Saturday, December 15, 2012

Babies.... and a giveaway

Nope, I'm not giving away my baby... although I'm sure I'd have a mile long list of people who would be willing to take him off my hands if the opportunity came around. However I am giving away baby goodies!! 

 Having a baby isn't cheap. Those little cuties need lots of things, and those things add up quickly! Recently I was given a pack of baby stuff that helps cut the cost of some of the needed goodies. One of the big cost cutters is Perrigo Nutritional store brand baby formula. Now those of you who know me are probably sitting here saying "now Jillian, you don't use formula" which would be true.  I've proudly breastfed my baby since day one. While that is one of my number one money savers on baby stuff some people choose not to breastfed, can't do it, or do a combo feeding.  What ever the reasons, you can still save on baby formula!  Did you know that Perrigo Nutritional store brand baby formula is just as nutritional complete as the name brand formulas, but they cost about 50% less?  They are the makers of Target's Up & Up and Walmart's Parent's Choice.  To go with a can of each store brand formulas I also received a formula dispenser (which I'll probably use for some kind of snacks).  We also got a Munchkin bottle brush with built in soap dispenser & Munchkin's awesome Sprout bottle drying rack. Both of these come in handy for the bottles the baby gets while I'm at work. 
Baby gift pack! 

Last but certainly not least, a really good money saver- Sandra Gordon's book Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear. Sandra goes over great money saving tips, advice on what items you should splurge on and the ones you can definitely save on. 
Our Munchkin Sprout loaded up!

Now here is the fun part!  I'm giving away a baby pack for one of my readers!  This baby pack includes: One can of Parent’s Choice Premium, One can of Up & Up Advantage, One copy of Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear, Baby bottle drying rack, Formula dispenser & Bottle brush! Just follow the Rafflecopter to see ways to enter! This giveaway will end on December 18th, 2012 12am EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  The Perrigo Nutritionals product, information, and two gift packs have been provided by Perrigo Nutritionals. All opinions are my own.  To see my full disclosure, please follow this link

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


It's late October, and for most of us that means fall weather! ok, so we really haven't hit fall yet in Florida; but that hasn't stopped me from pulling out Progresso's super yummy soup!

I just had a bowl of their light Chicken Pot Pie Style soup & it sure was tasty! I am a HUGE chicken pot pie fan, do I was very excited to try this soup. The only thing missing was the flaky pastry shell! It was more soup like (naturally) than regular pot pie filling, but still tasted yummy. It had chunks of chicken, potato, carrots, peas and celery in it; not just a few of each like a skimpy pot pie, it had a lot! This soup is also part of their 100 calorie line up! How great is that?

Thanks to the lovely people at Progresso & BlogSpark, I received this Progresso pack of goodies shown below! They are so generous that they are giving me a second pack to give away to one of my lucky readers!! This pack has 2 cans of delish Progresso soup, a travel soup mug with spoon in the lid (perfect for lunch at work!), large water bottle & a lunch bag! Now how to win! Unfortunately for me (but lucky for you!) I am having computer issues so I'm having to do my whole post via my iPhone. So entry is super simple! Leave me one comment telling me what your favorite soup is! Saturday, November 3rd, I'll randomly pick a winner from the comments. Good luck!!

In addition to the lovely soup gift pack, if you go to you can download a coupon for $1.25 off the purchase of 4 cans of Progresso soup!

Disclosure: The coupons, information and gift packs have been provided by Progresso® through MyBlogSpark.

Using our winner is Sunshine!! Congratulations!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fun & crazy nail art

Yay for my first Saw it, Pinned it, Made it post! I truly want this to be a regular series of some sort. I need to get moving on that! One of my favorite Pinterest boards has to do with fun make up, hair and nails. I think part of it is because Disney Look dictates all of the above- we have to have neutral/natural color hair, make up and nails every day at work. For this reason I tend to do a crazy nail color like blue or green, or color changing in the sun, wear more jewelry & get henna tattoos when I'm on vacation. While I was on maternity leave, I decided to try some of the designs I found on pinterest!

