Toddler Disney World tips what when and how

Toddler Disney World Tips

Thinking of taking a baby or toddler to Walt Disney World?  Use these tips for taking a toddler to Walt Disney World to help turn your stress to the start of making the magic happen!

Toddler Disney World Tips #1 – What to Bring:

Your own stroller – If you are flying, gate check the stroller so you’ll have someplace safe to keep your little one comfortable while you wait.  The basket underneath will also allow you to store a carry on item or diaper bag so you’ll have your hands free at the airport.  Having your own stroller at Disney will give your tiny traveler a familiar surrounding, and possibly more comfort.

Carry-on:  Bring a bag with a supply of diapers/wipes; changes of clothes for an accident; bathing suit; sunscreen; hat; food items or medicines that might be needed until bags are delivered or in case they are lost.

ONE:  Favorite toy/stuffed animal

A Ziploc baggie with a few washing machine tablets/pods – just in case you need to do laundry.

Toddler Disney World Tips #2 – Ship Down or Deliver:

To save room in your luggage or in the car – ship a box to your resort ahead of time with diapers, wipes, powdered formula, extra supplies.

Toddler Disney World Tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Address it to your resort, but include your name and “Arriving Guest” with the date of your arrival.  The resort will store it until you arrive, and you won’t have to worry about taking up precious luggage space with essentials.  You’ll use most of this stuff up before you go home, so you won’t have to save space – buy those souvenirs!

You could also use a service like Garden Grocer.  This grocery delivery service will shop for the supplies you need and drop them off right at your hotel.

 

Toddler Disney World Tips #3 – Baby Care Center:

Located in each park, these are air conditioned, comfortable areas where you can attend to all of your little one’s needs.  Changing tables, high chairs, and a room for nursing mothers can be found here, as well as a microwave for quick heat up for your toddler’s meal.  You can also buy forgotten items like diapers, formula, and baby foods.  Moms and Dads can use the centers, and there is a place for older kids to watch cartoons while you tend to your tot.

Toddler Disney World Tips #4 – What Not to Bring:

High chairs, pack and plays, bed rails – all are available upon request at no additional charge at your resort/restaurants

Every toy you own – you’ll be in the parks most of the time, and not likely to need many things to play with – but do bring a favorite sleeping buddy.

Other Suggestions:

Stick to a schedule – eat when you do at home; try to remember bedtime and nap time if your kids have one. When making your FastPass+ reservations, avoid times when your little one is likely to prefer napping or eating.

Don’t force them to go to the characters if you sense anxiety – you’ll end up paying for therapy in years to come!

 

Gleam by Melanie Mills Review

Gleam by Melanie Mills logo

 

Testing out new makeup is always such a treat, but when you find one that you are thrilled to add to your makeup bag – well, that’s a winning day!

Gleam makeup

I was thrilled to test the Body Radiance, Body Dust, and Lip Radiance products.  The Lip Radiance, in Pop My Cork color, was a light pink, perfect for the light skin tones on the makeup wearers in our house.  It’s creamy and offers great lip coverage that was long lasting.  The color was subtle, great for any skin tone, and doesn’t bleed – I LOVE that!

Lip Radiance by Melanie Mills

Body Radiance, which I tested in light gold, added a beautiful glow – like you would see on your cheeks after a breezy day on the beach.  You can really use this on any part of your body, and the color it adds to your shoulders and chest with a tank top or sundress looks amazing.

Body Radiance by Melanie Mills

To cap off this beauty trio, I was also able to sample Radiant Dust.  This light gold loose powder added the perfect look to cheeks, nose and forehead – again, a sun kissed delicate glow.

Body Dust by Melanie Mills

The Body Radiance and Radiant Dust are so versatile!  You could easily replace your blush or use it to highlight your brows in place of eye shadow.  The Body Radiance would be perfect – even going into the warmer fall weather – in place of wearing panty hose.

After seeing it on me, my daughter immediately wanted to try the Gleam by Melanie Mills products.  She is an occasional makeup wearer, and the light feel really appealed to her.  We’ve decided this will be our go to line for her upcoming role as Alice in her school production of Alice in Wonderland.  It will be gorgeous under the lights!

Gleam makeup 5

Learn more about this great line – and possibly win some of your own!  Drop in on the upcoming Gleam by Melanie Mills Twitter Party – October 8th at 9 PM Eastern.  There will be prizes and gift cards!  #GleamGirl and #Gleamalicious  You can also visit http://www.gleambymelaniemills.com/

*Disclosure:  I received sample sizes of this product for free for the purposes of this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  

Monk Fruit In the Raw #InTheRawParty

As a “recovering” diabetic, thanks to gastric bypass surgery, I am always looking for a sugar substitute that tastes good and isn’t loaded with bad for you chemicals.  I was so thrilled to be offered the opportunity to host a Monk Fruit in the Raw party!

Monk Fruit in the Raw

What is Monk Fruit?  Grown on a vine called luo han guo in China and Thailand, the fruit kind of looks like a melon, but the flavor is said to be 500 times sweeter than sugar.  It is used in Eastern cultures to boost immunity and stave off cravings for sugary snacks.  The fruit is the basis for Monk Fruit in the Raw, a new zero calorie sweetener.

Monk Fruit in the Raw gift package

I figured the best way to really test out the Monk Fruit in the Raw was to invite friends and family over for a cookie tasting event.  Desserts are a huge thing for me, and we try in our house to make our desserts healthier choices or options that have lower amounts of sugar.  The kids get a little frustrated with the frequent offer of a fresh fruit bowl or sugar free popsicle or pudding for dessert, but I’ve had hit or miss success with baked good and artificial sweeteners.

