Disney Wonder Cruise 2018: Part 6

Did you miss part 5? check it out then come back here!

We were headed back to port, but still had two sea days ahead of us. We found out Santa was going to be taking photos in the lobby that morning, so of course that was our first stop.



She signed the nice list (I wasn’t so sure about that ha) and got to meet the big guy.

They even had a cute table set up with cookies.

After that, Emma Kate went to the kids club because Bobby and I had a reservation for one of our favorite things, PALO brunch!

We had a table with a great view and we ate all. of. the. food. It was amazing as usual, something I would never miss on a Disney cruise!

After brunch, we picked up Emma Kate from the club, got in our swimsuits and went to the pool. It was a bit chilly but EK didn’t seem to mind.

Before we knew it, it was time for pictures and dinner again!

We ran into Mickey in the hallway and he grabbed Emma Kate’s hand and walked around with her, and she was SO excited. I love how the character interations are random and plentiful on the ship!

We were in Tiana’s again, and it still remains my favorite restaurant of the three!

After a delicious dinner, EK went back to the club and Bobby and I played foosball and ping pong on the pool deck. We were the only ones up there and it was a lot of fun. We had one more day coming up, and that one would end on a low note, so stay tuned to see what happend.

Kid Goals for the New Year

This post was sponsored by Amazon as part of an Ambassador Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own

It’s a new year, which means lots of goal setting, reevaluating things done last year, and making changes to our lives. When making your list of things to change or improve on for the next year, have you ever taken the time to think about having a discussion concerning your kids screen time and what they have access to online? As your kids age, now is the perfect time to make updated decisions about parental controls and age filters for your kiddos!

For parents interested in adjusting their own settings for the new year, what are the steps/where do they find those settings (whether on their child’s Fire Kids Edition tablet or on Parent Dashboard)?

I appreciate having the ability to monitor and manage Emma Kate’s screen time and activities because while I love the technology afforded to her with FreeTime Unlimited, I want her to be well rounded in her playtime as well.

So my question is, are you involved in managing your kid’s technology uses and time?
A survey Amazon FreeTime commissioned with 1,000+ parents of children ages 3-10 found that:
97% of parents say they are at least somewhat involved in managing their kids’ use of technology and 9 in 10 parents want to be even more involved.
For 77% of parents, it’s important that the content on their child’s tablet or smartphone is age-appropriate. For 68% it’s important that the content is educational.
Almost all parents surveyed (95%), want their children to use smartphones or tablets for educational purposes.
However, most parents (75%) don’t want to hover over their children when they’re using devices and two thirds of parents want their kids to have the freedom to explore when using their tablet or smartphone.

Looking for age appropriate educational titles that are available in Amazon FreeTime Unlimited? Check out this selection below:

  • A Day with Caillou – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty – Freetime Unlimited Version
  • Disney Buddies: ABCs
  • Elmo Loves 123s – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • PINKFONG Dino World – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • Teach Your Monster to Read – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • Toca Lab – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • Wonster Words ABC Phonics – FreeTime Unlimited Edition

So you may be saying “tell me more about the Fire Kids Edition Tablet and more about the parental controls and FreeTime Unlimited!” Say no more, I’ve got you covered.

The Fire Kids Edition Tablets are the #1 kids’ tablets in the U.S. and come with a kid-proof case and a 2-year guarantee. You can get a replacement no questions asked. Each one comes with a one year subscription to Amazon FreeTime unlimited, which gives you and your child access to over 30,000 books, videos, audible books, apps, and games. There are also Spanish language books, plus thousands of kid-friendly websites and web videos.

You can have peace of mind using the Parental Control settings in FreeTime, where parents can set time limits, change age filters, enable/disable web browser access, and you can even choose whether to allow in-app purchasing (that’s a big fat no for my child, ha!) Parents can also use Parent Dashboard to review the digital content their kids are using in FreeTime, determine how to manage time limits and educational goals, and remotely adjust their child’s FreeTime settings. I love helping Emma Kate set educational goals on her tablet!

Now that Emma Kate is almost four and a half, we are working on letter sounds, reading lots of books, and learning songs and Spanish words. I love how easy it is to work with her, and setting up the parental controls is a breeze. My favorites are the screen time limits and age filters. I also turn off the option that would just let her browse the web.

Here are a few more favorites:

  • Weekday and weekend settings—parents can set time limits by weekdays and weekends.
  • Bedtime—parents can control when FreeTime shuts down for the day and turns back on the next morning.
  • Learn First—parents can set daily goals for educational content, and block access to entertainment content until after educational goals are met each day.
  • Screen time by category—parents can restrict certain categories, such as apps and games, while leaving unlimited time for reading.
  • Total screen time—parents can choose a set amount of total screen time per day, after which the tablet will shut down for the day.
  • Age filters—parents can adjust settings to tailor the FreeTime experience for each child and ensure the content their kids are viewing is age-appropriate for them.

