DIY MouseKeeping Tip Envelopes

Yes while stay at Disney we do recommend tipping the Mousekeeping (Housekeeping but it is Disney) We do between $1-$2 per person in your room, because Mousekeeping works hard to clean your rooms, and sometimes they do extra little things that make your stay even more magical. We also recommend doing smaller bills $1 and $5. When we go we always have a nice welcome note from Mousekeeping and there are usually two names, which means they split the tips in the room. Smaller bills makes it easier for them to split. Now you can’t just leave the tip sitting there, mousekeeping isn’t allowed to take money just sitting with no note. So we have found a cute way to leave tips for Mousekeeping! We also made them for the restaurants but that is because Sammie (Mom) got really into it.

Materials:

Colored paper: We used colored cardstock to make them a little more sturdy.

A Marker: We used white for our black paper.

Mickey Template: Below

A pencil: For tracing

Glue

Scissors

So to start we Printed the Mickey outline below off Google, we printed it as an 8X10 not fitted to the page.

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After this we traced the outline onto our black paper, and cut that out.

Next came Mickey’s pants: We took red paper and used the same template and created the bottom shape. Below we created a good template of where to stop tracing for the pants. Then you cut straight across. You could also create a second template for the pants and just cut along the red line to get your pant template. 544f9673c2dad09a6080d3981ed8e0c9

Once your pants are cut out, it is time for gluing. You want to glue the sides of his pants, and the bottom of his pants. DO NOT GLUE THE STRAIGHT LINE. If you glue the straight line down you will not have a pouch to put the money in.

After it has dried it is time to decorate. We just cut out some ovals for buttons and decorated with a black marker. Then we wrote a cute little saying on the ears so Mousekeeping knew it was for them.

And TADA

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A cute little envelope to put Tips in. Like we said Sammie got really into making these:

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We made them for each restaurant and each day Mousekeeping would come:

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We had a lot of fun making these

Honorable mention to Sammie’s creativity when it come down to this awesome tip holder:20171003_084438.jpg

Made for Chefs De France but a reservation we wanted more opened up so we canned Chefs De France.

We hope this DIY gives you some awesome ideas!

Until next time remember: The best is yet to come!

DIY Autograph Book

While we love the beautiful autograph books from Disney, we wanted to create an autograph book that we could take apart and add to her scrapbook that we’re creating; thus we created this autograph book out of a few simple things.

Materials:

Single hole punch- we found ours for $3.00 at Walmart

4×6 index cards- You can get white or colored, we went with white because it was cheaper.

Ring- You can find these at Staples or Office Max

Decorations- We found stickers, cardboard images, etc… all at the local craft store

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All we did was punch holes in the top corner of the index cards, we were able to punch about 10 at a time.

Then we decorated each one with a picture of a princess, the name of a character, a pretty design, just to add a little more to the page. This is also a great way to organize by character so each character has their own page. We did simple decorations because they do need room to sign still. We found the names of Mickey and his pals and added them to the bottom corner and we did the same with the princess stickers.

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We then just threaded them onto the ring and closed it up and there you go! You have your very own autograph book! This is more for us to have for her scrapbook, but we did enjoy creating it ourselves and it was cheaper than purchasing one at Disney.

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We hope you liked this quick little DIY! 9 Days until our big trip!

Until next time remember: The best is yet to come!

10 Things you should buy BEFORE your trip to Disney.

When thinking about Disney and the already high costs you are paying for: room, food, tickets, etc… parents especially would love to save some money on things that may otherwise cost an arm and a leg at Disney. So here are the 10 things we think you should buy BEFORE your trip to Disney.

10) Sunscreen: This may seem obvious but we highly recommend buying sunscreen. Yes if you forget it Disney does sell it, but you are going to be paying higher prices for less. So buy the sunscreen before and buy extra just in case.

9) Ponchos: We always bring our own ponchos to Disney. Amazon even sells Disney ones, that you can buy and have shipped to your house before hand. It does rain at Disney and we have yet to go when it is rain free.