In June, I was a bridesmaid in my best friends wedding. Jill's colors were pink & green. We had green dresses & almost all the girls ended up with some shade of pink as our toe nail color. The pink I picked was a fun summer shade that reminded me of watermelons. After I got back to Florida, I redid the pink & went to work on my art project! I had pinned fingernails & toenails, but only did my own toes.  I wanted to start small.  I did green tips French manicure style. I then took a wooden cuticle tool & dotted black polish in a tear drop shape to make the seeds. I did 3 seeds per toe, not too many so it's crowded & not too few so you couldn't tell they were seeds. All in all, it didn't take too long to do, it wasn't that hard & I really liked how they turned out! I got a lot if complements on them too!
My watermelon toes! 
My next set of Pinterest inspired nails came in July. For July 4th actually! I decided to do some American flags, similar to some I had pinned. They started out easily enough, a nice base coat of red. I'm right handed, so anything I do on my left hand looks great, anything I do on my right hand looks like a 5 year old did it. I then took a small, thin paint brush to make the rest of it. The one I used had stiff bristles & I feel that they helped a lot in keeping my lines (mostly) straight! I used Making Memories blue (waterslide) acrylic paint for my star base. I made a small rectangle at the base of my nail. After that dried I used Making Memories white (spotlight) acrylic paint to make my stars and stripes! Since the bristles on my brush were already in a thin line it was pretty easy to make my stripes. I just used the corner of the brush to dot my stars. Like I said, the left hand turned out great, the right hand, not so much. I was happy to see that all the layers of paint and polish came off easily with regular polish remover too!
My supplies.
My flag nails!

Have you found any fun nail ideas on Pinterest and tried them out?  Please share if you have!  Pictures would be great too if you have any! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kmart's BIG Layaway Giveaway!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kmart for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It is not too early to start shopping for your holiday gifts this year! If you're hesitant about starting because you don't want any gift hunters figuring out what they are getting, you should check out Kmart's free layaway.
Right now Kmart is even doing something special-  It's time for Kmart's Big Layaway Giveaway! Now through November 17, 2012 you can win some great prizes!  Each week there will be one winner per store, yes EVERY week until November 17th! All you have to do is put your items on layaway and you have a chance to have your balance paid off! What a great prize!

If you're not familiar with Kmart's layaway program, let me tell you some of the great things about it!  It covers ALL merchandise in the store, it's available year round, there is NO minimum item or transaction amount, it's available nationwide and online, you can shop in one state and pick up your items in another one, it has several contract options, you can shop online and pick up in the store, and there are no service fees! There are a lot more perks with Kmart than with other big name retailers.
I would love to win big with Kmart! With Cole's first Christmas coming up and with him getting bigger and needing a new carset in the somewhat near future, I could find a lot of things to put on my layaway list! What would you put on layaway?
Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Gardening

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts Miracle-Gro for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Yes, you read that right... Fall gardening. Fall and gardening aren't really two words that commonly go together. However it is easy to Find beauty in the Fall and make a lovely garden with Miracle-Gro. Fall is a great time to give roots time to grow and store nutrients and gives the plants more time to grow an established root system.

If I were to start fall gardening, I think I'd go for an edible garden. Although, pretty fall colors would come in a close second. I would have to have tomatoes.  Tomatoes fresh from your own garden are THE best! Then, because it's fall, I'd want to make homemade tomato soup! I love this recipe on for garden fresh tomato soup, it serves 6.


  • 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 slice onion
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar, or to taste


  1. In a stockpot, over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, onion, cloves and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and gently boil for about 20 minutes to blend all of the flavors. Remove from heat and run the mixture through a food mill into a large bowl, or pan. Discard any stuff left over in the food mill.
  2. In the now empty stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, cooking until the roux is a medium brown. Gradually whisk in a bit of the tomato mixture, so that no lumps form, then stir in the rest. Season with sugar and salt, and adjust to taste. 

Be sure to like the Miracle-Gro Facebook page where you can chat with other gardener, share stories, get tips, and just have fun! 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Upcoming Events in OK, CA & UT

Here is the Chesapeake Energy Arena (formerly the Oklahoma City Arena) information and upcoming schedule! We also have the information and schedule for the Oracle Arena located in California and the information and upcoming schedule for the EnergySolutions Arena (formerly The Delta Center) in Utah.  There are a lot of great shows and events coming up, so check them out if you're in the area.

***I recieved compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% mine. For my full disclosure policy, click here.***

Paying it Forward is Gutzy!

Recently I was given the opportunity to do some Pay it Forward for the new school year by Madame Deals Media and Gutzy Gear.  I was given $25 to go back to school shopping! How fun.  I LOVED back to school shopping growing up, and even though I graduated college several years ago, and my baby is many years away from going to school, I still get giddy when I see the back to school ads and aisles of new school supplies at the store.  A fun bonus to the backpack and supplies is that Gutzy Gear sent me some strap covers and Gutzies too! After we got everything together, we then needed to donate the items to a child in need. 

