose and above the funky cheek design since these colors are a little darker than your typical bronze. Then of course some eyeliner and mascara and don’t forget to deepen those eyebrows a touch. My upper lid eyeliner is Revlon Color Stay Brown Liquid Eyeliner. The lipstick I have on is a combination of Loreal Colour Riche Nudes For Life lip-liner and the MAC Cosmetics Lipstick color Fast Play Amplified Lipstick.

Sephora Pro Pigment Pallet – Cocoa

Check back in later for more Star Wars inspired makeup looks later this week!

Check out when we went on the Rise of the Resistance ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Galaxy’s Edge! SO AMAZING!

GIFT IDEAS FOR MOTHER’S DAY

My most recent DIY inexpensive idea for myself as the Mom (it was was a gorgeous day) so we drove down to the beach to take pics. Unfortunately I forgot my tripod – ugh – but the pics still came out gorgeous. Pick a day leading up to Mother’s Day so you can have some pictures printed as gifts.

We also had dinner with an ocean view and made a beautiful afternoon out of it!

Some ideas for beautiful family shots:

  • Waterfall – research on the All Trails App for waterfalls in your area
  • Lake (go late afternoon when the sun is about to set for less squinting)
  • Ocean
  • Scenic Outlook (can find in trip advisor)
  • Places similar to Grounds For Sculpture NJ
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Disney World Magic Kingdom Castle or Animal Kingdom Park
  • Bridge with a scenic overlook
  • Marina makes a great place for a photo op
  • Grand staircases at historical mansions
  • Grounds at historical mansions
  • Colored wall
  • Secret Gardens
  • In Front of a great Water Fountain
  • Nature Park / Wildlife Refuge
  • Vineyard
  • Open Field
  • The Bronx Zoo has some amazing photo ops if you live near by

Lasts Minute Trip To Disney? As of today almost all of May is booked up for theme park reservations. Get with a travel agent ASAP to see if they can help.

Disney photographers take some amazing Mother’s Day Photos!

With having to make theme park reservations, it is really a good idea to book your Disney World 2 months in advance right now. Dining Reservations open up 60 days in advance and they are limited due to limited capacity so it would beneficial to book prior to that so you have open availability. However if you can only book at close proximity using a travel agent – at no extra cost to you – might have some extra tips for snagging those park reservations that can be hard to get.

If you are heading to Disney for Mother’s Day usually the parks hand out flowers to the Moms on this glorious day. I have some of my most cherished photographs from our Mother’s Day Trip in 2015. We spent Mother’s Day at Animal Kingdom Park.

Other Mother’s Day Gift Ideas:

  • Picnic – with everything packed and ready by everyone BUT the Mother
  • DIY Essential Oils Room Spray – Lavender and Lemon with Witch Hazel or Distilled Water
  • New Watering Can
  • Surprise Weekend Getaway to places like Cape May, NJ or possibly like Hershey Park, PA
  • Caricature / Portrait of the kids
  • Birthstone Necklace of all the kids’ birthdays
  • Coach Purse
  • Dooney and Bourke Disney Bag
  • Outside dining at a restaurant with a water view

If anything a Mom could really use is to be able to sleep in, wake up to a clean home, not have to put up with any fighting or bad moods of any kind and to not have to cook once on Mother’s Day. Dad’s whip out the grill and get to work – especially if you are having company over – you can do it. Make the kids pitch in!

Here is a link to another Mother’s Day Gift idea – click here


What are your ideas for Mother’s Day?

Planning a summer vacation? Here is my latest video on Summer Packing Essentials

A Vacation is an Investment in Your Family

Trying to decide on whether to take the vacation? Here are some things to keep in mind.

DISCLAIMER: I am by no means responsible for any decisions you may make, any vacation that you could take that could go downhill – what is stated below are all of m opinions.

