We are back from Disney World and already planning our next trip!  I know. I know.  We just got back. My husband and I both love Disney, and always try to plan a trip each year.  This year we didn’t take our little guy because we couldn’t conquer sleep training at home and we it would not be any easier in a hotel.  This makes me want to plan a trip for  him so much sooner.  We first took my daughter when she was three and that trip did not go so well.  Since then, we’ve taken her three more times and acquired some ‘lessons’ and tips along the way.

 1. Bring a stroller…with a canopy

I can’t stress enough to bring the stroller….a good stroller!  I was so nervous to fit an umbrella stroller through the airport and on the plane, that the first time we went to Disney I packed a really cheap umbrella stroller without a top. Big mistake.  It was so hot and my daughter had no shade which made walking through the parks really hard.  Plus, it rains in Florida a lot so a canopy helps keep some of the rain off your child in those downfalls.  Check a stroller, invest in a lightweight one, or just rent one when you get to Disney…. Whatever you do, get a stroller.  I can’t tell you how many times my 6 year old sat in the stroller this year so we could get more time in at the park without her complaining about being tired.

2.  Bring ponchos

Speaking of rain in Florida, it rains a lot.  However, not for long periods of time.  Just enough to soak you and make the rest of your time at the parks uncomfortable.  Go to the dollar store, or Target, or wherever you grocery shop and find some cheap ponchos.  The ones where if you shove them back in the bottom of your stroller, or throw them out you won’t be upset.  The forecast showed no rain while I was packing for our trip.  I threw the ponchos in the suitcases just in case.  Then, when I got to Disney, I threw the ponchos in my purse before we went to the parks.  The last day it down poured and we slipped them on.  I heard so many other people saying they wish they would have brought their ponchos.  We kept walking to rides while other people were huddled under roofs and restaurants from the rain.

3.  Utilize the Child Care Center

If I had known about this place our first trip when I was potty training my daughter our trip would have been so much more enjoyable.  The child care centers are tucked away and quiet for those hard potty training moments. I carried a little potty chair around Disney!  Next time I bring my son I will be changing him in these spots away from the crowd.  I still brought my 6 year old in because at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood studio locations the toilets don’t flush automatically and are air conditioned.  They have everything you need for your little one.  If your child struggles with overstimulation, or you just need a minute from the heat take a break in the child care center.  These cool little breaks can extend your day at the park so much.  They are looked at the entrance of Hollywood Studios, by the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom, by the Odyssesy Center in Epcot, and left of the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom.

4.  Make some Disney purchases at home before going to the Park

I love looking at the shops at Disney.  However, I don’t love looking at the shops with my 6 year old that wants everything.  Prior to our trip I bought a few less expensive Minnie ears during one of the Disney Store’s sales and also at Claires.  I also bought a few t-shirts and other Disney themed items through Etsy so we were fully decked out in Disney outfits and didn’t need to buy any Disney apparel while at the park.

5.  Bring Disney gift cards for your kids to buy items at the gift shops

However, I do like buying my daughter a few trinkets to remember our trip.  For her birthday this year Disney cards were an awesome gift for our upcoming vacation.  It made going into the shops a little less stressful when I could tell her to pick out what she wanted with her money.   She was excited to get a belated birthday gift and I was not upset spending excess money on an already very expensive trip.

6.  Bring multiple pairs of comfortable shoes

I learned this lesson the hard way.  On our first trip my only pair of comfy shoes were soaked the first day.  I can’t tell you how uncomfortable it is to walk around in wet shoes.  Ugh.  Always bring two pairs of good walking shoes for each member of your family.

7.  Eat at one Character themed meal

There are fast passes to meet the princesses throughout the Magic Kingdom, but then your fast passes are used for those experiences and not rides.  We had a princess fanatic a few years ago so I get why this might be appealing with younger children.  However, this year we wanted to use the fast passes soley for some of the harder to get on rides.  That’s why I always try to schedule one princess themed meal so that we can get the autographs/photos with more princesses in one spot.  The Akershaus Royal Them Hall in Epcot is our favorite, but Cinderella’s royal table in the Magic Kingdom has a lot of the princesses too.  The princesses come to your table and your daughter can meet each one individually instead of waiting in lines.  This year my daughter wasn’t as princess-loving as past years (insert sad face) and we ate at the Crystal Palace buffet that is Winnie the Pooh themed (per my husband’s request) and it was so good.  I highly recommend that one as well!

