Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our 10 Favorite Family Friendly Restaurants at Disney World

I wanted to share with all of you my readers our 10 Favorite Family Friendly restaurants at Walt Disney World to eat at. We normally go to the same restaurants but this year we are keeping a few of the favorites but we are venturing out of our comfort zone and trying new ones. I'm pretty sure we might find some new ones to add to this list. Maybe we will add to this list! Having a picky eater in the family (and no we're not talking about me or my hubby) we sometimes have to find a restaurant that is kid friendly. But the good thing is that all of the restaurants at WDW are kid friendly! But here are our Top 10 Favorites that we love!
  1. 'Ohana, located at the Polynesian Resort. (Breakfast or Dinner)
  2. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Epcot in Norway. (Lunch) We have only eaten lunch here.
  3. Liberty Tree Tavern, Magic Kingdom. (Lunch or Dinner)
  4. The Crystal Palace, Magic Kingdom. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner). We have only eaten breakfast here and love it! Must eat here every trip now!)
  5. Earl of Sandwich, Downtown Disney. (Lunch, Dinner). We ate lunch here and loved it!
  6. Tony's Town Square, Magic Kingdom. (Lunch, Dinner). We have only eaten dinner but it is oh so yum!
  7. Teppan Edo, Epcot in Japan. (Lunch or Dinner)
  8. Yak & Yeti, Animal Kingdom. (Lunch or Dinner) We have only eaten lunch here. Loved it!
  9. Tusker House, Animal Kingdom. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) We have had breakfast and lunch here. Breakfast is our favorite only because it has Krispy Kreme donuts!!
  10. Trails End Restaurant, Fort Wilderness Campground. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) We have only eaten dinner here but it is a must eat at every trip!!!
We of course have other favorites that we love to eat at while at Disney World that I didn't include in this list but these are a must do and are family friendly restaurants which is very good to know. Enjoy! And if you need help deciding on which ones will best fit your families needs let me know!

    Monday, July 14, 2014

    Keep Momming

    “I participated in a campaign on behalf of MomCentral Consulting (#MC) for Shire. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

    As an actress, a public health advocate and former journalist, Holly Robinson Peete has seen it all. And as a mother of four, she’s encountered just about every parenting challenge you can imagine. One of her biggest challenges as mom is building and maintaining a close relationship with her teenage daughter, Ryan.

    The mother-daughter relationship is a unique one, and that dynamic can be even trickier during the tween years. Yet sometimes, people dismiss certain behaviors as “typical tween girl behavior” when those behaviors can be symptoms of something more serious. Research suggests that girls are more likely than boys to report having mostly inattentive Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Since inattentive symptoms can be less noticeable than hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, it is important that moms know what to look for.

    I’m proud to be joining forces with Shire, CHADD and Holly Robinson Peete to announce the launch of keep momming, a new public service initiative geared towards the moms of tween girls to raise awareness of ADHD.

    The campaign is anchored within a new digital hub, KeepMomming.com, where you’ll find tips, tools and other go-to resources for moms, including a checklist to help recognize the symptoms of ADHD – inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity – and then encourages moms to talk to their daughter’s doctor. The keep momming initiative can help moms learn about ADHD and provide ideas on how to spark a conversation and stay connected with their tween.

    Don’t miss Holly’s message about the keep momming initiative http://goo.gl/Uayao5, and be sure to check out the website at KeepMomming.com.

    Wednesday, July 02, 2014

    Sea Tow Influencer

    “I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Sea Tow. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating."

    Now that summer is upon us and that we have been to the beach and plan on going back more this summer it's time to bring on the fun! My best friend who lives at the beach has been looking into getting either jet skis or a small Sea Tow Boat which I think would be awesome to drive! I remember growing up and going to Ocean City, MD with my family. We would rent a boat and head out to sea for a day and we would have so much fun too! But there was always the safety measure's that we would have to take before we could go out on the sea for a cruise.

