What To Wear To Disney

The second in my Disney posts this week...What To Wear To Disney! I get this question at least once per week and I love to share ideas! For me, the ideal Disney outfit centers on comfort. Disney often involves long days, lots of walking and centers on our girls so an easy comfortable outfit is key! I take the same approach when planning the girls outfits. I try to pack each day's outfit in its own ziploc gallon freezer bag complete with sock, bow, etc so it is easy to grab and go in the morning.

 I will share some of my favorite past Disney outfits below and then some current shoppable outfit inspiration!

Leggings, Tunic & Sneakers 
I find this to be one of the most comfortable ways to do Disney especially in the fall or early spring. Leggings would be way too hot for summer but are a good option in more moderate weather where the mornings and evenings are cool. I almost always layer with a jean jacket or light cardigan.
This post contains comissionable links


Dress or Romper with Sneakers
In the summer I love to wear a dress or romper with sneakers to Disney. It is comfortable and easy! Just make sure the dress length makes you feel comfortable for bending over and moving around! 
My dress is old but here is a similar one that is $15!  The girls outfits are from Etsy but I could not find exact matches. 
These outfits are from last year and sold out, but this floral romper was so easy to run around Disney in and I added these keds

Shorts/Top
This may seem like a no brainer lol but I had to include it! Another favorite for summer would be jean shorts or flowy shorts with a top tucked in. It is easy and can be super cute too! I will pair it with sneakers or some really comfortable sandals. 
 Avery's red bow dress, Minnie mary janes, My ruffle sleeve top is old but these are cute options (1, 2), Minnie ears, jean shorts, sandals 

 similar shortst-shirtsandalssunglasses
  Girls outfits: Minnie setcardiganjean jacketMinnie shoessneakers
this is such a throwback, the girls look so little! :) their shorts sets are old but are from Smocked Auctions. i love to dress them in red gingham for Disney! 

Since so many of my last  outfits are sold out I wanted to put together some ideas for similar looks that are currently in stock! Here is a huge assortment of affordabl and cute disney options; including boy ideas and accessories!








Disney World Planning Tips & Tricks

Good Morning! I am so excited to share one of my most requested posts today...all about Disney! Kris and I went to Disney even before we had the girls and have been annual passholders as a family for several years now! It is a quick trip for us from Fort Lauderdale so it has been a fun and doable getaway for us. I have to warn you, this post is a long one, and I feel like I just scratched the surface. I tried to cover the things that I have learned and what has been helpful for us as a family to have the most magical trip!  Comissionable links may be used in this post. 

THE MY DISNEY EXPERIENCE APP
Downloading the My Disney Experience App onto your phone is one of the best pieces of advice I can share. This is something we use through out the day...every day...that we are at Disney! We will check park hours and attraction wait times, book Fast Passes (more on that next), and make dining reservations using it.  You can also place mobile orders for food at certain restaurants so you don't have to stand in the huge line. We do this every time that we go to order a Dole Whip in Magic Kingdom at Aloha Isle because the line is always SO long. 

FAST PASSES
Book your Fast Passes as soon as you are able! Fast Passes allow ticket holders to choose 3 rides per day. It gives you the opportunity to skip the standby line and get on the ride more quickly. You can book fast passes on the Disney website or the My Disney Experience App as long as you have active tickets linked on your Disney account. Guests that are staying on Disney property can book their fast passes 60 days in advance and guests staying off property can book 30 days in advance. One thing to note is that you can check in 30 or 60 days prior to the check-in for the whole length of your stay. Certain rides will "sell out" of fast passes quickly so booking sooner is better! 

If you are going to be at the park for the whole day, I would recommend booking fast passes in the late morning or after lunch. The parks will be less crowded early on so you will have shorter stand by lines but the afternoon is often when you want to skip the long lines! In the FAQs at the bottom I will include our favorite fast passes which is a question that I get a lot. 

DINING RESERVATIONS
Also, make your Dining Reservations early if you can! Reservations can be made 180 days in advance (if you are staying on property, you have an extra 9 days on top of the 180 to book based on your arrival date!).  There are just a few restaurants that really require you to book at the very start of that window which I think are dinner at Be Our Guest and any meal at Cinderella's Royal Table (both at Magic Kingdom). However most do book up quickly so the earlier the better, especially if you have a large party! Because of the Disney Dining Plan it is really hard to just walk up to a full service restaurant and be able to eat with out a reservation. I will normally book one lunch or dinner per day based on our schedule so we have something set and then we will eat at the fast-casual restaurants or at the hotel for the other meals. I will share our favorite Disney restaurants in the FAQ section of this post! 

