What the F**K is Going on?

By now I know we’ve all seen it, the news from Charlottesville. All I’ve been able to say about it thus far has been sharing miscellaneous memes that I feel explain my inner thoughts on the matter in a light-hearted fashion, but let’s be honest for a minute: There is nothing light-hearted about this situation.  Personally, I’m having a hard time figuring out where to go from this point.  What do I say? What do I do?

I always wondered in history class how people sat by and just allowed organizations like the KKK to exist.  How people just sat there while Jewish people were being targeted in Nazi Germany.  Why did it take so LONG for people to FINALLY intervene? Why did it take hundreds of thousands of innocent lives to render some kind of action? I believed that if I had been in the same circumstance, I would have stood up loudly and proclaimed, “NO!”, and other people would join and we would win.  Now, here I am sitting behind a computer screen, and I’m not sure what it is I should do.  Maybe this is how people felt during WWII. Maybe they saw the injustice, but weren’t sure what came next.

I don’t want to be that person. None of us do, right?  We don’t want to be the people who sat idly by while innocent people were persecuted for the color of their skin, or the God in which they worship.  God, do I need help. The world seems so bleak that it is absolutely soul crushing for me, but if that’s how I feel I can only imagine how anyone this atrocious behavior targets must feel.  I know I’m a heterosexual white Christian, and that gives me privilege.  What I need is, I need my fellow Americans of color, of various religious beliefs, of any sexual orientation to tell me what I can do.  How can I help?  What’s the best way?  Should we march together?  Should we start public speaking? Should we donate?  Should we organize a local event?   I don’t want you to feel unsafe in your own home, in your own country.  If you are here, if there is blood pulsating through your veins, I will fight along side you.

The time is RIGHT NOW. We can’t wait any longer. We MUST strike down white supremacists once and for all.  And I know none of you need reminding, but just IN CASE you do – You are beautiful no matter what the color of your skin, no matter who you love, and no matter who you pray to at night.  So let us stand together now, and for always.

I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.”  – Rosa Parks


What’s in a Rose?

Today, my boyfriend stopped at my job to give me a rose before he went away for the weekend.  It was small, and sweet, and of course all of the girls at work thought it was adorable.  But it’s kind of more than that.  I feel like in relationships, especially with social media, we all get stuck on the materialistic things, and HEY!, there is nothing wrong with giving and receiving gifts, but I feel like we get fixated on it. We compare our relationships with the seemingly “perfect” couples on social media with the #relationshipsgoals.  But what about that simple, single rose? What does it mean?

It’s funny when I look back sometimes on previous relationships. Guys who bought me anything I wanted. Guys who never bought me anything.  Guys who paid too much attention. Guys who didn’t pay enough attention.  And I tried to love each one of them, but it took me a long time to understand you can do all the right things , love the “right” way, and still be loving the wrong person.  It is completely possible to love the wrong person, right.  So what is so different about my relationships then, to my relationship now?   Communication.  Yes, I know, that’s what everyone says, right?  Number one advice for relationships is always better communication, but what does that even mean?  For us, it means being honest about our feelings, and why we may have reacted to something a certain way.

I’m a hard person to love, and I don’t say that in a cute, trying to give my boyfriend a nod, kind of way.  I mean I am seriously a hard person to love.  I’m stubborn and impossible to reason with with I’m angry. I’m temperamental, and sometimes unemotional, and I want everything done my way. I get jealous and self conscious and I can be a huge jerk just because.  All of these things have been true in every relationship I’ve been in, only in the past I would have been too proud to admit to most of them.  Only now, we tell each other when we are feeling self conscious, or jealous, or temperamental.  That’s not to say we don’t fight.  We fight plenty.  We just discuss WHY we fought. How I was feeling, how he was feeling.

Honestly, I wrote this post for him. My boyfriend is a great man.  For so long I settled for whatever I got in relationships that I forgot I held real value. I won’t lie, it was weird at first, being with someone who I can religiously count on for anything, anytime, anywhere.  Seriously.  I’ve called him while I’m at work because I spilled maple syrup all over myself and I needed him to bring me  clean clothes.  He has driven over at 11pm because my earring was stuck, and I was in tears unable to fix it.  He has dropped everything at 10pm to help me put together a toy storage unit, or stayed up with me until 4am putting together a Power Wheels princess carriage.  He’s dropped off medicine when I’m sick, taken hours upon HOURS out of his day to fix my car when it breaks down, and watched the movie Coraline on repeat for 7 days because that’s what my child wanted.

My point is, don’t settle. It’s worth waiting for someone who loves you on days you don’t even love yourself. Don’t be impressed by large diamonds and flamboyant gifts plastered all over your timeline.  Wait.  Wait for someone who knows what night is garbage night at your house.  Wait for someone who washes the dishes after you finish cooking. Wait for someone who doesn’t complain when you want to go to Target for the 80th time in one week, and drops by with a single rose to brighten your day. ❤

Saving Yourself

I apologize for the long span between posts.  Between moving, work, and school I have found little desire to do much else. Which is really what led me to this current post. I’ve been in a dark place the last few months, and it’s not something I expect most people to notice.  I try , and I feel like I succeed, in covering it up.  Thoughts and feelings can sometimes make you feel inferior or strange compared to your peers, and I don’t want anyone to pity me.   But these last few days I’ve been thinking, maybe what we really need is more people to be honest about their feelings.  I know there HAS to be other people who understand how I feel, and maybe explaining my experiences can help someone else. So here it goes:

I’ve been depressed for months.  No, I haven’t gone to see anyone, but I know what depression is.  I think most of us do.   I’m exhausted, lonely, and have no motivation to do the things I love.  I’m stressed out, and my anxiety is at an all time high.  I have panic attacks almost every day, and let me explain something that I think a lot of people don’t understand.  A panic attack isn’t a silly little feeling of anxiety.  It’s full blown fight or flight response for no reason.  It’s feeling like you can’t breathe, you can’t swallow, you can barely THINK.  Your thoughts feel alien to you. Life no longer makes sense. You’re stuck in a never ending spiral of fear and you start think maybe this is what death feels like.  But how do you explain that feeling to someone else without sounding out of your mind?  The answer is: you don’t.  So many people keep that to themselves.  They wait the 30 to 45 minutes to calm down, and then continue on as if nothing happened.