8) Gum: If you are a gum chewer, buy gum before Disney and bring it with you because…THEY DO NOT SELL IT. It is to help prevent people from sticking gum in undesirable places. So if you want it, you have to bring it.

7) Extra Snacks: We have the meal plan and get 4 snacks per day between the two of us. That may seem like a lot but not when you have a growing toddler. We bought snacks for her before hand that we will be bringing to the park to save on spending the extra. Also if you don’t have snack credits from a meal plan, the cost of snacks can add up So consider buying ahead of time.

6) A reusable water bottle: You can get a free cup of Ice water from any of the quick service locations that serve soda. That will only tide you over for so long though. A reusable and refillable water bottle is the perfect thing and you can always ask for a cup of ice to refill it and get water from a drinking fountain. Don’t get stuck paying for a bottle of water.

5) Disney Shirts: We have a store by us that is called BoxLunch and we love them. They have tons of Disney shirts and they always seem to be having a sale. We recommend if you want to wear something Disney to your trip buy it beforehand. Some shirts can cost upwards of $30 at Disney. This also goes for kids Disney shirts, Kohls, JCPenny, etc… all sell Disney shirts. Buy before and save your wallet the extra money.

4) Costumes: This is for little kids, if you’re over 12 you are not allowed to wear a costume at Disney, doesn’t mean you can’t DisneyBound (checkout Pinterest for those ideas) but the dress up is really for little kids, with the exception of Halloween. The Disney store sells costumes cheaper than the actual parks. Also check out Spirit Halloween Store, Walmart.com, Amazon, and Party City. They all have Disney costumes for kids cheaper than the parks.

3) Toys: Toys are a great souvenir but, you don’t want to  cave into buying toys 100 different times.  We went to the Disney Store during one of their big sales and picked up toys that you can get at the parks, for half the price and hid them in our closet and are bringing them with us as a surprise. This isn’t going to stop your kids from asking for everything but it can help with cutting down costs. We also recommend giving a budget for each kid.

2) Any baby necessities: Diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, etc… This may seem obvious but you do not want to forget this stuff. The baby care center does sell these but for a lot more. So you want to make sure that you have enough of these to get through your trip. You can always get Amazon packages sent to your hotel a couple days before you arrive or pack enough to get you through the first day and have some shipped to you; this saves room in your luggage and helps you avoid paying extra for a small pack.

1) GIFT CARDS: Let us explain, buying gift cards beforehand can help you budget better. We really don’t like taking all our cards to Disney with us. This helps cut down on spending and helps give everyone a budget. You can buy gift cards in $25, $50, and $100. We have seen BJs carry the one you can load up to $500, or more, on them. Otherwise this is a great way to say to your kids once your card is empty your out. It gives your kids some responsibility and allows your wallet to stay more full. If you have a TargetRed Card you can get 15% off your purchase in Disney gift cards because they are considered entertainment not money.

All these things are great to buy before hand to save you a little extra money at the park.

Honorable mention to disposable placemats. We went to Walmart where they were $3.55 for 10 and they are Disney themed. They stick to the table and help the wonderful cast members at the restaurants you eat at have less of a mess to clean up. They also work for any quick service restaurant that has tables. Just something to consider.

Until next time remember: The best is yet to come!

Making your stroller stand out

Here is a fun little project that we did to help make our stroller stand out for our upcoming Disney trip. This is a great idea for any amusement park or place that you may have to leave your stroller unattended. Although we have never had it happen to us, we have heard of peoples’ strollers that go missing at Disney and when it came down to it, strollers that looked very basic and have no identifiable changes were the ones that people had taken. So here are some great ways to make your stroller stand out.

  1. Fun colorful zip ties: We attached a bunch of zip ties to look like fun colored details onto our stroller. We cut down the long parts and Chris burned the ends so they were no longer sharp. This is a great way to make your stroller stand out and it also gives you a great identifier if your stroller does get taken for some reason.
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  2. Fun decorations: We added a pink and purple flower to both sides of her stroller’s legs. It is cute, fun, and zip tied on there. The zip ties holding the flowers make it less likely someone is going to rip it off. We love this little detail too because it just makes the stroller a little less bland.
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  3. Stroller License plate: You can make a sign, there are cute stroller licence plates on Etsy, or in our case Chris knows how to use photoshop. This is a great thing to use to help label your stroller as yours. We put ours in a clear binder sleeve, taped the opening (helps make it more waterproof) and we will be zip tieing it to the stroller. We have seen people laminate them as an option as well and it is a really great one. You want your sign to be as waterproof because it does rain at Disney. So clear binder sleeve or laminated are key to helping with that water proofing.
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Now what do you do if your stroller for some reason gets taken?