PLANNING OUR DAY 
After many trips to Disney, one of the biggest mistakes we have ever made was to just do too much. I know it sounds silly but it can be easy to get caught up in everything that you have the opportunity to do, and it can overwhelm the whole family. There is so much stimulation and activity just from being inside the park! Now we typically go into the day with some set plans (like fast passes and typically one dining reservation) but when everyone is tired we simply head back to the hotel! If we are there in the morning, we will head back around 3:30/4 and go swimming or just relax! And vice versa if we are staying late. Everyone is much happier taking it easy and not allowing the stress of a schedule to overwhelm the fun! 

WHERE WE STAY 
We have stayed both on property and off property in our Disney trips. When the girls were very young we typically stayed off property because we wanted to have a larger room with a kitchen and 2 bedrooms so we did not have to go to bed before 8pm, ha! Our favorite hotels during that time were the Staybridge Suites and the Sheraton Vistana (both right next to Disney Springs). 

I also have been able to find super affordable room rates for last minute trips on www.hotwire.com. They have something called "hot rates" where you get information on the hotel (location and star rating) but not the name. I was able to book a 4 star hotel for $50/night one time! 

Some of our favorite Disney resort hotels are: 
Old Key West - HUGE rooms with multi bedroom options, beautiful property, boat service to Disney Springs 
Port Orleans Resort (French Quarter) - Reasonably priced, pools/splash pad that the girls loved, and a fun playground
Caribbean Beach Resort - Newly renovated, great affordable dining options, reasonably priced, a stop on the new Skyliner gondola (more on that below), HUGE pools and slides

TRANSPORTATION 
Disney resort hotels have a major perk with their bus service! The Disney buses run very regularly from resort properties to the parks and Disney Springs. At Magic Kingdom we always find parking a bit challenging because you have several stops before getting to the park gates. The bus service eliminates that need which is helpful! Disney Springs hotels (Hilton, B Hotel, Doubletree and several others) also have bus service to the parks. They often stop at multiple hotels though and will drop you off further away than the Disney park buses it seems!  

Our favorite way to get from Hollywood Studios to Epcot is now on the Skyliner! It is a gondola that goes between the parks (and several hotels) and it is such a fun ride. One day we just rode it because we wanted a break from the crowds :) and the girls loved it! 

WHAT I BRING TO THE PARKS 
Here is a list of what I always bring with us to the parks :)
- a double stroller.  the long hauls through the parks make even me want to sit, so I find it much much easier to have an option for both girls to sit if they want. We have this one
- a large tote/backpack to hold all of the miscellaneous things we may need. for me this includes baby wipes, lysol wipes, hand sanitizer, mini umbrella, rain ponchos for everyone, sunscreen, handheld fan in summer, autograph books & pens, lots of snacks, water bottles to refill, portable phone charger, and a mini emergency kit
- small cross body bag for important items like my wallet, phone, tickets, etc. I will not take this off which makes me less nervous about leaving the stroller!

EXTRA TIPS AND TRICKS 
- If you are staying on a Disney property (and Disney Springs hotels through 2020) you have access to something called Extra Magic Hours. The park opens early for these guests only and lines can often be shorter! However we try to avoid that park on the extra magic hours if we are staying off property. 

- Take advantage of the baby care centers at each park. They sell everything you need in a pinch such as diapers, Tylenol and pacifiers. They have air conditioning, private feeding rooms, changing areas and microwaves. I have spent many hours in these spaces and found the attendants to be lovely and helpful! 

- Pack more snacks than you think you will need - they go fast! Disney snacks are incredibly pricey although really good :) 

- Disney has wifi inside their parks! I use it each day. 

- Set a budget or purchasing expectation with your kids prior to going to Disney. It keeps everyone on the same page and can prevent ensuing meltdowns! One year I bought the girls each a Disney gift card with a value on it. They had that as their spending money during our trip. It made them think twice before asking for every stuffed animal or keychain! 

- Tie a ribbon to your stroller so you can identify it when it is parked. Also, make sure you park in a section marked stroller parking or an attendant will move it to a designated area making it harder to find. 