Baking using Monk Fruit in the Raw

Fear no more, my sugar deprived children!  My homemade with Monk Fruit in the Raw cookies were a HUGE hit!  I did three kinds of cookies – white chocolate macadamia nut, oatmeal raisin, and chocolate chip – and there wasn’t a cookie left in the house at the end of the party.
Cookies made with Monk Fruit in the RawThanks to a pre-party taste test, I had the courage to try the Monk Fruit in the Raw in a handed down family recipe for Irish soda bread.  Because the sweetener is much sweeter than sugar, I was worried about measuring the right amount for the bread, which is a barely sweet bread, but it turned out positively perfect!

Irish Soda Bread made with Monk Fruit in the Raw

 

Guests were delighted with all of the treats, and we then broke open a box of the sweetener packets to use i coffee and tea.  Reviews were somewhat mixed.  The “fruity” taste some people noticed in their drinks didn’t seem to be prevalent in the baked goods, but some guests conceded that the fruity taste might have been a result of a flavored coffee.

Guests with their Monk Fruit in the Raw tote bags

Overall, the sweetener was well received.  Not a crumb was left of any of the desserts, and no one complained of an aftertaste or chemical taste that they said they often find obvious with other artificial sweeteners.  Many have said this is now going to be their new on the table sweetener!

Monk Fruit in the Raw in coffee and tea

You can learn more about Monk Fruit in the Raw by visiting http://www.intheraw.com/products/monk-fruit-in-the-raw.

*Disclosure – I was offered free samples of Monk Fruit in the Raw products for the purposes of hosting this party.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

 

Trendy New Place to Get Your Organics – Costco

Recently, a brand new Whole Foods Market opened up near us.  We have one about 30 minutes away already, and we’ve never gone in.  Honestly, we can get most of our organic needs met at Wegman’s, where we do our regular shopping, but we thought we’d take a peek at the new Whole Foods, since we pass it so often.

Nearly $60 later, we emerged with that new store smell fresh in our noses, our eyes all a gleam from the new store shine, and items in our grocery bag (yes, $60 at Whole Foods gets you one bag of groceries) that I feel like we could have purchased elsewhere for cheaper.

You’ll never guess where that “elsewhere” was.

Costco.

Costco 2

With a recent decision to try and eat more organically, either in our own garden or in our shopping, it never occurred to me that my frequent trips to Costco put so many organically produced items right at my fingertips.  You will pay a little bit more for the organics at Costco, but compared with the items I found in Whole Foods, Costco is still a better bet for my family.  A dozen cage free organic eggs at Whole Foods will set me back about $5.  For $7, I can get two dozen at Costco.

Costco

It doesn’t end with produce – of which there is plenty.  In addition to the bananas, the salad mix, even frozen fruits – I can find peanut butter, pasta, and ice cream bars.  And the prices for the items, while higher than buying Costco non-organic, are easily cheaper than the things I saw at Whole Foods.

Costco 3

Costco is really trying hard to make itself my one stop shopping locale.  I do love seeing so many organic options there.  But I’d miss Ralph, the butcher at Wegmans.

How Long Is a Moment? What Today’s Kids Think of 9/11

Part of my job at the elementary school where I work is to go from classroom to classroom to teach writing workshop to the children.  Today, on September 11th, when our principal came over the PA system to ask for a moment of silence to commemorate the 9/11 tragedy, I happened to be in kindergarten.

“Why do we have to be silent?”

Shhhhh

“How long is a moment?”

Shhhhh

“Neveah isn’t wearing red, white, and blue.  Does she have to be silent?”

Shhhhh

“I have to go to the bathroom!”

“I got a Slurpee once at 9/11.”

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The children in the class are four and five years old, and when the attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred in this country, many of their parents were still in high school.  Some were even in middle school.  These children were not even a glimmer in anyone’s eye when the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon took place – the most heinous terrorist attack on American soil in the history of our country.

So what does it mean to these kids?

Remember when you were in school, and they talked about Pearl Harbor?  The Kennedy Assassination?  Vietnam?  They were events in your history book, things your parents or grandparents talked about in terms of remembering where they were.  But to you, they were the things you learned to pass the Social Studies test.

My own nine year old asked me today what 9/11 was.  They didn’t discuss it in her school except on the morning announcements, where they told students if they were feeling sad or afraid, they could go to a teacher, a counselor, or a parent to discuss their feelings.  Granuaile didn’t know if there was something she should be sad or worried about.  It’s not that we have never discussed it with our kids, but we’ve never made it so that it seemed like an ongoing, fear inducing concern.  It happened, it was terrible and sad, but you’re safe.  I’m not even sure we gave it the name “9/11”.

Already, with the image of the first plane hitting the first tower still burning and painfully raw in our minds, these kids are too far removed to feel the pain we feel.  Many of us had brothers and sisters, friends and other family members, people we knew and loved lost on September 11th, but for a kid in elementary school today, the sadness they feel is equivalent to the sadness they’d feel over a great-great grandparent’s passing years before they were born.  Which is to say, none.

So what are we supposed to do?  How do we keep the memories honored and alive without imposing our sadness and concern?  We tell the story, we keep the photos and the memories we have of those we loved and lost ready to share, and we tell them they’re safe, whether we believe it or not.

And then we take them to 7-11.  For a Slurpee.

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