Valentines Inspired Mickey Mouse Sun Catcher

I’m always looking for new things or crafts for us to do at home. Adding in Disney just peaks my girls interest so much more, and keeps her engaged. What can I say we are definitely a Disney family. 

These sun catchers are something fun for the kids to do. They can hang on the window to catch the beautiful rays of sun in a fun way. If you have older kids they can do most the work, with younger ones like my toddler you will need to do most the work. 

Here is what you need: 

A fun paper plate- these were themed to Valentines Day but you could use anything

Big Pieces of Glitter or Confetti 

Clear Contact Paper 

Scissors 

Mickey Cookie Cutter (you can also just use a cut out) 

Pen or Marker 

Ribbon (optional) 

To start flip your plate over to trace your Mickey head onto the paper plate. 

Poke your scissors through to cut out the Mickey shape. The plates I used were super thick and harder to cut. I might recommend using something a little less thick. 

Cut 2 pieces of contact paper to fit the middle of plate. 

Add contact paper to back side of the plate then flip over and add the glitter or confetti. Once that’s added top with the other piece of contact paper, and make sure to smooth it down really well. 

I decided to add some ribbon but you don’t have too. To add it I just poked a hole with my scissors and strung it through. 

Now you have a fun sun catcher you can make with supplies you probably already have at home. If we could get some Sunshine here so we can use ours that would be great! Make sure to show me all your creations. 

My Rocks Box Review

*This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission if you purchase something off my link at no extra charge to you.

 

I’ve seen Rocks Box floating around for so long, and I’ve debated and debated it. Part of taking care of me more this year, was also about putting myself together more. I can be really bad about as a Stay at Home Mom it but I feel so much better when I do. 

Jewelry can fix up the most simple of outfits, even if it’s jeans and a T-shirt. I love jewelry, so when a friend had a code for free month with a credit I figured why not give it a go. I honestly love Subscription boxes and they make life a little easier. 

As far as the process goes, you fill out a style profile very similar to Stitch Fix.  You can note your favorite designers, color preferences etc.. After I signed up and had set up to receive my first box Rocks Box emailed me to go and fill out my “Wish List”  and they would give me an additional $5 credit. Doing this also gives your stylist an idea of pieces you really love. They may even grant those wishes when you receive  your box. 

The monthly cost after the first month is $21 but that credit is good until the end of the month towards anything you purchase. You can keep the pieces as long as you want, just pay the monthly fee. They send you a prepaid label to send back what you don’t want at any time. If you choose to keep everything you get a $10 credit. 

An email was sent a few days before my box shipped showing what was inside of it. I also had the option to swap anything out that I may not have liked. I was happy with what they had picked out and two of the items were actually on my “Wish” list.  

Inside the box was a description of each piece, as well as the prices listed.When your ready to mail it back you just go online and rate what you received and check out. Then you just place any returns back in the envelope, place the return shipping label on there

Here is what was in my first box: 

Kendra Scott Irene Earrings in Gold Iridescent 

I love these earrings so much! These are a keeper for sure. They also give me all the Tangled vibes too, but they are perfect and a good versatile piece to go with just about anything. 

watch and bracelet from www.lillianandco.com

Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace in Magenta 

I’m a huge Kendra Scott fan, and I’ve been eyeing one of these necklaces for far too long. While I love this necklace I’m not going to be keeping it. For the price I decided I needed something that would go with a little more. I have some other colors on my wish list so if I decide to continue the box for a little while hopefully I’ll get one again. 

Sophie Harper Pave X Ring in Gold 

I loved this ring. I’ve wanted something like this for a while. Sadly this ring was a little to small for my middle finger where I wanted to wear it so I’ll be sending it back. 

While this isn’t something I will do all the time it is a fun way to get a few new pieces added to your wardrobe. I’m at a place now where I would rather have some nicer pieces of jewelry than a bunch of cheap ones. I definitely recommend giving it a try if your looking for a few new pieces, or to do a little something for yourself. Men this would also make a great gift for the ladies in your life! 

Use code MEGANABFF31 and get your first box free! 

