Friday, September 28, 2012

We did it and survived! - Flying

We made it! I survived and I can live to tell the tale. Just a few short weeks ago we returned from our trip to Disneyland. What a roller coaster that was. It was a different trip for us to be certain with a 6 month old, but what a learning experience that was.

I had vowed before we left not to be one of those parents that took their kids into the park and made them push through each day until they would drop from sheer exhaustion. What a blessing that decision turned out to be. It was much harder than I thought it would be to find a routine, but once we did things seemed to work out just great.

Over the next few postings I will share some of the things we learned along the way. Let's start out with flying. We always fly. Why? Simply because we do not like long car rides. While it is only 16 hours or so for us to drive to Disneyland, we would not enjoy that trip. So, we fly. It is important to think about the best way to get your family to Disneyland. If your family does not enjoy long car trips, then it may be well worth the cost of flying to arrive with your sanity intact.

For our family choosing which airport to fly into is the easiest part. We almost always fly into Orange County. The Disneyland Express is not that expensive for ground transportation and they take us straight to the Disneyland Hotel (our favorite lodging). The commute is only around 30 minutes. If you choose to fly into Los Angeles the commute is at least an hour and can be much longer depending on traffic. There is also the option to fly into Long Beach on Jet Blue. We have done that once and found it to be pretty simplistic. There are fewer options for ground transportation, but getting through security is fast. Message me if you would like more info on that particular experience. I would be glad to share it with you.

In choosing our flight we knew we wanted to leave earlier in the day, but I did not want to awaken at 3 AM to make a 7 AM flight. Armed with that knowledge we chose to depart at 10 AM. This turned out to be a wonderful decision. My nearly 6 month old son did great with this flight time. He took a nap on the way to the airport and then slept for the first hour of our 2 hour and 20 minute flight. The mistake we made was in our flight home. Being an annual pass holder we always enjoyed taking the last flight out in order to spend some more time in the park on our day of departure. Things we didn't take into consideration...Elias' nap time and needing to be disconnected from all the excitement at the park. We also could never have predicted that on the day of our departure it would be 108 degrees. ( read that right.) If I had it to do all over again, I would have taken an earlier flight in order to keep him from being over stimulated and exhausted.

Flying was the easiest part of our trip. On our way home Elias again slept for the first hour. His only real struggle was in descending back to the ground. I am certain that his ears were hurting and there was not much I could do to help him. He wouldn't even nurse. All I could do was smile and think to myself..."At least they won't divert the flight to a different airport. We are almost home."

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Making my way back

It's been a while since I have sat down to write anything on my blog. Life has been busy and chaotic since last June. You might be wondering why...well the simple answer: I had a baby.

Last August I celebrated my 40th birthday only to discover 1 1/2 weeks later that I was expecting my second child. What a shock! That was not something I had been planning. Life after that time has been a roller coaster.

So, this post is just to let you know that I have not abandoned this blog altogether. No, I have been thinking about it a lot lately. Especially since we are planning to take our now two month old to Disneyland this fall. There are many thoughts that I would like to share and still many questions that I need to ask. However, I look forward to sharing this new Disneyland experience with you in the many months ahead.

Until Next Time,

Friday, June 10, 2011

Getting in Shape

Every spring I cringe when I look in the mirror. Do you know what I am talking about? There seems to be extra weight around my middle and it does not look pretty. This spring, however, I am rejoicing. Before you ask why... let me tell you.

In January my husband decided enough was enough and set out to find a plan that would work for him to get into shape. He found someone to hold him accountable and a program he could use. Being somewhat jealous I began asking him for advice.

You see I had been going to the same gym, doing the same routine, for over five years. It wasn't working and I had struggled with my weight loss. I was completely discouraged. That's when he challenged me to try working out at home. We have cable and so they have a channel on demand called Exercise TV. I began working out on my non-gym days and found that I loved it!!! After a month I quit my gym membership and am now working out six days a week at home.

After a month I was only seeing minimal success in my struggle with losing weight. I needed another plan. That is when he introduced me to a program that he found online, my fitness pal. What is it? I simply would say that it is calorie counting for dummies (me). This has been a wonderful tool and has helped me to realize how much I was really eating.

I began at the end of February and now, more than 3 months later I have lost 22 pounds. Is my body bikini perfect? Oh no.... but, I am continuing to try to find healthier ways to eat and stick to my daily calorie count. It's not easy and I find having an accountability partner makes it much easier for me.

So, what does all of this have to do with going to Disneyland? Well, this year instead of dreading wearing a swimsuit I actually am excited that I might have to shop for a smaller size. I am not dreading getting into the pool with my daughter. Instead I am praying for wonderful warm weather and am hoping to soak up as much of it as possible. If you are struggling with your own weight loss, I feel your pain. Head on over to and check it out. It's free and they even have an app for your smart phone that I love.