I recently heard by a person that I absolutely love listening to, talk about Disney DVC and she said no matter what you’re doing for vacation, that a VACATION IS AN INVESTMENT IN YOUR FAMILY and I thought wow how true is this. This has been my life motto, something that I have been living by since having babies.

Got little kids? Big Kids? Afraid of making the plunge? DO IT. This is precious time you will never get back. It doesn’t have to be perfect or expensive – you’re family won’t remember the imperfections they will remember the adventure taken with you. It is a way to easily CONNECT and bond with your family.

Issues financially? Frugal family? Wanting to save for future? It all comes down to how much vacations mean to you also… there are ways to save for it and budget for it. If it’s that important to either spouse then it should be something that is alotted for.

With all the hustle and bustle of the normal day-to-day work and school, the best thing you can do is take time for plain family fun making memories. Everyone needs time to JUST HAVE FUN WITH THEIR FAMILIES. Your children need time with you, just you for enjoyment, having fun together, making memories together which you can provide each and every single day but vacation is unique and it helps us rest, recover and grow inside – together.

MY MOST CHERISHED MEMORIES AS A CHILD

I am someone who grew up with a family who had a camper in-tow; my Dad was so fortunate and lucky enough to take all of his vacation time at once – 3 weeks every July. We could take our time venturing off into many of the United States and saw places like Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Bay of Fundy in Canada, Chincoteague Island in Virginia, Myrtle Beach SC, Outer Banks NC, some parts of Maine. We always went to Lake George in NY every summer because my Dad had an aunt that lived in Ticonderoga NY. We even ventured down to Disney World when I was in second grade. THESE TRAVELS ARE MY MOST CHERISHED MEMORIES AS A CHILD.

My Grandmother used to travel the world with her twin sister and other sisters and growing up I didn’t think I would be one to enjoy traveling but when I had a family of my own I learned how really special it is and how exciting.

PASSING THIS ONTO MY CHILDREN

With everything that happened in the world during 2020 and how we went into shutdown / lockdown I felt so fortunate, thankful and blessed that I was able to have taken my children on as many vacations as they have been on. Yes we are truly a Disney World family – we enjoy it ever so much. My husband and I went to Disney World on our honeymoon and the year after, and I just could not wait to get our children there. We did not start taking them there until my youngest Nicky was 2 years old.

We did however vacation down in Wildwood Crest every summer – we live in North NJ. There are times where I wish we had branched out but we had some bigger financial struggles when our children were so small so that was all we could afford and I am grateful for the wonderful memories we made down there. My children love the water, the ocean and swimming – we are all fish.

We started taking our children to Disney in Spring 2013 when Mikey just turned 5 and Nicky was 2 heading towards 3. Since my husband and I were married late April we experienced the amazing weather Florida has in April. Since then we have taken our children in 2015, 2016, 2017, and three times in 2019 – well the last time in 2019 was New Year’s Eve so we were technically there in 2020.

DAY TRIPS COUNT TOO – CREATING WELL CULTURED CHILDREN

WE were also fortunate enough to have visited several zoos, aquariums, museums, water parks, theme parks like Sesame Place and Dorney Park. We were even lucky enough to have had short vacations to Hershey Park.

Day trips into NYC to see the Broadway plays Aladdin and the Rockettes were absolutely incredible day trips. We got to explore parts of NYC it was incredible. So much fun and so many amazing memories!

During the time of the quarantine I felt so lucky and grateful that we were fortunate enough to have taken our kids so many wonderful places and had the experiences we had. Especially since we lost a year of traveling with them. Nicky was 9 going on 10 and Mikey had just turned 12 when the Corona Virus hit the US.