Valentines Gift Guide for the Disney Lover in Your Life

*This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission if you purchase something off my link at no extra charge to you.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Have you got something for that special someone in your life? 

Today I’m rounding up some of my favorite things you can still snag for the Disney lover in your life. Not all of them will arrive in time for the day, but you can always do a super cute I owe you! 

I’ll start with some of my favorite easy to add to your everyday pieces. My go to for this is Lillian and Co. I just love their quote bracelets, and the quality is amazing! They come in Gold, Rose Gold, and Silver and look great mixed together.

I also love their watches! I was gifted their Kingswell Dreamer Watch in Rose Gold for Christmas and it’s probably my favorite watch ever. The stainless steel mesh band makes it’s super comfortable, and it has a great vintage Hollywood vibe with a modern day feel. It’s perfect for casual days and easily dressed up as well. 

For a super sweet everyday necklace head over the Make It Minnie. Her 2nd star to the right necklace is the perfect everyday piece. They are currently back in stock right now, she keeps selling out of them and I always miss them. I can’t wait to get my own. I’ve hinted at my husband about this one, so I’m hoping he is going to make it happen.  I have also seen a preview of some things to come to her shop and they are so cute! 

*picture courtesy of Make it Minnie.

I’ve fallen in love recently with A Girl and the Castle Small Shop which is owned by Ashley from @danggooddisney. She has a variety of cute items in her shop, and each month donates a portion of her profits to a good cause. Currently she is taking that money to give to others to go on a trip to Haiti in August. She has raised money for her part of the trip and now is giving that money back to others. This girl has a heart of gold, so go support her shop! 

One of my favorite items right now is her new shirt, It’s Important to Remember We all have Magic Inside of Us. I just snagged this shirt in the heathered navy color and can’t wait to get it in. These shirts won’t arrive in time for Valentines Day but you should still get one and give an I Owe You!

*picture curtorsey of The Girl and The Castle Website

I’ve recently discovered Evelyn Henson and I’m in love with her work. This one isn’t just Disney and if you have someone who loves art work she has some great gift options. I love her Orlando print we lived there for 4 years and it still is home to me. She has many other cities available as well as her customizable travel print which I’m so in LOVE with. I’m ordering the prints from each place we have lived little by little and I’ve started with the Orlando one and can’t wait to receive it. I love having special artwork like this in my home. If you sign up for her emails you can get a 15% off your first order code as well! 

*picture from Evelyn Henson website

If you have a Disney Pin collector in your life the small shop pins are the way to go. Magical Monograms has the perfect Mermaid heart pin. Lindsayland Pins has also become a new favorite of mine. She has the perfect Dole Whip pin which is currently unavailable , and a Violet Lemonade Pin perfect for Flower and Garden Festival. 

 

Ears are from Pixie Made Ears, I just added the pin

Speaking of Ears, you can never go wrong with the gift of ears for any Disney Lover. I absolutely love Pixie Made Ears, they are some of my favorite ears. She happens to be restocking her shop tonight. Her Ears are also super affordable!

You can also never go wrong with a pin from one of my favorite shops ever Happily Ever Tees. Their Coffee with the Mouse Pin is perfect for the coffee lover in your life, and you can never go wrong with a Happily Ever Tees shirt either. 

Another great little gift for the coffee lover in your life is a coffee cozy, or mug. I love the knit cozies from House of Mouse Hand Made. The Castle one pictured above is one of my favorites that I own. My absolute favorite coffee Mugs right now are my Shellie May mug and the Mickey Memories Mickey Pants Mug for January. You can find both of them on Shop Disney.

I’ll give a little love to my own small shop, before I jump completely out of the small shop thing. Cups, Mugs, Coffee Cozies  are always a great idea. If you have a Rosè lover in your life my Rosè is better than people wine glass inspired by the movie Frozen. I’ve got many other fun items in my shop perfect for the Disney lover in your life. You can shop my store right here.

