Category: DIY(page 1 of 2)

Disney Cruise

I’ve been getting lots of messages about our Disney cruise so I decided to make a post.

This was our first Disney cruise and it was a 3-night Bahamian cruise that left out of Port Canaveral. It was about a 2 hour drive from our house in Plant City and about an hour from Walt Disney World.

We booked our cruise back in April or May of 2017 and had until August to pay it off. This particular cruise was approximately $3,000 for 3 nights. We were not on a Halloween on the High Seas or a Very Merrytime cruise.

We also had just applied for a Disney credit card and got $200 back for booking the cruise on it.

Some of the things that are included with the cost of the cruise that are different than other cruise lines:

  • SODA – you can get a Coke at dinner fo’ free
  • A bandana for Pirates Night
  • Childcare
  • lunch on Castaway Cay

Speaking of childcare, the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are the “kids clubs” available on the ship. This was one of our biggest selling points for the cruise. We wanted some alone grow up time.

I’m not going to sugar coat it. We didn’t get that much. We’ve come to the realization that we are never going to have those kids who go to the kids club all day.

But we did get 20 minutes after dinner the first night. In between the Princess Meet and Greet and the Frozen Meet and Greet and Emma went once by herself for 2 hours while Addie was napping.

It was definitely better than the last cruise we went on when Emma cried until she threw up and Addie never went. And I think it will get better each time we go and the older they get.

Seasickness
I usually get sea sick and know it so I always pack a prescription of Mecalizine for myself and Children’s Dramamine for the kids (these are just chewable tablets that taste like grape) so we don’t have an issue.

We all take our meds about an hour before the ship starts moving and seem to be OK.

One of the things I did notice was that we never saw a Casino on the ship, but that was OK with me because I hate the smell of cigarette smoke and we don’t gamble.

There is still alcohol!!!! Just because it’s a Disney cruise doesn’t mean there’s no liquor. We had rum punches, wine, martinis and, of course, the guys drank their weight in beer.

Pirates Night 

This was probably our favorite part of the cruise. Everyone gets a bandana delivered to their room with pirate Mickey on it and Pirates of the Caribbean on it. We had packed our own costumes and wore our bandanas and eye patches. There was a Pirate deck show before our dinner (at 5:45 p.m.), then we went to dinner dressed as pirates, then after dinner, there was a Pirate IN the Caribbean show on deck at around 10:30, followed by fireworks at sea! DCL is the ONLY cruise line with fireworks at sea.

Fish Extenders 

The Fish Extender is basically a gift exchange with other families on the ship. We participated and I basically packed one whole suitcase for our stuff. I used a diaper organizer I bought on Amazon here. Then I bought fabric from Joann’s and covered each of our pockets.

My gifts included:

Cabin Gift: a Mickey picture Frame I painted with a picture of Mickey & the gang on Castaway Cay, a magnet with all the ports of call from our cruise on it and a coaster

For the Moms: a bath bomb (I purchased them here),

For the Dads: Pirates Booty, a pirate shot glass and gold chocolate coins

For the kids:

0-3: Sand toys

4-6: Glow sticks, Lego sets, Pez Dispensers, pirate accessories, lanyards and pins (for pin trading)

11-13: lip balm, nail polish

Teens: Pop sockets, ear buds and candy

Door Magnets

This is another thing that I’ve only seen on a Disney cruise- people decorate their doors! The doors on the ship are magnetic so I printed, laminated and hot glued magnets to the back of ours. I also made some for some of our friends who went.

Castaway Cay 

First of all, it’s pronounced Castaway KEY and I have no idea why lol

The island is Disney’s private island, but is Disney actually rents is from the Bahamas. It was IMMACULATE. My husband even said the mens restroom was clean and we all know that NEVER happens.

I ran a 5K on Castaway in the morning and joined the rest of my family on the beach afterwards. The island drink is the Konk Kooler- GET ONE. There is a family beach, an adult beach, Scuttle’s Cove, which is the kids club ON the island. It has a splash pad and they serve lunch and they did a whale dig (I think- my kids did not go).

Lunch on the island is FREE! Because it’s technically part of the ship.

Rentals are available for snorkeling, jet skis, etc.

We did the family beach, which has Pelican Plunge (waterslides) in the ocean.

