New Story Time – Billie B Brown – The Little Lie

Lately Minime has been more interested in her chapter books than others.  It means our private story times last that much longer as she wants me to read the whole book and isn’t into the idea of waiting until tomorrow to see what comes next (even when she has heard the story 986,596 times before).

I usually can talk her into doing a short story for our Youtube storytime but not today.  Today she insisted on Billie B. Brown.  I completely get it.  Billie is a really cool, adventurous and brave girl.  She gets herself into some predicaments but always finds a way out.

I knew reading the book would take too long and lose some of our younger readers attention so I decided to break it up into one chapter per storytime episode.  What do you think?

Anyway, as always the book is available for sale on my Usborne Books and More Website.

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When Play Meets Exercise… *Sponsored*

 

I have never liked to work out.  Don’t ask me to take a spinning class, go for a run or anything like that.  Not only will I give you the side eye but I might forget to return your calls.

Yoga though has always been the exception.  I love the stretching, bending and challenging your body to do just a bit more.  I love the peace that comes with each yoga session.  Sadly, since Minime has been around I haven’t done much yoga.

At first it was because I’m lazy.  And lately because she wants to be part of all I do but a real yoga session is too long to keep her interest.  That is why I jumped at the chance to review Yoga Spinner from Think Fun.  I mean who doesn’t like free stuff?  Especially when it gets you to be able to get back to an old love.YogaSpinner-1842-LoResSpill

Minime loves games and I love Yoga.  Yoga Spinner makes this a match made in Heaven.  And it is.  Minime might actually love yoga more than me now.  Of course she is still a bit young to really get the poses perfect but it is fun watching her try.  And it is fun watching her try to make everyone else do them too.  Even though it’s not the rule of the game I do all of her poses with her and she attempts to mimic mine as well.

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It’s so much fun she had her almost 60 year old grandpa playing too.  Did I mention that my nephew snuck into the game shelf so that he could play when I wasn’t looking?

The game is easy enough that my three year old can explain the rules to her older cousins and they can understand.  It’s also compact enough that it doesn’t take up too much room.  I love that the cards get stored inside the spinner.  And the bright color makes it hard to lose.

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I think the best part for me is watching them exercise without even realizing it.  We’ve only been playing a few days but right now Yoga Spinner is getting more playtime at home than Shopkins and that says a lot!

Disney Divas

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You already know that Walt Disney World is the most magical place on Earth.  There’s not much more I can share to make that more believable.  What I will share are some of the tips I have learned both by listening to others and through the experience of going two years in a row.

First, we go for Minime’s birthday (January).  That means the weather can do whatever it likes.  I spoke about this in Seaworld Shenanigans too.  Be prepared.  Bring layers.  It’s hard to wait in line if you are uncomfortable (too hot or too cold).  And you will wait in line (more on that later)!

Second, bring snacks and drinks. You will be doing lots of walking so you will need to keep your energy up.  Bring bottles of water, juice boxes, granola bars and any other types of snacks/food you can fit in your bag or on your carriage.

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Third, bring a stroller.  I like using Minime’s biggest carriage because there’s a lot of storage space to hold bags, souvenirs and coats if it gets warm enough to take them off.  I lso like having a big one so that Minime can recline for her nap.

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Fourth, look for different ways to bring home souvenirs.  It is really easy to spend money at Disney.  There are ways to get around leaving all of your money there.  On Main Street visit the Fire House.  There you can start a really cool challenge.  The challenge also gets you a free pack of trading cards for every paid ticket.  Minime is still young to really play the game but we bring the cards home.  You can also get a free Pirate Map in Adventureland.  We love popcorn so it is one snack we buy at the park.  You can get a souvenir bucket.  We are currently using ours to hold crayons, chalk, markers and colored pencils.  You can also get souvenir mugs.  We bought hot chocolate for $5.25 in a souvenir mug this year and last year I brought home a cup from Gaston’s Tavern.  Last year Minime got autographs on index cards supplied by the characters because I didn’t think to bring a book and didn’t want to spend money on one there.  This year I bought her a Minnie Mouse notebook from our local discount store.

