Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Planning Your Next Vacation: During A Pandemic




Did you take a family vacation during 2020? Unfortunately many families had their travel plans cancelled due to covid-19. Our family had a Caribbean cruise with Royal Caribbean booked for May 2020. That was sadly cancelled. We were so excited and looking forward to our cruise. What a bummer!! We did make other plans to vacation in Florida in summer 2020 but ultimately ended up cancelling those plans as well due to high covid cases. In the end we decided on renting a beach house in the Outer Banks for a week.

Today I am going to share with you some tips and idea's for planning your next vacation during a pandemic. I feel that 2021 is going to be a much better year than 2020. Hopefully by summer 2021 majority of the population will have received the covid-19 vaccine. I feel that by summer 2021 flying will be much safer. So if you have a destination that requires flying don't worry.

Start by making a list of the top 5 places you would like to vacation. Do some research on these 5 destinations. I really like to learn about destinations on www.TripAdvisor.com. You can determine if there are a lot of activities and attractions that your whole family will enjoy. You can also read reviews on accommodations, restaurants, attractions, etc. After doing some research try to narrow down your top 5 places to just 3. Then take some time and price out these 3. You could also contact our travel agent Allison with https://www.magicalmemoryplanners.com/ and ask her to run some quotes. Once you have the prices you can sit down with your significant other and decide which vacation would be best for your family.

Things To Consider When Planning A Vacation During A Pandemic:
  • Are a lot of the activities outside activities? If so, this is definitely a plus if you are concerned about covid.
  • Would you stay in a high rise which would require you to use an elevator? 
  • Would you have to fly or drive?
  • Does the resort have enhanced cleaning procedures?
  • Are all activities open at the resort? Some resorts have closed certain activities due to covid-19
  • Is there a kitchen in your condo? This would allow you to cook your own meals and avoid restaurants and help to save money too.
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Is a covid test required?

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Friday, January 1, 2021

Welcome To Our Exclusive Travel Agent

Magical Memory Planners is so excited to partner with this blog as the exclusive travel agency of Everyday Adventures With Kids. We would like to introduce ourselves so you can learn more about us as well as how to connect with us. 


Planning a vacation can be a daunting task. It can be both time consuming as well as stressful doing your own research. It is an investment of time and money in your family. Everyone wants to have the best vacation possible. You don’t want to miss anything. Planning a vacation on your own can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. 

This is where Magical Memory Planners steps in. We specialize in family vacations. Our expertise and personal experiences along with our attention to detail help us handcraft each vacation to the needs of your individual family. We are passionate about ensuring that families are able to make magical memories together. We meet with each family, in person or by phone, to get to know you. We take into consideration your needs so we can put together recommendations that are unique to you. Lastly, we take care of booking the reservations and making the payments, ensuring that everything is done correctly and on time. We help make the process as stress free as possible.

Since 2012, we have helped thousands of families make magical memories together. Our team of magical memory planners (MMPs) are all experts in Disney Destinations but also plan vacations pretty much anywhere in the world. Each MMP also brings their own specialties to the table, whether it be traveling with allergies, special needs, large families, and so much more! We invite you to get to know about all our agents (https://www.magicalmemoryplanners.com/mmp-agents/) so you can pick the agent that is best for your family.

Magical Memory Planners LLC has been designated by Disney Destinations as an “Authorized Disney Vacation Planner” based on its strong support in selling Disney vacations. We are also designated as Authorized Travel Professionals by Universal Orlando Resort. Several agents have completed training as Certified Autism Travel Professionals as well. In addition to these credentials, we have many specialist training from cruise lines and all inclusive resorts.

Learn more about our travel planning services (https://www.magicalmemoryplanners.com/travel-planning-service/and then fill out a quote form (https://www.magicalmemoryplanners.com/help-me/so we can get started planning a trip for your family full of magical memories. 

We would love to hear from you! Here are some of the best ways to connect with us:



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Sunday, December 27, 2020

No Spend January Challenge


Can you believe it is almost January!!! Hopefully 2021 will be a much better year than 2020! Today I am going to share with ya'll a great way to save some extra money during the month of January! The idea is to practice saving and making better spending choices that will help you throughout the entire year. A no spend January challenge is meant to help you save money and avoid making unnecessary purchases. 



  1. Only spend money on your absolute must have's such as weekly groceries, prescriptions, pet food, gas
  2. Buy the bare minimum groceries (no splurging)
  3. No eating out, ordering take out or delivery
  4. No purchasing things that are not groceries, prescriptions, pet food, gas (No shopping!!)
  5. Pay your monthly bills but pay the minimum for any credit cards
  6. Save Save Save!!
*Now there are some exceptions to this no spend January challenge* For example if your child has a birthday in January, obviously please celebrate your child's birthday and spend money on their birthday presents, cake, etc. Another exception would be if your child is invited to a friend's birthday. Obviously purchase the friend a birthday present. 