For me, my panic attacks and fear usually stem from my own mortality.  The thought of death will terrify and consume me.  My rational thoughts will try to prove the existence of a higher power, while simultaneously telling me there can’t be. I struggle to find peace in my own mind.  The positive side to this is that it has caused me to look for God.  I haven’t been to mass in years, aside from funerals, and I genuinely detest my Roman Catholic faith.  Mass is never enlightening or hopeful, and almost everything they stand for is corrupt nonsense.  I’ve been on the hunt for somewhere else to go to seek God. Someone who isn’t going to give me some lame explanations, and try to pass them off as facts.  I’ve turned to some unlikely places.  I’ve read numerous books of people recounting near death experiences, or their experiences with God. I’ve read books on the paranormal, and watched movies like God’s Not Dead.  And for a moment, I feel safe in my beliefs.  I feel like there MUST be something more to life than just death, but the feeling never lasts.  My doubts always creep back in and consume me.  But how do you save yourself?  How do you pull yourself out of the hole you’ve dug?  Maybe, the answer is you don’t.  Maybe you don’t save yourself.  Maybe our society puts all of our values on independence, but we’re wrong.  Maybe, we are MEANT to save each other; to lift each other up; to show each other what happens when you have FAITH.

That’s the problem for me sometimes. That word, faith.  Faith requires you to stop thinking about what you know, about what you see, and only follow what you feel; what you believe. It’s hard in a world where you have been conditioned to believe that everything is either true or it’s false.  That there are either scientific facts or opinions, but faith lies somewhere in the middle. How do you get there?  I’m not really sure honestly.  I think it’s one of those things you take a day at a time.  Some days will be better than others, but that’s okay.  Maybe it’s okay to doubt your faith sometimes because it requires you to dig deeper. I don’t really know, but what I do know is that there are people out there who think and feel the things that I do, and I want you to know you’re not alone.

I want to leave everyone with this; it’s my favorite part of the movie God’s Not Dead:

“You’ve prayed and believed your entire life, never done anything wrong, and you’re the nicest person I know. You have dementia. I am the meanest, and my life is perfect. Explain that.”

“Sometimes the devil let’s people live a life for their trouble. Cause he doesn’t want them turning to God. Your sin is like a jail cell except it’s so nice and comfy you don’t see any reason to leave.”

Nobody Cares What “Type” of Mom You Are…

Seriously. Nobody cares.  Except you, and maybe other mom’s who are your “type”.  Nobody cares if you’re a helicopter parent, a crunchy parent, a free-range parent, an attachment parent, a “sancti”parent, or as the mom groups like to say a “shit mom”.

Who the hell decided to name parental choices anyway?  From a psychological standpoint, I understand.  Your brain is constantly trying to form connections to better understand things.  Grouping into categories helps you recognize information faster, and I do get that. BUT: I find it increasingly annoying when I log on to ANY social media platform and people are proclaiming “I’m a crunchy mom!” while showing off their new “crunchy parent” bumper sticker. WHAT IN THE HELL do we bumper stickers to proclaim what kind of parent we are?  Are we really that self centered that EVERYONE you drive by needs to know that you extend rear face, breastfeed, and baby wear?  Seriously?

And speaking of baby wearing, it’s really not even enough to just baby wear these days. You have to have the most expensive carrier, or you’re doing it wrong.  That’s basically what I get out of the mom groups I’m in.  It makes me wonder what we did hundreds of years ago when a baby carrier was made out of a freshly slaughtered deer, but I digress.

ANYWAY, what I really want to know is why are we so OBSESSED with the labels? Why did we even make the labels?  Helicopter parents may have anxiety. They’re around their toddler at the park the whole time because they don’t want their child to be injured. Who can’t understand that logic?  Free-range parents want their children to grow up to be independent thinkers.  I can understand that, too.  I can understand attachment parenting, because who really wants to stop cuddling their baby?  When you stop with the labeling for 45 seconds, the bottom line is the same:  everyone is just trying to do the best with what they have.  We all love our children.  We all want them to be successful and bright.

What we need to understand is that not everyone is going to parent the same way, and that’s OKAY. If you read baby books, which we ALL have at one point, parenting techniques and what is recommended changes every few years. What was considered the BEST for your first baby, may not be by the time you have your second.  Every parenting type has some “research” that backs its claims, and that’s all well and good. My problem stems from our inability to be respectful towards one another about our personal parental choices.  As long as a child is not being harmed, nor is the choice harming anyone else’s child then the choice should matter little to others.

We all want great things from our children, but that starts with us. We need to be the example for respect, love, and compassion.  We need to SHOW our children that not everyone will have the same beliefs and experiences, but that’s okay because that’s part of being human. That’s part of being ALIVE.  The world needs a generation of children far greater and more open than we have become, and it starts with us. It starts with love.

To the Grandma at Dorney Park:


Dear Grandma at Dorney Park yesterday,

I was trying to have a good time with my SO while our daughter was staying with her grandparents. We decided to go to an amusement park so we could ride everything we normally cannot since she is too little still.   Of course, we spent half the time talking about how much she would have liked the park, and spent some more time/money winning her toys before we left.  As we went to exit the park, I walked into the souvenir shop because I always get Hailey a magnet from everywhere we go. We approach the register to pay and a little boy between 7 and 8 goes ahead of us.  My SO sighs, and I tell him to relax.  I smile and remind him that 7 yr old boys are not usually paying attention to their immediate surroundings.

