Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Splatter Painted Frame

The other day I went to Wal-Mart and seen a frame, it was only 99cents, so I picked it up and knew I could figure something out to do with it.  I love painting frames, so when I got home I  went straight to my stockpile of paints.

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When I was growing up I'm pretty sure I had a room that the walls were white with different colored paint splattered on it.  I say pretty sure, because my memory is horrible.  So that is where I went with my frame.  It was so easy, even kids could rock this one out.
Here is what you will need:
I started by painting a few coats of white on the frame.  Once the white was dry I just took the different colors and "layered" them separately by splattering them onto the white.  Let the colors dry in between adding a new one.  I like this because you can add or "tweak" your colors and amounts very easily as you go.

Let the paint dry, pop a picture in, and your done!  The picture I chose is an old school one from probably 12 years ago or so.  It's me and my sister.  I love it!

I think it looks perfect in my living room!
I like to visit these blogs.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Shake


With Sonic's summer of shakes and three kids, we have been taking many trips this summer.  Since I have been cutting out sugar and processed foods, it has been difficult to figure out ways to conquer my sweet tooth.  After a trip for the kids a sweet one day, I decided to try and figure something out for me.

Healthy Peanut Butter and Banana Shake

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Dark Chocolate Almond Milk
1/2 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 Banana

Throw all of this in a blender and blend.  Pour it in an awesome cup and enjoy!  This literally takes 2 minutes.  You can't beat that for a healthy sweet tooth treat.

How do you fix your sweet tooth?

I like to party here.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Planning your first trip to Disney World!

Hi everyone!

I want to start out by saying that I am no expert on Disney World, as we have only went one time.
However, I have some "real life" friends and family that have asked me to blog about how we booked our trip and the choices we made.  So, here ya go!

We are a family of five, and a one income family.  I stay home, while the husband is in the Army.  So keeping a budget is very important to us.  I never thought going to Disney would be possible, but once I started planning it, I got really excited.

First, you need to decide how long you want to stay.  We chose a 4 day trip, with a park hopper option.  Honestly, we originally chose this because we were able to get our tickets through Disney's Military program, at a huge discount.
At Walt Disney World Resort – from August 12, 2013, through September 24, 2014, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $169 each, plus tax
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Park Fun and More Option for $169 each, plus tax
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More Options for $198 each, plus tax

When it comes to regular ticket prices, those are $338.  I can also tell you children younger than 10 can have a child ticket which is $290 each.

Now that we have been on our trip, I can tell you it was perfect for us!  We were able to see all of the "main parks" for one full day, and even had the option to go back to the other parks for the night if we wanted.  We did not take advantage of that, though.  After a full day of walking and riding, we were ready for the rest at night.  So if you are not "Disney fanatics", be comfortable doing to 4 day ticket.  You will get to see everything you want, I promise!  Now, if you are like my sister and her family, they could stay there two weeks and be fine.  HA.  So you may want to look into a longer stay.  :)

My sister and her family also went with us.  Through her research, I can tell you that booking through Disney  is the best way to go.  Disney can tell you all of their current promotions, their rules on things (dining plans, room booking, and so on), and will also even tell you ways to save money if there are promotions coming up that you would be able to utilize.

Second would be picking where you will stay.

We know people who will only stay on Disney property, and people who will only stay off Disney property.  If you are looking for convenience, stay on property.  All on property hotels have buses that run every 10 minutes or so.  Each park has it's own buses that run from the parks to the hotel and back all day long.  The buses pick you up a the front of each hotel, and drop you off at the front of each park.  So you don't have to worry about walking a mile from the parking lot just to get into the parks before you walk all day there as well.  Sometimes, the buses will be packed and you may have to stand and hold on to the railings, but sometimes you are lucky and they are completely empty.  To me, it was so nice not having to worry about loading up our car every time we wanted to go somewhere.  It was nice being able to send my dad back to the hotel a few hours early one day because he was tired, and the rest of us not having to pack up and leave with him.  And I'm not going to lie.  Disney property is CONFUSING.  It is HUGE.  And our gps got us lost more than once when we were trying to get to our hotel.   So, I recommend staying on property if you want it to be no hassle.

Let's talk about hotels!

Military are able to stay in the Military hotel, Shades of Green.  However, after checking prices, Disney's Value Resorts are a better price.  Yes, the amenities, and layout, and "offers" of the hotel's are different based on prices.  But if you are wanting the Disney experience without breaking the bank, don't be scared to use the Value Resorts.  We paid only $90 a night at Disney's Pop Century Resort, and it was nice.  Pop Century Resort had three separate swimming pools, dinning area, shop, arcade, refrigerators in room, and all of the other "normal" room things.

The room was clean.  The beds were comfy. And they sent someone to my parents room at 11pm on the first night we were there because their air wasn't working, and they fixed it.  They take care of their guests like any other hotel will.  We were all very impressed with the Value Resort hotel, and we saved some money choosing it.