Speaking of waterslides, ride the AquaDuck! I only got to do it once, but it was SO FUN! I went with my 5-year-old and screamed the whole way while she told me, “OK, mom this is going up, watch this.” LOL

Your children have to be 42″ to ride, however, if they are not tall enough (they will make them take off their shoes), there is also a Mickey slide that my 3-year-old loved.

There is also a Finding Nemo splash pad on our ship.

Dining

One of the cool things I liked about this ship was that we dined in a different room every night. But your wait staff travels with you!

The first night we went to Animator’s Palate, which is similar to Art of Animation in my opinion. With sketches on the walls, etc. The table centerpieces were paintbrushes, pencils, etc. and Crush from Finding Nemo was on the TVs around the restaurant for an interactive show. The wait staff even gave my kids ketchup in the shape of a Mickey head!

 

The second night we dined in Enchanted Garden for Pirates Night and our waiter even brought the kids Mickey ice cream bars with sprinkles for dessert!

The third night was our “optional formal” night and we dined in the Royal Palace. The bread baskets looked like Cinderella’s Carriage! My husband got a cappuccino (extra) that night with a Mickey on it!

We also liked eating lunch at Flo’s Cafe (from Cars), which was hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.

We took the girls to Vanellope’s Sweet & Treats on the last night (this is a candy and ice cream shop on the ship and costs extra)

Shows!!!

So, we got an extra special treat on got a SOFT OPENING of Beauty and the Beast!!!!!!

And it was Ah-mazing

We also saw Believe and The Golden Mickeys, both of which encouraged singing along, so double bonus points for me!

 

B is for…..

Continuing our letters of the week, we started with B. Here my list for B:

bear

butterfly

bee

brown

beans

beach

ball

bird

blocks

bubbles

button

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Life is All Rainbow & Unicorns

Birthdays are kind of a big deal for me.

So, this year, even though it’s not a milestone birthday, I threw myself (yep) a Rainbows & Unicorns pool party (my birthday is in the middle of summer).

First, I started a Pinterest board.

Unicorn door hanger, $3 Target Dollar Spot

IKEA

Unicorn Popcorn

Crescent Dog Twists

Unicorn Droppings
aka Jelly beans

Unicorn Horn Pasta Salad

Unicorn Bathing Suits, Target

Unicorn Wands

Arrow
Arrow
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1) Finding Unicorn/ Rainbow food that’s not candy/ donuts/ cake/ sweets is REALLY HARD! Here’s what I came up with:

Unicorn Horn Pasta Salad

Crescent Dog Twists 

Unicorn Popcorn (still had some candy drizzled on top)

Crescent Rolls with chicken salad

Unicorn Droppings (aka jelly beans)

Unicorn Farts were a huge hit with everyone at the party (cotton candy)

Unicorn Bacon was Airheads Rainbow Sour Belts

Rice Krispie Treats with Fruity Pebbles (LOVED this!)

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Indoor Family Picnic Lunch

We had our first “at home” day in a while this morning.

The girls played dress-up, Lincoln Logs, rode bikes and scooters, colored with chalk, played on the playground…

Meanwhile, I did a load of laundry and a load of dishes…

Fed the chickens. Rescued one of the chickens from being eaten by the dogs…

Fed the tortoise…

And when it was time for lunch, I started cutting up an apple and some cucumber slices.

On a cutting board.

Then I got the brilliant idea to put all of our food on the cutting board.

And just let everyone eat what they wanted.

Hence, the Indoor Family Picnic Lunch was born.

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Birthday Party theme: Foxes

I still have yet to mail out Thank You cards from the party, but here’s my blog on it LOL

Our littlest one has been obsessed with foxes since Zootopia came out last year.

She even has a Nick Wilde sweater. She wore it to Animal Kingdom and scared Mickey Mouse pretending to be a fox.

So, a Fox party was definitely in the cards for her. Finding fox party decor, on the other hand, not so easy.

She started preschool at the beginning of the month, so every Wednesday and Thursday leading up to her party were used for shopping, ordering, crafting, etc.

I started by getting these at Walmart:

They ended up becoming a banner for the party, hot glued to twine.

Then, I headed to good ol’ Joann’s. I got felt for felt masks, fake flowers for headbands, orange and black card stock. You know, my supplies!

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New Traditions: Friendsgiving

For the last couple of years, my husband and I have talked about having a Friendsgiving, but it wasn’t until this year that I made it happen.