- If the parks are crowded, consider heading over to Disney Springs. We love to spend time there. They have a small kids train, face painting, musicians, carousel, legos to play with and lots of shops and restaurants. We love to eat at the Polite Pig, Chef Art Smith's Homecomin', Boathouse and T-Rex restaurants.

- At night even if you are tired, try to go through your bag/backpack and get everything organized for the next day. I will ensure we have new snacks, water bottles, throw away receipts, etc. It helps to keep everything organized! 

- Check your Disney app to see where the character meet and greets are. Many opportunities are available at each park. Princesses and characters such as Mary Poppins, they have windows where they will take photos. I recommend coming at the beginning of the window or slightly before it starts. The line can grow quickly and the characters will go on break at the end of the window. Characters in full costume like Daisy Duck seem to have a more consistent rotation vs these short windows!

- One of Avery's favorite experiences was the Jedi Training Academy. It is a free experience inside Hollywood Studios that allows kids to have the chance to "fight" darth vader or kyloren! I recommend going to the enrollment area when the park opens so you can sign up for your preferred time slot! 

- the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is such a special experience! We took Avery when she turned 3 which is the youngest age allowed. Children are transformed into princesses and given the royal treatment! You can book reservations online here. We always bring our princess dress from home and the cost becomes so much more reasonable! 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are your favorite parks for kids? And rides?
My favorite park right now for the girls is definitely Magic Kingdom. The tradition and, well magic of the park is palpable! Our next favorites in order are Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot. 

Here are some of the girls' favorite rides (keep in mind they are not roller coaster fans): 
- Magic Kingdom: Peter Pan (get a fast pass), Enchanted Tales with Belle, Fairy Tale Hall Princess Meet & Greet, Under the Sea (Ariel's Ride), Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
- Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Mania, Alien Swirling Saucers, Walking around Galaxy's Edge area, Star Tours
- Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safaris, Meet Mickey & Minnie at Adventures Outpost, Na'vi River Journey, Train to Conservation Station (Petting Zoo), Various animal experiences
- Epcot: The Seas with Nemo, Turtle Talk with Crush, Soarin, Test Track (Avery does this one, not Charlotte), Meet Anna & Elsa at Royal Summerhus, Frozen Ever After, Spaceship Earth   

Disney with out kids?
YES! Kris and I used to go prior to the girls and we loved it! I remember the first time we took Avery and realized just how many strollers there were LOL We especially loved the restaurants in Epcot and walking around the world showcases! 

What are your favorite Character meals?
Here are some of our favorites. In general, I prefer to do the character meals that are located in the park unless we are planning on starting our time in the parks in the afternoon or we are headed home that day. 
- Akershus Royal Hall (Epcot) - this is our favorite spot to see princesses! 
- The Garden Grill Restaurant (Epcot) - This is a great character experience with Chip and Dale! I have taken the girls there for breakfast and the food was wonderful! The lines are not crazy and reservations are fairly easy to get. 
- Cinderella's Royal Table (Magic Kingdom) - another great options to see princesses. it is pricey but we have done it for special occasions. it is extra special to go there after taking your little one to the bibbidi bobbidi boutique next door! 
- Be our Guest (Magic Kingdom) - we went here for dinner with the Beast and LOVED it! the food was great and the girls loved meeting Beast. Just a note that Beast is only there for dinner. 
- Disney Junior Hollywood & Vine (Hollywood Studios) - precious for little ones. Lots of Disney Jr characters and they have a little dance party
-Best Friends Breakfast at O'hana (Polynesian Resort) - the food is so good and you get to meet Lilo & Stich! 
- 1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian) - the characters vary based on the meal you choose but kids have lots of time with each character! 
- Tusker House (Animal Kingdom) - i am not a huge fan of buffets but I like this one! lots of time with core Disney characters like Donald Duck and Goofy! 
- Story Book Dining at Artist Point - so we have not done this one yet but I have a friend who has and said it was hands down her favorite. she said the food was delicious and Snow White, Grumpy and the Evil Queen are there.
What is the best age to go to Disney?
I think Disney can be great for almost any age! We took Avery at 6 months because I was running in one of the Disney races and she had so much fun looking at everything and with us on the rides. I will say that our favorite age for Disney has been 3-5. They are just so excited about everything. The only age that has been tough for us so far was the infant stage. When Avery was 2.5 my dad had a conference in Disney and we tagged along but Charlotte was 3 months old. It was a tough trip and I was so thankful that we had both Grandmas with us! Charlotte and I spent most of our time in the Baby Care center because of the heat!
What is the best way to travel from Resort to Resort for dinner at Disney?
So buses do not go from resort to resort, but you can get to almost all of the Disney resorts from the parks. I found this amazing site that has details on each hotel and how to get there best! Unofficial Quick Tips for Resort to Resort Transportation by Touring Plans