  • Before you even go to the park take a picture of your stroller from each angel and have it in your phone.
  • Take a picture of the stroller parking location you are leaving it at so you remember which location you leave it. Cast members may move your stroller over to make room for more strollers so it might not be in the exact location you left it. Taking a picture of the overall stroller parking location helps you remember which location you left it at.
  • If it does appear to have been taken, remain calm, let a cast member know and show pictures of your stroller to help look for it. Sometimes strollers do get taken by mistake, we have a city lite and there are lots of  these type and colored strollers out there. So if someone has the same stroller they may have mistaken yours for theirs.
  • Don’t yell at the cast member, there are hundreds of strollers left there a day they do their best. Disney is great on helping you with these situations.
  • If you are really concerned about it being taken then consider investing in one of those little gps trackers you can hid on the stroller. Then let a cast member know about it and let them approach the person. Not all people are bad and sometimes mistakes happen so make sure not to yell and confront others. Don’t ruin the magic for other people.
  • Please also note that the use of bike locks to attach a stroller to a pole is a no; cast members can and will cut them off the pole to move them to the correct location if not at a stroller parking location and need to be able to move them to make room for more strollers.

That is all for today! We hope you enjoyed this fun little project to help make your stroller stand out. We will be posting a stroller parking locations post following our Disney trip!

Until next time remember: The best is yet to come!

Tips For Flying With A Infant/Toddler

Our upcoming flight will not be our first flight with Alice but it will be our longest flight so far with her. Although a two hour flight doesn’t seem like a lot for us it will probably feel like eternity. So we wanted to share some tips and tricks to make flying with a toddler easier. We are going to break this into sections: What to do when you arrive at the airport, Getting through security, picking where you want to sit, and what to bring on flight.

Airport Arrival: We are crazy and arrive upwards of 2 to 3 hours before our flight with Alice. This is because we fly with Southwest and since we don’t purchase her a ticket we have to get her “Boarding pass” day of. This is something you have to do before you go through security. Always have a proof of age with you, we carry a copy of Alice’s shot records as our proof. The last time we flew with her we were in line waiting to get her ticket for 45 minutes, we still had to go through security so always make sure to get there early and check with your flight company before to find out what their rules are for lap flying infants and toddlers are. Also make sure to check any bags, get your boarding passes loaded up on your phone or have the paper copy in hand, and have out your ID.

Getting through Security: We decided to spend the extra money and went ahead and got TSA precheck certified. We can honestly say that if you can afford it, DO IT. Your kids up until 13 go through with you at no extra charge and it is good for 5 years. This also allows for you to not waste time pulling out all of your 3-1-1’s and electronics from the bags. If you don’t have this option or it is too late to get it before your next flight here are some helpful tips to get through security.

  • Make sure to have all your electronics ready to come out of the bag when you get up there. We put all of ours (with the exception of the laptop) in a ziplock bag to make it easy to pull out and put in a bin. Most airports are requiring kindles and other small electronics to be pulled out now so ziplock bags are a huge time saver.
  • Take your shoes off right before you even get up there, it saves you so much time and less struggling with a toddler while you try to get your shoes off. If your toddler isn’t walking put their shoes in a bag ahead of time and let them go in their socks.
  • You can bring a full sippy cup of milk or water with you (at least BWI has allowed us to as well as Rochester International Airport). They check it quickly and give it right back. If you want to bring closed packaged containers of milk, some airports require someone to be patted down others just put them through a scanner really quick and send you on your way.
  • Some airports make you fold up your stroller if it is small enough to fit through the x-ray machine. They made us with our umbrella stroller, so be prepared to do that and to hold your child through the x-ray machine.
  • Our biggest tip is if you are flying alone and going through security alone don’t be afraid to ask for help! When Sammie flew the first time it was by herself and so many people were willing to help hold Alice or fold her stroller up for her. TSA even offered to help her pack her bag back up.
  • Remember to be kind to the TSA, they have a stressful job and LOTS of people making it difficult for them. The nicer you are the smoother it goes we promise