Since it’s Thanksgiving break, lots of our friends are out of school and work, so we settled on a day during the week to have all the mommies and kids over for snacks and crafts.

We made paper plate turkeys by:

1) coloring the paper plates brown
2) cutting out feathers
3) gluing the feathers to the back of the paper plate
4) hot gluing googly eyes
5) hot gluing a stick (if needed/ wanted)

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Then, the kids played outside on the playground/ with Legos, etc.

We had lunch of Chick-fil-a nuggets (because all kids eat those, right?!), broccoli cheese casserole, candied yams, pumpkin pie, veggie straws, Tee Pees, Corn Pops and more. It was potluck and all the moms brought a dish to share.

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How to: Build Raised Garden Beds

It’s almost fall here in Florida, which means I’ve been getting my garden ready!

I planted cucumbers and pumpkins inside our house starting in August (it was WAY too hot here to be growing ANYTHING here).

In September, I moved them onto the patio and moved the sprouts to bigger pots.

Hubby and I (with a little help from the girls) put up a fence next to our chicken coop. It’s 16 feet by 16 feet off the side of the coop, which is 4 feet wide. The entire “garden” area is 16-by-20.

Hubby tilled inside this area and we put river rocks 1 foot around the edge of the inside of the fence.

Inside the fence, we are putting 4 foot by 6 foot raised garden beds. We used 1x6x6 and 1x6x4 and screwed them into 4×4 posts stacked three high. To make the beds 18 inches high.

We then stapled landscape mesh underneath each bed.

We then filled them with potting soil and we are starting to put out sprouts in it!

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From this…To that!

Last year for Halloween, my girls were Snow White and a Bumblebee.

And it was adorable. See for yourself:

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But I wanted them to have matching candy holders for each of their costumes.

I wasn’t finding what I wanted online or anywhere for that matter.

So I made them myself.

When I was younger, we just used good ol’ pillowcases for Trick-or-Treating.

1) There’s no way my kids can carry a big pillowcase

2) They don’t need that much candy

So I went to Wal-Mart and bought two regular orange Jack-O-lantern pumpkins. Then, I got brown packing tape and some red duct tape.

When I got home, I wrapped each pumpkin in it’s respective tape until the orange and the faces were no longer visible.

For Emma’s, I did an apple since she was Snow White and finished it off with some green ribbon wrapped around the handle.

For Addie’s, my bumblebee, I took black permanent marker and wrote “HUNNY” on it (like Pooh).

All in all, the project probably took me a day to complete (during nap time and after bedtime)

And my kids had one-of-a-kind Halloween treat bags.

This year, we are going as the Sanderson sisters (from Hocus Pocus) so they will have little cauldrons as their treat bags.

More on our costumes and those in a later post!

Happy Halloween!

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How to Survive a Hurricane…with Toddlers

I’ve lived in Florida all my life (all 31 years) so I’ve seen my fair share of Tropical Depressions, Tropical Storms and Hurricanes.

I was 7 when Hurricane Andrew hit.

I was in college when we had 4 hurricanes hit in 2005.

I’ve seen streets flood.

I’ve had the power go out.

I’ve got kind of a “been there, done that” attitude about hurricanes, as most Floridians do.

We throw Hurricane parties.

Until we have kids.

Then, we have to figure out how to keep them (and us!) sane cooped up inside for DAYS…

Here’s a list of things we do on Hurricane Days:

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DIY: Stand-Up Craft Table

I’ve been asking for a craft table for I don’t know how long. 

For my birthday, my husband came home with wood. LOL

And built me a craft table for my new Cricut.

For the legs of the table, he used 2X2s. For the top piece, he went to a local lumber yard, Lakeland Lumber, and got a 22×36 piece of white wood.

We (meaning he) attached the legs of the table with these nifty little things:

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You screw these plates to the bottom of the table. Then, you pre-drill holes in the 2X2s and screwed in the threads. After that, you just screw the legs into the plates. Easy peasy!

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At first, I thought I wanted my table to be 40″ from the floor. Once we put it in the room, I changed my mind (it’s a woman’s right!) and decided I wanted it to be 36″ so we took it back to the garage and out 4″ off the legs with a mitre saw.

My craft room is teal and white, so we bought spray paint and are going to paint the top teal and the legs white.

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