My school supplies!
I did all of my shopping at Target and Wal-Mart.  They seemed to have the best deals in my area, and I wasn't going to waste a ton of gas (and drag an infant around) just grab a few super deals here and there around town. Now I choose to donate my items to a fabulous co-worker who has two elementary school aged sons who could definitely use some school supplies, so that is why there is a lot of duplicated items in my picture. 
I was able to get 2 packs of lined paper, 2 spiral notebooks, a few folders, 2 pencil cases, 3 packs of different study flash cards, 4 bottles of glue, a ruler, 6 pink erasers, 3 pairs of scissors, a pack of color pencils, a pack of #2 pencils, 8 glue sticks, 3 highlighters, a protractor, box of crayons and a pack of colored pens. Add that to the packback, strapcovers and Gutzies and we're good to go! 

Backpack with Gutzies and strap covers!

This pay it forward event was sponsored by Gutzy Gear and powered by Madame Deals Media.  I was given $25 to buy a backpack and school supplies. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gerber Baby Cole!

We keep hearing what a cute baby Cole is.  How we need to enter him into contests, and that he should be a baby model.  Well now you have your chance to prove to us how much of it was true, and how much was just talk! Just kidding, we know we have a cute baby! We have entered Cole into the 2012 Gerber Generation Photo Contest! 

Voting starts September 4th at 12:01am PT and ends September 24th at 11:59pm PT During the voting time frame, you can log into your Facebook account (yes, you do need to have an account to vote), then you need to "Like" The Gerber Generation Photo Search 2012 page so you can be a Fan.  Then you need to allow the application when prompted.  It's very quick and very easy! 

To vote for Cole, please follow this link, or enter "394777" into the entry search.  Each Facebook account can vote once per day during the 20 day voting period.  Please vote for Cole as often as you can (daily would be awesome!), and encourage your friends and family to vote as well! While you're over there, you can vote for Cole's cousin MacKenzie too!  You can share Cole's entry on Twitter to all your followers as well. Thank you so much!  

My sweet pea! 
My niece!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Baby Care Center - Disney's Hollywood Studios

This post is the first in a mini series, there will be four total; one for each theme park. If you have a Disney, Travel, or Mommy blog (or any other kind of blog you think this could fit into) and are interested in using this post and the ones that follow, please contact me!  This time we will be exploring Disney's Hollywood Studios.

For those who don't travel to Walt Disney World with young children the Baby Care Centers are completely ignored, or, in some cases, are unknown entirely. Being a Cast Member at the parks I have known exactly where each one is and what they offer. Did I know before I started in 2001 and got my park tour? Probably, but being in the 20 and under group, I would have to say I am sure it was ignored. Now being a mom to a newborn, the Baby Care Centers are my (and Cole's) new favorite stop!

Disney's Hollywood Studios would have to be my favorite park for getting in and out of with a little one by myself. I have to walk from the car because the stroller, diaper bag and baby in the car seat are just all too much for me to deal with if I don't have an extra set of hands. Add that to an almost hour drive to the park, and it's about time for Cole to want a diaper change and some food! Here Baby Care is located just inside the park on the left within Guest Relation, which, in my opinion, is the only downside. It's the smallest of the Baby Care Centers, but even during Star Wars Weekends over Memorial Day weekend it wasn't very crowded in the center. It was, however difficult to get in the doors to Guest Relations because *they* were busy.

When you first walk in, you are greeted with a lobby/seating area complete with a TV playing children's programs (in my experience here it's usually Little Einsteins), a padded bench, ottoman, two chairs and three high chairs for feeding the bigger little ones.

The lobby/seating area when you walk in. 
There is also a mini kitchen, with a sink and microwave in here.


Then off to the left are two private rooms for nursing. It's a cozy little room with a curtain door, dimmer light, outlets, a rocker with a padded seat, and small bench. They are small, but I can bring either of my strollers (I have a regular Chicco stroller and then a Baby Trend jogging stroller) in there with me and there is plenty of room for me and Cole. I doubt a double, inline or side by side, would fit and the Disney ones are too wide I think to fit in there though. Since he is still so small, (and not too wiggly) and I'm usually by myself, I will use the small bench to go ahead and change Cole's diaper using my travel changing pad. I don't want to get him all settled back in the stroller just to take him out in the changing area and do it all over again.