Disney Style has taken on a whole new world in the last year or two. I love how it’s evolved and how you can add the perfect touches of Disney to your regular everyday outfits. A Danielle Nicole Bag is the perfect gift. I just love these bags, and how fun they are and so will the Disney Lover in your life. You can shop them here on Shop Disney. I snagged this Snow white Cosmetic bag a few weeks ago on Sale and they had an extra 25% off,  it is still on sale online. 

 

Box Lunch Gifts has some great items you can get for the Disney lover in your life. The best thing about Box Lunch is for every $10 you spend they donate a meal through Feeding America. 

 

 

 

They have some super cute bath bombs, and you can never go wrong with a bath bomb as part of a gift. Actually a cup or mug, with a bath bomb is great idea for a small gift if your on a budget especially. 

*photo from Box Lunch Gifts

Box Lunch also carries a different variety of Danielle Nicole Bags, Hats, Shirts, Pop Funko and other Disney apparel. So Gift Some and Give Back.

I have to share these Kendra Scott Earrings that I’m currently obsessed with. These give me the Tangled Vibes but honestly I just love them and they go with so much. The place I could find these Irene Studs Earrings was through Rocks Box. I received these in my first one ( review coming soon) and I looked online to share but they are sold out everywhere. If you would like to try and snag these on Rocks Box use code MEGANABFF31 and get your first month free. It can be cancelled at any time and you have no obligation to buy anything.

 

It is still winter, and whether your throwing something together for your child, girlfriend or loved one you can never go wrong with a cute little Lip Smacker Tsum Tsum chapstick. These can be purchased at Target and Walgreens, or on the Lip Smacker website. They are so cute and fun, and my 2 year old is obsessed with them.

What are you doing for the Disney Lover in your Life this Valentines Day?

14 Days of Love Through Bible Verses

One of my goals for this year is to spread love, kindness and magic. There is no better time to start than in a month filled with love. Most importantly to show my child God’s love, and how we can be God’s Love to others.  While at 2 she may not understand all the verses and stories just yet I know the little things we teach them now stick with them. 

When I think of TRUE LOVE, or LOVE in general God and Jesus are truly the ultimate definition. Which sparked the 14 Days of Love through Bible Verses. 

I grabbed some little foam hearts in the dollar spot at Target, $1 for 8. I could have easily cut out hearts and you can definitely do that. With a toddler I figured the foam ones were a little more durable. 

I debated how we would use these for a while, and I decided to display them in the form of garland. Each day we can read the verse for the day, but will be able to look at them all each day. 

I had some verses in mind when I thought of this project, and I did some digging for a few others. I used a permanent marker and wrote the verses out on each heart, punches holes in the top and strung them. Because of the space where I wanted to hang them I did it on two strands. 

If you have an older child I think it would be super cute to do a a jar with paper hearts with verses. They could pull one out each day to read and hang them some way. 

The one verse I didn’t use that I wanted too was John 3:16. If you align it right it actually spells out Valentine. I couldn’t get it to fit on a heart, so I plan on adding this free printable in a little frame you can get it here.

Let use the month to share God’s love and be the example of God’s love. Through social media, in our communities, in our homes and schools.  Shine for all to see and spread Love and Kindness. 

I’ll be sharing each days verse on my instagram, and a few acts of love or kindness as well. Follow my page over at @magicallymegan and use hashtag #14daysodlove and #magicallymegan so I can see what your doing in your home! 

Disney’s Yacht Club Ale and Compass Breakfast Review

One of my favorite things to eat at Disney is breakfast! It sounds crazy coming from me, considering most days I hardly eat much at all for breakfast. I’m just not a breakfast person. At Disney I want to fuel up for a day in the parks, plus there are so many great options. 

On our December trip we decided to book a reservation at the new Ale and Compass At Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Let me tell you it did not disappoint. 

Ale and Compass replaced the Captains Grille and the location got a beautiful overhaul. It had a very modern Nautical Vibe to it, and honestly it was super cozy! 

The menu had a lot of great options for breakfast, from your traditional items, to a twist on traditional items and more. 

The location has a Hearth Oven, and at breakfast their Breakfast pie is cooked in the oven. They also have other Hearth Oven Pies at lunch and dinner. 