Fifth, it’s going to be busy.  If you do not want to wait in line it might not be the right place for you.  We go from opening to closing and I have noticed that once the sun starts setting the lines tend to be a lot shorter.  We actually were able to go on some of our favorite rides more than once as it got later.  One ride though that we waited for a little longer than an hour and were told that the line rarely goes shorter is the Peter Pan ride.  Minime loves this ride for some reason.  Last year we went during the afternoon and had to wait close to two hours.  So, I suggest if you see a line is really long and you don’t have fastpasses for it then try again later.

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And finally, remember you are there to have fun.  I get it.  You want to plan every moment of the day.  You don’t want to miss anything.  You will miss something.  The park is huge and life happens.  That doesn’t mean your day isn’t a success.  Did you smile more than you scream?  Did you laugh more than you cried?  Congratulations.  You had a good day!

Bonus Tip:  Get a Memory Maker.  I’ve seen this debated on different sites.  It is expensive (unless you really think about how many photos you can get).  In my opinion it is so worth it.  I go to Downtown Disney (or whatever they call it now) and do a mini photo session with Minime at the photo studio in guest relations.  Most people only use this studio if they’ve visited the Bibbidy Boppity Boutique.  I’m still in the air about that place.  The kids look so cute but they all look alike (as they should since they’re dressed up as Disney Princesses).  I would rather Minime stay looking like herself.  Anyway, I digress.  I take her for the mini photoshoot and even get a few photos of us together.  Once we are at Magic Kingdom I ask every Disney photographer to take our photo.  I’m not sure if it was because of the weather but I think I saw less photographers this year than last but we still took a whole heap of photos.  And I take photos on my phone.  This is a great way to be a part of the experience.  I go alone with Minime so the Memory Maker allows me to be in more photos than if I didn’t buy it.  Even if you go with others it’s a great way to capture moments.

 

Seaworld Shenanigans

I know I’m supposed to be better than supporting Seaworld.  What can I say?  I took a big gulp of the kool-aid and I trust that they do not mistreat the animals.  Plus my kid thinks she’s a mermaid/Octonaut.

Let me start by saying Florida was a lot colder than I expected this year.  Fortunately, I am an overpacker when it comes to Minime. She was layered up and warm for the day.  Sadly though the cool temperatures kept us from sitting in soak zone of most of the shows.  Minime wore me down at the end of the day and we sat front and center for the orca show.

Last year we spent more time walking around but this year we took in most of the shows.  I won’t ruin the shows for you because I know you are planning to visit yourself but here’s a peek at what to expect.

Dolphins

 

 

Sea Lion High

 

Orcas

 

When you visit I highly suggest getting the all day dining pass.  I get one for myself and not for Minime.  I know you’re not supposed to share but that doesn’t really count with a toddler lol.  It cost around $35 but you can eat at most of the restaurants all day long and get a full meal.  Entree, side and drink.  I routinely saw people in front of me paying more than $35 for one meal.

They also have charging stations around the park which I thought was awesome (even though I forgot my wire (the gift store sells them).

I do suggest however packing your own towel in case your children like to sit in soak zones and if you can your own rain poncho.  I packed a hand me down one Minime had from her godbrother which is still big on her but worked perfectly during the orca show.  We didn’t have to change clothes.  Of course Seaworld sells them if you want to purchase them there as souvenirs but I’m all about being frugal.

Mini Me Turned Three

I’m sure every parent can relate to the emotional rollercoaster I have been on.  We want our babies to be healthy and grow yet part of us aches as they get older.  I’m not sure why this year has been so rough.  Minime turned three this past Saturday (1/23) and I never before thought of THREE as a magical age.  Yet, her birthday made me really reflective.