The little boy puts his things on the counter: A shark tooth necklace, a heart-shaped keychain for his mom, a mood ring, and a poop emoji pillow for his dad.  The woman at the register begins ringing him up when I hear this ear piercing screech, “Where are you?! I have coupons, WE NEED TO USE THEM.”  With that, an older woman comes trudging up to the register.  That woman, was you.  You said, “WHAT DID YOU GET?” and proceeded to grab through the thing she had on the counter. You grab the emoji pillow loudly exclaiming you aren’t wasting money on it, and put it back.  He tries to explain that it’s for his dad, but you look at the rest of his things and seem to be okay with the purchases until the clerk puts the mood ring down.  This is where it starts to get interesting. You ask how much the mood ring is, and then start screaming at this little boy.  Let us keep in mind that a line has now formed, and we are all waiting on you to pay for your things, but you continue with your dramatics.  You say no to the ring, but then you begin fighting him over it.

At this point, they opened another line, and I was standing right next to your grandson.  I did not hear him say a word, and if he did he was extremely soft spoken, but you continue to yell at him over this ring. I see my SO staring at you, and I feel my heart breaking as you tell this SEVEN YEAR OLD BOY that he is a “little shit”.  I immediately want to hold him, to tell him to ignore your hateful words.  I look up at the clerk, who is trying not to look at you, and my heart says to ask how much his things are.  Surely, I can pay for his necklace and mood ring, but my mouth doesn’t move because it is at this point you scream, “FINE, FINE have the ring, I just won’t get ANYTHING for myself, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!”  As you fling a sweatshirt onto a nearby close rack.  His little head is hanging low now, and I do not hear him speak, but I DO hear you loudly say, “I WISH YOU WOULD CRY, then I could spank your damn ass raw.  I’ll beat you in front of all of these people, I don’t even care!” My head is spinning, and I still can’t think.  I can’t speak. I want to say something to you, to this child.  I want to show him a moment of kindness, and yet I’m frozen. I’m frozen listening to the hateful and angry words you are yelling into this poor child’s face.  I’m frozen by your newly manicured fake nails, and you fake bleached hair that you could clearly pay to take care of, but you were resistant to get this child a $2 mood ring, and then tried to make him feel bad about it.  You are at an amusement park with a child, and you willingly brought him to the souvenir shop to get something.  Part of being a caretaker is sometimes NOT GETTING SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF so that they can have something instead.  I will admit, however, that I’m unsure how his $2 ring was stopping you from getting a $35 hoodie.  Maybe you should have just picked something else, but I digress.

I walked out of the shop, and I was full of anger. I told my SO I was appalled by your behavior. He said he wanted to punch you in the mouth.  I was upset, and I thought about you and that little boy the entire 3 hour drive home.  I thought about you again this morning.  I couldn’t stop beating myself up over the fact that I didn’t DO anything. I didn’t speak up in a situation where I felt a huge injustice was taking place.  I was upset that no one else did either.  Everyone was uncomfortable.  If you have been paying attention to anything other than yourself, you would have seen everyone staring and whispering in your direction, but I’m sure you don’t care.  Just like you don’t care about that little boy.

This is how people treat children and then we wonder why they’re angry.  Why they grow up full of hate and anger.  Why they bully other kids, and why the think violence is the answer in stressful situations.  THIS is what we teach them, and today my heart is heavy for this boy and all that he represents.  Surely, we owe our children better than this, don’t we

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

I realize I’ve been away for two months.  I honestly just kept forgetting to post anything. I guess life with a toddler can do that to a person. I was going to post something a little more personal today. Maybe something about Hailey’s school or the like, but I’ve been researching things about Disney World’s halloween party for a few weeks now, so I figured maybe I should go with that instead!

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place on select days in September and October in Magic Kingdom.  On these days Magic Kingdom will close early (7pm) to the general public, and only those individuals with a party ticket will be allowed into the park. Dates for the Party are as follows:


  • September 02, 2016
  • September 08, 2016
  • September 11, 2016
  • September 13, 2016
  • September 16, 2016
  • September 18, 2016
  • September 20, 2016
  • September 23, 2016
  • September 25, 2016
  • September 29, 2016
  • September 30, 2016


  • October 02, 2016
  • October 04, 2016
  • October 06, 2016
  • October 07, 2016
  • October 10, 2016
  • October 11, 2016
  • October 13, 2016
  • October 14, 2016
  • October 16, 2016
  • October 18, 2016
  • October 20, 2016
  • October 21, 2016
  • October 23, 2016
  • October 25, 2016
  • October 27, 2016
  • October 28, 2016
  • October 30, 2016
  • October 31, 2016

Ticket holders will be allowed into the party area starting at 4pm.  In order to gain entry to party you must have a ticket for the party. Event ticket pricing varies depending on when you will be attending:

September 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 25

  • Advance Purchase:  Adult: $72, Child: $67
  • Same Day Purchase: Adult: $79, Child: $74

September 23

  • Advanced/Same Day Purchase: Adult: $85, Child: $80

September 29, 30

  • Advanced Purchase: Adult: $79, Child: $74
  • Same Day Purchase: Adult: $88, Child: $83

October 2,6

  • Advanced Purchase: Adult: $86, Child: $81
  • Same Day Purchase: Adult: $95, Child: $90

October 4, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27

  • Advanced Purchase: Adult: $79, Child: $74
  • Same Day Purchase: Adult: $91, Child: $86

October 7, 14, 21, 28, 30

  • Advanced/Same Day Purchase: Adult: $95, Child: $90

October 31

  • Advanced/Same Day Purchase: Adult: $105, Child: $100


*If you are planning on purchasing even tickets, I would highly suggest buying them in advance.  From what I’ve read, most of the halloween party tickets sell out before the event.


1. Trick-or-treating


photo credit: traveladvicecody.com


You will be given a candy bag upon entering that you can use to go trick-or-treating at various stations, or on a trick or treating trail.  Trick-or-treating stops at 11pm, but I would suggest waiting to trick-or-treat until later so you don’t have to carry around a full bag of candy (unless of course you have a stroller, then just stick the bag in there lol).