Picking where you want to sit on the flight. For us we have to check in 24 hours before and seating is open. There are no assigned seats on Southwest, not all airlines do this so if you do have to pick a seat we recommend window and aisle if you child is lap sitting. It is less likely someone is going to take that middle seat. Now if it is a full flight and someone took that middle or you are by yourself you have to choose where the best spot is for baby/toddler. Window has more privacy for breastfeeding moms, we though think that the aisle is the best spot. Alice had to be bopped a few times and changed once and aisle gives you that access. Now with Southwest it is no assigned seats you pick a seat based on you check in number, but with toddlers and infants you can board after the A’s board so if you are in the B or C boarding group this is a great thing to take advantage of.

What to Bring on Flight: We made the mistake the first time and over packed. This time we have it a little more under control on what to bring.

  • Milk/bottles/sippy cups: They don’t give you a lot of milk on flights and that last time I was at BWI none of the little shops had any milk besides starbucks and a couple of the restaurants. Horizon sells milk in the prepackaged containers at the grocery stores, that haven’t been refrigerated and those are a great option for flights. Also make sure to have enough bottles for the length of your flight. The water on the plane is highly treated with chemicals so rinsing the bottle and reusing it on a flight is a big no no. So bring enough bottles/ sippy cups to get you through.
  • Extra clothes: We have been lucky enough to not have Alice poop through clothing (KNOCK ON WOOD) on flights but I have heard horror stories about long flights. Always pack extra clothes especially if you have the carryon luggage to do so. In our bag for Disney we have two extra outfits for her. Look for our what’s in our flight diaper bag to learn more about that.
  • Snacks: We have some of Alice’s favorite snacks packed and ready to go. Now check with your airport and airline on the rules of pouches. Our pouches technically exceed the 3.4 oz rule by .1 ounces. We called and were told that depending on the person they may be okay with it. It is baby food and a lot of time I have seen TSA be more lenient on that but don’t go CRAZY. We packed 2 for the flight and that was it. The extras we needed went in a suitcase and will meet us at Disney.
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  • Toys: We used the rule of toys as keep them exciting, something new, and not messy. We love the WaterWorks coloring boards, you fill the pen with water, or in Alice’s case just sticks it in her mouth and paint on the board. The color magically appears and when it dries they can do it again. We also picked up some cute Disney themed toys I will show them in the What’s in our Flight diaper bag blog. That is it for toys, we have a 2 hour flight and honestly you don’t want to pack too many toys.
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  • Kindle Fire: For us when all else fails pull out the kindle fire. We have downloaded a number of movies onto it for her to watch as a last resort. Now not everyone on the flight wants to listen to Moana or another movie. We recommend the toddler headphones for older kids and honestly we keep the volume low for Alice since she won’t wear the headphones. We also let people around us know that if the movie is bothering them let us know and we can turn the volume off. Most people have said no worries and it is fine.
  • DIAPERS AND WIPES: Make sure you have enough diapers and wipes. We also throw in dog poop bags incase Alice makes a stinky. You want to make sure you pack enough of these in your carry on and travel bag because you don’t know how long you are going to be waiting for luggage. So be prepared, no one likes a diaper rash. You also don’t want to be stuck paying airline prices for a small thing of diapers and wipes.

Honestly as long as you’re trying your hardest and putting in effort if things go wrong, most people will forgive you.
One last piece of Key advice: Suck on the way up and at landing. It is most important at landing for kids to help with ear pressure. Bottle, Pacifier, chewing food, breastfeeding, all great options!

That is it for today! We hope this gives you some helpful information on flying with infants and toddlers.

Until next time remember: The best if yet to come!