What are your goals for your kids this year when it comes to their education and screen time? I would love to hear!

Know Your Dose This Cold and Flu Season

This post is brought to you by the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition’s Know Your Dose campaign and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

You may or may not remember, but last year’s cold and flu season was a doozy. I was able to avoid the flu, but my poor husband was not, and my daughter had a couple of colds (daycare life). No one likes to be sick in bed and feeling poorly, so we often reach for medicines to help us feel better wuickly. The great thing about modern medicine is we can ease symptoms these days, but on the flip side, some people don’t end up taking the right dosage of said medicines. The Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition (AAC) is urging Americans to double check their medicine labels when treating cold and flu symptoms to avoid doubling up on acetaminophen.

Research published earlier this year shows that the odds of Americans taking more than the FDA-recommended maximum dose of 4,000 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen in one day increased 24 percent during cold and flu season. That’s a HUGE amount of people not using medicine properly. So why does this happen? Primarily, this is because more people are using over-the-counter (OTC) combination medications to treat upper respiratory cold and flu symptoms. Acetaminophen is safe and effective for treating fever and pain when used as directed; however, taking more acetaminophen than directed can lead to liver damage. Also, when your child is suffering with a cold or flu and you choose to treat their symptoms with an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, make sure you always use the dosing device that comes with the medicine. I will admit that especially when Emma Kate was little, I was always nervous about giving her the wrong amount of medicine when she was sick. It can be scary enough when your child isn’t well, but then add in not being sure on the dose, and it’s a double whammy for moms and dads.

If you or your family members get sick this season, follow these four steps to make sure you’re using medicines with acetaminophen safely:

  1. Always read and follow the label.
  2. Know if your medicines contain acetaminophen.
  3. Take only one medicine at a time that contains acetaminophen. Double check, don’t double up!
  4. Ask your healthcare provider or a pharmacist if you have questions about dosing instructions or medicines that contain acetaminophen.

KnowYourDose.org has great resources to help make sure you are giving yourself and your kids the right dose of medicine. So what should you do the next time you are sick, or even as a fitness enthusiants like me, want medicine to relieve aches and pains, double check your medicine labels so you don’t accidentally double up on acetaminophen.

Disney Wonder Cruise 2018: Part 3

In case you missed part 1 and 2, catch up before reading this one!

The next morning we woke up and were almost to Key West. We also had an early princess meet and greet in the lobby, so we headed there before breakfast. This is a ticketed event, but also free (we snagged tickets when we got onboard on day 1). It’s a great way to meet a bunch of princesses at one time. Emma Kate loved it!

After the meet and greet we went to breakfast. I told EK she could have a donut if she ate all her food. Thankfully after she was sufficiently sugared up we took her to the pool to burn some energy. The weather forecast for the rest of the week was iffy, so we knew we needed to take advantage of the sunshine while we could (even if it was a tad chilly!)

A huge thanks to SwimZip for sending us these adorable swimsuits! We got so many compliments and the rash guard was perfect for Emma Kate since it was a little chilly. I love that these suits help protect against the suns harmful rays!

We let Emma Kate swim and go down the slide as we docked in the port. There was hardly anyone in the pool so we were able to get great seats and the little one went down the slide a bunch of times.

I took advantage of the warmth of the sun and got a dole whip with rum in it that I had heard so much about. I was warned in advance that the consistency was more slushie like that creamy ice cream, but I still wanted to try it…and the verdict…it was not my favorite. I LOVE Dole whip floats and I love rum, but this combo was not something I would get again. I am however glad I tried it!

We decided to just grab lunch at the pool because Emma Kate was having such a blast we didn’t want to pull her out to go change and go to the buffet. Bobby went and got his own food from Cabanas and ate at the pool chairs, and I got Emma Kate and I some chicken tenders and fries, so it worked out perfectly. After lunch, we all got changed and we brought Emma Kate to the kids club so Bobby and I could go watch the Saints game at the pub. I was surprised, we were the ONLY ONES IN THERE! Where did all the football fans go?!?

We were able to watch the game, but the sound was for a different game which made it kind of confusing, but we were just happy to get to watch anyway. We grabbed some snacks and relaxed on a sofa and cheered for our team as they beat the Tampa Bay Bucs. We had a nice view out the window, too.

As the game was coming to an end, we went and grabbed EK out of the kid’s club and decided to get off the ship for a few minutes and just walk around on dry land for a bit. Why not? It has been a minute since we have been to Key West, but I love how quaint it is, and we feel super safe there just walking around. Emma Kate LOVED chasing the animals.

After about 30 minutes we made our way back to the ship to get ready for dinner. We realized we walked right into the beginning of a little show where SANTA shows up on the ship for the first time! It was cute. There were lots of characters, and even snow!

