Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Mom's Guide To A Peaceful Road Trip #RoadTrip


Image result for road trip free images

As a family of 5 it is just too expensive for us to fly to Disney. Instead we drive 12 hours every year to Orlando. Over the past few years I have gotten pretty creative to create a peaceful road trip with my 3 children, all of whom are under 10 years old.


First of all, I start preparing for the road trip months in advance. I know this may sound silly to some, but it takes a lot of time to not only pack for a vacation but to plan and prepare for the journey. I always purchase lots of snacks that I know my children love. Tip: avoid sticky food! My kids favorite road trip snacks include:


  • Goldfish
  • Cheezeitz
  • Ritz Bits
  • String Cheese
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Apple slices
  • Blueberries
  • Granola bars
  • Teddy grahams
  • Cereal bars
  • Dry cereal
I usually pack one big grocery bag full of the snacks that don't need to be kept in a cooler. Then the night before our road trip I will wash, cut and individually bag the fruits. This way I can pass them out to each child in their own bag. These items are kept in a small cooler in the middle isle so that the kids can open the cooler and access them. Mom tip: avoid continuously turning around in the car and passing out items to your kids, your neck will be sore before you know it!

I love travel lap desks! They serve multiple purposes during a road trip! You can eat a snack on them and color on them. Plus when you get to your hotel you can bring them in and your child can use them in the hotel room. Here is a cute one I found on Amazon
Kids Travel Tray - Car Seat Lap Tray for Children & Toddlers - Perfect Activity Snack & Play Tray for Short Road Trips or Long Journeys - Pink
*Photo credit Amazon*

Besides food, I always try to surprise my kids with a few activities to keep them occupied in the car. I have found some really fun travel size games at Walmart and on Amazon. Chickfila has even given out fun travel size games in their kids meals in the past. Here are a few idea's for fun activities for children of all ages:

  • coloring books
  • travel size board games
  • Play Doh
  • Hot Wheels
  • Disney princess activity books
  • Hidden picture books
  • Sticker books
Another great tip is purchase some new DVD's that your children have never seen before. This will keep them occupied for several hours during the road trip. If you don't want to spend the money, ask your friends if you can borrow some of their DVD's.

Don't forget to pack a nice comfy travel blanket for your child. I always bring a small travel trash can for the road trip. Here is a nice car trash can: amazon
*Photo Credit Amazon*

I love car organizers! I highly recommend them for anyone who has more than one child. Here is one of my favorite's on Amazon


Car Seat Organizer for Front or Backseat with Black Stitching Great for Adults & Kids Featuring 8 Storage Compartments for Toys, Magazines, Tissues, Maps, Books, Documents, Games & More
*Photo credit Amazon*

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

How To Select Your #Disney ADR's

Many people ask me for advice on which restaurants are the most 'child friendly'. For starters I always recommend previewing the menu of the restaurant prior to making an ADR (advanced dining reservation). You want to check for two things, the prices and the kids menu. Not all kids menu's are created equal. Meaning, they are not all going to serve the same old typical food consisting of chicken nuggets and pizza. The new Be Our Guest restaurant serves a much more upscale and healthier kid's menu consisting of grilled fish, grilled steak, whole grain macaroni and grilled chicken breast. I dont know about you, but my children are not going to eat any of that.

My family packs our own lunch in a cooler to save money. However, we do budget to have at least three ADR's. We always plan to have one character meal and we vow to try a new restaurant once. My favorite character meal is Chef Mickey's. We love Chef Mickey's because of the wonderful character interaction. You can find the "Fab Five" here-Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto. The food is not gourmet but it is good not to mention the great variety. The typical picky eater won't go hungry here. My favorite is the Mickey shaped waffles and the fresh fruit selection is wonderful.