We ordered a press pot of their Joffrey’s coffee. Joffrey’s is so underrated on Disney property and I would much rather have their coffee over Starbucks.  We love ordering a press pot when we sit down to breakfast, and it’s really not much more than getting a default cup of coffee. 

My 2 year old kept it pretty simple and of course wanted Mickey Waffles and chose to order her own bacon for the first time. She hasn’t really had it much but when the server asked her the girl knew what she wanted. 

I went with the Blueberry and Bacon Pancakes. I dream of these pancakes, they are seriously some of the best I’ve ever had. Knowing that bacon at Disney isn’t anything to special I debated ordering them, but these were the real deal. There were good thick cut pieces of bacon and fresh blueberries in these pancakes, and they were crispy around the edges but still perfectly fluffy in the middle. I seriously can not wait to go back for these. 

My husband ordered the breakfast pie, and again this did not disappoint either. We weren’t sure what to expect but when it came out it was almost like a breakfast pizza cooked in their Hearth Oven. The crust of it was soft yet crispy with that wood fire over taste. It will honestly be hard to choose what to order when we return. 

My husband had to work for a bit after breakfast, so he went over to the Ale and Compass Lounge next door  while my daughter and I ventured to Epcot for a while. He decided to check out the Captains Bloody Mary which is the same one on the Ale and Compass breakfast menu. This one comes with a Lobster Claw and a bacon strip, so of course he says no other Bloody Mary even compares. I am not a Bloody Mary fan so I can’t really compare.

When I returned from Epcot my daughter was asleep so I joined him for a beverage. Ale and Compass Lounge is very easily one of my new favorite Lounges on property to just stop, relax and have a drink. 

I tried their Maple Old Fashioned, it has a very different spin to it and that probably makes it one of my most favorite Old Fashions ever. It’s your typical bourbon and bitters, but instead of just the twist of orange or orange peel they use Orange Juice and Maple Syrup and was so good. We liked it so much we actually stopped by to hang out again on our last day of the trip. 

Ale and Compass gets a 10 out of 10 in my book, from the exceptional service to the food. We are eager to try it out for other meals as well, and hope it is just as good. We would much rather do these nice quiet sit down breakfast than all the character ones. Character meals are fun and we do try and do one a trip, or the ones that have those harder to find characters but we enjoy spending much less, getting fresh food and a little less chaos. 

Do you have favorite breakfast spots at Walt Disney World? 

*Ale and Compass offers Annual Pass Holder, DVC and Tables in Wonderland discounts. The Lounge also takes Tables in Wonderland. 

Setting Goals, Dreams and Ambitions for 2018

So it’s taking me a few days, ok weeks  into the New Year to really compile this post, but I think it’s important to do for myself even if no one reads it. I thinking writing down your goals and looking at them through the year helps you work harder to obtain those goals. I’m more about setting goals for the year than resolutions really. Here are some goals and plans I have for 2018! 

Create more Simplified living, and Life

I’ve really fallen in love with Author Emily Ley, so when her new book A Simplified Life came out in November I knew it was the perfect thing for the new year. 

I love her thoughts on intentional living, creating a Simplified Life that works for you and your life and family. One that doesn’t mean perfectly labeled and organized pantry’s, or toy rooms but ones that make your life easier. She is currently doing a 31 day Simplified Challenge you can do in around 15 minutes each day to start simplifying things in your life. 

I also have her Simplified Planner which I’ve been super excited to use. As a blogger, small shop owner, Mom, Wife, Friend I need something to really plan things. You can even meal plan here. I’m a write it down kind of person.

Read More 

To be honest I spend too much time on electronics so my goal is to read a lot more in 2018.  I want to read books for pleasure, to better my self, Faith Based, self help. Here are a few I’m adding to my list this year. 

  1. The Simplified Life (of Course) 
  2. Grace Not Perfection (re read) 
  3. Big Little Lies 
  4. 12 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit
  5. The Best Yes 
  6. The Happiness Project (I’ve had this for far too long) 

I plan on adding at least 4 more to this which doesn’t include my devotionals. I love to read and is something I haven’t spent enough time doing. and this is all part of me doing something for me, and taking care of myself. 