What are the best rides to get fast passes for?
I covered the rides above that our girls like but they are often not our most favorite ones as adults LOL! So park by park here are the rides that I think get the most crowded and for which fast passes are helpful. 
Magic Kingdom - Seven Dwarf's Mine Train, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan. Also Pirates of the Caribbean & the Princess Fairytale Hall can get crowded! 
Epcot - Frozen Ever After, Meet Anna & Elsa, Soarin', Spaceship Earth
Animal Kingdom - Navi River Ride, Flights of PassageEverest, Meet Mickey & Minnie 
Hollywood Studios - Millennium Falcon, Slinky Dog Dash, Tower of Terror, Rock n Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania, Alien Swirling Saucers.
*Rise of the Resistance is a new ride at Hollywood Studios that does not have the traditional fast pass system. Hollywood Studios has been opening at 6am and a virtual line begins at that time. You can join the line once you enter the park on your My Disney Experience App (it geo locates you so you can't join prior to that). They will then alert you when it is your boarding group's turn to go. This website has more information! 

What is the best crowd predictor website?
I love WDW prep school and Undercover Tourist Orlando!

What to wear to Disney?
That is a post coming later this week! 

The 10 Favorite Items of 2019

It is so hard to believe that it's time to write the annual recap post for the blog favorites! So much happened this year that I am truly thankful for, including all of you being here! Thank you so much for your support and love for our family! I never in a million years thought that this dream would become a reality and you are such a huge part of it! I love y'all! 

So onto the favorite items of 2019! Most of them were from Amazon, which didn't surprise me! LOL I live on Prime! Also, a large part came from spring and summer looks which are my favorite pieces to share! So with out further adieu, here are the top selling items from 2019! 
{affiliate links used in this post}

1. This $22 palm print kimono was hands down the most popular item purchased on my blog! I am wearing a size small. I wore it on our spring break cruise and at least once a week through out the summer! I love that it has arm holes and stays on easily! 
2. So many of us got this $22 off/on the shoulder jumpsuit! It fit me TTS and I am 5'10" for height reference. I am wearing a medium. It would be really cute belted and I have worn it with a jean jacket and sneakers for a more casual look.
{other outfit details: earringstote bagchain bracelet}
3. This black one piece suit is next on the list and so incredibly flattering! Sometimes with a long torso, one pieces can be tough but this one is a winner! I am wearing a medium which is size 8/10 so a size up from my typical 4/6 size. It is $27 and worth every penny!
{other outfit details: swan suitpalm print suitmy blue kimono}
4. I wore this red floral maxi dress to New York city this summer and it looked so much more expensive than it is! It's only $35 and ships free with Amazon Prime! I wore the size 4 but wish I had gotten the 6 as the chest was a little tight. If you go between I would size up!
5. These gladiator studded sandals are SO comfortable and look so much like the designer versions. I wore my normal size. I love that you can dress them up or keep it casual! They are just $23.
6. The next favorite item is the bag that I probably carried the most this year. My ride or die Barrington Gifts St Anne tote bag! It is so roomy and has tons of room for all the mom essentials! Mine is basically like a Mary Poppins bag 24/7 and has held up SO well! I use this amazon prime tote bag organizer to help keep everything in its place inside it!
7. This pink striped high waisted bikini is SO cute and flattering! I love the super high waist and it comes in a bunch of colors. It is about $27 and ships free with Amazon Prime. I am wearing size 6. I think it fits TTS but if you go between I would size up.
8. This blue dress was one of my very favorites last spring! I wore it for an Easter egg hunt, church and just running around town! It is $29 and I wore the size 4/6. It is bump friendly as well! All of the other items that I am wearing in this picture are old except my monogram necklace. 
9. This striped romper is so cute and comfy! It is under $20 and ships free with prime. Plus it has a true button front making it nursing friendly. I am wearing a medium which is my normal size.
10. I still can't believe the quality of these $9 rattan earrings! They were my go to all summer and still look brand new! They also ship free with prime yay! 