LIST OF PLACES I HAVE TRAVELED TO / VACATION IDEAS

  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Mount Rushmore / Crazy Horse
  • Myrtle Beach South Carolina
  • Dollywood – TN
  • Nashville – TN
  • Outer Banks North Carolina
  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg / Historic Jamestown
  • Lake George / Ticonderoga NY
  • Chincoteague Island Virginia
  • Disney World – stayed in Jelly Stone Campground
  • Bay of Fundy Canada
  • Maine Beaches
  • Howe Caverns NY

PLACES WE HAVE TAKEN OUR CHILDREN BOTH DAY TRIPS and VACATION IDEAS

  • Disney World
  • Legoland Florida
  • Wildwood Crest, and Boardwalk
  • Cape May NJ
  • Sunset Beach Cape May NJ
  • Cape May Lighthouse NJ
  • Hershey Park PA
  • Dorney Park PA
  • Busch Kill Falls PA
  • Land of Make Believe NJ
  • Sesame Place PA
  • Morris Museum NJ
  • The Museum of Natural History NY
  • Liberty State Park NJ
  • Aladdin NYC (Broadway) for when that opens back up
  • The Rockettes NYC (Broadway)
  • Legoland Discovery Center Yonkers NY
  • Adventure Aquarium NJ
  • Maritime Aquarium CT
  • Cape May Zoo
  • Bronx Zoo
  • Turtle Back Zoo
  • Space Farms Zoo
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Liberty Science Center NJ
  • Van Saun Zoo and Park in Bergen County NJ
  • Brook Hallow Barnyard in Boonton NJ
  • Point Pleasant Boardwalk, NJ
  • Jenkinson’s Aquarium Point Pleasant Boardwalk, NJ
  • Seaside Heights Boardwalk, NJ
  • Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area, NJ
  • Knoebels Amusement Park, PA

AM I JEALOUS OF EVERYONE’S UPDATED KITCHEN AND BATHROOMS?

Well heck yes I would love to have a beautiful home updated with the newest appliances, gorgeous flooring, kitchens and bathrooms but would I ever take back our travels instead – NO, NEVER!

To the people who can afford both GOD BLESS THEM. Can we afford to both? NO. Do I regret it? Absolutely without a doubt NO. We can always update the house and have a beautiful home when our children are grown but will I care about it then, probably not because I enjoy adventuring too much.

YOU DON’T JUST HAVE TO GO TO DISNEY WORLD

As much as we love Disney World it is a small fortune every time we go. There are so many other places to vacation with your family that is more than half the cost.

We just all LOVE going to Disney – there is nothing so magical and nothing like it in the world. My husband also does not like the beach and cannot swim so Disney is a place where we are ALL happy. We also love the dining aspect of Disney World.

Disney World is not just your typical theme park. It is not just rides, but Disney World is encompassed of SMELLS, SIGHTS, SOUNDS, TASTES, EXPERIENCES, EDUCATION, – really a full body experiences. This is known as the “DISNEY BUBBLE” people speak of and you won’t really know what it is until you experience it for yourself, staying inside a Disney World Resort.

YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE THOSE TREASURED MEMORIES AND TIME SPENT TOGETHER 💓

This is time – now, right now. You are not going to get this time back. Money will always be ready to be made. Work will be there when you get back. No matter where you choose to go, you are making the most cherished memories with precious time that you will treasure forever. I am a firm believer in experiences over things and I just love our family time spent together because our children are growing so fast – I cannot believe how fast time is going.

If you’re worried about distancing there are plenty of options to still vacation like for example maybe visiting the Smokey Mountains, or a beach vacation – so many adventures out there to explore!

What are your ideas for family trips this spring and summer?!

Check out my blog on Travel Necessities for Summer 2021 by clicking here!

Here is my vlog on Summer Travel Necessities:

It says for people who have POTS but this video is really for everyone since it will be a summer of wearing masks in the heat – we all need extra tips for keeping cool this summer!

“Adopting A Senior” on FB?

Adopting A Senior Can Brighten a High School Senior’s World

GIFT IDEAS HERE

It is now April 2021 and the high school seniors across the U.S. are missing out on so much of what they would have been enjoying if this pandemic never hit. No senior proms, no senior dinners, no senior dances, no senior trips. UGH What can we do to help make it a little more memorable?! I just did my FIRST round of Adopt a Senior Gifts! I chose 3 high school seniors from our town (usually there is a group on FB where you can “adopt“)- one of them happens to be one of our families’ best friends and the others we know from other occasions.

