Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Krienke's Take On Disney World: Magic Kingdom is Nothing Less Than Magical



Our DisneyWorld trip was nothing less than magical.  I don't know how they do it but it blows my mind each time we visit Disney.  This is our first trip to DisneyWorld as a family and my mom and dad were able to join us.  They were first time Disney travelers and I think it's safe to say that one can never really imagine how they can bring all that magic to life, even for the oldest kids at heart.

Disclaimer!  This will be the longest of all my posts about Disney, so bare with me.

Day 1 & 7 were spent in Magic Kingdom and I don't know about anyone else but we could have used another day there.  We had FP (fastpass)  for many of the major rides but we still struggled to cover it all in two days with kids. Here are the highlights from our two days. (sorry it's a bit long) 

1. Dinner at Cinderellas Castle

Warning this is a very expensive experience, like $100/person!!!!  Was it worth it?  Hmmm.  I am going to say yes but mainly because my girls want to get pictures and autographs from the princesses and line-ups for that are long.  This experience eliminated us having to track these individual princesses down and stand in-line. At dinner we were able to meet Cinderella,  Snow White, Aurora, Ariel  & Jasmine .  I guess the one little let-down would be that we felt very rushed with Cinderella and the picture below of our family is the best one on my Photopass, meaning that a "professional" photographer took it.  The other princesses took much more time with the girls and actually spoke to them, whereas with Cinderella I felt like they were herding us like cows.  Oh well.   Also being in the castle is a really neat feeling, and it's a glorious space.  The food was EXCEPTIONAL  and they took care of Halie and I, with Celiac, so well.  Actually this was apparent in every restaurant or walk-up restaurant we went to.  The chef came out in each place we ate and took our order and had them prepared separately; my mind was actually blown by the level of service we received.  Overall it was a lovely experience and I recommend doing some sort of character dining while in Disney.

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2. Rides and Experiences

We started off strong and hit Splash Mountain and....Railroad right off the bat.  Everyone enjoyed them, even Anya wasn't too scared, and it was a great way to introduce my parents to the ride portion of Disney.  We did eventually stand in line for the newest ride, The Seven Dwarfs, but you guys I would not recommend waiting more  than 45 minutes for it.  :)  Halie really wanted to do Space Mountain, she did it at Disneyland, but we didn't have a FP and just simply ran out of time.

OPS!  Anya did it again!!!!

Right after we got off the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Anya was so excited that she accomplished this first "scary" ride and was running on the pavement and BAM!  She tripped over her own two feet and flew face first into the pavement.  She reopened a skinned knee wound, skinned the good knee and got nasty road rash  on her little shoulder.  There was blood, screaming, crying and Anya saying over and over again,
 "Why does this always happen to me?  I am such an idiot!"  Poor little one, it's true she is constantly having nasty spills.  We cleaned her up and she was good to go. 








As for experiences, if you have little ones that love Beauty and the Beast, go see Enchanted Tales with Belle.  They incorporate all the little ones into the story time and they get to meet Belle (no autographs but there is a photographer on site though the pictures are really hit and miss).


3. Favorite Characters

Our favorite characters that we ran into were Aladin and Jasmine.  They were so funny and interactive with the kids.  The asked lots of questions, teased them and took their time with them.




Once again Peter Pan didn't disappoint and was super silly, just like a hyper little kid.





We did the FP to meet Repunzel and Princess Tianna (who was AMAZING).



I know my mom certainly enjoyed meeting all the characters, that was definitely a new experience for her.

4. Fireworks

I am so glad that we went back to enjoy this magical spectacular that is offered at Magic Kingdom.  I am not going to lie, we were tempted to skip it as the kids were tired, but we took them back to the hotel earlier and had some downtime and then returned to the park.  BEST IDEA EVER.  They were just so much happier once the sun was down, they were loving each other, running around and perfectly well behaved.  There are actually two shows in the evening, the firework show, Happily Ever After, and fifteen or so minutes afterwards started an illuminations show that was just as mesmerizing.   Also, it's the perfect time to rush into the Ice Cream Parlor to grab a night time snack. 






5. Date time parade

It's hard to fit it all in but another must see for all ages is the 3 p.m. parade.  We parked ourselves 15 minutes before the parade started in Frontierland and honestly you just can't choose a favorite float.  It blows your mind the time, energy, creativity and enthusiasm that goes into this 20 minute performance.  It is worth taking a break, sitting down with a cool treat and being mesmerized by all of your classic Disney favorites.


Sorry for the length and picture heavy post but it's hard to narrow down the magic that we experienced.  these memories will be with us for a lifetime and for that I am so beyond thankful.  Stay tuned for the recap of the other parks and the spectacular Harry Potter experience. 