 

Grace Not Perfection 

“I will live by a standard of Grace Not Perfection” – Emily Ley 

I read the book Grace Not Perfection last year as I was going through a really rough time in my life. It really spoke to me in ways I needed then and I was dealing with some pretty serious anxiety which I haven’t opened up much about. A lot of the anxiety really dealt with motherhood and the unknowns, but also the feeling of constantly drowning in all that needed to be done. 

I decided that I want to re read this book this year as I think it may speak to me in a different way.

Grace Not Perfection is my word for the year. Well I guess really my motto, but I’m going to strive for this daily, in all walks of life. 

Self Care 

One thing I plan do more of this year is self care. Self Care doesn’t always mean a day at the spa though those are wonderful, or fancy bath bombs, or expensive things. For me sometimes is just a hot quiet bath, some yoga, or getting up 45 minutes before my daughter to make sure I get my quiet time in, or a grocery trip by myself. Though I know this seems like what everyone does, I’m also going to start up a work out routine. 

When I got in my deepest point of my anxiety being bad last fall I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was overwhelmed, not sleeping enough and just physically and mentally exhausted. I refuse to let myself get to that point again. To be able to take care of those I love I have to take care of myself too. That’s hard to do sometimes as a mom but I’m learning. 

In order to be the best version of myself I also need to take care of myself. 

Grow my Blog and Small Shop 

I took the leap of owning and starting  my own business in May of last year. My blog launched in May and my small shop back in August. I’m so glad I did, it’s grown and continues to grow so I’m so excited to see where it will be after a full year, and also by the end of 2018. 

I’m setting goals and chasing dreams and I can’t wait to see where this year takes me! 

Grow in My Faith 

I haven’t been that great at having a daily quiet time with God but when I do it makes my entire day different. Prayer, faith, and my trust in him helped get me through some of the darkest times of 2017. I’m learning to let go and let God. I’m excited to dig deeper in my faith this year in so many ways and make that top priority in my life. 

 

Spread Love and Kindness, Make Magic 

Our world needs so much love and kindness, and I want to spread as much as I can this year. I also want to teach my daughter to be kind and loving and I know that starts with me. 

I’ve got a little Valentines project up my sleeve about Love I’ll be sharing soon, and I’m brainstorming for more ideas through the year. 

When I worked for Disney making Magic was the most rewarding part of my job. Sure we were supposed to but I always loved going above and beyond that in any way I could. I’ve missed that, and I’ve realized I don’t have to be at Disney for that to be a thing. 

I’m looking forward to 2018, making it a better year. Being healthy, happy, loving, kind and creating everyday Magic. Oh and of course lots of Disney Magic and time with precious family! 

 

Cranberry Bourbon Mule

I love a good Moscow Mule, but I love a Bourbon one even more. With the holidays and the season I wanted to try to add some cranberry to the mix. 

You could use this recipe with Bourbon or Vodka. The cranberry might stand out a little more with the vodka also. 

Ingredients 

2 oz Bourbon or Vodka 

4 oz Ginger Beer (I used Trader Joe’s Ginger Brew)

1/2 oz of lime juice 

Cranberry Ginger-ale

Limes 

Cranberries (optional) 

Fill Mule Mugs with ice, Add Bourbon, then lime juice, and top with the Ginger Beer. Top with Cranberry Ginger-ale and stir. Add lime slice to glass, and top drink with Cranberries. 

Mix these up for a festive night at home, a Holiday Party, or just because. What cocktails do you enjoy for the Holiday Season? 

8 Festive drinks to try at Walt Disney World this Holiday Season

Walt Disney World at Christmas is truly magical, and it’s grown and changed, and evolved over the years. From the addition of Festival of the Holidays, extra festive treats, and beverages. 

There are so many good ones this year to try and here are 8 Festive drinks around Walt Disney World you shouldn’t miss out on! 

1. Hot Cocoa Martini at Disney’s Hollywood Studios 

There are 3 different Hot Cocoa Martinis you can try at Hollywood Studios this season. You can grab them individually or get the flight. If I did it again I would just order the Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Martini. 