FIRST, USE CANVA.COM FOR SOME FREE GRAPHICS TO CREATE PERSONALIZED CARDS

I always go to http://www.canva.com for creating some free designs of my own. There are images that you can pay for but when you’re trying to be frugal, I just use what is available for free. You can create whatever size you like and save it to your computer. You can insert your own pictures as well.

SECOND, USE STAPLES TO PRINT FROM-THE-HEART CREATION

Since we are always out of ink and our printer never works all that well, I like to go through Rakuten to send over your creations to Staples.com and have them print it out. When you are on http://www.staples.com and go to the drop down for printing services: then choose Document Print from the drop down menu – I like to choose Simple Print and from there you click start project and just follow the steps for uploading with all of your choices. Your documents are usually ready in the same day and you can choose better quality paper like card stock or glossy thick stock.

Click on this link here to create a Rakuten Account to start saving money while shopping!

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

Then you simply choose Staples and you will get a percentage back on what your paying to have printed!

These are some of the creations I have made so far:

FIRST ROUND OF GIFTS GO WITH THE “YOU’RE A SMART COOKIE THEME”

So I wanted to do more than one round of gifts – right now I am thinking its going to be 3 or 4 by the last one. I will do either 1 or 2 in May and then the last one in June. Yesterday, April 23, I just dropped off the first gift which was the “YOU’RE A SMART COOKIE” theme. I picked up some bigger snack packs of random cookies and some chocolates. The Dollar Tree had so many excellent graduation decorations! I bought these little plastic plates to make a gift basket on. 5 plates for 1 dollar.

These treats are just a little something, to help the kids smile.

After I had everything put together, I left them at their doorsteps for a surprise.

As I complete the following gifts I will share with you but for now I cannot disclose that information because I do not wish to ruin any future surprises!

Mothers Day is right around the corner! CLICK HERE FOR MY ULTIMATE MOTHERS DAY GIFT IDEA!

Do you have any travel coming up? Check out my packing necessities video here:

Read my recommended travel necessities in my blog post by clicking here!

Your Bronx Zoo Itinerary

Don’t want to stand in line? Read this!

Your Bronx Zoo Itinerary:

Now with Covid regulations the Bronx Zoo is doing an amazing job at limiting the amount of people walking through their bigger exhibits but it is causing lines. Read more to find out. Masks are required at all times.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for your trip going wayward. These are just my suggestions and opinions. I am in no way paid by Disney or the Bronx Zoo. I am only paid through products you may buy on Amazon.

If there is anything a Disney Addict knows, it is how to do Disney so everyone has the most magical wonderful vacation possible. This leads to the creation of learning how to do everything that you do to maximize your time and fun.

Bronx Zoo Monorail Only Runs May through October!

This is ultimately the best thing ever about the Bronx Zoo! At Disney level uniqueness and magic, the Bronx Zoo Monorail is a fantastic ride through “Asia” showing off some of the greatest “big” animals in the Eastern Hemisphere. Similar to the Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, this monorail ride not only gives you an amazing view of so many cool animals but it also entails an expert guide who drives the train while pointing out interesting facts and information during this expedition. While riding on this adventure, you will see animals LIKE elephants, pandas, zebras and rhinos.

Each of the following exhibits are absolutely phenomenal, pristine and clean but do take time to walk through and see all there is to see!

Arrive to Bronx Zoo at opening – usually 10am. Go onto the Bronx Zoo website from your phone and click “I’m in the zoo”. There you will have a map of the zoo in the palm of your hands.

If you’re going between May – end of October I would head straight to ASIA – to hop on the Monorail before the lines fill up.

When you get off the Monorail there are plenty of drinks and snack vendors around if you need a break.