One of the nursing rooms
Finally on the right side of the lobby is the changing area. It's spacious and has two changing tables, a hand washing sink and even a restroom with a child sized toilet.
Changing area.

Of all of the Baby Care Centers, this is our most frequently used one.  It's our second favorite! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WEI Beauty Giveaway

I am so happy to be working with Megan Blogs for this WEI beauty giveaway! Some super lucky person is going to win, and it could be you!! 
For healthy, younger looking skin, WEI brings the theories of traditional Chinese herbal medicine to skincare with products that revitalize skin’s color, texture, and radiance. Made with combinations of exotic herbs with long histories of correcting imperfections and restoring skin tone, it is no surprise that Wei beauty products are in hot demand in Hollywood and beautiful women everywhere who want the best for their skin.
One lucky winner will receive a set of three WEI, Correct-Zen products valued at $140, comprised of:

1.     Tibetan Chrysanthemum correcting eye treatment pads: Vacation for your eyes! In just 10 minutes, these herb-soaked correcting eye pads visibly diminish the appearance of puffiness and dark circles. Your eyes will feel refreshed and look well rested.
2.      Gingko Leaf repairing face treatment pads: Quickly improves the appearance of redness. Instantly firms, hydrates, and brightens, leaving skin with a healthy radiant glow.
3.      Noto Ginseng repairing hand cream: Rich, non-greasy hand cream hydrates, soothes, evens out skin tone, and counteracts the signs of wear and irritation caused by daily activities, leaving hands hydrated and protected, like a pair of invisible gloves.

Traditional Chinese Medicine holds dear the notion that being in balance is being in the perfect state of health. Start your journey today, by entering this giveaway through the Giveaway Tools form below.
{Open to US and Canada residents, must be 18 years or older to enter}
Good luck!

{Disclaimer/Disclosure: The Musings of Jillie D has not been compensated in any way for this giveaway, except for receiving a link in the entry form in exchange for participation.  This giveaway is hosted by Megan Blogs. Megan received this product as audience swag from the TV show The Talk and will be sending it to the winner in its original/new packaging. Therefore, The Musings of Jillie D is not responsible for prize fulfillment.}

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back to School Shoes!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Growing up I loved getting new back to school clothes, especially new shoes! RIght now Famous Footwear wants to help you with your new shoe needs!  They already have brand name shoes at great prices and tons of styles.  I also love how easy their stores are to shop in, and the staff is friendly and helpful. Did you know that if they don't have your shoe in stock, you can get it through home delivery or through the website? You can also order online and pick up in the store for no extra charge!
Through August 18th they are offering a BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon!  This definitely helps out with new shoes for school, or anyone else in the family for that matter.  Even better, if you are a Rewards Program member, or sign up before you check out, that 15% jumps to 20%! If you haven't checked out the Rewards Program, you should! It's free to join. In addition to the extra 5% off for the sale, you get 1 point per $1 spent in store or even online, you can earn up to $100 a year in points, plus extra discounts and perks just for being a member!
So while you're out and about shopping for back to school, make sure you print out the BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon and stop by your favorite Famous Footwear before 8/18/12.  If you take advantage of this great deal, make sure you stop by and tell me what shoes you picked up!


Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Back to School Crafts with AstroBrights!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a crafter, I just love AstroBrights Paper! It comes in 23 eye catching, brilliantly bright colors that are sure to bring attention to what ever you use them for. They are great for crafting at home, using for school projects, or even for work. Any time you want to stand from the crowd, please be sure to use AstroBrights papers!

Did you know that AstroBright Papers is holding a sweepstakes right now? The "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes helps support the school of your choice. You could win a cash prize and school supplies valued at $30,000 for the school that you choose. That is an amazing prize! What lucky school would you choose?
They are also having a family friendly "Make Something AstroBright" design challenge.  How fun!  Unleash your creativity and you could win AstroBrights Paper and other prizes. You can share your projects with photos and videos.  Post them to your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and what ever social media you use!  If you post them, be sure to use the hashtag #goastrobrights I can't wait to see what projects start popping up! I would love it if you all would make something and share it here when you are done!

So now that school is just around the corner, what will you use AstroBright Paper for?  Summer reading book reports? Scrapbooking a great summer?  PTA meeting flyers? After school activity sign ups? Family chore chart?  The possibilities are endless! Have fun with it!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Big Ten Boise Big West Basketball

It is almost time for college basketball! What team, or teams, are you rooting for?