My little is growing up.  She is not a big girl yet but also not quite my itty bitty baby anymore.  She has always been quite independent but daily she voices and acts a bit more like she doesn’t quite need me like she used to.  I know, at three years old she won’t be moving out anytime soon.

The saying goes that time flies when you’re having fun and these three years as her mommy have been the best of my life.  I cannot wait to see who she will become.  I cannot wait to watch her set and meet life goals.

I only pray that I am the mother that she needs.  I only hope that I supply her with the resources and necessities to become who she is meant to be.

Looking forward to spending decades more celebrating my gift from above.

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Minime through the years!

 

Sunshine State We are On Our Way (almost)

I decided that every year until she was old enough to ask for something else I would take Minime to Florida for her birthday.  Her birthday is in exactly one week (where did the time go?).  Tomorrow we head out to Orlando and are ready to start the birthday trip she has been talking about since we got back last year lol.

We have had so much fun on our past trips.  I’ve loved traveling since I took my first flight at 21 for a business trip.  I love that at such a young age Minime is already bitten by the travel bug.  She talks about going on holiday and makes me pretend to get on an airplane with her rather regularly.

I can’t wait until she is old enough to enjoy trips to places like Paris, Italy, and Spain.  For now though we will continue to enjoy Florida and the Caribbean.

I recently read a really good Disney tips article.  I wish I would have bookmarked it but just looks like I will have to share my own tips when we get back.  What are some of your favorite Disney or Seaworld hacks?  Let’s compare.

Here are a few photos from our trip last year.

 

And the winner is….ME!!!

I have never been one of those people to win contests, raffles or scratchoffs.  Probably one of the main reasons I never got into gambling or going places like Atlantic City and Las Vegas often.

However every once in a while the tides have to change right?  Yea, I didn’t think so either but at the end of the year when I saw two giveaways on Instagram that didn’t require much effort other than saying I’m in I thought why not.  And guess what… I won them both!!! What are the odds???

And when I say I won, what I really mean is Minime won. lol.  One was for a gift from one of my favorite dad accounts TheBookOfRoma and the othr was a really cool Toy Magazine account TTPM.  So, in reality I guess I’m still not one of those people that wins contests but Minime might be.

Check out her really cool prizes below.

St. Ives Voxbox

Some of you know that I’m a member of Influenster.  Over the time I have received some really cool products for review.  When I got back from Long Island last week I have a St. Ives #voxbox waiting.

This might be my favorite box so far.  Each of the products smell amazing.  And as you can see in the photo below these aren’t trial sized.  They are going to be lasting me for a while.  Minime has also taken to the lotion and body wash.  I used to have to fight to get her to wear lotion now I have to hide it from her!

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Can’t wait until our next voxbox!

 

*Sponsored*

 

Breastfeeding Here and There. Breastfeeding Everywhere

As I sit here typing my almost three year old is sitting on my lap having “babas.”  What do you call breast milk in your home?  I’ve been meditating on this post since I saw the clip from Wendy Williams’ interview with Alyssa Milano.

I considered sharing the video but having made an effort not to support anything to do with WW since I first learned of her trying to shame breastfeeding mothers I decided not to at this time.  I think the segment was very powerful.  I have always loved Alyssa Milano.  She was my first girl crush way back when she was Samantha Micelli.  I adore that she did not stand down from WW’s pressure.  If you haven’t seen here are some of my favorite Alyssa statements:

“But biologically, they’re not made for sexual things. That’s what we’ve done to them.” (In response to WW saying breasts are fun bags.)
“You’re lucky the baby’s not here. I’d whip ’em out right here and feed her on your show.”

I’ve had more positive experiences than negative experiences when it comes to public breastfeeding.  I am blessed.  I am also pretty oblivious, so I might have just missed the negative ones.  I will however feed my child anywhere we are.  Your permission and acceptance is not necessary.

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Author unknown but oh so cool!