Also, from what I’ve read, you can go back to the same spot multiple times, and basically end up with your weight’s worth in candy. If this is part of your plan, you might want to bring an extra candy bag with you! 😉

Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular 


This show takes place on stage in front of Cinderella’s castle. Show times are usually at  8 p.m., 9:20 p.m., 10:40 p.m., and midnight.  If you love the wicked Sanderson sisters (which you should), this is definitely a not-to-be-missed show!

*Show is about 20 minutes in length from what I can gather.*

Boo-To-You Parade

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This wonderfully spooky parade route goes from Main Street USA to Frontierland.  If you’re going to the party, you’re going to want to see this parade as it will have many characters you do not normally see in Disney otherwise. There are typically two parades: one at 8:35 and the other at 11:15.



Hallowishes is Disney’s Halloween themed firework display. Starting at 10pm this show includes quite a few evil villains, and a fireworks display that goes off to a soundtrack consisting of:

  • “Grim Grinning Ghosts” from the Haunted Mansion attraction
  • “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from The Little Mermaid
  • “Never Smile at a Crocodile“ from Peter Pan
  • “The Skeleton Dance” from Silly Symphonies
  • “Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?” from Three Little Pigs
  • “Oogie Boogie’s Song” from The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Night on Bald Mountain” from Fantasia


Meet and Greets

During the Halloween party, you are given the opportunity to meet some pretty awesome characters you otherwise would not have the chance to! These include:

  • Jafar
  • Queen of Hearts
  • Aurora and Maleficent with Snow White and the Queen
  • Captain Jack Sparrow
  • Jack Skellington and Sally
  • Tarzan and Friends
  • Seven Dwarfs

Dance Parties


A little dancing fun for everyone at the laugh factory! Enjoy this dance party along with some pretty popular monster friends!

Magic Shots!

If you opt for the photopass while you’re visiting Disney World, the photographers have a few tricks up their sleeves!  During the party, you can get pictures taken that the photographers will edit later to include some fun spooky editions! Here are a few examples from WDW prep school!





Happy Hallowishes Dessert Package is one way to add a little extra magic to your evening. This does require another ticket ($79 for adults and $47 for kids). This package allows you access to premium viewing location for the parade, and a private area with desserts to view the fireworks display.  The package is available during the following days:

  • September 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29 and 30
  • October 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30 and 31

The viewing spot for the fireworks is at Tomorrowland Terrace. It is important to note that your view of the fireworks will be to the side slightly. You do get a glass skull mug filled with candy, a variety of desserts, and drinks.

However, most reviews state not to waste the money.  I can not tell you from experience, but it seems that going to the party tends to waste a lot of time that could be spent doing other activities. If you need to relax, or are not able to rush around as well as others, the party may be a great idea, but otherwise, save your money for some cool goodies!


You can also order the Mickey’s Spooktacular in-room Celebration for your resort to add a little halloween magic 😉


Disney Planning: Fun FREE organization!

Alright today we are going to get back on the Disney train ! There are a lot of cool ideas, and organization techniques for planning a Disney vacation, and as you can guess you can purchase a lot of these things on Etsy.  Not to say that you shouldn’t purchase something from Etsy because I have, and my stuff is always beautiful, but there are many free templates and downloads available for use if you look hard enough.

Stroller Tags

Let’s start with stroller tags.  If you are going to bring a stroller to Disney, or rent one it would be wise to have a stroller tag to identify which stroller belongs to you.  As you can imagine there will be many strollers, and there are bound to be plenty of the same stroller. (*Note* Disney employees will also move strollers into neat lines while you are on a ride, so it may not be exactly where you left it. A stroller tag will make location much easier.) I advise using a laminated tag so it doesn’t get ruined in the unexpected weather changes in Florida.


Generally, stroller tags will looks something like this ^. You can find them here on Etsy, or you can download some customizable ones:

here , here , here , or here!

Mousekeeping Envelopes

Then we run into mousekeeping! Mousekeeping are the Disney resort staff that will clean your room each night.  It is standard practice to tip.  Obviously, tipping should be based on how many of you are in a room, and how big of a mess you’ve made, but $2 to $5 a night is the average.  I suggest leaving a tip daily instead of the end of the week because who is cleaning your room will most likely change each day. Many people leave an envelope for mousekeeping with their tip inside such as this:


You should leave the tip somewhere they will find it, like on the bed up against the pillow. You can order them through Etsy (of course) at shops like Nick and JoJo. You can also download printable FREE versions of mousekeeping envelopes through other blogs such as: WDW Prep SchoolThe Purple Pumpkin BlogThe Undercover Tourist (I love this one), or The mainstreet mouse.

Autograph Books

If you’re going to Disney with a little one, you’re definitely going to want to get autographs from their favorite characters!  You can, of course, buy the generic Disney autograph books but sometimes they are kind of expensive (for no real reason other than it says “DISNEY” on it). You can also buy pretty impressive ones on Etsy through a shop like It’s Polka Spotted, or we can make our own! So there are a few pretty cool ideas that I like for this.  One is to use a photo album as shown at Dolled up Design.   If you are a Toys R Us rewards club member, check the bottom of your emails! Often, you will find a coupon code for a FREE Shutterfly photo book, and you can use this to make your own customized autograph book (this is what I did)!

Since Hailey is a Princess fan, I designated a page to each princess with enough room for an autograph and to paste a photo of Hailey with that princess.  I also have a few journaling pages, and two pages for all other autographs.

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This crafty mom used cereal boxes to create her autograph books: She’s a Sassy Lady

You can also buy a Disney Encyclopedia of Characters and have each character sign their page! You can find one of these books through Amazon, Walmart, or Barnes and Nobles for about $7!


You can also get your own FREE printable autograph cards from Sew Cake Bake!

Or go to The Cards We Drew to get FREE autograph pages!

Disney Planning Binder

I’m sure this isn’t shocking, but we also have a Disney planning binder.  All of our trip information including resort information, payments, dining, maps, daily schedules, extras, and pricing are all neatly organized into one binder so it is easy to find.