Friday, 26 May 2017

Fashion Friday: Graphic Tees and Skirts



I absolutely adore the look of graphic tees and skirts together, see another option here.  It's hard to believe that only a couple of years ago I didn't have a single graphic tee in my closet and now I want to collect them like I collect coffee mugs from places I have traveled.  While in Florida last week, I put this little outfit together and received several compliments while shopping at the outlet mall.  The tee I purchased from the Gap right before our trip to Paris last year and I was drawn to the peasenty (not a real word) look of the skirt.  I adore the look of high-waist skirts and tucked in, or cropped, tops.  Also the vertical stripes are a great twist to the traditional stripes and the length is perfect for chasing little children around I purchased it at Marshalls but I have linked a few other options for you below; the Twik  option below is fantastic, especially as a set.    And the fun shoes came from my aunts closet, score!
 




 


Shop this look:
Skirt:  Option 1 (similar); Option 2 (Twik option)
Graphic Tee:  Simons (many options)


Don't you love how graphic tees just give skirts a fun, modern twist? 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

DIY: Teacup Fairy Garden (Birthday Party)


 

I want to welcome my wonderful friend Heather as my guest blogger today.  Heather is a mother to two wonderful children, a wife, teacher, a friend, a person who values the outdoors, physical activities and embraces life and all that it brings.  Heather has taught me to be more laid back and calm in my life.  She rarely seems to get caught up in the societal pressures of keeping up with everything and has inspired me to say 'NO' more often, in order to keep myself sane.  She is sharing how she made these adorable teacup fairy gardens for her daughters 8th birthday.

 


The birth of an idea

My nearly 8 year old was first inspired to create a fairy garden after a trip to our local Peavey Mart. We saw the fairy garden section and the large diorama on display, which led us to reminisce about one of our favourite summer activities at the cabin; painting rocks and creating fairy furniture from twigs and moss. 

We talked about the possibility of creating a fairy garden for her guests. I’ve seen beautiful fairy gardens made with succulents and real flowers but I knew the cost of doing that would be too much.  Although the fairies and the furniture at Peavey Mart were adorable, it wouldn’t be cost effective to purchase these items for a birthday party craft. So we took to Pinterest and discovered the Tea Cup Fairy Garden

 
 
 

Keeping it Cheap and Easy

I was a bit worried when I agreed to this type of craft before actually researching how to make a tea cup fairy garden and where to purchase the necessary items. The teacher in me knew that it’d have to be a pretty streamlined craft because we had a time limit. So off to the local dollar stores and thrift shop I went.

 
 

 

 

 

Pre-party Prep

 

*Tools needed: wire cutters (to precut popsicle sticks and doweling), hot glue and hot glue gun (to assemble houses ahead of time), pen, sticky tack, scissors

#1.  Create the house from popsicle sticks.

-         Use wire cutters to cut 1 popsicle stick in half to use as the backing of the house which is 5 popsicle sticks wide

-         Use wire cutters to cut 4 popsicle sticks (cut about 1/3 of the stick off) to create the roof of the house

-         Glue backing onto house, glue the handle onto the back of the house (this will later be glued or sticky tacked to the cup or stuck into a chunk of oasis at the bottom of the cup)

-         Glue the ends of the small sticks one on top of each other into v-shape to make a roof

-         Fit the house inside the roof and glue if necessary

-         Attach a chimney from left over popsicle sticks.

-         Place all houses in a bag for easy unpacking at the party

 
 

 

#2 Trace doors onto cardstock or provide a tracer for child to trace their own door.

-         Place all doors, door knobs, and stickers / pens and scissors into a bag for easy unpacking at the party

#3 Prepare the ladder for assembly

-         Cut doweling pieces in half, cut small sections of pipe cleaner so that kids can easily assemble the ladder together

-         Place all ladder pieces in a bag for easy unpacking at the party

 

#4 Prepare the sign

-         I opted to pre-glue the flag onto the dowling to avoid wait time at the glue gun at the party. Children will need a pen and probably some example words to copy (ie. Welcome, Happy Place, Home, Fairy Home, Hello)

#5 Use wire cutters to cut small flowers off of plastic stems and gather decorations.

-         Create a bag of d├ęcor (rocks, shells, aquarium gravel, gems, miniature mushrooms, plant pots, etc.) that children can rifle through and choose the ‘just right’ elements for their own tea cup garden.

#6 Trace a circle onto the back of the artificial turf tiles. I got 4 circles / grassy tile and cut them out ahead of time.

 

At the Party

At the party while the kids ate supper, I set out the craft items on the table. Then I gathered everyone around to show them the ready-made example and explain the steps. They used the pre-made pieces to create their own teacup fairy garden and we were there to support them.

 



 

Thanks Heather for sharing this cute idea with us.   My girls and I are going to be making these with their friends during their end of the school year party.