8.  Ride the Carousel of Progress, Ariel Ride, or of course It’s A Small World when YOU need a break at the park and are in between Fast Passes

We walked a ton the first day of our trip.  This mom was not used to all the heat and walking and just needed a minute to put my feet up.  Then, I realized we were in Tomorrowland by MY favorite ride…the Carousel of Progress.  I love this ride.  There are never lines or a wait and you can sit for 15 minutes.  It’s a little easier to take a break in one of the slower pace rides than walking all the way back to the hotel for a breather.  We are really bad about returning to a park once at the hotel.  I know there are people that like to go back and forth, but for us once we are at the hotel we aren’t returning to the park that day.

9.  Don’t go to the Park that has the Extra Magic Hours

Speaking of returning to the park, a lot of people utilize the extra magic hours for later nights or early mornings at the park.  We did this the first year and all I can say is that the park with the extra hours is way more crowded.  Huge crowds are not really my thing so I stay clear of the park with the extra magic hours when I schedule our fast passes for the day.

10.  Try to Enjoy Every Minute with your little one 

Last but not least, take advantage of this time with your little one.  I loved unplugging and not having to worry about laundry/meal plans/homework and just being able to give my daughter my undivided attention.  It was so nice catching up with her about school and she told me things she doesn’t usually express to me when we are home.  Now that we are back to the daily hustle and bustle routine, she’s already asking when we can go back to Disney.  And of course I’m already thinking about the next time too 😉

Hope these tips are helpful for you!

This Summer I made a promise to myself that I would spend as much quality time with my daughter as I could.  She would be starting full days at school this year and we weren’t going to have as much time together anymore.  She’s been by my side for 6 years and my best little sidekicks so it’s a little bit of an adjustment for both of us.

Now don’t get me wrong.  The Summer was tough carting around a toddler while keeping up with a very active and social 6 year old.  I’m grateful to have a little more me time this Fall to catch up on the house that was almost abandoned this summer and blogging 😉  I’m also really excited to spend a little more one on one time with my little guy.

When D and I are together at nights and weekends I really try to make that time a priority and give her my full attention.  She is still at that age where she wants to be like her mama and loves twinning.  So when we saw these leggings through a collaboration I laughed because D is not a huge fan of taking pictures, but she is a huge fan of unicorns.  A few months ago we were talking to some cousins and they were nervous about a baseball game and D whispered ‘unicorns never give up’.  Everyone laughed and this kind of became our family mantra.

This full day school gig is an adjustment for both of us.  I’m losing one of my squad and that’s hard.  D keeps talking about ‘changes’ and how nervous she is at school.  This morning I left her at the door of the school.  She came running back and begged me to walk her all the way to her class because she was scared.  As we walked in together I whispered ‘unicorns never give up.’  She looked up at me and laughed.

 

*This post was in collaboration with the clothing company Pineapple Clothing.

For 20% off you can use the following link.  Please note this is an affiliate link and I will receive a small commission if you purchase through the link.  Thank you for reading!

www.pineappleclothing.com/?srrf=MFSId

Happy Friday!  It’s a big day as the Nordstrom anniversary sale is open the the public today 😉  My friend sent me a message yesterday joking that of course I have early access.  In all honesty this was my first year shopping the early access.  In fact, I never really shopped the anniversary sale until a few years ago.  It just so happens that my and my daughter’s birthday are the 13th and fall right in the middle of the sale each year.  Family members started buying my daughter great deals for back to school.  I loved that she received boots and sweatshirts so we weren’t scrambling come fall and back to school to find items that fit.  So, now for my birthday people give me Nordstrom gift cards too.  In past year, I got super frustrated with sizes sold out that I actually applied for a card this year to view items for me and my family early.

It’s very hot in July so it’s kind of hard to think about boots and sweaters, but for my daughter I usually buy her the Ugg boots in the sale because they last all winter long and our Chicago winters last forever.  I also buy her the latest North Face because it’s so cozy and she never complains wearing it.  Also, it’s such a great price.  This year, I bought my husband and son a few North Face items as well.

For me it’s all about the momiform that starts with the back to school drop offs of t-shirts and layering pieces.  When I roll out of bed to make it to school by 8, I am grabbing the coziest cardigan to throw over my leggings 😉  Every year the Nordstrom anniversary sale does not disappoint in this department.  Also, this year I really tried to create a sort of capsule wardrobe of similar colors that I can mix and match.  I am really getting excited with Fall with all of these neutral colors.