Black Friday & Cyber Week Sales

Goood morning! Black Friday sales are live and in full effect! Here is a round up of all the Black Friday sales that I am loving! I will keep this updated as we go through the weekend and into Cyber Monday! {affiliate links used in this post}

Abercrombie & Fitch: 50% off the entire store and FREE ship

American Eagle & Aerie: Select styles 40% off online and in-store + FREE ship

Amazon: Daily Deals and Lightning Deals

Ann Taylor: 50% off everything with code BLACKFRIDAY

Anthropologie: 30% off everything

ASOS: Up to 70% off online

Backcountry: Up to 50% off site wide

Banana Republic: 50% off site wide and free ship over $50

Banana Republic Factory: 60% off everything PLUS extra 15% off with code BLACKFRI19    
  
Bloomingdale’s: Online: take $25 off every $150 you spend on items labeled TAKE $25 OFF 

BOOHOO: Up to 75% off of everything sitewide

Donna Bella Hair: 30% off hair extensions!  

Express: 50% off everything + free shipping

Forever 21: 30% off site wide 

Goodnight Macaroon: 30% off site wide using the code "GIVING30", 40% off $250+ with code “GIVING40” and 50% off $450+ with code “GIVING50”

GAP:  50% off everything with code BLKFRIDAY plus extra 10% off with BESTEVER

GAP Factory: 60% off everything PLUS extra 15% off with code BFEXTRA  
     
H&M: 30% off site wide and free shipping

JCPenney: Site wide savings and door busters

J.Crew: 50% off regular priced items, Extra 60% off sale items 

J.Crew Factory: 60% off everything. Free shipping for Rewards Members

Kate Spade: 40% off your whole order with the code TGIBF

Kohls: Deals across the store including affordable door busters!

Loft: 50% off everything with the code INDULGE

Loft Outlet: 50-60% off everything plus extra 10% off with the code TGIBF

Lord & Taylor: $100 OFF $200 purchase, code FRIDAY

Macy's: Deals across the store including these $7.99 appliances

Madewell: 30% off your purchase with code GIFTWELL
   
Marley Lilly: Up to 75% off! 

Nordstrom: Up to 50% off cyber sale picks! Some of my favorites are these Spanx leggings

Nordstrom Rack: FREE shipping & extra 50% off clearance deals, plus buy more save more sale

Old Navy: 50% off the entire store + $1 socks

Pink Lilly: 30% off site wide and free shipping with code BESTDAYEVER

Pottery Barn: 25% off plus free ship! Code: BLACKFRIDAY

QVC: Site wide Black Friday deals and Free Shipping

Sephora: Up to 50% off select items every day until 12/2, $15 gift packages

Serena & Lily: 25% off everything with code “THANKFUL”

Shop The Mint: 30% off site wide

Shopbop: Up to 25% off regular priced items, Up to 75% off sale items with code MORE19

T3: 25% off sitewide using the code "FRIDAY19"

Target: Deals across the store!

Tory Burch: 30% off full price styles, 60% off sale styles and free ship!

Urban Outfitters: Buy One Get One 50% off

Victoria Emerson: No Code Needed

Walmart: Deals and Doorbusters across the store!  

Wayfair: Up to 80% off site wide!


Gift Guide: Teachers

The next most requested gift guide by far this year was for teachers! We are all so thankful for our incredible teachers and knowing how to show that thanks can be tricky; especially when buying for several people. Over the years I have done a variety of things for our teachers. From gift cards to their favorite stores/restaurants to a little gift basket or a monogrammed item! 
{affiliate links are used in this post}

Some examples of past gifts that I have given include a cozy blanket and a gift card to Barnes and Noble for a teacher who loves to read, or a monogrammed cheese board and grocery store gift card for the entertainer, or this letter mug with a Starbucks gift card for a coffee lover.  I included a few fun ideas like a personalized lanyard, the BEST coffee mug that actually keeps coffee hot, tech gloves with AMAZING reviews (Under $15 + prime) and some affordable but chic jewelry.  I also love to include a note/card from the girls to their teacher and from Kris and I sharing our gratitude for them! 

You can click on the images below to see each item! 

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