Thursday, January 30, 2014

Showing Your Disney Side

Welcome to those of you joining me from I Am A Disney Nerd and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

I love ALL things Disney! I pretty much show my Disney Side on a daily basis :) I sleep in Disney pajamas and start my day drinking coffee from my favorite coffee mug:

This is a great reminder of our most recent Disney vacation. I picked this up on Main Street. After my kids go to school I work on my Disney blog and love seeing pictures from my friends latest Disney vacations!

My love for all things Disney has rubbed off on my three children. They love Disney Junior and every morning they love watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Doc McStuffins, etc. They love coloring in their Disney Princess coloring book, Jakes and the Neverland Pirates and Mickey Mouse coloring books.

A fun family activity that we do on a weekly basis to show our Disney Side is playing fun Disney games. One of our favorites is Mickey Mouse Letters and Numbers game and our Disney Princess Memory game. The kids don't even realize it but they're learning while playing a game! :)

Even when buying groceries I manage to find Disney related foods for the kids :) I love it! Have you seen these adorable "O Foodles"?? They are available at Walmart in the prepackaged fruit section. My kids love it when I pack them fun lunches like this one. What a great way to show your Disney Side! 

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Home Is Where The Mouse Is.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Capturing Magical Memories
2nd Stop ~ I Am A Disney Nerd
3rd Stop ~ Disney with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
4th Stop ~ Home Is Where The Mouse Is
Final Stop ~ Ashley Aspires

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's Here!! #DisneySide In Home Celebration Party Planning

Look what I got today in the mail?! I was selected to host a #DisneySide in home celebration!! I am beyond excited about this and can't wait to plan a fun themed #DisneySide party for my children and their friends.

Can you tell I am SO excited the package finally arrived!?

Love the American Tourister 20" Spinner! 

Check out the adorable #DisneySide party supplies the suitcase was filled with! Paper plates, cups, napkins, cupcake wrappers, decorations, HP Photo Card Pack for printing the invites, Haynes tee shirts with fabric markers by Crayola, cookie cutters (I have been wanting these for a while!), Craisin's, Trivia game and no party would be complete without balloons.

Can't wait to see what how the kids decorate their Haynes shirts to show their Disney Side!


Stay tuned for photo's from my upcoming #DisneySide party 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow Day Fun...Ways To Avoid Boredom

Snow days are a lot of fun for children however kids tend to get bored quickly after a few days of being trapped inside. Here are a few tips to avoid boredom on snow days!

  • Make snow cream
  • Build a snowman
  • Avoid watching too much tv, instead encourage your kids to get creative
  • Get creative and make a snow day book
  • Using cotton balls let your children create their own snow scene on construction paper or a paper plate

Most people stock up on the essentials, milk, bread, etc. but I always purchase a few new fun craft activities for the kids. Snow days where I live can last for a few days. 

Supplies to stock up on BEFORE the snow storm hits:

  • Glitter
  • Construction paper
  • Color Wonder book for my 4 year old
  • Fun sparkly jewels 
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Stickers
  • Paint
  • Paper Plates

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Disney Movie Collection Giveaway

Who doesn't love a Disney movie?!  One lucky winner will be receiving over 15 amazing Disney movies! The giveaway will begin January 15 and end January 27, 2014. The winner will receive the following movies:

  • The Little Mermaid
  • Toy Story 3
  • The Incredibles
  • Cinderella 
  • Monster's University
  • Brave 
  • Babe's in Toyland 
  • Lady and the Tramp 
  • A Bug's Life 
  • Muppet Treasure Island and Great Muppet Caper 
  • Wall-E 
  • Wreck It Ralph
  • Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland
  • Iron Man 3
  • Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue 
  • Aladdin
  • Tinker Bell 
  • Mary Poppins 40th Anniversary 2 disc set
  • Disney 4-Movie Collection: Herbie (Love Bug/Herbie Goes Bananas/Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo/Herbie Rides Again) 

  • To enter use the Rafflecopter below: 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Winner must be a US Resident 18 years or Older. Winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond to claim their prize or another winner may be chosen. Movies will be sent individually from each blog sponsor. Winner's address will be shared with all blog sponsors (18). If winner does not agree to have his/her address shared with all sponsors, another winner will be chosen

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    Mommy To Be Essentials Giveaway

    One lucky Mommy To Be is going to win this wonderful prize pack valued at over $700!! The giveaway begins Monday January 13 and ends January 19, 2014. 

    Having a new baby seems to always come with an endless list of things you need! Enter to win this gift set we handpicked to make the new baby stage a little easier and to pamper one lucky mom. Our Mommy-to-Be Essentials Giveaway features a variety of fabulous items from many great brands!

    Enter to win by using the Rafflecopter below:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Saturday, January 11, 2014

    1900 Park Fare Dinner Review

    We had dinner at the Grand Floridian's 1900 Park Fare on our Magic Kingdom day. We found it quite convenient to simply hop on the monorail from the park. It is nice to check out the beautiful lobby and shops at the Grand Floridian also. Be sure to allow some extra time! We had dinner reservations for 6 pm. When I checked in with the hostess and let them know we were there she said it would be a 5 minute wait. We waited in the lobby and after about 15 minutes I went back and asked how much longer it would be. Luckily I asked on the status because the hostess had seated someone else in our place! Apparently another family shared our same last name and had a similar time for their reservation.