The trio comes with The Baileys Salted Caramel, Hot Cocoa Martini, and the Black Cherry Bourbon Martini. We are bourbon drinkers but the Bourbon one was awful. So much so we couldn’t even take more than a sip or 2 each and tossed it. 

 

2. Spiced Rum Punch Slush- Epcot- France Alace Holiday Kitchen Festival of the Holidays 

France always wins for the best drinks in my opinion, especially when it comes to a slush. Whether it’s Food and Wine Festival, Flower and Garden, a regular day at Epcot or Festival of the Holidays they seriously kill it every time. The Spiced Rum Punch Slush consist of Spiced Rhum, Rhum Clement V.S.O.P, Orange and Pineapple Juice with Cinnamon. Just try it, trust me! 

3. Holiday Kir – France Alsace Holiday Kitchen 

This was another favorite of mine. It was simple sparkling wine, topped with Monin Cranberry syrup and would make a perfect Christmas cocktail at home too!

4. Snowflake Margarita – Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs 

The Margarita Bar at Disney Springs has always been a great stop. Ever since it got re done with extra seating it’s even better. Stop by in the evenings and enjoy a nice margarita by the water, and some live music. 

This Snowflake Margarita was surprisingly tasty. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the Blue Curaco in it and was afraid it would be to sweet but it was very balanced and not too sweet at all. 

5. Wine Slushy- Amorettes Disney Springs 

While the Wine Slushy isn’t a seasonal drink, the Apple Cider Flavor is, and it’s delicious. I couldn’t decide on the flavor so I got the Apple Cider Riesling mixed with the Strawberry Syrah and I already can’t wait to have it again. 

6. Poinsettia Punch- Trader Sam’s Disney’s Polynesian Resort 

Trader Sams is one of my favorite stops, and the patio is a great spot if you can’t get in inside. Especially on a nice evening. I tend to always go for a Spikey Pineapple but decided to change it up this time and try something a little more festive this trip. 

The Poinsettia Punch was especially good, and reminded me of a rum punch. It consisted of Myers Dark Rum, Bacardi Superior Rum, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Cranberry Juice, and Falernum with a splash of Lemon Juice. It had the perfect blend of Holiday flavors, and didn’t make me miss my Spikey Pineapple too much. 

7. The Holiday Beer Flight – Epcot American Holiday Kitchen 

It’s always nice to be able to try several drinks in one stop. My husband and I like to split flights like this because then we can try a little extra.  I definitely recommend grabbing the Holiday Beer Flight , it consisted of Orange Blossom Brewing Co Cranberry Kringle Pilsner ( was my favorite of the trio), Shipyard Eggnog White Porter, and JDub’s Season’s Greetings Peppermint Milk Stout. 

8. Plyalinda Sparkling Christmas Coffee Blonde – Festive Center Epcot 

We have a lot of local breweries at home and I’ve fallen in love with Blonde Coffee Beers. When I saw this listed in the Festival Passport I knew it was a must try on my list. I definitely recommend it if you like coffee beers, or something a little lighter.

 

10 Tips for Planning a Stress Free Walt Disney World Vacation

We love going to Walt Disney World, and for me planning it all is part of the fun. However I know for some people it can feel like so much work for just planning their vacation. 

Some people like to plan every second of their trip, however for me I just want to plan the basics. Dining, FastPass+ , any extra things that may require a reservation like Bippity Boppity Boutique and then make a list of things we want to do in each park, or resort we want to visit so we at least have a plan and know what is of higher importance on our list than other things. 

My Top 10 Tips for planning a Stress Free Disney Vacation

1. Know the Dates you can Book the Extras 

The best way to do this is to make sure to have the dates written down. You can get my free printable here that will help you in planning. 

You can book your Dining Reservations 180 days out plus 10 days. Whether you are staying on or off property you can book dining 180 days out. The perk to being on property is that you can book at 180 for years entire stay up to 10 days so you get to do this all at one time. If your off property you have to go day by day. 

FastPass+ can be booked 60 Days out for On Property Stays and 30 days for off property.( which again have to be done day by day) Again just another perk to staying on property. 