I found A LOT of FREE printables to help organize this book, and I’m going to share them with you here!

I used WDW prep school for a few downloads, and a general idea of how to lay out my binder.  My binder tabs are General Info, Resort, Dining, Parks, and Extras.

I got most of my FREE printables (including the cover for my binder pictured above) from Lovely Commotion.  They have a lot of very nice printables including travel information, payment tracking, dining reservations, and day planners.

As with all other things, you can pay shops on Etsy like Livies Closet to download their printables. They are pretty, and not super expensive, but I usually opt for FREE on this kind of thing.

Cast Member Appreciation Cards


The cast members of Disney World really do go out of their way to make sure your experience is magical.  Sometimes, being given a “thank you” when all you do is help people have a great vacation can really put you in a great mood!  This is where the idea of Appreciation Cards comes from! Give helpful and lovely cast members a thank you card, right then!

You can find some great FREE cast member printables ( like the one posted above) from WDW prep school.

You can also find FREE printables from Tagrel or Sparkly Ever After. Also feel free to make your own! This would be a great opportunity to have your kids join in on the fun, and allow them to draw their own Thank You’s!

If you really want to show how amazing your experience was, be sure to stop by guest relations, and fill out a card for that CM.  Most CM’s are rewarded for great customer service, or write a thank you to wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com.  Be sure you include the cast members name, approx. time and date in which they helped you, and the location so the cast member can get credit from their supervisor.  We all love being acknowledged for a job well done, and so do they! Keep in mind that most of the everyday cast members get paid minimum wage, so a little “extra” thank you can really go a long way (like helping them get a job promotion!)

Until next time ❤


A Dog & His Kid

Hailey really loves animals, and ever since we have moved away from my family’s dogs Hailey has been asking about one. We have been discussing it because although Hailey is only 4, she is extremely good with dogs.   She would play, pet, feed, and lay with my parent’s Golden Retriever every day.  They were best friends.  I’ve been doing a lot of research on dogs and children; however, since we are currently renting getting a larger dog is somewhat more difficult, and so we have decided to focus more on a smaller dog!  I’m sure plenty of my fellow parents out there have the same problem with kids wanting dogs, and not being sure what’s the best idea, so I’m here to help you out (hopefully)!

Small Dogs

The preferred size of a dog obviously varies from person to person so I have decided to make different lists for both large and small dogs. I have based which dogs I will mention on how often I have found them in positive standing reviews. For instance, if I researched “best small dogs for children” and looked at 15 different lists and the same breed came up in every one, I will name it here.  Feel free to do your own research on each breed as well, but here is what I have found:

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Photo Credit:inezcavaliers.tripod.com

I named this one first because my family owned one, and he was a great dog. Great with kids, and super loving. He also house trained very easily compared to other dogs we had owned.   Cavalier’s have 4 distinct color patterns, Ruby (solid rich reddish/brown), Tricolor, Black and Tan, and Blenheim (white and ruby), and take a little time with grooming. Their hair can become rather long, and although beautiful, it will require that you comb them a few times a week (unless you keep their hair cut short of course).  As far as attitudes go, these dogs are about the best of the best – they’re friendly with children, other dogs, and strangers, AND they’re intelligent. They love cuddling up to their family and being loved, but they also dislike being left alone for long periods of time (because they loved you so much!)  Also, they aren’t huge into the whole barking thing, and asmentioned earlier, tend to train easily. Cavaliers range from 13-18lbs, and have a lifespan of 9-15 years.  All in all, they are GREAT dogs to have in apartment or home!



Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shih_Tzu

The Shih-Tzu is another great small dog! If you’re wondering, I did name this dog because I had one as a child, and because I know quite a few people with one as well.  I should forewarn you, however, that while they are an excellent addition to any family they tend to be a little “mouthy”.  What do I mean by that?  I mean, Shih Tzu’s have a little bit of an attitude, much like a toddler does, but that’s kind of part of their charm!  They are friendly dogs who love to cuddle  with children, family, and strangers.  Just like the Cavaliers, Shih Tzu’s also tend to bark less than other smaller dogs, and require a decent amount of grooming. How much grooming? Well that depends on how you want your Shih Tzu to look.  If you’ve ever watched a dog show, you’ve probably seen a Shih Tzu, but it probably looked like this:


Photo Credit: nextdaypets.com/Shih_Tzu

Obviously, keeping up a beautiful coat like that will take some time.  If you’d rather not, you can always keep their hair cut shorter!  Shih Tzu’s can be anywhere from 9 to 16lbs, and have a life span of 10-16 years!  If you’re looking for a beautiful dog you can grow old with, this is definitely the one for you!



Photo Credit:royalflushhavanese.com/havanese_reviews

The Havanese is a wonderful family dog that loves everyone, including small children.   They are playful and silly dogs who were made for companionship! Be warned though, their need for companionship makes them a little anxious if left alone for too long, so they’re best suited in an environment where someone is usually home. This breed is very intelligent and highly trainable.  They have been used as service dogs, and have even taken on performance pieces !  This extremely versatile dog also likes to warn it’s family of potential threats, so they may bark when people come to the door, or if someone walks through the yard.  However, these dogs need as much exercise as a larger dog! Don’t worry, if you live in an apartment they will still be a great addition to your family, but be sure to take your family member for plenty of walks! Havanese weigh between 7 and 13 lbs, and live from 12 to 15 years making them a great life long addition to your family!

