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Monday, April 30, 2012

Disney/We recieved the DVD-- TIme to Start Planning!

Were going to Disney- We received the DVD; now let’s get the planning on!

     I guess I should just go ahead and admit that I have OCD when it comes to vacations or anything else really that needs to be planned, organized, or ran smoothly! However, my mother does too and so does my son. My daughter to a point does, she always wants to know on our shopping days where we are going next but doesn't seem to take to much interest in planning.. She gets that from her daddy! C: However, We received our Disney Vacation Planning DVD!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!

     I was so excited when I got it out of the mailbox, because now we can get down to business… plan this trip, budget and saving our money, planning all the fun things were going to do and be frugal!! J I’m looking for all the tips I can take to make this the best trip for our family, since it will be our last for till the kids are a little bit older, and were going for a week this time! So far only the dates, party size, & package were decided… hey but that’s a start!

       So I watched the DVD and this makes me even more excited and we still have 41 weeks till we go. I definitely recommend order the Walt Disney Planning DVD from the Disney website.. its free and doesn’t cost a thing! & your kids will love watching it as well! If you don’t have the time, here are some of the best pointer, I thought, from the DVD for us, a family of four, one boy- eight, one girl- five! I’ll also split them, by park for ya’ll as well! ENJOY!

  • See Favorite attractions first, then everything else! Make a list so you know where you are going and what to do. When you get to the parks it will be overwhelming and you may forget if you don’t set up a plan! Trust me I know, we missed half of the Magic kingdom our last trip because of not doing what we wanted first an waiting in the longer lines later.
  • Plan Characters you want to see and find out where they are and when. Some parks change their times when certain characters are available.
  • If you have been to Disney before you know they take those “in the moment” pictures while you’re flying through the air on the rollercoaster or being chased by a Yeti on Everest… Those pictures are priceless, especially if they are good ones. Plan out which rides you want to buy pictures on. We have about 8 rides that we end up buying pictures on. If you haven’t been to Disney and your not sure what you want to do, go ahead and save a little for it because you never know. Those are going to cost you around $20.00 a piece.
  • Make a list of the parades you want to see and experience so they can be worked into your day and you can get a good spot! Plus it’s a great time to rest as well!

                                                                         Disney 2011


     We did not go to Epcot before when we were in Disney with our kids for their first trip. They were 6 and 3 and would not have really been into it, but this trip we are and I think they are going to love it now!

     Epcot is great to “explore the world” with your children and teach them new things and experience different things that they wouldn’t be able to anywhere else. I really enjoy walking “around the world” It alone by itself is a wonderful adventure! All of the rides at Epcot we will be going on and I cannot wait to take my son on Mission Space! He loves Space stuff! Other then the rides & the world showcase, Epcot offers a wonderful fireworks and Laser light show that is amazing. I think even though they don’t care for the fireworks they will probably enjoy the Laser light show.  I haven’t been to Epcot since 2005 when my husband and I were there for our Honeymoon, so I really don’t remember all the stuff that I want to take my children to. I was 18 at the time and Just starting out in our life.

Hollywood Studios

            These are something’s that we MUST DO this time because we didn’t get to before. When we took the kids before, we didn’t have the time we needed to do everything with little ones, so I think planning this about 244 days in advance, and for 7 days is perfect and plenty of time!

  • Stunt Show
  • American idol
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Rockin Roller-Coaster
  • Tower or Terror
  • Pixar Pals fun parade
  • Disney Junior

Animal Kingdom:

            Okay, I’ve been to the Animal Kingdom 2 times and have NOT done Kilimanjaro Safaris… I know, I know, any one who has been just said are you kidding me! But no I am not I haven’t go to do that so that is number 1 on my list… and from everyone elses list and must do’s and see this is a top one! & very crowded so DO FIRST!!!!  Others that we just can’t wait to do is:

  • Camp Minnie and Mickey
  • Festival of lion King ( recommended to do early)
  • Nemo Musical
  • Wild African

There is also play grounds at all the parks, some include water that may spray.. I would recommend a extra change of clothes to bring, or have this be the time everyone picks out the out fit or shirt the buy for the day.

At the Magic Kingdom there is so much to do and see I would be naming it all for days… I can say that I’ve heard Magic Kingdom should be planned for a 2 day experience… which I am doing this year so we can see and enjoy everything! Families with older children will probably only need one day because they can skip all the kiddy stuff!

Insider Tips:

ORDER THE DVD--- you will receive the DVD and a special URL created for you to help you start planning your Disney World Vacation! It’s very helpful and gives you a lot of information and again is FREE. How can you resist? C: Hope this helps you plan an amazing vacation for you and yours to truly the most magical place on earth!  

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mario/ Mario Kart Birthday Party Ideas

     It’s a me, Mario!!! – is what I heard A LOT! My son absolutely loves anything Mario and has for years now… no surprise, because what 7 year old ( turning 6 at time of party <2010> ) that play video games doesn’t ? So his birthday was coming up and we let our kids choose their themes and of course he chose Mario. At the time, Mario birthday supplies had just came out so they were expensive and with 2 kids birthday in May, 2 weeks apart were a little strapped for cash! So guess what I did DIY and primary colors! Take a look, get some inspiration, and DIY!

* Decorations are very important to any party but can get very expensive.. and for what,  your just going to throw them away later, so to make sure you save money and Do It Yourself! Decorations for a special theme or character are definitely more expensive then just colors and if you have a large area to decorate then your going to want to decorate the whole are not just one section. Here i wanted to decorate my entire kitchen and dining room... I just primary colors.. Balloons, streamers, ribbon, and table cloths were bought at the dollar store! You can also go ahead and have them blow up the balloons for you there, cost still a dollar.... or if doing a lot and worth money to you go ahead and buy a helium tank, the do include balloons as well, and i notice yesterday actually, you can get the smaller tank at Dollar General for only $20...