 

2. Download the My Disney Experience App 

This is must in your planning and for your trip! It had everything you need from booking FastPass+, to dining reservations and stores all that information for you to see daily in the parks. This is available in the app store for both Apple and Android. 

3. Make it fun! 

This playlist is perfect to listen to while booking dining, FastPass+, packing. Gets you in that Disney Spirit. 

Countdowns also make the process more fun. You can do a board where you change the countdown daily, or a chain. This gets the entire family engaged and in on the fun! Here are 50 great ideas from Sarah Lemp over at All Things with Purpose for your countdowns.

4. Don’t over plan 

Don’t plan every second of every day. FastPass+ and Dining Reservations of course. Ideas of what you want to do and knowing Parade and Fireworks Times most definitely. But don’t plan the time you will be at each ride, character meet and greet etc… I love to plan our trip but I like to be flexible when we are in the park, have an idea but yet go with the flow. 

5. FastPass+ Scheduling 

With FastPass+ one of my favorite things is to book them all back to back. So just as an example I will book 10-11, 11-12 and 12-1.  We will take advantage of shorter lines at opening until about 10:45 and then go to our first attraction, then right to our 2nd FastPass+ and then wait in line for another attraction. Around 12 we will venture to our last FastPass+ and once we scan our bands at the entrance we look to book an additional FastPass+. 

We may not get that FastPass+ until later in the afternoon depending on what’s available but it gives us that option to book a 4th and possibly even a fifth FastPass+ sometimes.  

We are a family that tends to take a mid day break and park hop so this really works well for us and for days at Magic Kingdom. I’ve also found when we don’t book them that way we spend a lot of time figuring out what to do while waiting until our next Fastpass which could be several hours later. 

6. Getting that Hard to find Dining Reservations 

When you get to book dining 180 days out you sometimes get a great selection of choices, however sometimes many families may book less than 6 months out. We often take last minute trips and have found very popular restaurants with a little extra work. Even when I book 180 days out I am really good at changing things when it gets closer. 

In the My Disney Experience app and on the website you can check dining reservations many times a day, and when I want something specific I do that a lot. I also find that upon arrival when we check for reservations they start to pop up in that 24-36hr before hand window. One trip I got a Cinderella’s Royal Table Reservation 3 Days before we were set to arrive. 

Don’t spend so much time obsessing over finding that one reservation (I actually just enjoy looking) that you drive yourself crazy. There are some sites that you can sign up for email alerts when reservations become available. 

7. Use a Disney Travel Agent 

If it’s your first time, or even your 10th time booking and going on a Disney Vacation I totally recommend booking with a travel agent. They will do all the work for you! You can give them free reign to book what they think you will enjoy or you can tell them specifics. They will do your FastPass+, Dining reservations and anything else you need. 

If you need some help I totally recommend Jones Family Travels for all your needs! 

8. Save Money on Your Trip Cost or for Spending Money

Did you know there are various ways to save a little money on your Disney Vacation even when Disney doesn’t have many discounts? 

One way is through saving up all your loose change in jar. This can all add up very quickly and you can cash it in before your trip for extra spending money

Purchase Disney Gifts Cards from Target (with the Red Card), BJ’s  or Sams Club and save 5%. I like to grab one on occasional Target trips and save them up. I will also save Target gift cards from their in store earning offers and use those to purchase Disney gift cards. 

Use cash back apps like Ebates and Ibotta and use those earnings for your Disney fund. I go more into depth about these apps in this post here

9. Shop for fun Disney Outfits and Other Goodies Ahead of Time 

One of my favorite things about planning a trip is planning fun outfits! From planning for myself and my daughter, and yes sometimes even my husband. Of course you can grab shirts and things upon arrival but there are so many great ones you can get from Small Shops and other places. Some of my favorite places to grab shirts for my trips are Target, Happily Ever Tees,  Oh Yeah Apparel, All Things Cute Designs, and Pretty Little Monograms are some of my favorites. There are other shops out there I love that I have yet to order from but definitely plan to do so. Once Upon Apparel, The Lost Bros, and Magical Monograms are on my list for a few future trips. You can find all these shops over on Instagram and I definitely recommend doing so!