 

 



The boots I picked were an open toe, but in a beautiful carmel tan color that can easily be transitioned to Fall.  I also picked up a pair of lighter boots that I have been looking for in this color for years.  I also love to find wide calf boots because I have a hard time fitting boots around my calves.  Also, what says Fall better than leopard print?  I love adding a touch of leopard and these leopard flats with the bow were too good to pass up.  They add just enough ‘extra’ to a simple momiform.


I also, took advantage of a few accessories/beauty items that were such a great deal.  I have been looking for a delicate little necklace that I can wear daily and this one by Nardi is beautiful.  I bought in gold and rose gold.  Such a great buy.  I also bought this new eye shadow/blush palette because I needed a new white  eyeshadow and the colors in this one are lovely.



And who can forget about athlesiure wear.  I love the Zella clothing so I always check to see if there are any deals on that brand.  I love these leggings as they have the additional zip in the back to make them flare a bit on my short legs.  These shoes and sweatshirt are so comfy.  Maybe they will motivate me to finally get this 18 month postpartum butt to the gym 😉



For my daughter I usually buy her the Ugg boots in the sale because they last all winter long and our Chicago winters last forever.  I buy her the next size in North Face because it’s so cozy and she never complains wearing it.  The Nike sneakers are also a must buy each year because we still haven’t mastered tying shoe laces.   This year, I bought my husband and son a few North Face items as well.

 

 

Hope this gets you as excited for Fall as I am and helps make your back to school a little less stressful.  Happy Shopping!

 

 Summer break is in full swing for my daughter and not only am I managing her activity requests/camps, I also have a very mobile toddler on my hands.  Trying to get out the door these days is quite the marathon while I monitor my son from jumping off the couch, or grabbing every cord around the house.

On some days I can get up before he wakes up to try and assemble some sort of outfit.  That’s why I am loving rompers these days.  I don’t have to stand in my closet trying to match shorts and a top.  However, being 5’4″ makes it a little harder to find rompers that look acceptable on me.  I’m super picky about the waist line not covering my postpartum tummy, or the inseam of the short being too short.  I’m picking up my little guy a lot through the day so it also has to be super comfy and appropriate for mom life 😉

I’ve tried on a ton of rompers this season and here are a few that I tried and loved:

 


 


 

 

*Rocksbox gifted me a three month subscription, however all opinions are my own.

I recently finished a 3 month collaboration with Rocksbox Jewelry, so naturally I had to share a review 😉  I had been wanting to try this service for awhile, so I was really excited when they reached out to me.  I have seen so many people styling jewelry pieces from Rocksbox and they are so pretty!

If you have never heard of Rocksbox, it is a jewelry service where you can ‘rent’ 3 pieces of jewelry for the month.  Then, at the end of the month you can either send the box of jewelry back, or purchase any piece you can’t part with.  The service is $21 a month.  However, the $21 can be used towards any piece you buy as well.

Initially, you start out by creating a ‘Wish List’.  This part is so much fun because it’s like shopping for jewelry without the commitment.  You pick out a ton of pieces so your stylist can see what trends or colors best suit your style and needs.  Then, a few days later you get to preview your first box of jewelry, or leave the box as is to be surprised when it arrives.  I loved this feature because I needed to ‘swap’ out a few pieces for jewelry that worked better for outfits I had planned for the month.  This was so easy, and then the box was sent.  The boxes are shipped in reusable bags to be used again at the end of the month with the return labels already printed.  This makes shipping back SO easy.

I was impressed with the subscription.  I looked forward to my monthly box of goodies.  I was able to try out trendy pieces that may or may not work for me without the commitment.  I would have never thought the fringe earrings below would work for me.  Customer service was great at Rocskbox.  In my second box, a necklace was sadly broken.  My stylist emailed me back very promptly and advised to mail that piece back with the rest of the returned items, and they gave me a credit.  I wasn’t that sad about the necklace as it wasn’t really my style.  However, I was so excited to use the credit towards the blue fringe earrings I fell in love with!

 

 

When my third box arrived the pieces were amazing and I wanted to purchase them all.  I ended up keeping a pair of red earrings  that I couldn’t let go of.  My three month subscription gifted by Rocksbox is over, however I had the opportunity to continue the membership by paying the $21 a month.  This was a tough decision for me!  In the end I stopped the subscription because I couldn’t stop buying the great jewelry.  This is not to say I wouldn’t subscribe again in the future!  If you have events coming up, or are constantly looking for new trendy jewelry this would be the service for you.  Also, if you can show a little self restraint ;

Thanks for reading!