Dinner that night was in Triton’s, but we took some family photos before we went in.

This one is my favorite haha

At dinner, EK decided to eat a lime, which was hysterical.

After dinner it was back to the kids club (she was SO antsy at Dinner I took her before we even ordered dessert.) and Bobby and I walked around on the deck and went back to Cove Cafe again. In the room that night we had a sweet gift from Disney, Emma Kate was pumped.

We were taking her to see her first movie in the theater the next day, so she was so excited we had snacks! And she loved the doll because it matched the dress she had on the night before. <3

After calming her down which took awhile, it was time for bed, and watching Elf again, before finally falling asleep.

I would love to help you with Disney Cruise questions! Email me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com

Disney Wonder Cruise 2018: Part 2

In case you missed part 1, catch up here before reading below!

We woke up the next morning ready for an awesome day at sea. First up, we had the Disney Jr. character breakfast.

Pro tip: Spots for this free but ticketed event fill up fast. However, they hold back some spots, so go to guest services as soon as you get on board to try to snag tickets.

Breakfast was in Animator’s, and we were seated right away and promptly given napkin hats.

I will say the breakfast portions were on the smaller side, so if you like a big breakfast I suggest ordering multiple items like Bobby did. However, the characters were fun! This was the first time we let Emma Kate use an autograph book, and she had a blast with it.

She was so excited to see Vamparina!

After breakfast, we saw Minnie Mouse was taking photos so we did that. The line was really short!

We also took a few pictures in the lobby and Emma Kate and I danced on “stage”.

Emma Kate was asking to go to the kids club, so off she went and Bobby and I walked around the ship taking some photos. The sun is deceptive, it was windy and pretty chilly!

The rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy. We got EK out of the club for lunch (we knew she wouldn’t eat enough or at all if we didn’t make her) and then brought her back. Bobby and I went to the gym and i’m pretty sure we all took a nap that day (the ONLY day she napped!) and then it was off to dinner for formal night. Emma Kate wore her Rapunzel dress, and we stopped for a quick dance party at Preludes before heading to Tiana’s Place.

I LOVED Tiana’s place. I know I am biased being a New Orleans native and all, but it was so fun with the music and dancing and had such an adorable atmosphere. Kudos on this one Disney!

We got to get up and dance, watch awesome musicians, and eat delicious food!

After dinner, Emma Kate was begging to go play in the club again (ok ok if you twist my arm, kid) so we dropped her off and Bobby and I walked around on the pool deck and started what would be our nightly tradition of hanging out in Cove Cafe and getting a snack.

Pro tip: In the evenings they had delicious cheese and crackers (like the kind from Palo) for free. So we would get a snack and sit in the quiet and relax.

They also had some seasonal coffee drinks for an extra charge.

We picked Emma Kate up around 9:00, watched Elf on TV for the 14th time so far, and went to sleep. More coming up soon!

If you would like help booking your next Disney cruise, let me know! heather@travelwiththemagic.com

Christmas 2018 Recap

Christmas is officially over, and like every year, I am officially sad. It seems to go by faster and faster every year, no matter how much I vow to “soak it all in this time” or “slow down and enjoy.” That being said, we had a wonderful 4 day weekend with family, and I have nothing to complain about (except for how quickly it went by!) I thought I would share a little recap with you all today as we prepare to close out 2018.

We kicked off the holiday weekend on Saturday with some wine and cheese outside with my parents. Christmas music played non stop every day, and we had great weather.

On Sunday, we had lunch with Bobby’s family. All of his siblings were in town which never happens (there are 5 of them total) so lots of photos were taken.

That night we went to dinner for my moms birthday and I didn’t think to take photos. The Saints almost gave us a heart attack, but managed to clinch a #1 seed for the playoffs!
Christmas eve was laid back, we went to the store (again) and hung out at the house doing some cooking and watching Christmas movies. Emma Kate and I also made and decorated sugar cookies for santa. She LOVED it and it kept her busy for almost two hours, which if you know my child, is a long time for her to stay focused on one thing.

That afternoon, we all got dressed and went to the 4:00 candlelight Christmas Eve church service.

The service was great, I love closing it out singing Silent Night with all the beautiful candles. (It wa slightly terrifying seeing my clild with fire, but she insisted on having ehr own.)

We went back home and ate Bobby’s delicious chicken and dumplings, watched more movies, and read the Christmas story from the Bible and Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Then it was time to set out the cookies and milk and head to bed.

The next morning, Emma Kate was up at 6:00 on the dot, so it was most definitely still dark when we opened gifts.

We had a very happy little girl, and took our time enjoying opening gifts, drinking coffee, and listening to Christmas music.


I made a special tequila sunrise mimosa for breakfast to go along with the sausage casserole I make every year.