Ok!  I think that's all I will cover today.  Next week I will talk about the Dining Plan. To choose or not to choose.  :)

Have you been to Disney?  What did you decide to do?  Share your story in the comments so we can learn from one another.  

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Disney World's MagicBand Program...replacing the "Key to the World"

Good Morning!

This past week our family took our first trip to Disney World!  Squeal!  We have been planning this for a year, the kids did awesome saving their money.  There is so much that I want to tell you, so I'm going to be splitting it up into a few posts.

Today I wanted to tell you about Disney's new "MagicBand".  The MagicBand is taking the place of the "Key to the World" card.  Each person in a room will have their own band.  These bands will be connected to your room, and any member of this room can get in using their band.  You can leave a credit card on file when checking in so that all you have to do is "swipe" your band to pay for things.  You can also choose who in the room is allowed to utilize this feature, so only those bands will work for this.  Those people will also be required to enter a "pin" each time they use it.

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We were able to be "testers" for the new MagicBand, so I wanted to tell you how it works.  A month or so before our Disney trip we got an email about the MagicBand.  Once you receive your email about your MagicBands, you are able to go online and personalize them to the people in your group.  How cool!  We went online, signed into our account, and we each chose a color that we wanted.  In addition to choosing colors, you will also have your name printed on the back of the bands.  This helped so much with the littles.  This way we didn't have to worry about who had what color, we could just look on the back and know.

All of the bands come in the same size, but don't worry, all you have to do is "tear" off the outer grey lining to make them small enough to fit good for your little ones.  The snaps on the bands hold them securely, and they are waterproof.  So you can do water rides, swim, whatever you want while wearing your bands.

Getting into the park can sometimes be frustrating, though.  You have to line your Mickey head on the top of your band to the Mickey head on these awesome stands they have.

When the band is "read", the outside will turn green.  Next you will have to scan your finger on the scanner, and that will turn green as well.  This has to be done before being admitted into the parks.  This can be frustrating because you have to use the same finger each time or it will not work.  The finger scanners can also be "picky" about how you line your finger up.  So sometimes you have to repeat this process a few times before it works.

If you are on the dinning plan, one adult from your room will be required to scan their band at each snack, quick service, or table meal that is used.  You will not be required to scan your finger for these, just the band, for your order to be placed.

Here is what we loved about the MagicBand:

  • The MagicBand is so much easier to keep up with. Having something that snaps onto your wrist, rather than having to worry about keeping up with a card and getting it in and out of your bag/wallet is awesome.
  • It's waterproof.
  • It doesn't get "inactivated" by running it over a magnetic strip or something like that.
  • You can get pretty colors. HA.
  • You can use it to pay at the checkout.  
  • You can make them as tight, or loose as you like.
What we didn't like:
  • If you buy your park tickets separately from your Disney packages (Military, this pertains to you!) then you will have to take extra time at your first park to have your tickets transferred onto your bands.  If this is not done, your bands will not let you into the park.  You will need to take your Military tickets, your bands, and your sponsors ID to the window to be fixed.  This took us about 30 minutes, and that was only window time, not the waiting in line time.  This will have to be done for every person that uses these kind of tickets.
  • The process of getting into the parks.
  • You could very easily loose track of what you spend by using your band to pay for things.  Keep a close eye on this, or you will go way above your budget.  Thankfully, we didn't.  ;)
This is still being tested, but I do believe they will go full force very soon.  I think I covered everything about the MagicBand, but if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Divergent" Library Book Bag

As I said in this post, I am now a book nerd!  I love reading, and it is overtaking my life.  I say overtaking my life, because I have now officially joined the book nerds who carry bags with their favorite book stuff on it. Yep.  That's me!  I am in love with the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.  If you haven't read them, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??  If you have, yea, I know, I'm cool!  ;)

The Divergent series has been my favorite that I have read so far.  The Hunger Games sucked me into the world of books, but Divergent has kept me there.  I have found myself going to the library very often, so i needed a bag.  It was an easy choice as what to put on one.  And very simple. 

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Here is how I did it.  I knew I wanted the Dauntless symbol on one side since that is the faction that Tris chose.  I sketched the symbol by hand with a pencil.  When I was happy with how it looked, I got out some of my DecoArt paints and painted it.   Really simple, right?

I couldn't leave the other side blank, so I sketched three sparrows on the back, then painted them in.  The three sparrows are also from the book, as Tris had gotten a tattoo of three sparrows.  Now I am all set!  No one has commented to me on it yet, but I hope they do.  I look for any chance I can to talk about this series.

If my new library bag isn't enough to convince you to read the Divergent series, maybe knowing it will be a motion picture in 2014 will be!  That's right!  Divergent has already been filmed, and will be in theaters in 2014.  I will totally be first in line. Told you, book nerd.  HA.

Do you have a library bag?  What are your favorite book series at the moment?

I will be partying at these awesome places.