Another item I love to add to my Disney wear is ears. To me they are great for any age and I love them both from the parks and small shops! Here are some of my favorite small shops for ears you can find on instagram, Ears Full of Sugar, Bippity Boppity Brooke, Pixie Made Ears,  and Aloha Ears. I also make bow and floral wire ears over in my shop which you can shop up in the shop tab.

 

From shirts to ears, to bags, pins, buttons, shoes there is so much cute and fun Disney things out there these days from Small Shops and other retailers it’s hard to make decisions on what to purchase!

 

10. Purchase Maker

I honestly can’t recommend this enough. It’s so great to get family pictures while on our trips that are high quality, not to mention not having to ask random strangers to take pictures. Just stop at the photopass photographers and get your pictures. I also love getting to enjoy the moments at character meet and greets while the photopass photographer snaps away. I don’t have to worry about getting pictures of my own most places and it is the best. We have it included with our  annual pass and it’s perfect, but I would totally pay for it if wasn’t part of our pass!

You can read about the perks of an Annual Pass and if it’s right for your family here!

For many Walt Disney World can be a Once in a Lifetime Vacation. For others it becomes a Home Away from Home. Take the time and truly enjoy the process of planning, and planning with your family. When the trip comes don’t sweat it if things don’t all happen the way you plan. Go with the flow, enjoy the family time, the magic and what I feel Disney does best bringing families together on a Magical Vacation. Happy Planning!

Dairy Free Sausage Gravy

With a daughter who has a dairy allergy turning more into a sensitivity I’m always trying to find ones to make things that require a lot of dairy tasty. I don’t do real milk myself with the exception of yogurt and cheese and well ice cream. Mostly I mean I don’t use regular milk or drink it, and I’m really trying to cut the other dairy items from my life as well. I definitely buy dairy alternatives where I can find them. 

My daughter started with Almond milk but I really wanted to find something with a little more. Then I kept hearing about Ripple Milk. We bought some and she loved it. I loved the protein, the less sugar and so many other things. People were telling me it tasted like real milk but I’ve never been a milk drinker but loved an occasional dark chocolate almond milk so I tried their chocolate milk and loved it. I decided I would start trying  replacing the almond milk I was using in recipes that called for milk with Ripple milk. It was so good! 

The cooler weather rolled in and I wanted homemade sausage gravy. I decided I would give Ripple a try for it. It was a hit, especially for my toddler who was getting something new and different. I honestly couldn’t tell much difference at all, and it was still that perfect comfort food. 

Here is what you need 

1 lb Sausage 

1/4 cup Flour 

Salt 

Pepper 

3-4 cups of Ripple milk 

Biscuits 

Cool sausage, you can tear into pieces or break apart with your spatula which is what I do. Once sausage is browned turn to medium heat and take 1/4 cup of flour and add half the cup to the pan until the sausage has absorbed it, then add the remaining  half. 

Once the flour has mixed in well add in milk 1 cup at a time. Start with just 3 Cups, turn to medium high heat. Let it come to a boil and turn to medium low. Stirring every few minutes. 

Once it starts to thicken you will be able to tell if you need more milk. Sometimes I may need a little more but not the cup. I’ve noticed it differs with different brands of sausage sometimes and I’m sure with dog cook tops as well. 

Add in  1/3 tsp salt and 2 tsp pepper. You may need more pepper later to taste depending on how peppery you like your gravy. 

Once it’s simmered for about 25 min and thickened to your liking it is ready to serve. 

I don’t make homemade biscuits. We really like to use the Grands ones from the freezer section. I throw them in to cook when the gravy is thickening. This typically serves us 2 different meals so those biscuits we can make fresh, and not waste any. 

Top your biscuits with the gravy and enjoy!

Reheat Tip: If you save some for leftovers add a little of the Ripple Milk before you heat it up as it thickens a lot in the fridge but it’s great left over. 

Have you tried Ripple Milk? What are some great dairy replacements you love?

*this recipe has been adapted from the Pioneer Woman Sausage Gravy Recipe