Did you know that there are still Boise State Broncos tickets available for upcoming games? You can pick up your Big Ten Mens Basketball Tournament tickets here! Check out Big West Tournament tickets for upcoming games.

 ***I recieved compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% mine. For my full disclosure policy, click here.***

Monday, July 23, 2012


Are you on Pinterest?  I am!  If not, you should be!  What is Pinterest you ask? Straight from their Pinning 101- 
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes.
I love pinning crafting items, my dream home ideas and fun holiday decorations and recipes. I love that there is a Pinterest app for iPhone.  It is one of my go to apps when I'm feeding Cole in the middle of the night! One of my boards is "Make for baby" and I really do want to make all (OK, I don't have the time with a full time job and a 3 month old!) some of this stuff!  Kirk also loves to cook, so I'm hoping he makes more than a few things from my "Cookies, Cakes & Cupcakes" or my "yummy" boards! We want to get a "Saw it, Pinned it, Made it" weekly (or biweekly... because life with both of us working full time and a new baby is crazy! lol) feature on the blog, linking back to the pinned project and pictures, and maybe step by steps, of our version of these pins! 

Screen cap of my latest pins, I love the iPhone app!
Do you have your own "Saw it, Pinned it, Made it"?  I'd love to hear about it and see pictures if you have them! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

5x7 Folded Card

Dots White Sky 5x7 folded card
Modern greeting cards and party invitations by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Banana Boat 101 Days of Summer Play

It is officially summer time! Summer time means the kids are out of school, backyard BBQs, pool parties, the beach, and more.  You name it, and it's probably outside.  Being a Florida girl, I spent a good amount of my summer times outside growing up.  Heck, I still do! One thing that is a must when you're outside is a good sunscreen.  Now that I have my own little guy,you can believe he'll be wearing the infant sunscreen once he is big enough.

This is where Banana Boat comes in! They have just come out with their new line of sunscreen- Banana Boat Sunscreen Natural Reflect Lotion; and modernmami and Zannaland held a local family event to show it off.

 It's great- made out of naturally sourced sunscreen additives that reflect UVA & UVB rays. Banana Boat Sunscreen Natural Reflect Lotion undergoes extensive testing for seven conditions- sun, wind, sweat, pool water, ocean water, sand & 100° heat; all of which are major parts of being outdoors in Florida, especially in the summer. 

Some great facts about Banana Boat Sunscreen Natural Reflect Lotion:
·         100% naturally-sourced mineral sunscreen active with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide
·         Oxybenzone-free
·         Paraben-free
·         Gentle on sensitive and delicate skin
·         Proven effective against sunburn and to help prevent long-term skin damage
·         Broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection
·         Water resistant
·         Recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation

      They have 3 versions- regular SPF 50+ (dermatologist tested and gentle on sensitive skin); Kids Tear Free, Sting Free SPF 50+  (pediatrician tested, hypoallergenic, won't run in your kids eyes): & Baby Tear Free, Sting Free SPF 50+ (pediatrician tested, fragrance free, hypoallergenic, mild on babies skin).

      You should be able to find Banana Boat Sunscreen Natural Reflect Lotion in mass stores, grocery stores & drug stores. I know that I personally have found it on the shelf at Target, Walmart, and Babies R Us. Suggested retail is $11.49 for a 4oz tube.

***I recieved compensation for this post.  All opinions are 100% mine.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.***

Thursday, June 28, 2012

4th of July Fireworks in Central Florida

I love fireworks shows.  It's one of the many things I love about Disney- we know how to do great fireworks shows year round.  Twice a year we put on amazing shows, Fourth of July is one of those days.  Here are just some of fun places around Central Florida that are putting on July 4th firework shows. All firework shows at the theme parks are included in the regular park admission. 

 -Walt Disney World:  
     *Magic Kingdom is doing Disney's Celebrate America! - A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky at 9pm (They are also doing a show on July 3rd at 9pm like in years past.)
     *Epcot is doing a special holiday (ie longer) showing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at 10pm.  
     *Disney's Hollywood Studios will be doing a super special (in my opinion anytime DHS does fireworks it's super special because they only do fireworks on July 4th and New Year's Eve) firework display at 9:45pm. 

-SeaWorld Orlando: SeaWorld is doing a Fourth of July Reflections show after their regular show. Reflections starts at 9:45pm with the 4th fireworks right after. 