    Did you know that Sea Tow is the #1 choice for boaters out there? I personally knew that because of my friends and family who own a boat or who go boating often. We have life jackets at my parents house that we used when we would go boating with our friends in the past but haven't used them since then. We probably should update them now since we plan on going more now that Olivia is older and is enjoying the outdoors. Sea Tow is perfect for all boaters nationwide for on-water assistance when needed! Plus they have a membership and having a Sea Tow membership you receive free towing, fuel drops, jump starts, priority service, Automated Radio Checks, 24/7 nationwide coverage, knowledgable Captains, covered undergroundings, savings, and much more! Sea Tow memberships are available in Gold Card for $169 a year and Lake Card for $119 a year options.

    The Sea Tow Foundation was created in 2007 by Sea Tow founder, Captain Joe Frohnhoefer. The Sea Tow Foundation promotes safe boating practices and education initiatives that directly reduce accidents, fatalities, and property damage related to recreational boating. The Sea Tow Foundation has distributated close to 15,000 life jackets nationwide to help make recreational boaters safer on the water with Life Jacket Loaner Stands located Nationwide!

    I feel that this is such a great idea with loaning out life jackets because for those who can't afford a life jacket but still want to enjoy boating with friends should be able to. It's not fair to them to not be able to enjoy it! We want to be able to go on a jet ski this summer sometime during the summer at least. I have never been and I would love to go! Even if it's just on a lake. We are planning on going to White Lake which is about 30 minutes from our house next week and we can't wait to float around and get some sun but not only that but to enjoy the lake and quietness too. Olivia loves going far our in the lake too because she can which is a plus compared to the ocean! One day we will get a boat and be able to go enjoy the lake and enjoy the ocean too! We plan on making some really tasty snacks while we are at the lake and we can make them for on the boat too while at the beach!

    What fun things are you planning on doing this summer?

    Tuesday, July 01, 2014

    Tips When Planning a Trip to Walt Disney World with Children

    Recently I have had many people asking me for a few tips when planning a trip to WDW with children and so I have a few. We are always going and we love going but going with a child can be quite frustrating and with a child who has a disorder or has never been to a big amusement park before then follow these instruction on planning this trip! It will help not only the child but will make your trip more memorable.