The character breakfast at Chef Mickey's is my kids #1 favorite


Our family loves the Polynesian Resort and we always try to make at least one ADR to eat there. We love venturing to the Polynesian Resort to explore the property, gift shop and of course the yummy food. We ate breakfast at O'hana one day and dinner at Kona both were absolutely amazing! We did the Laua a few years ago at the Polynesian and absolutely loved every second. 
In my opinion you can't go wrong with any of the dining options at the Polynesian!


The Lapu Lapu at Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort is my favorite drink at #Disney


Here are my tips for choosing your ADR's if you have young children especially babies. Choose a restaurant that is loud-O'hana is a great choice because it is not a quiet. Avoid places that are more of a romantic atmosphere where a loud baby might be an annoyance to someone on a date. Fulton's Crab House is one of the places that I have always wanted to try but with three kids under 6 years old I think I will pass. Also try to find a restaurant that is in your price range, a $40 per person all you can eat buffett may not be the best choice for your family if you have picky eater's who won't really eat much at all. Make your ADR's early-do not wait until the week before your vacation to decide where you would like to eat. I recommend making your ADR's once it is 180 days until your vacation. There will still be plenty of time to cancel, change a time, etc but at least you will have a plan. 



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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Dinner At Kona Cafe At The Polynesian Resort #Disney

We had a wonderful dinner at the Polynesian Resort's Kona Café. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and wanted to eat somewhere special. We really love the Polynesian Resort and try to eat there each time we go to Disney World. When we arrived at our dinner reservations we were given a pager and waited just about five minutes to be seated. 

The children were given crayons and a children's menu to color. We were immediately served warm delicious bread with honey butter (it was gone before I could take a picture). I just love the bread at Kona! I ordered the long awaited Lapu Lapu drink (I had been reading reviews about this drink for months!). The Lapu Lapu is served IN a pineapple! The drink consists of Bacardi 151, Myers rum and tropical juices. I did ask the server to ask the bartender to leave out the 151 because I did not want the drink to be too strong! 



this is me enjoying every sip :)


My husband ordered the Kona Coffee Rubbed Pork Chop with mashed sweet potatoes and seasonal veggies. He enjoyed his meal very much and said he would highly recommend it. I ordered the Teriyaki Style New York Strip topped with diced pineapple and served with stir fry broccolini and sticky rice. The sticky rice was somewhat bland in my opinion and I wished that I had substituted the rice for the mashed potatoes. The steak was amazing and the flavor really was perfect. I would definetly order the New York strip again!

Kona Coffee Rubbed Pork Chop



delicious mashed sweet potatoes

my daughter enjoyed the chicken tenders and fries :)


Teriyaki Marinated Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Broccolini

The children's meal came with this cute dessert-make your own ice cream sundae! Complete with m&m's, Mickey shaped sprinkles and chocolate syrup and a cherry on top.



Complimentary chocolate and vanilla cupcakes from our serve to celebrate our anniversary!


Overall this meal was wonderful and I would highly recommend Kona Café to anyone who wants a nice sit down dinner in a wonderful atmosphere. The meal cost $98 before the tip and we would love to go back again!


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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Enchanted Tales With Belle Review #Disney

All About Enchanted Tales With Belle At Magic Kingdom

Enchanted Tales With Belle includes an up close and personal memorable meetngreet experience for the whole family! Located in the new Fantasyland section of Magic Kingdom. I would highly recommend a Fast Pass for this attraction as the line can be quite long. Children are each given a special part to play in this theater like production.


Have your camera ready as your child will be selected to play a special part in the 'tale'


My kids really enjoyed this interactive meetngreet turned show


Belle gives each child a special keepsake bookmark.

                                                      

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Super Easy Kid Friendly Valentine's Day Idea's

It's hard to believe it is already February! Valentine's Day is going to be here before you know it! My kids really enjoy exchanging Valentine's with their classmates and friends. I have started a fun tradition on the morning of Valentine's Day I always have a sweet breakfast treat from Dunkin Donuts. They have super cute heart shaped donuts during the month of February.