-Universal Studios Orlando: Universal is doing a fireworks & fountain show this year. 

-Downtown Orlando is holding Fireworks at the Fountain at Lake Eola Park. Fireworks are at 9:20pm, with festivities from 4pm-10pm.

-Celebration will be doing A Salute to Cinema, an event with DJs, costume contest, celebrities and of course an awesome fireworks show starting at 9:30pm. Outside of WDW, this is my favorite fireworks location. They always put on a spectacular show!

St Cloud

-My second favorite outside of WDW, and not because I live down the street from the festivities.  St Cloud may be small, but we can put on a nice party!  From 3pm until 10pm there will be food and merchandise vendors all down the street, along with music, games and fun! The fireworks will be on East Lake Toho. I'll probably end up at this one this year with Cole for his first 4th of July! :) 

-Kissimmee will be hosting a festival at Lake Toho, with food, music, vendors and more.  Festivities run from 5pm until 9:30pm with fireworks at 9:10pm. 

Altamonte Springs:

-Crane's Roost Park is hosting xl 106.7 Red Hot and Boom on July 3rd.  It's a huge music fest during the day and an even bigger fireworks show at night! Cobra StarshipJo Jo, Karmin, Neon HitchOutasightA Rocket To the Moon, and Chris Rene Neon are some of the performers this year! The event runs from 4pm-11pm this year.

-Star Spangled Sanford: July 4th on the Riverfront will have fireworks on the Lake Monroe Riverfront at 9pm.  Family activities start at 4pm and go until the fireworks. 

Where is your favorite place in Central Florida to watch fireworks?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

3x5 Folded Card

Sweet Gallery Boy Thank You Card
Say "Thanks," with personalized thank you notes from Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, June 22, 2012

2012 Candlelight Processional Narrators


The much anticipated 2012 Candlelight Processional Narrators have been announced (well, most of them anyway):

November 23 - 25Geena Davis
November 26 - 29Neil Patrick Harris
November 30 - December 1Whoopi Goldberg
December 2 - 4Andy Garcia
December 5 - 7TBA
December 8 - 10James Denton
December 11 - 13Jodi Benson
December 14 - 16Olivia Newton John
December 17 - 19TBA
December 20 -22Trace Adkins
December 23 - 25Gary Sinise
December 26 - 28Amy Grant
December 29 - 30Marlee Matlin / Jack Jason

Definitely some great narrators this year!  I really want to see Jodi Benson.

 Candlelight Processional runs from November 23rd through December 30th this year. Shows are in the American Gardens Theatre at 5pm, 6:45pm & 8:15pm  

For those who have never seen the Candlelight Processional, I highly recommend it.  It is the telling of the Christmas story by one of the above celebrity narrators, accompanied by a 50 piece orchestrand a huge mass choir made up of Walt Disney World Cast Members and guest choirs from all around the world.  It's truly a magical part of the season! 

One of my many performances in the Cast Choir - 12/7/9 with Anika Noni Rose

Monday, June 18, 2012

Flying While Breastfeeding

I don't tend to fly much when I travel, so I'm not quite up to date on all the TSA rules and regulations. I just got back from Cedar Rapids, IA where I was a bridesmaid for my best friend's wedding. Unfortunately my 10 week old baby who is breastfed could not make the trip with me. This meant I was going to have a few extra items to pack for this trip (along with all the wedding items!). The main thing was my breast pump, this trip was about three and a half days and there is no way I could go that long without either my baby or the pump. I did several searches about traveling with a breast pump and milk without having your little one and came up with very little information. The TSA website does have info, but I wanted more first hand information rather just a blurb on it.  Hopefully this will help someone in the same situation I was in.

We flew out of the Orlando/Sanford Airport in Florida. On the way up I only had to worry about my pump and its pieces. I have a Medela Pump in Style Advance with the metro bag, (i also have the same pump with the shoulder bag, but because it was doubling as my carry on, and the pump is separate from the bag i took the metro bag) it's a pretty discreet bag, black with creme piping and interior, and held everything I needed and it wasn't too big to carry on. The one thing I was able to find was to alert the TSA agents at the scanner that you have a pump and/or milk BEFORE it gets scanned. When I went through the TSA line the agent was great and asked to take the pump out of my metro bag and set it in the tray with the metro bag. Nothing too different than what I have with my netbook. Because the pump comes out of the bag and is portable, it has a little cover with a carrying handle, in a nondescript black.