Other Great Ways To Save Money All Year Long:

  • Start setting aside $10 to $20 per week for your future Christmas fund. You could set up a free savings account linked to your checking account. This way you could transfer the money each week or each paycheck.

  • Sit down with your spouse and review all of your monthly subscriptions. Decide if there are any that you can cancel.

  • Turn down your heat by 1 to 2 degrees. You'd be surprised at how much money you could save by doing this!

  • Take a good look in your pantry, toss expired items, organize your pantry to really get a good idea of what you are in need of. I have caught myself purchasing items at the grocery store that I thought I needed only to discover I already had it buried in my pantry! 

  • Start meal planning each week. This has really helped me to save money on my weekly groceries. I sit down every Sunday evening (or Monday morning if I am procrastinating) and I make a list of what meals I am going to cook for the week. I write it all out so my children can see what is on the "menu" and I put it on our refrigerator. I try to stick to the "menu" and this also helps me to not overspend at the grocery store. 

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

My Favorite #Christmas Cookie #Recipes + Free #Printable

                              

                                  

These Oreo truffles are SO easy to make and super delicious! Perfect for the holidays.
Ingredients: 
36 Oreo cookies
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 package cream cheese (softened)
1 cup dark chocolate melting wafers
1 cup white chocolate melting wafers

Instructions:
Place Oreo's in a food processor. Blend 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Save 2 tablespoons for later.
In a separate mixing bowl beat cream cheese. Add Oreo's to the cream cheese and vanilla extract. Mix.
Scoop Oreo mixture into 1 tablespoon size balls and place on a lined cookie sheet.
Place cookie sheet with Oreo balls in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.
Place dark chocolate melting wafers in a microwave safe container to melt. Repeat for white chocolate melting wafers.
Retrieve Oreo balls from the freezer and dip truffles into the melted chocolate. Sprinkle with Oreo crumbs that you saved.
Allow chocolate to harden. Tip-place Oreo balls in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden faster.
Enjoy!!

Andes Mint Cookies

Ingredients:
1 package Devils Food Cake
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 bag Andes Chocolate Mints

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350. In a mixer combine cake mix, oil and eggs. Mix until combined. Drop by level tablespoon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat mat. Bake for 8-9 minutes, remove from oven and immediately place an Andes mint on top. Let sit for 5 minutes and gently swirl the mint just enough to spread it out. Cool in refrigerator until set. Makes approximately 36 cookies.




M & M Cookies (Or can be made as a cookie bar)

My little helper enjoyed making this recipe almost as much as she enjoyed eating it! This is such an easy recipe ya'll! You can bake the M&M cookie bars in a 8x8 casserole dish OR you can use a 9 inch pie plate if you want to make a cookie cake instead.
Ingredients:
1/2 Cup butter (melted)
1 Large egg
3/4 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup M&M's
6 mini peanut butter cups (if you prefer)

Directions: 
1. Melt butter
2. Add egg, sugars, vanilla & whisk
3. Add flour, salt & stir gently
4. Add chocolate chips
5. Add M&M's
6. Smooth batter into a 9 inch pie dish (or small casserole dish)
7. Add remaining M&M's & push gently down into batter
8. Back at 350' for 25 minutes
9. Let cool for 30 minutes


FREE printable for your little's Christmas lists


Be sure to get your free Christmas printable here


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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Christmas #Gifts Guide For Tweens & Tweens


Today I am going to share with you some gift idea's for tweens and tweens between ages 11 and 16 year olds.

  • Color Changing LED Strip Lights My daughter absolutely loves her LED lights. They are so easy to install and they come with a remote so you can change the colors anytime you want. They are available in various sizes but I would recommend at least 65 feet so the lights can stretch across most of your bedroom. Price: $41.99 on Amazon

  • Hydroflask  insulated water bottles are super popular among the tweens and teens. These range in price depending on what size you choose. They have a range of colors and many teens put stickers all over their hydroflasks. You can find sticker packs on Amazon. The 18 oz. Hydroflask cost $29. You can also find Hydroflasks at Dicks Sporting Goods.


  • Apple Airpods are super super popular among pretty much all teen's. I constantly see kids with these little white things in their ears! There are various types of Airpods and you can purchase online, in Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc. I've seen them on sale for as low as $129. 


