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tips

Posted on February 18, 2017

The Best Things to Buy on President’s Day Weekend

Best Things to Buy on Presidents Day

President’s Day has long been recognized as a holiday weekend (read: no school Monday for the kiddies) and also as a day when I never remember that the post office is closed until I check my (empty) mailbox.  Of course, there is another “event” that traditionally takes place at retailers nationwide (both in stores AND online) during this holiday weekend.  Yes, those President’s Day Weekend Sales that seem to bombard your email inbox throughout the first couple weeks of February.

But is there any truth to this?

Can you REALLY save money by shopping President’s Day Weekend Sales?

The short answer: YES

The long answer: Keep Reading Read more..

Posted on February 3, 2017

Genius Road Trip Hacks for Your Next Family Vacation

Genius Road Trip Hacks for Family Vacation

Before you load up the family truckster for your next family vacation, you absolutely MUST take a look at these genius road trip hacks.  From activities to organization to snack time, these road trip hacks will make your life on the road oh-so-much easier!  Whether your travels take you nearby or far far from home, a little pre-planning and prep will go a long way.

Road Trip Food Hacks

1. Use the continental breakfast at your hotel to make a couple sandwiches for lunch or snack.  Many hotels offer a complimentary breakfast with your stay.  Unless they restrict taking food outside of the breakfast area (some do), think outside the box and grab some sandwich fixins and fruit for snacks or lunch while you’re on the road.  We usually pick up some bread, jelly and peanut butter from the toast area so make a couple PBJ sandwiches to tide us over until the next food stop.

Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich Hack

2. Throw a cooler in the back of the car and fill it with juice boxes, water bottles, soda, whatever your family prefers to drink. Use the ice machine at your hotel to fill the cooler with fresh ice every morning before you hit the road.  Stay hydrated and save money and time by not having to stop for drinks!

Cooler with Soda

3. Use old coffee creamer bottles to hold snacks like this example from Stockpiling Moms!

DIY-containers Read more..

Posted on February 1, 2017

The Ultimate Guide to a Halloween Disney Cruise

Disney Halloween Cruise Guide

There are a lot of things to consider when you book a Disney Cruise.  You will need to think about school and/or work schedules, cruise ports and itineraries, transportation options to get to the port, time of year and typical weather.  That’s really just the top of the list as there are many variables to consider before you go ahead and click that “book” button.  One thing that we did last year that we have NEVER done before was to sail on a Disney ship over Halloween.  We booked a “Halloween on the High Seas” 7-night sailing on the Disney Magic out of New York City.  We were pleasantly surprised at how fun it was to celebrate Halloween at sea!  There were many holiday-themed events, activities, parties and treats to enjoy.  I’m putting them all together in this Halloween Disney Cruise Guide in the hopes that it will be helpful to you as you consider booking your own Halloween Disney Cruise!

When does Disney run their Halloween Cruises?  While the itineraries can vary slightly from year to year, the “Halloween on the High Seas” cruises are typically offered on most sailings between mid-September and the end of October.  Halloween cruises occur on all 4 ships in Disney’s fleet.  An itinerary  will be listed as a “Halloween on the High Seas” cruise if it is, indeed, a holiday sailing.

Are the ships decorated for Halloween?  In one word: YES!  There are decorations all over the place!  There is a huge pumpkin tree in the atrium of the ship. Each tree is unique to its ship and they have a backstory which you can learn about in this video:

Our pumpkin tree on the Disney Magic was named “Reap.” Reap had big empty branches when we boarded the ship. The first night of the cruise, there was  a show in the atrium where the “caretaker” told  the tale of the trees. Over the course of the cruise, pumpkins begin to grow on the tree’s branches! Finally, the entire tree is covered in pumpkins. Since our cruise was over the actual holiday, our pumpkin tree sprouted pumpkins at an accelerated rate so that the tree was in full bloom by Halloween day.

Empty Pumpkin Tree Disney Cruise

Disney Cruise Pumpkin Tree Show

Disney Cruise Pumpkin Tree Full Read more..

Posted on January 20, 2017

15 MORE Cool Things to do on Disney Cruises

15 MORE Cool Things to do on Disney Cruises

MORE Cool Things to do on Disney Cruises

Almost 3 years ago, after our very first Disney Cruise, I wrote a post that has gone on to please the Pinterest Gods and is frequently one of my most-read posts in any given month.  That post told you about 8 cool things to do on a Disney Cruise.  It’s a great starter post for the beginner Disney Cruiser (much as we were beginner DCL’ers at that time).  We have now logged 3 Disney Cruises and yes, our deposit is down for a future 4th cruise.  We love Disney Cruise Line that much!

Bob and I brainstormed up a fantastic NEW list of cool things to do on Disney Cruises.  These are completely different than the suggestions in our first list and I am really excited to share them with you!

Without further ado, here are 15 MORE Cool Things to do on Disney Cruises! Read more..

Posted on January 14, 2017

9 Must-Try Foods in the Outer Banks, NC

Best Food in OBX

If you ask me to choose my utmost idyllic, perfectly perfect beach vacation spot, I’m pretty much guaranteed to say the Outer Banks, NC.  There are many reasons that I would pick this chain of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina as my favorite beach destination.  The reasons begin with happy memories from my childhood when my parents would take us almost annually for a week in Rodanthe, NC.  The reasons then continue from memories of wonderful trips with my own family over the last few years.  It is a wonderful land where sun meets surf meets sand.  The beaches are not nearly as crowded as we have come to expect at the close-by Jersey Shore and there is plenty to see and do for young and old.  Oh… there is also plenty to EAT in the Outer Banks (OBX for short).  

Yes, there are so many incredible meals and treats, from fresh caught seafood to delectable sweets for dessert.  Last summer we set out to round up as many of these delicious foods as we could in our one week in Nags Head, NC.

Here are the 9 foods that we highly recommend you try during a trip to OBX! Read more..

Posted on January 12, 2017

5 Important Things to Consider When Planning a Vacation

The 5 Important Things to Consider When Planning a Vacation

Who loves a vacation?  ME!  I love a vacation!  You know by now that we love traveling, and I know that many of you do too!  I’m not super picky about my travels – as long as we get to go somewhere fun as a family, I’m usually up for it.  This could mean a simple day trip to an amusement park or a long week at a theme park, or it could very well also be a camping adventure.  Bob and I traveled a lot before we had kids.  I remember being pregnant with Lily and having a lot of doubt that we’d travel much with a baby in tow.  I laugh now at my former self, because we travel WAY more with kids than we ever did without them.  Sure, our destinations may be a little different these days now that they’re along for the ride, but not as much as you might think.  The camping, the road trips, the cruises – these were all things that we enjoyed pre-kid and continue to enjoy as a family of four.

While we almost always have at least one future trip in the works, I find that the winter months are a great time to really lay out the framework for big vacations on the horizon.  We currently have a couple of trips planned, including one massively huge undertaking for the summer (you’ll hear more about that one in months to come).  Having planned so many of our trips on my own for the most part, I have amassed a collection of helpful travel tips.

Today I want to suggest 5 Important Things to Consider When Planning a Vacation: Read more..

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