Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Up's and Down's of booking a Disney Vacation

I've been working on my fall Disney trip for the last few months. Deciding where I am going to stay, making reservations, making dining reservations, watching videos, etc.

This year there will be five of us my mom, my husband, my 2 kids, and myself. Because of the amount of people I automatically counted out moderate resorts. I wasn't going to pay for 2 moderate rooms and the only resort that holds 5, I think would be cramped with 3 adults and 1 child that's the size of an adult. I narrowed it down to a deluxe resort, deluxe villa, Art of Animation suite, or 2 value rooms. I decided to go with deluxe, since I have never stayed at one before.  

My dream has always been Beach Club Resort since the first time I laid eyes on it. What's not to love, it's right next to my favorite park, Epcot. Everyone was OK with the choice, especially Eve because she wants to swim in a sand bottom pool. I called and booked in February. 

Every year that we have went the same week in October free dining has been offered. This year, however, it was released and my week was not included. Sadness. My only hope was for it to be added later or wait for one of those wonderful PIN codes. 

What I failed to mention is that one of my friends has decided to go the same time. She has a daughter Eve's age and they have been friends since they were toddlers. These 2 girls are super excited to be able to ride rides together. My friend and I have stressed out several times about the lack of free dining. She almost changed her vacation dates. 

Then the PIN code came. Excitement all around......or so we thought. The PIN code went to my friend. She was booked in a Finding Nemo suite at the Art of Animation but that was not included in the free dining promotion with her PIN code (WTH?). The agent on the phone booked her for 2 rooms at Pop Century (she also has 5 people in her party).  She was disappointed but went with the positive thought that she is going to Disney and it shouldn't matter where you stay.

Next up it was my turn to call. Well, we thought it sucked for her, that was only the beginning. I called and told the agent that my friend and I were going on the same dates and I wanted to use her PIN code as well. That agent said that I had to have my friends reservation number, not just the PIN code. No problem, I thought, so I text her and got her reservation number. I then called back for the second time, this agent said that I not only had to have the PIN code and reservation number, I had to have my friends street address as well. WTH? So, I hung up with that agent and text my friend for her address (because let's be real, how many of you have all your friends address memorized). 

After I got that info I called back for the third time. This agent dropped the bomb, I had to stay at the SAME RESORT as my friend to use her code. Sadness starts now. Beach Club is my dream and I'm not sure when we will be able to go back to WDW after this year. Also, we have already stayed at Pop Century and I want to try different places. But free dining is important. I need that or my stay at Beach Club would be astronomical.

So, reluctantly I said I would stay at Pop Century again. Then the lady said that I had to make 2 reservations for my 2 rooms. UGH!! After 30 minutes on the phone, I ended up at a resort I didn't really want to stay at again and 2 reservations to manage, one under my name and one under my mom's. We may or may not have connecting rooms.  BUT, I guess, I at least got free dining.

This 2 reservation thing has turned my vacation planning in to work. I have to manage 2 MyDisneyExperience accounts, fastpass + will probably be a nightmare, and I am not looking forward to dining reservations with 2 different reservations. 

Looking at the bright side: At least I get to go to Walt Disney World!!

Pop Century here we come!!
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Friday, June 13, 2014

World Cup Fun!

Yesterday was the opening of the 2014 World Cup. This is a big thing in our house, my husband and son are big soccer fans, as I have mentioned before. 

While watching the 2010 World Cup, the kids liked it but they were still too young to really get in to it. This one is different, for Xander anyway.

For Easter I got Joe and Xander World Cup t-shirts from World Soccer Shop and Joe got a poster to keep track of the scores and games. We even have done brackets on Yahoo! just like March Madness!!

It's so big that it won't fit on the fridge!
For opening night I decided to make some traditional Brazilian food. My people are extremely picky, including myself, so finding things posed difficult. I ended up finding: Bolinho de Chuva (cinnamon and sugar donut holes), fresh fruit, and Misto Quente (grilled ham and cheese sandwich).

To make the Bolinho de Chuva I cheated, the recipe called for homemade dough and I don't really have the time or inclination to do that. So, I made them the way that my dad used to make donuts for us when I was little: buttermilk biscuits in the can. I bought the 8 count tube of biscuits at Meijer and tore them into about 1 inch sized balls. I then dropped them in oil that was hot on the stove a few at a time. When both sides were brown, I took them out. After I cooked all of them I rolled them all in cinnamon and sugar. When I was a child we rolled them in powdered sugar, but these were just as good.

As for the Misto Quente, I used multi-grain bread, Kraft sliced swiss cheese, Kraft shredded triple cheddar cheese, and Hillshire Farms brown sugar ham. I grilled them just like a grilled cheese sandwich. They grilled up beautifully and were nice and gooey. 

Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for Portugal to play so I can watch this hottie: 

Hater's gonna hate and I don't care!!
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thursday Three

Thursday Three:

1.  Emotion: Blah, the weather hasn't been that great since school got out!

2.  Picture: Sauron's power is no match for a bored 3lb puppy!!

3.  Confession: I hoard travel sized toiletries. Some of them were free, some of them weren't. You would think with so many toiletries that I was a world traveler or I traveled more than once a year, but neither of those things are true. I just want to be prepared and I feel that if I pay $100+ per night for a hotel room, these "freebies" are mine to keep. I have so many I have to keep them in a shoe box for knee-high boots!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ipsy June 2014

Man, was I excited to get home from school today and find my Ipsy package in the mail. Last month I didn't receive it until almost the 20th, so this is early. Here is a look at what I got:

Up first is a Rebecca Minkoff bag, it's super cute. It's so cute I'm tempted to use is as a jewelry bag for vacations. 

I also got a 0.5oz size Carlos Daughter anti-frizz styling cream.

Then I got a full sized Ofra eyebrow liner. This retails for $13 so it pays for the Ipsy bag all by itself. I use brown eyebrow liner so hopefully this stuff works just as good.

Nyx butter gloss in Eclair. This is a very pretty soft pink color, perfect for summer.

I also got Nicka K shimmer eyeliner in blue. I'm not sure that I will ever use this but you never know.

Last is a sample sized perfume by Realtree. It smells light so it will be perfect for summer also.

I am satisfied with my bag this month. I will use most of it. If you want to know how I got off of the Ipsy wait list go here

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thursday Three: Field Day

Thursday Three

Special "Field Day" Edition

We had field day at school last week. I worked the water station for 750+ elementary aged students. We had balloon tosses, sponge races, and sprayed them with the hose. It was a beautiful day for outdoor fun but I lost some things along the way....

The three things I lost at Field Day:

1.  My sunglasses. A student stepped on them. In classic kid style, instead of walking around the pile that was my jacket, sunscreen, and sunglasses she walked right on top of it. UGH

2.  My sunscreen. A kid took it. Lucky for me I had a few more bottles in my purse.

3.  My dignity. I was horribly sunburned. It was awful. I put sunscreen on my arms, face, neck, and chest 7 times, so that looked good. I only put it on my legs 3 times and they were bright red. I am an idiot and I looked like one!!

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Reading list 2014

Summer break is almost here!! I have 2 days of work and then freedom. Well, freedom until summer school starts, LOL. I will be helping this year with summer school but it only lasts 3 weeks, so it shouldn't be too bad. 

I made a reading list last year and didn't read much on it. Not sure why, it just didn't happen. So, I am continuing last years list and adding to it. 

From last year we have:

Also from last year: 

I am adding this series this year:

I just finished Gone Girl, which was on last summers list. I really liked it. I hope I can get all of these done this year. I should have plenty of time. I have heard great things about all of these books and am excited for all of them.

What is on your summer reading list?

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