Boston Terrier


Photo Credit: animaliaz-life.com/boston-terrier

Boston Terrier’s are fantastic dogs to have with smaller children. They weigh in at about 10 – 25 lbs (and pretty muscular to boot) so they’re small, but won’t be easily injured by a careless toddler. They are very loving, and accepting of other animals (even cats if introduced to them early on). However, Boston Terrier’s are pretty hyper and somewhat mischievous, but their spunky personality is what most people love (besides, could you really be TOO angry at those big beautiful eyes?)  Extra little fun fact about these little loves: they’re prone to flatulence.  Ya, that’s right, they fart A LOT, but if you’re like me the man in your life probably has you used to that by now anyway! hehe.  On the plus side, their short hair makes their grooming basically non existent, and their shedding is also minimal. Which is wonderful, because who likes having to clean the floors everyday ? Definitely not me!  Boston Terrier’s also have a life span of up to 13-15 years so you will be able to cuddle them for a long time, and really isn’t that what we all want?

Bichon Frise


Photo Credit: animalsadda.com/bichon-frise

Bichon’s are often confused with poodles, but it is actually related to a few other breeds such as the Havanese we already discussed and the Maltese (which we will discuss later).  These affectionate and gentle dogs make extremely wonderful family pets, and often enjoy having another furry companion!  Bichon’s are also great dogs for those who may have allergies since they have minimal shedding. However, just like a few of the other dogs we have already discussed, these super loving pups tend to suffer from separation anxiety of left alone for too long. Also, due to their size, they make excellent dogs for those who are renting, but they do require plenty of exercise so walks are a MUST.  If you’d like an extra push towards the fluffy Bichon, they make excellent therapy dogs to hospitals and nursing homes if you were looking to have a family pet that could give back to the community!  Bichon’s weigh 7-12 lbs, and live from 12-15 years of age.



Photo Credit: dogbreedinfo.com/pug

These cute little guys weigh in at a max of 18 lbs, and are extraordinarily loving. They love their family, and basically anyone willing to give them a nice belly rub! Pugs are notoriously difficult to train so it is recommended to crate train them.  Overall, Pugs are not the most intelligent breed of dog, but what they lack in intelligence they make up with their relaxed yet playful personality.  Note that while they do have short hair, they still tend to shed quite a bit, so make sure to invest in some lint rollers for your work pants! These little pups are great for apartments, and are exclusively indoor dogs as they do not do well in heat or the cold. Like most of the other breeds we discussed, Pugs love companionship and will follow their loved ones everywhere which, as you may have guessed, doesn’t make them a suitable dog to leave home alone for long stretches of time. However,a Pugs immense love of children makes them a great family pet, and with a lifespan up to 15 years your children are sure to grow up with their favorite furry friend.

Maltese & Pomeranian 

I want to mention both of these dogs together because they both tend to be very small, yet wonderful dogs.  The Maltese (white with long hair) loves his/her family as well as other dogs, but may be shy with strangers until they warm up. You can avoid this being a habit by introducing your puppy to people regularly. Maltese are relaxed indoor dogs with light shedding and LOTS of cuddling.  Similarly Pomeranian’s (red with fluffy hair) are loving and mostly relaxed dogs.  The major difference here is that Pomeranian’s shed, a lot, and they have quite the attitude.  Pomeranian’s are very tiny dogs, who tend to think they’re a lot bigger than they are, so while they CAN be friendly with other dogs if socialized properly, they do have a tendency to try to attack larger dogs (what can I say, they’re big at heart!)  Why I mentioned both of these breeds last is because while they make excellent family pets, they are typically not suggested to families with small children. Why?  Maltese and Pomeranians only grow to about 7 lbs, and young children can very easily hurt them without meaning to.  However, if you have children who are a little older (They recommend about 6 years old), and understand the need to be careful when handling these pretty pups they can be excellent family pets.


Large Dogs

Large dogs make for great family additions and tons of furry cuddles. The one potential downfall is for those who are renting.  Apartments may be too small for some larger breeds, and many landlords -while willing to make exceptions for smaller animals- may not always allow for a larger dog on their property.

Golden Retriever 


Photo Credit: abc7.com/pets/awwdorable-golden-retriever-hilariously-fails-at-dog-show

We are going to start off with my all time FAVORITE breed. I wanted a Golden Retriever ever since I saw Air Bud as a child, but my mother always told me no because they were large, and shed something fierce (which is definitely true!). One day, my sister and I managed to coerce my father into getting us a golden puppy, and I have been madly in love with this breed ever since. They are one of the most loving and loyal dogs you could possibly make a part of your family. Zeus (my family golden) is currently 13 years old, and still the highlight of going to parent’s house.  He always meets you at the door, tail wagging, looking forward to giving whoever it is some love.  They are fantastic with kids, and extremely patient. He slept by Hailey’s crib from the day she came home from the hospital, and has been her BFF ever since. I honestly can not hype them up enough. If we had the room right now, I would go out and get a Golden Retriever, but with renting it’s currently out of the question. Golden Retrievers are playful and require a lot of running around to keep up with their exercise needs. They’re also extremely intelligent and trainable (I’m sure most of you have seen a Golden being used as a service dog).  The other plus to these beauties, is that they very rarely bark.  In his 13 years of life, I could probably count the number of times Zeus has really barked, and it was usually in excitement at seeing another animal. Golden’s can be anywhere from 55 – 75 lbs, and have a lifespan of about 12 years (which as you can see is an average since my handsome boy is over that age. hehe).


Bernese Mountain Dog


Photo Credit:dogbreedinfo.com/bernesemountain

I long to one day own a Bernese Mountain Dog.  Aside from the fact that they are absolutely stunning to look at, they’re also very gentle and loving dogs. Weighing in at up to 115lbs, an old professor of mine once described his Bernese Mountain Dog as “the largest lapdog” he’s ever had.  These intelligent and docile dogs make great family pets, but need a pretty large area to be comfortable, so a house with a yard is preferred.  As I’m sure you can surmise from the photo, Berners tend to shed all that fur just about everywhere, so make sure you have invested in a good vacuum if you decide to bring one home!  These dogs love everybody, which makes them an excellent choice in families with children of any age.  However, since they are so large they may accidentally knock over small children.  I feel it is important to mention that while they are a rather large dog that does well in the cold, they prefer to be apart of the family activities.  So if you plan on getting a Bernese Mountain Dog, you should fully intend on having them living inside.   While I love these dogs and their loving and tolerant ways, their large size has one major downfall (in my opinion) – lifespan is only 6 to 8 years.