  • *Image courtesy Apple*

  • Fluffy Blankets  are a hit with most tween and teen girls! My daughter steals all of my fluffy blankets so I finally got her a fluffy blanket of her own! You can find these at Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and Wayfair. Prices range. Check out this super cute 50 x 70 faux fur throw from QVC.

  • Gaming Keyboard Any gamer will love this gaming keyboard! Available on Amazon.com for just $43.99


*Image courtesy Amazon*

  • Golf Net Perfect for practicing your golf swing in your own backyard! This golf net is $78.99 on Amazon.com 10 feet x 7 feet. 


  • *Image Courtesy Amazon*
  • Dipping Powder Starter Nail Kit Perfect for the nail lover! This is a great starter kit complete with all the supplies you need to get started doing your own nails from home! Perfect during Covid-19 when the salons may or may not be open. Plus saves a lot of money. This kit cost $28.99 Various colors available in various kits. 
*Image Courtesy Amazon*

  • Nike Joggers I'm sure this is already on the list of hundreds, probably thousands of tweens and teens this Christmas. Perfect for comfy days at home. Various colors available. Price $60.
*Image Courtesy of Nike.com*
  • 32" HD Smart Roku TV My daughter has this on her Christmas list this year. I'm pretty sure most teen's would love a tv! On sale this week at Target.com for $129

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Friday, December 4, 2020

Holiday Gift Guide 2020 For Kids Under 10


Today I am going to share with ya'll some great Christmas gifts for kids this holiday season! 

For the little one's under age 10:
  • Barbie Dreamhouse Measuring 3 feet tall and 4 foot wide this is a huge Barbie house complete with furniture! My 9 year old loves her Dreamhouse. $179 at Walmart.com
                              *Image Courtesy Target*
  • Electric Hoverboard is perfect for kids 8 years and older. Complete with LED senor lights, LED wheel lights, bluetooth speakers built in. This electric hoverboard can go 6 mph and hold up to 180 pounds. $148 at Walmart    I'm pretty sure this will be a super popular gift this year!

  • 4 in 1 Game Table This game table is bound to keep your kids happy for hours! Table includes: pool billiards, air hockey, foosball and table tennis. $79.99 at Walmart 
  • Nintendo Switch Console Perfect for gamers who want to play anywhere they go! Perfect for road trips too!! Cost $399 at Walmart So many fun games available for the Nintendo Switch.
  • Skywalker Trampoline Perfect for outdoor play!! This 15' trampoline has an enclosure. Cost $299 at Walmart Be sure to add on a ladder! My children received a trampoline for Christmas about 5 years ago and they still love to play on it. It has survived being in storage while we built our home and it has held up really well.
  • Razor A5 Lux Kick Scooter Perfect for kids ages 8 and up. Holds up to 220 pounds. This is a great way to get your children outside playing and burning their energy!! Cost $84 at Walmart Many fun colors available! 

                                                                   *Photo courtesy Walmart.com*

  • Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Camera Instant camera's are back and they are better than ever! The Fujifilm Instax mini instant camera is available in many fun colors! They have fun film frames too ya'll! This is the cutest instant camera on the market! $59 at Walmart This is my daughter's Christmas list this year!
  •  
  • Photo Courtesy Walmart.com*
Check back soon for my holiday gift guide for tween's!! 

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

All About KiwiCo! Crate Review #KidFriendly #Steam

Kiwi Co is such a fun, educational monthly subscription for children of all ages! My son received a Tinkercrate in the mail and was very excited to get to work building the Spin Art Machine. Tinkercrate's are perfect for children between ages 9 - 16 years old. Kiwi Co has various crates for all different age ranges. 

Crates include: Eureka Crate for ages 14 - 104 which includes engineering & design projects
Maker Crate for ages 14 - 104 which includes art & design projects
Tinker Crate for ages 9 - 16 years old which includes science & engineering projects
Doodle Crate for ages 9 - 16 years old which includes create & craft projects
Atlas Crate for ages 6 - 11 years old which includes geography & culture 
Kiwi Crate for ages 5 - 8 years old which includes science, art & more
Koala Crate for ages 2 - 4 years old Play & learn
Panda Crate for ages 0 - 24 months Explore & discover


 How it works: Choose your line on their website. The packages will arrive once a month and you can cancel at anytime. Plans start at $19.95 for 1 month but you can usually find special promo codes to save money. A 3 month subscription cost $19.95 per month with free shipping. A 6 month subscription cost $18.95 per month.




My son enjoyed building his Spin Art Machine. The instructions were easy for him to follow and includes photos. He connected a beadboard to wires and a battery to make the art machine spin! I was pretty impressed with the quality of the product. 


The finished product---pretty cool art work! And the project came with extra paper. 


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