    1. Plan when to go when it will be less crowded. The first time I took Olivia was in May 2010 and it was not too crowded. I have been told that September, January, February, March and May are not too crowded at all. This will be so much easier for you and your child.
    2. Get the Dining Plan and let your children help pick the restaurants. Getting the Disney Dining Plan was the best decision that we ever made! Olivia and I got the Regular Dining Plan when it was just she and I who went. The Regular Dining Plan includes 1 Table Service Meal Per Day, 1 Quick Service Meal Per Day, 1 Snack Credit per day, and 1 Refillable Mug. The Quick Service Meal Plan includes 2 QS Meals per day, 1 Snack credit per day and 1 Refillable Mug. And then there is the Deluxe Dining Plan (what we get now) which includes 3 Meals a Day (Can be used on QS or TS), 2 Snack Credits per day and 1 Refillable Mug. Now just to let you know that the dining plan is for each person in the group so this is a very good thing to get. We love getting the Deluxe Dining plan because at Lunch & Dinner we can order an appetizer and a dessert which is very nice as long as we eat at a table service. The only thing that you have to cover is the gratuity which I think is well worth it. The refillable mugs can be refilled now at any Disney World resort unlimited!
    3. Check Online for Special Offers Disney Has. I always check online to see if Disney has any special offers going on. That will help me plan on when to go with Olivia as well. Planning a trip with a child can be quite difficult but getting a deal on it will help and having extra money in my pocket might help too. Sometimes Disney has special offers like Free Dining or Stay and Play for Free for the Kids. This might be a good time to take the children. 
    4. If you want to keep the trip a surprise, make sure to plan a good reveal! We have only done a surprise on Olivia once and that was taking my mom with us to WDW with us last year and that was a hard secret to keep for a good 6 months. It was well worth it though. 
    5. Make sure to pack plenty of clothes for the kids. When packing Olivia's suitcase for Disney World and for any trip I always get gallon sized Ziplock bags and put one full outfit in there. And that way when the clothes are dirty you have somewhere for the clothes to go into. Plus I have several extra outfits that I always pack to bring inside the park with us for an accident or if something gets dropped onto a shirt or she sits into something. Works perfect!
    6. Plan on either taking a stroller or renting a stroller for WDW! I highly suggest either taking a stroller with you to WDW or renting a stroller for WDW! For the past several years we have taken a stroller with us and last year was the first year that we rented a stroller from Apple Strollers for a really cheap price. It was less hassle to deal with when packing the car and it was delivered to our resort we were staying at and picked up as well. Perfect! WDW is a lot of walking for anybody and for children who normally don't use strollers I highly using one or thinking about one. Olivia doesn't use one when we are at home but when at Disney World we are prone to having a lot of meltdowns with Olivia and it's better for us to have a stroller to control the meltdowns and for the end of the night when she passes out. 
    7. Find a Resort that best fits your needs! Not your Wants! We have always stayed at Value Resorts while at Disney World and we plan on staying there this go round again. We find that they are more kid friendly and Olivia's favorite resort is Pop Century because of the Flower Pool! She loves it there and we have had a lot of memories there! The walls are paper thin but it's nice to go plus if you aren't going to be there in the room a lot then it just makes sense for us to stay in the value resorts. We have stayed at a moderate resort before and must say we loved it there too! We loved having the queen sized beds and the ceiling fan but the walks to the main pool were too long and it was a long walk to the central hub to get our drinks for the most part. Most of the time we had to catch the bus to the first bus stop to get off and get drinks. Was quite annoying at times when it was super hot or late at night. And we stayed two nights at Animal Kingdom Villas which is a Disney Vacation Club Resort (Deluxe Villas) and it was so nice. Definitely something for those who want to spoil or spend more time in the room!
    8. Plan your Day's at Disney World! From the first time we went to Disney World, I started to plan our days, where we would go for the day, what restaurants we would eat at and so on. It not only helped out in keeping the day running smoothly but it helped keep the meltdowns at bay. To this day, I still plan where we will be and what restaurant we will eat at depending on which park we will be at. 
    9. Allow your kids or spouse to get in on the planning! Let the kids and your spouse get in on the planning!
    10. Just Have FUN Planning!!! Don't fret if nothing goes right it's your family vacation! Make Memories!!!!

    Saturday, May 31, 2014

    1st Year of Homeschool in Review

    This year as being our 1st year of homeschooling hasn't been the easiest yet it hasn't been the hardest either. We've had our ups and downs as most homeschoolers have had I'm sure but we have enjoyed it. This past school year we used:

    BJU 4th Grade English
    BJU 4th Grade History
    BJU 5th Grade Science
    BJU 4th Grade Handwriting
    Saxon 5/6 Math
    Spectrum 4th Grade Vocabulary
    Reading was Books from the Library, Used bookstore and books off of her bookshelf.

    We also used worksheets found offline and we used different projects found on pinterest.

    We enjoyed doing the BJU curriculum but I didn't find it as structured as it was offered to us as. I did a lot of investigating before purchasing this series and decided it was right at the time but after completing it this year it is not for Olivia. She needs to have a more structured program and so we will be looking into doing Abeka for next school year. We have heard great things about Abeka and are going to weigh our options out on them or if there is another option for her. We also plan on finding several social activities that she can get involved in since we did not find them in this area and we are also planning on putting her into either gymnastics or dance again. She also will most likely do Upward Cheerleading this winter.

    For those of you who do homeschool, what curriculum do you use or have you used and is it something your children enjoy? Is it structured enough for them?

    Yesterday Olivia took her end of the year test and I'm sure did great. We chose to do the Woodcock Johnson III testing because it was one on one testing. We should get her test results back in about a week. Took about 90 minutes or so. But pretty much we have a 5th grader on our hands! I'm so proud of how hard she worked this school year and I look forward to working with her again next year and doing the field trips to the zoo, Marbles Museum, and more.