When my kids get home from school on Valentine's Day I always have a fun and creative snack waiting for them. Last year I made popcorn and added pink m&m's and pink marshmallow's. Here is  a great Valentine's popcorn recipe & printable
Image result for valentines popcorn

Adventures With Toddlers and Preschoolers: Valentine's Day Crafts For Toddlers
Here's a peak at our kitchen table set up for Valentine's Day. I purchased the heart shaped placemats from Pottery Barn Kids. The little mailboxes I picked up in the dollar section at Target and then I wrote each child's name on them and added some heart stickers. I fill the mailboxes everyday with a special treat during the week of Valentine's.

Be sure to check out my Valentine's Pinterest board for some super cute recipes and diy crafts.



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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Character Breakfast At #Ohana #Disney

We stayed at the Polynesian Resort on our most recent Disney World vacation this past May. You can read all about the Polynesian Resort in my review. We made advanced dining reservations for the character breakfast at O'hana for 8:30 am. This would allow us time to enjoy breakfast and then hop on the monorail and head to Magic Kingdom.



The characters include: Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Lilo & Stitch


Be sure to bring a camera and autograph book




Onto the amazing FOOD: 

The breads are served warm and they are delicious

This is not a buffet, the food is served family style (all you can eat, they will bring more platters once you are done with the first one) The Pongo juice is amazing. I would love to recreate this at home someday. The huge breakfast platter included homemade biscuits, bacon, scrambled eggs and huge wedge fries. Coffee and milk are also available.

My children loved the Mickey waffle's and fruit platter


After breakfast is served the characters start walking around visiting with each table. The character interaction is great at O'hana! The servers brought maraca's around to all of the tables and the children were invited to do a conga line around the restaurant dancing to music! It was such a fun environment and everything was just wonderful. I would highly recommend the character breakfast at O'hana and I hope to return again soon. I felt like it was a great price for an all you can eat breakfast with characters.

Price: $22 per adult $12 per child



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Friday, January 19, 2018

How To Survive #Disney With A Baby





Traveling with a baby can be stressful but if you plan ahead and pack accordingly you will survive! 


  1. Pack pack pack ALL of the baby must have's that your baby needs on a daily basis. This includes the obvious, binky, blanket, favorite teether, diapers, wipes and of course a change of clothes in case of an accident.

     2.  Be prepared to take an afternoon break each day to keep baby out of the heat and Florida sun.



     3.  Bring sunscreen and a hat for baby to prevent sunburn.



     4.  Bring a comfortable stroller for baby to ride in around the parks, I suggest a stroller with a sun canopy and a stroller that has a lot of storage underneath. I highly recommend renting from Kingdom Strollers. 



    5.  Bring a backpack so that when you park your stroller you can have one parent wear the backpack and avoid leaving important items in the stroller unattended.



    6.  Don't try to ride every ride. There are some great rides for young children and babies, check out my top 10 rides for babies and toddlers at Magic Kingdom. Pace yourself and remember it's all about having fun.


   7.  Your baby won't remember meeting the characters or riding the rides, try to just relax and enjoy the moment. Take plenty of pictures and avoid overdoing it.


   8.  Hand sanitizer! Don't forget to bring hand sanitizer. Many first timer's complain that their children picked up a stomach bug at WDW, but then I ask, did you have hand sanitizer? Did you use it after EACH ride? Kids put their hands in their mouth, especially babies! To avoid picking up unwanted germs remember hand washing and hand sanitizer is key.



   9.  Avoid trying to make advanced dining reservations at restaurants that are not 'kid friendly'. The last thing you want to do is have a tired, cranky screaming baby at Le Cellier for example. Make dining reservations at a loud family friendly restaurant such as O'hana, Chef Mickey's or Rain Forest Café.


   10.  Buy a few memorable must have's from DisneyStore.com before your vacation. I really love to see these adorable mouse ears on little one's.



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