Newfoundland’s are rather large dogs (100-150lbs) that tend to drool and shed on absolutely everything, and have a tendency to track dirt and mud throughout your home. All that aside, however, and these gentle giants make great family pets.  They are highly tolerant of children, but just like the Bernese Mountain Dog, may knock over a toddler or two.  Also due to size, these dogs would do much better in a larger home with a fenced in yard.  His long coat will also need regular grooming, and he will need exercise and other activities to keep him fit and happy.  Newfoundland’s may sound like they take a lot of work, but if you’re willing to put in the time I guarantee you’ll wonder how you ever lived without your furry (VERY furry) companion.  A little fun fact: Newfoundland’s LOVE to swim, and there are a wide array of tales describing them rescuing children and sailors from icy cold waters!  So basically, these dogs are super heroes in disguise! Who doesn’t want a super hero for a dog?!  And not to fear, their lifespan is longer than the Bernese Mountain Dogs, with an average lifespan of 10 years.

Labrador Retriever 

chien Labrador retriever

Photo Credit:citypetclinic.com/pets-world/dogs/labrador-retriever

You can’t talk about great family dogs without talking about Labradors.  One of the most popular family dogs in the U.S., these dogs are loyal and loving animals who love nothing more than to play with their family.   We had a black Lab for a few years (his name was Koal, I named him and thought the spelling was amazing at the time).  He was an extremely intelligent dog, and very friendly.  How intelligent? Well, lets just say he figured out how to open the garage down to get out of the house when no one was home. Afterwards, my father built a wooden cover so he couldn’t open the garage… he STILL opened the garage. Labs are also high energy, and do best in an environment where they can run around often.  One of Koals favorite things to do (and my fathers) was to play wrestle. Him and my dad used to play fight like two puppies, probably not the best thing to do, but that’s how they played together.  Labs also make excellent service dogs (just like their retriever relative – Golden Retrievers). A little story about how amazing Retrievers are, I was once walking home from school when I was younger when a car full of boys drove by.  They screamed some vulgar nonsense out the window, and pulled the car over right in front of me, and at this point I was panicking. Out of NO WHERE this retriever jumps on the car door that one of the boys had started to open, slamming it shut.  This dog was barking and growling at them until they sped off.  This Retriever (that I have never seen before in my life) trotted over to me like nothing happened, licked my hand, and WALKED ME THE REST OF THE WAY HOME.  I don’t know where he came from, or whose dog he was, but he was my angel that day.  Similarly to Goldens, Labs average between 55 – 80lbs, and have a lifespan of about 12 years.

Great Dane


Photo credit: 2puppies.com/dog-breed/great-dane

Now if you want to take gentle GIANT, look not further than the Great Dane.  Great Danes can weight up to 200 LBS ! That’s a lot of dog!  But don’t let their size fool you, they are sweet and loving dogs who are great with children, and are always looking to please their owner!  Most Great  Danes also enjoy the company of other furry friends, including cats!  I think it goes without saying that this beautiful dog is going to need A LOT of space.  Since these dogs are friendly and obedient they tend to train easily, but it is also important to know that Great Danes need special care. They have specific dietary restrictions, and usually have more costly vet bills due to their enormous size.  It’s important going into ownership whether or not you will have enough funds to properly care for your family addition, so keep that in mind when deciding on which breed of dog you’ll be taking home. While Great Danes are very sweet dogs, they have a loud alarming back which can be great for deterring would-be burglars.  The average lifespan of a Great Dane ranges between 7 and 10 years of age.

American Pit Bull Terrier


Photo courtesy of: bulldogbreeds.com/americanpitbullterrier

Lastly for today, I wanted to talk about the American Pit Bull Terrier.  I know what some of you are probably thinking, but I assure you that you are HIGHLY misinformed. Pit Bull Terriers are AMAZING family dogs. As a matter of fact, they were commonly used as “nanny dogs” because they were so loving and tolerant of children.  As with any dog, training is key.  Make sure you socialize your dog properly to ensure that your dog behaves accordingly.  American Pit Bull Terriers are not “Pit Bulls”, actually, “Pit Bull” isn’t even a breed of dog. The term  Pit Bull is typically used to describe American Pit Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Terrier.  But contrary to popular belief, these dogs are loving, loyal, and aim to please.  They are extremely energetic and require a few hours of play/exercise daily.  They also tend to be anxious when left alone for long periods of time. Why? Because they love their family, and want to play an active role in it!  They are also HIGHLY intelligent, and easily trained.  American Pit Bull Terriers are very very devoted to their families, and will protect them to their death bed. That being said, they are also friendly, and love meeting people at the door to slobber them with kisses.  Honestly, my cousin has had nothing but “Pit Bulls” since he has been able to buy a dog, and they are wonderful.  One of his dogs, my favorite, was named Rosco. This dog would literally LICK YOU TO DEATH if he could.  That’s all he ever did, was wag his tail and love on you, and he was highly protective of the kids and always checked on them.  They are a great breed of dog that sincerely loves their family.  They are on the smaller end of the larger dogs we’ve mentioned weighing in between 30 to 85lbs with an average lifespan of 12 – 16 years.


For more detailed information about each breed listed here, and other breeds you may be interested in visit: Dogtime

Birthday Parties

So I thought we would take a slight break from all things Disney related, to talk about kids birthday’s in today’s Pinterest obsessed world. Now I totally fall into this category because I love looking at all the creative decorations and extravagant cakes, but I think we can agree our children don’t really need a party that intense.  I was always happy with a cake and doing something fun like going to a roller skating rink with my friends.  But, we do the whole cake thing:

And the themed birthday photos:

(all birthday photos are compliments of Simply Lush Photography. Go check her out!)