Next Head to TIGER MOUNTAIN.

This was by far the longest line we witnessed later in the day!! It had a line form around lunchtime and then it went way back by 2pm!

NOTE: There are shuttles located around the park – check the map. It was a fun, relaxing, refreshing break to the other side of the zoo.

Next make a direct route to the CONGO EXHIBIT.

The Congo exhibit is another very popular and fascinating habitat for the apes and gorillas.

After you have hit these 3 main exhibits then I would find it safe to say that it is ok to venture onto the other animal habitats in all the areas.

Map Out Your Day Before You Go.

I highly recommend looking at the map, knowing where you are going to park in advance. This way you can plan out your route to save time and hit the 3 most popular exhibits that really make this zoo remarkable. It is expensive to attend this zoo, so you are going to want to make the most out of your day. I also suggest staying until closing and then finding a restaurant not far for dinner and let the rush hour traffic pass – since its a highly populated area. Just like at Disney, if you don’t see it all – it is ok. Make sure that you see what is important for your family to see.

Pack lunches and snacks to save money!

I have a big Disney World backpack that I take on all of our adventures. It has cup holders on the sides and several compartments that I have extra masks, band aides etc. The only thing we purchased besides lunch for my husband and I were ICY (slushies) for the kids and an iced coffee for me on the way home.

What was in my backpack?

  • Electrolyte Waters
  • Diet Coke (for my husband and I)
  • Apple Juice travel bottles
  • Sandwiches
  • cut up strawberries in Tupperware
  • grapes in Tupperware
  • Salty snacks like pretzels, pirate booty and potato chips for my POTSY child
  • Extra Salt Sticks
  • Children and Adult Pain Killers
  • Bug Spray
  • SPF
  • Extra Masks
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses

Just like Disney – hydrate yourself before you even venture out! Once you feel thirsty – it is too late.

MAP IT OUT BEFORE YOU GO.

Map out your route going to the Bronx Zoo! Going there from North Jersey, our GPS had us take the George Washington but for the way home we took the Palisades Parkway and then went over the former Tappan Zee Bridge which is now called the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. It was really a beautiful ride home.

Do you have any tips for the Bronx Zoo?

The Most Amazing Mother’s Day Gift Yet

Looking for a Mother’s Day Gift that is going to knock the socks off the Mother of your children?

Sometimes the most outstanding gifts can cost little to nothing at all. What Mother doesn’t want to sleep in, have absolutely NO arguments, not cook and have her house cleaned – this is something all the Mother’s crave. Mothers do much for the people they love – 24/7, it never stops and nor do they stop to think about it. So definitely reward her with something so deserving and so touching.

Flowers are beautiful but lets face it – they die. How many knickknacks can we all have to dust? Don’t we all wish that we could travel to Disney World for Mother’s day?! I spent Mother’s Day in 2015 which was probably my most MAGICAL Mother’s Day yet including some of my most adored photographs of my children and I at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park! But Disney World can be a small fortune, so the following idea will be a smart financial option.

I was asking some of my closest friends what they really desire for Mother’s Day. The subsequent idea was just so heartwarming and touching to hear! My friend’s husband has been keeping a journal from her children for every Mother’s Day since they are babies!

BEGIN A TREASURED KEEPSAKE

Journal To Mom from the Kids written inside every Mother’s Day

As early as you can, whether is scribble or the kids are already 5 years old – start a journal to the amazing Mother of your children at every Mother’s Day so she can look back each year to see how they have grown! This is something she will cherish forever and it really does not cost much to do.

Simple Ideas To Write About:

  • how much we love mommy
  • my favorite thing about mommy
  • why mommy is so pretty
  • thanks for all you do mommy
  • my favorite memory with mom
  • what I look forward to doing with mom
  • why mom will always be my best friend
  • what flower does mom remind me of
  • what color does mom remind me of
  • a poem about mom
  • mommy hugs mean the world to me
  • why I appreciate mom
  • how I can always depend on mom

You can always add a picture or drawing inside and make sure you date it!

https://amzn.to/3gjdu8U

https://amzn.to/3gjdu8U

What are your Mother’s Day plans this year?