The pump in it's carrying case.
On the way home we flew out of the Moline/Quad Cities Airport. This time it was going to be a little more complicated because I was going to be gone so long, there was no way I was going to waste all that milk (I did dump anything from the rehearsal dinner and wedding day/morning after because there was drinking involved & I was running out of room in my cooler bag) so I would be bringing pumped milk home; which, obviously, is a liquid. Pumped milk is part of a special category (it's considered liquid medication) so you don't have to adhere to the 3.4 oz liquids rule; included are the ice packs needed to keep it cold.  This time I was ready with my pump out of the metro bag and in the tray next to my metro bag. When I told the TSA agent, he asked for me to remove the cooler bag of milk and put it with the pump in a separate tray and put it in front of any other trays I had as the liquid takes longer to process through the scanner. When my items were out of the scanner one of the agents handed me the pump back and explained that he was going to do to a swab over the outside of the cooler bag (similar to what they do on the handles of suitcases) and after that was checked he would do a swab of my hands. It added a few extra minutes to the process but it wasn't too bad.
Small cooler pack
The worst part was repacking the metro bag so that everything fit correctly. I had the pump at the bottom of my bag because it's a compact square and helped keep the bottom of the bag open/not squished. The cooler bag with the milk and freezer packs is rectangular so it was at the bottom too, and I had the mesh bag with the breastshields and bottles on top of them along with my wristlet. Basically little things that fell to the bottom and got in the way of repacking.
My fully packed Pump in Style Advance metro bag

All in all it was an easy process both times and all the agents I encountered at both airports were knowledgeable, helpful and friendly about everything. My helpful tips would be:

-let the agents know you have a pump and/or pumped milk
-when you pack, keep your pump and milk towards the top of your bag were it is easier to get to
-put them in their own tray, at the beginning of your items
-relax and don't worry about it, the agents are helpful :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Brave Highland Games!

The Brave Highland Games have arrived at Epcot! From June 1st until July 8th you can experience four tournament games that make you feel like part of the movie. The Highland Games are open from 11am until 7pm over in the Future World West walkway. I went with Kirk, Cole, and my friend Sarah and we had so much fun!

Before you start the games, you get to spin the clan wheel. The wheel has the four main clans from the movie -MACINTOSH, DINGWALL, MACGUFFIN & DUNBROCH. Whatever clan the wheel lands on is the clan that you will represent (by wearing their button) for the games.

Spin the Clan Wheel
Two of the four Clan buttons.

The first game is archery! Who doesn't love archery? This one was my favorite of the games! They give you a bow and arrow and have the chance to make it into the bullseye hole (because this is Disney and safe for the family: the arrow isn't sharp, it's weighted on the end and there is a big hole were the bullseye is on the target.). None of us made it in, but we all came close!

Kirk getting an archery refresher.
Next up was the haggis flip, not as disgusting as it sounds! Three people can play at one time. Each player gets three haggis to flip off the launcher with a mallet into one of the three baskets in front of you. It's harder than it looked, but still fun!

Haggis Flip
After the haggis flip comes the cake toss with the Triplets. Cake toss really is corn hole or bean bag toss. There are three boards that each have three holes to aim your cakes at. You get three cake to toss. Somehow everyone get cakes in the holes but me lol

Cake Toss
Last, but certainly not least, is the mini caber toss! My second favorite of the games. There are enough cabers for three (I'm sensing a pattern) people to toss at a time. The cabers are heavier than they look, but definitely still light enough for kids to play. They feel like a foam rubber with a weight inside of them, all inside a cover than is wood grain fabric. The goal of this one is to throw it, have it flip end over end and land in front of you. I'm not sure if any of us did it, we were having too much fun laughing!

Kirk, me, & Sarah doing the Mini Caber Toss.
As you are leaving the Highland Games field, there is a Cast Member giving out crayons and paper do you can do a character rubbing (like they had in the Fairy Garden during Flower & Garden Festival.), one for each clan. They also have a postcard pack- 6 cards with different characters on the front and activities on the back.

That's not all they have set up! There is a playground (recommended for children ages 2 through 12) set up across the way that looked like a lot of fun! The best part of the playground is the adults area- tents with chairs and free wi-fi! Yup, that's right, free wi-fi in the park!

We had a lot of fun, and I highly recommend you check it out if you have the chance! I'll definitely be back before it closes July 8th!