    Once we were seated Prince Charming immediately came to our table to say hi and pose for some pictures. The step sisters and the evil step mother made their way around the room also. The step sisters were really quite entertaining, arguing with each other and being very loud. They really played the part! The food at 1900 Park Fare was wonderful. I felt like we really got our money's worth on this buffet ($38 per adult and $19 per child). There is a salad bar stocked full of fresh fruits, rolls, salad, strawberry soup and eve California sushi rolls. The carving station served beef and pork loin. The 'hot line' was our favorite and consisted of Guiness beef stew, salmon, chicken marsala, vegetables, shrimp, soups, etc. Be sure to try to the strawberry soup. It is so amazing and a must! My children really enjoyed the children's section of the buffet, it had pizza, chicken, elbow pasta and many fresh fruits and vegetables. The dessert buffet section was stocked full of yummy treats including gummy bears, brownies, cookies, pudding, etc.

    To see the menu choices for 1900 Park Fare visit this website.

    Complimentary birthday cupcake

    The step sisters were arguing throughout dinner and making quite the scene ;)

    Cinderella spent a lot of time visiting and talking with mini Cinderella :)

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

    Flying To Orlando--Pro's and Con's

    If you are flying to Disney World consider yourself lucky! There are many benefits to flying to Orlando, Florida however when you fly you no longer have access to your personal vehicle. This can be a scary thought for many Mom's and Dad's who have babies and toddlers that require a car seat.

    Did you know that the Disney transportation system will pick up guests at the airport for free? You simply must let them know in advance of your flight information. However, car seats are not allowed on the Disney transportation system. This is a scary thought for someone like me who is paranoid enough with my children riding in our own car in car seats on a highway. I worry about car accidents constantly and can not stand the thought of my children (all under age 6) being on a bus, train or even air plane without their car seat.

    So what is a parent to do? If you feel the same way that I feel about children being in a car seat then there are other options. You can pay for a taxi cab to transport your family to your resort from the airport. The average taxi fare from Orlando airport to Disney property is roughly $50. If you are on a tight budget and trying to determine the best option for your family I would recommend doing the math. Add up how many cab rides you will be needing (Do you need groceries? Do you need a cab ride to Universal Studio's?) The cost of relying on the taxi cab could quickly add up. If you just need a taxi cab ride to and from the airport to your resort it would cost about $100. But if you plan to do any sight seeing on your own in Orlando, purchase groceries, etc. then I would highly recommend that you rent a car. There are several car rental companies located at the Orlando airport. How convenient is that?! You can rent a small compact car for 7 days for $150 or if you need more space you could rent a mini van for 7 days for $300. This way you have your own transportation and your children can safely ride in their car seats. If you are flying with small children visit this website to print out some cute airplane themed coloring pages:

    PRO's of Flying:
    • Getting your vacation started as quick as possible
    • No more being stuck in a car for a long amount of time with a screaming toddler :)
    • Sometimes you can even get a direct flight to Orlando
    • No need to get a hotel to split up the long drive to Orlando
    CON's of Flying:
    • Ticket prices can get expensive for a bigger family like my own (It would cost us $1,000 + to fly all 5 of us)
    • Airlines now charge an additional luggage fee per person which can add up, especially if you are traveling with small children and need to pack strollers, booster seats, packnplays, etc.
    • You wont have your own vehicle when you arrive so you will have to rely on Taxi's and shuttles to get around
    • Small children will be unable to ride in a car seat or booster seat aboard the Disney shuttle's
    • Hauling stroller, packnplay, etc. for a baby or toddler can get overwhelming

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    Top 5 Date Night Restaurants At Walt Disney World

    A vacation isn't a vacation until Mommy and Daddy have a date night! Disney is the perfect vacation for everyone in the family, including Moms and Dads. Just because you left your favorite babysitter or grandparent at home does not mean you should not have a date night while on vacation. There are many wonderful childcare options at Disney should you want to plan a date night.

    Be sure to make advanced dining reservations to avoid a long wait. If you are celebrating a special occasion also be sure to let them know when you make the reservations. Why not surprise your spouse with a beautiful flower arrangement or custom made cake from the Disney Florist.

    My top 5 date night restaurants at Disney World are:

    5. La Hacienda De San Angel-Located at Epcot in the Mexico Pavilion. This is such a romantic spot, waterside seating and authentic Mexican food makes for a wonderful date.

    4. Le Cellier Steakhouse-Located at Epcot in Canada. Known for their outstanding steaks and Canadian cheese soups. Be sure to try the lobster macaroni and cheese! Truly a memorable dinner.

    3. The Dining Room At Wolfgang Puck Café-Located at Downtown Disney this is a must for anyone who loves good quality food. Who doesn't?! If you're a fan of sushi they also have quite the selection. I recommend trying the Wolfgang Puck Multiple Chef Tour which consists of a California 4 course tour. You can choose your soup, salad, entrée and dessert for only $52.95 per guest (great deal for those on a budget considering the quality is outstanding).

    2. Yachtsman Steakhouse-Located at the Yacht Club. This is a very classy steakhouse. The serving sizes are great and you won't leave hungry! The steak is truly worth the price. Be sure to try the truffle mac and cheese.

    1. Narcoossee's-Located at the Grand Floridian on the water with magical views of Magic Kingdom. If you love seafood you will not be disappointed. One of the best places in all of Disney to have scallops, swordfish, Maine lobster, etc. Steaks are also available for those that do not love seafood. The creamy lobster-corn bisque is to die for. Be sure to save room for the gelato sampler for dessert. Book a late dinner and request a table by the window so you can enjoy the fireworks at night.