Blessings to you.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Getting Paid to Shop Disney

That's heard me correctly. You can get paid to shop Disney. If you have an ebates account you can earn 5% cash back on your online purchases at the Disney Store. How? It's easy.

  1. Sign up for ebates: by clicking here. You'll recieve a $5.00 cash back bonus just for signing up.
  2. Each time you want to make a purchase at the Disney Store login to your ebates account and search for the Disney Store. (For me the easiest way is to click on toys in the left hand menu.)
  3. Once you have selected the Disney Store ebates will automatically send you to the Disney Store website. All you have to do is shop and complete your transaction as normal.
  4. Once your transaction is complete you will receive an email from ebates telling you about your cash back rewards. (This can take some time, but for me I have never waited longer than 24 hours.)
  5. All you have to do now is wait for your check to arrive in the mail. They send out checks four times a year.
Of course you can use ebates for many other purchases as well. There are hundreds of online stores to choose from. All of my ebates checks go straight into my Disney Savings Account to be used on my next vacation. It is an easy way to save on purchases you are already making. So next time you are going to shop online, stop by ebates first and see if your store has a cash back bonus award.

Until Next Time,
Sean Brown

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Airfare Woes

For those of you that know me it won't be of any surprise to you that I check airline prices everyday. We have set our dates of travel and now we are just waiting for airfare and hotel expenses to come down to a price point that will fit within our budget. Lately the airlines are making me crazy!!! One day I will check and tickets are $114 one way. The very next day I will look and they are up to $160.

How is that possible? How can a ticket change that much in 24 hours? The other day I had found a ticket for $99 on a different airline into a smaller airport. I almost bought it. However, upon checking on hotel prices I realized that the hotel was still to expensive for me and I would be locking myself into a specific number of nights at Disneyland not knowing if I could afford it.

I have found that there are many days lately where I have panicked over the cost of airfare. If you are in the same boat...relax. If you have set a budget stick to it. Sometimes the best deals are found within 30 days before your trip as airlines are trying to fill still empty seats. Also, I have heard to check airlines at the beginning of the week and not to buy until Tuesday evening. Often times airlines will drop prices at the beginning of the week. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.

My point is...anxiety over airfare isn't helpful and can lead you into making a rash decision out of fear. Don't be ruled by fear it will hurt you in the end.

Until Next Time,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Disney Dining Discount

Are you planning to travel to Disneyland between April 17-23, 2011? If so, then this post is for you.

Today as I was doing my daily review of all things Disney I stumbled across something I had not noticed before. They will be giving a discount on dining at specific restaurants in Disneyland Park. Sound to good to be true? Well, it's not.

There are a few things to note:
  1. In order to get the discount you must print the coupon found here.
  2. The coupon is only good at:
  3. You must be traveling between April 17-23, 2011
  4. The coupon is valid  before 11:30 a.m. or between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  5. If used properly you will receive 25% off of your bill with the purchase of an entrĂ©e.
There you have it. Just one way of saving a little bit of money on your trip to Disneyland. Hope you have fun.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wished I Were in Disneyland

Winters are hard and when you live in the land of rain and gloom they are especially tough. There are days I would give just about anything for a bit of warmth and sunshine. It doesn't take long before I realize that all I have to do is get on a plane and fly south to "The Happiest Place on Earth."

Oh, how I wished that I was there. Unfortunatley for does not grow on trees and I can't sprout wings and fly. This became a moment of crisis for me. How was I going to experience Disneyland without even being able to be there in person? Then my husband suggested I take a trip to the nearest Disney Store.

Mind you nearest isn't really the right word. While I found the nearest one to me, it was still over 85 miles away. But I enjoyed every minute of it and decided that I needed to get there more often. The staff there was simply great.

We left the house early that Saturday morning and drove for an hour and a half to reach our destination. Once there we stood outside of the store waiting for them to open. Upon entering we discovered that it was Agent P day and Ainsley was given a mask that took her a bit to warm up to. Once she decided wearing it might be was difficult to get her to take it off.

There were many things that brought me back to my vacations spent in Disneyland. The costumes were cute and I wished that I had dressed Ainsley in one of hers from home. I would have bought her the new Rapunzel costume, but they were sold out of her size that day. It was adorable and I am contemplating buying online instead of waiting for our next trip to Disneyland.

Ainsley was able to find some lesser known characters and completely fell in love with a life size version of Bolt. Needless to say, we left with a smaller version that was easier on my pocket book.

Will I go back? You bet. I can't wait until my next trip that store.

Until Next Time,