We’ve gone with bounce houses, face painters, and balloon twisters:

And we have decorated the house for when she woke up the morning of her birthday:

But what does all this even mean? I think, honestly, what this all boils down to is making our kids feel special.  Maybe it’s because we know the harsh reality of how the world tends to be, and we want to keep them innocent and excited for as long as possible.  Or, maybe it’s simply because it makes them happy, and thus makes us happy.  Personally, I feel like birthdays are personal holidays, and that everyone (even adults) should be made to feel special on their day.   How you do it doesn’t really matter.  This past year we didn’t have a party (we did have cakes with grandparents), but instead of a party we spent the entire day doing whatever Hailey wanted to do.  It was fun, the day was all about her, and I didn’t have to throw a million dollar party. This year, since we are going to Disney for her birthday I was considering having her party the day we leave with close friends and family. Not a huge party more like cake and coffee kind of deal, and then reveal we will be leaving for Disney. So here’s the idea:

A Minnie Mouse themed little party (I know I said no Disney talk, but I lied hehe):

My sister typically makes my daughter’s birthday cakes (she’s a phenomenal baker!), and I can just invite everyone over our house. Then, I’m thinking we use lollipop party services (this is a local Scranton, PA party business) to really kick it up a notch.  Here’s some of the services they provide:

Character meets:

Balloon Twisting:


Face painting:

If you’re interested in seeing more of what they have to offer, check them out here. They are great people, and I highly recommend them if you’re ever looking for party entertainers.

Anyway, the idea is to hire a princess to come towards the end of the party. Princesses typically come, read a story to the kids, have a dance party/play, and help sing happy birthday.  After this, I’m hoping to be able to set it up so that whichever princess is there can help us reveal our impending trip to Disney that evening! I haven’t entirely worked out the details yet since we have a while to go still, but what do you think?  Have any other ideas you think would be better, or that I can incorporate with my current ideas?  I look forward to hearing from you!


Disney Planning: How do you tell the kids?


I thought today would be a good time for a topic I find extremely enjoyable and exciting! I’m sure you’ve all see the videos of kids excitingly learning they are going on a trip to Disney, I mean, who hasn’t? I’ve looked through this topic quite a bit, and there are a few suggestions on how to handle when/how to tell your kids about your Disney vacation.  Of course, do whatever you feel is best for you and your family!

The Big Surprise!

So obviously the first way to go about telling your kids is to make the entire trip a surprise! How exactly, well there are quite a few ideas floating around out there, but before we continue I’d like to say a few things.  Please remember that all children are different. Not all kids will deal well with a surprise. If you don’t believe me, look up Disney surprise fails on youtube.  There have been plenty of kids who were upset instead of overjoyed.  You know your child’s personality better than anyone else, so really use your discretion when deciding how to tell them. Some kids are also too small to really understand what’s happening. In many of the videos I’ve seen, the kids were excited to get packages and other Disney trinkets, but really didn’t understand the magnitude of what was happening (despite that, I’ve decided I want to try the big reveal myself lol). 

  1. The Scavenger hunt

This seems to be a pretty popular option with children who are a little older. The idea is to give them a clue, that leads them to the next clue, until they finally get to the ultimate prize – a trip to Disney World!

2. Character Reveal

This is a pretty cool idea, and one I am currently in the works of working out myself (I’ll fill you in as I have answers).  There are a few different ways to go with this.  You can have someone call you child as a Disney character to reveal the news (apparently there are people you can actually hire to do this from fiverr).  You can also hire a character to come to your home and surprise your child in person.  I imagine this kind of service would be a bit pricey, but has the potential to be really awesome.   OR you can have someone you know (who will be in Disney before you) take a video of a Disney character inviting your child to come visit them. (The aunt in the below video was super dedicated and dressed up as a princess herself to do the reveal!)

3. Package from Disney

Pack a box filled with Disney goodies they’ll need such as character P.J.s, tshirts, and some toys.  Wrap it and put it on the doorstep with a note from Mickey.   If you can, have someone ring the doorbell, and then let the kids open their present!  You can even order baskets from Disney Florist, and have them delivered to your door. My favorite video I’ve seen (not based on child reaction, just on the setup of the surprise) was a woman who left a trail of mickey footprints to the front door where there was a huge box filed with Disney goodies for when her kids woke up.  Very easy to do, especially for smaller children.

4. Don’t tell them

This one can be tricky, BUT you can just not tell them where they are going. Get in the car and drive there and let them figure it out for themselves. If you’re flying, you can pretend you’re dropping someone off at the airport before dropping the bomb!

5. Travel Surprise

Along the same lines as telling them at the airport, you can wait and tell them in the car on the way there, or pick them up from school and tell them you’re leaving for Disney RIGHT NOW! The right now surprises tend to be my favorite.   Mostly because my little one is impatient, and when I tell her, she’s going to want to go immediately, hehe.

6. Play a game!

There are quite a few ideas I’ve seen for this. Play Pictionary or Charades where the kids have to guess they are going on a Disney vacation. Give them a puzzle to put together that reveals where they are going, or make your own lottery ticket with Disney as the prize (there are plenty ideas for lottery tickets and puzzles on pinterest).

We could sit here forever with all the ways people have surprised their kids with a trip to Disney.  If you’d like to see more ways than discussed here, check out Pinterest or Youtube.  Seriously, you can sit up for DAYS looking things up on either website.

Clue them in!

Of course, you don’t have to do a big reveal and shock the kids with a Disney trip.  You can tell them about it in advance.  This can make things easier on you because you don’t have to make all the plans yourself (or in private) and the kids can help you pack.  This also allows your child to help plan out the trip, and discuss the things they would really LOVE to do while in Disney.  Trip planning together can be an awesome bonding experience in itself, and just because you aren’t doing a big reveal, doesn’t mean you still can’t make it magical.   You can have a Disney countdown with your family to keep track of the days until you leave, and build the anticipation!


Click here to see other fun ways to countdown to your Disney World vacation!

No matter what way you do it, your children are sure to have a magical time in the most magical place on earth!  Feel free to share how your told your family below!