Prepping for Vacation?? Check out my vlog on vacation bag essentials!

Read about my more detailed post on Vacation Packing Essentials by clicking here!

Spring Day Trip?

Maybe a mental-health day trip?

Consider Liberty State Park in Jersey City!

We visited Liberty State Park over Spring Break and had an amazing time!

Spring is just a beautiful time for traveling, hiking, day-tripping and anything outdoors really! The weather can be so pleasant and everything is started to bloom.

ALL TRAILS APP

If you have the All Trails App and you search up Liberty State Park which will give you directions on how to get to Liberty State Park and the New York Bay. FREE and easy parking!

NOTE: the only bathrooms we could find that were open were port-a-johns / porta-potties which weren’t the greatest – so bring wipes and your own sanitizing agents.

GIANT AREA

This 3 mile loop has stunning picturesque views of our number one lady, the Statue of Liberty. Provided is a gorgeous paved trail that wraps around the waterline. This path makes for easy physical distancing for safety and to enjoy the sun and air. Great for walking, biking, and photography! Wear your sneakers and be prepared to walk. The park is free to enter, free to park and free to explore! Only the ferries and anything over on Ellis Island / Statue of Liberty have fees.

Liberty State Park was pristine (aside from the Porta-Potties). When I say something is immaculate I mean “Disney clean”. If you are a Disney addict, you will know what I am talking about. There are no other parks in this country as clean and spotless as Disney World and Disneyland. You know how sometimes when you’re at an amazing zoo you might have Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park come to your mind. The water here and being on the boat reminded me of Seven Seas Lagoon – only wishing we were cruising over to Magic Kingdom for the day but perfectly satisfied to have the actual real view we had.

NOTE: we did not come across any food vendors so definitely bring your own food, snacks and drinks as of April 6, 2021.

Continue reading “Spring Day Trip?”

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 📸 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 👗 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 🤷‍♀️

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

Spring Day Trip?

Maybe a mental-health day trip?

Consider Liberty State Park in Jersey City!

We visited Liberty State Park over Spring Break and had an amazing time!

Spring is just a beautiful time for traveling, hiking, day-tripping and anything outdoors really! The weather can be so pleasant and everything is started to bloom.

ALL TRAILS APP

If you have the All Trails App and you search up Liberty State Park which will give you directions on how to get to Liberty State Park and the New York Bay. FREE and easy parking!

NOTE: the only bathrooms we could find that were open were port-a-johns / porta-potties which weren’t the greatest – so bring wipes and your own sanitizing agents.

GIANT AREA

This 3 mile loop has stunning picturesque views of our number one lady, the Statue of Liberty. Provided is a gorgeous paved trail that wraps around the waterline. This path makes for easy physical distancing for safety and to enjoy the sun and air. Great for walking, biking, and photography! Wear your sneakers and be prepared to walk. The park is free to enter, free to park and free to explore! Only the ferries and anything over on Ellis Island / Statue of Liberty have fees.

Liberty State Park was pristine (aside from the Porta-Potties). When I say something is immaculate I mean “Disney clean”. If you are a Disney addict, you will know what I am talking about. There are no other parks in this country as clean and spotless as Disney World and Disneyland. You know how sometimes when you’re at an amazing zoo you might have Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park come to your mind. The water here and being on the boat reminded me of Seven Seas Lagoon – only wishing we were cruising over to Magic Kingdom for the day but perfectly satisfied to have the actual real view we had.

NOTE: we did not come across any food vendors so definitely bring your own food, snacks and drinks as of April 6, 2021.

Continue reading “Spring Day Trip?”

Check out my blog post on Summer Travel Essentials by Clicking 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 🐣🐇🐰 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.