     The character decorations were printed off my computer, cut and glued by my hands, and looked amazing!! You may need to buy printer ink, but i mean you would spend double that just in buying the decorations to cover a large room completely... My son really enjoyed this...
I found all the images online, a quick and easy way is to google your favorite character, select images and print your favorite... I cut them out and pasted on construction paper to give it a solid back, instead of just flimsy paper. I also used decorated edges to give it some detail.         


I have a large kitchen so I decided to add a little bit more detail and hey this didn't cost anything but about $8 and made a ton of decorations! That were great and went right along with the Mario theme. Not to mention, it really made the room look great because they were hanging all over the ceiling!
Stars, Question Marks, & Coins! I used recyclables to make these! Any old boxes that we had laying around I took and cut out stars and squares and pained them. I used black sharpie for the eyes on the starts, yellow and white paint.. These all looked amazing and really added something wonderful to the room that made it go all together!

For the cake, I made cupcakes, it was much much easier for all the kids.. i put the cup cakes on a regular plate and found a box that would cover them and painted it yellow with a big question mark on the front! it was a great centerpiece in the middle of the different primary colors, napkins, plates, cups, and utensils!

     My son really enjoyed this party! It was very inexpensive and was beautifully decorated! All it took was a little time and if you plan carefully, time will be on your side! Hope you enjoyed and got some ideas for your Mario/ Mario Kart Birthday!

For a special touch, Grab a Red Shirt and have Dad wear it at the party, we painted the M on it, for Mario and my brother in law wore a green one with a big L for Luigi on it! :) My son thought it was really special! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2 kids, 2 birthdays, 2 weeks apart, & 3 years in age difference … Birthday Planning At its best! --Birthday Planning Tips--

     Here comes May… what seems like one of the busiest months in our lives… in May we have a total of …8 birthdays, 6 are kids birthdays, and schools finishing up… and we also have family coming in for a week right after school is out. So May is crazy… My Sons birthday is 5/10 and my daughter’s on 5/25… school lets out the 25th and vacation starts on the 26th, so I had to figure out when, we going to celebrate the kids birthdays and how… There wasn’t enough time, especially when you throw the baseball schedule in with that as well…We finally decided that this was going to have to be a double party this year, but hey why not..

     We always let the kids choose what theme they want for their birthdays, this year my son has chosen Lego and My daughter chose to do the Little Mermaid…. I’m very excited about this double birthday! Were just going to do two of everything, we are also getting a combo bouncer/waterslide for the kids… that should keep them occupied! I absolutely love planning and especially doing it at the cheapest but most extravagant as well… and that is really easy to do, believe it or not! All you need is a plan and some time and you can plan an amazing birthday. A few years ago I did a Mario Birthday Party for my son and it was Great, inexpensive (but looked expensive) birthday party!
(I just wrote myself a note to re-blog that- lost it in the switch to a new site) So here are some planning tips to help get you started planning your little ones, or older ones birthday party:

  1. Let your Child/Children choose the theme.
We have always let our children choose the theme of their parties, except they both had surprise parties at age 4. It makes the parties very special and I think even more exciting because they can’t wait to see what it is going to be like.

  1. Choose when, where, what time, guest list, and budget.
These are all very important because with out this you wont know where, when, or time,  how many people will be there, how much cake is needed, goody bags to buy etc. and without the budget well then this could get very expensive. Personally, Our children are still little so we do not invite the class from  school for birthdays its still family and family friends that are invited only unless we do something at a skating rink or public like that I think this is best for everyone, especially your bank account.

       3.  Use your preferred search engine and search        “theme chosen”     birthday party ideas.
By doing this you will be bring up a lot of sites and blogs by other moms, dads, grandmas, that have what they have done for their children’s parties. This will help you find what your going to do and want to do. My favorite website to use is This website has every party that you can think of, and not only that but it is post from mothers that have thrown these types of parties and what they did, games played, decorations, etc.

       4. Go through ideas- write list of ideas you like and save the pictures in a specific file folder for future reference of stuff you like.

       5. If child/children are helping go over ideas and plan the party. .
Go over all the ideas that you found that you like and ya’ll choose your favorites. Don’t try and do to much, but make sure you do your favorites!

       6. Most ideas are already DIY but if not, get to thinking of how you can DIY or an alternative idea that is. Make sure any DIY ideas are not more expensive then just buying the product.

       7. Get your plan started of what you need to do, make, buy , how long it will take to do DIY and plan accordingly, order anything offline, etc. If you plan all this out you will be spending money here and there instead of one big sum the week before the party and that makes it a little less stressful because you can make sure you got everything and didn’t forget the cups or plates J

 Only 7 steps to a well planned Inexpensive – Expensive looking – Birthday Party!

( Look for future blogs that will include all the DIY for my son & daughters birthdays in May)

Hope this helps ya’ll plan amazing birthdays that your little one or older ones will remember forever!!

Southern Life = Mom & Wife

Quick Update -- Feel like I fell off the planet there for a little bit! ;)

Hey Ya’ll, Sorry I have not been blogging lately… we had a some problems with in our family that we had to take care of with some other family members and it kind of threw us for a loop.. Everything isn’t back to 100% normal… but it is starting to settle down and we are able to get back to our normal routine.. The past few weeks it was constant on the go and when we weren’t I felt like I was either so consumed in worrying about everything or trying to get some rest cause I wasn’t sleeping well. So over the next few days I hope to get a lot of posts up! Enjoy the rest of your week it is Wednesday, so not much left to go till the weekend!! Have a blessed one!

Southern Life = Mom & Wife