We spent the rest of the morning playing and cooking preparing for lunch.

Emma Kate was super pumped about her new bike. After a new death experience (I forgot to explain the brakes to her), she got the hang of it and had a blast.

We had a delicious lunch, and sang happy birthday to my mom (she is a Christmas baby!)

That evening we hung out with more family and ate…again. (so. much. food.)

After we left, we drove around and looked at Christmas lights. There were two houses that had music and lights flashing together via a radio station! We got home and I realized we had not taken any family photos that day in front of the tree, so we did that before Emma Kate’s bedtime.

We were all pretty exhausted and went to bed early. The next three days we ate nothing but leftovers, and I enjoyed every bite! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and made wonderful memories with those you love.

Holiday Traditions Revisited

This post was sponsored by Amazon as part of an Ambassador Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

I am really big on traditions, especially around the holidays. So big, that one year at Christmas I cried hysterically because my family decided to “change things up” and go somewhere else for Christmas instead of my grandparent’s house per usual. I was devastated. Now that I have a child of my own, we have started some of our own traditions, as well as continuing a few from when I was a girl.

One thing that is different from…well I won’t say what year, let’s just say “way back when”, is the technology. Technology has made connecting, learning, and entertaining that much easier (and more fun!) and I love that there are options for Emma Kate. One of our favorites is the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet. This tablet is the #1 kids’ tablets in the U.S. and comes with a kid-proof case. (My child is quite the dropper!) It also includes a two-year worry-free guarantee—meaning if it breaks, just send it back and Amazon will send you a new one without asking you a bunch of questions.

How do we incorporate this device into our holiday traditions? Easy! For example, we love to read to Emma Kate, especially Christmas books. It’s been fun to read titles right from her Fire HD 8 Kids Edition like Winter, Cold and Snow, and also listen to books audibly like The First Christmas Tree and the Great Sled Race.

For a lot of people (and usually for us, except for this year,) Christmas means traveling, which also equals bored kids in the car. Emma Kate loves it when we pre-download books, games and videos for her ahead of time to enjoy in the car.

There are even kid-friendly cookbooks available in Amazon FreeTime on the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. What is Amazon FreeTime? Each tablet comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, giving you access to over 20,000 books, videos, Audible books, educational apps, and games. There are also over 1,000 Spanish language books, videos, educational apps, Audible books, and more.

Another thing I love about this device is the Parent Dashboard. By using the Parental Control settings in FreeTime, parents can set time limits, adjust age filters, change web browser access, and turn on or off in-app purchasing. (That one is huge. Emma Kate is always trying to buy stuff!) You can also review the things your kiddos are using and seeing in FreeTime, and even remotely adjust your child’s FreeTime settings.

fire hd 8

We are all about education and learning games, so I love how the technology of the device allows Emma Kate to have fun and learn at the same time. (ssshhh don’t tell her she is learning!) It’s also something we can do together as I guide her, read with her, and watch alongside her. It has been such a great and fun addition to our holiday traditions this year, and I can’t wait to see how they evolve next year!

The Magic of Mary Poppins Returns

The magic of Disney is hard to explain. I have loved Disney movies, parks, stories and more for as long as I can remember, and the magic has always been my favorite part. There is just something you feel, something special about imagination, and believing that anything is possible. If I had to pick one movie that truly embodies that sentiment, it would be Mary Poppins. As a kid, watching the original movie, I dreamed of dancing with penguins and riding carousel horses with a super cool nanny who made everything a game.

That’s why I cannot wait for Mary Poppins Returns to hit theaters, and I can’t wait to share the magic and the music (girlfriend will dance to any music) with Emma Kate and hopefully she will continue to love the magic just like her mama. Check out this adorable special look below and let me know your thoughts!

MARY POPPINS RETURNS arrives in theatres everywhere on December 19th!

Like MARY POPPINS RETURNS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marypoppinsreturns/

Follow MARY POPPINS RETURNS on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marypoppinsreturns/

7 Amazon Finds to Organize Your Kid’s Room

Emma Kate just had a birthday, and she obtained a lot more, well…stuff. We also got rid of some things, but it just seems to keep growing, yall! I was on the hunt for some great ways to organize her things, and I thought since I was having this issue, some other people may be having it as well, so I thought I would turn it into a post and share.

7 amazon finds to organize your kids room

Here are 7 Amazon finds to organize your kid’s room:

1.) Delta Children Deluxe Multi-Bin Toy Organizer with Storage Bins

Little things. Little people. Little Pieces. Little parts. They are everywhere and drive me bonkers. The idea of having bins we can take out and put back in is super appealing, and we can organize them in each bin. Plus it’s pretty compact and Emma Kate can help clean up with this one.
7 Amazon Finds to Organize Your Kid's Room


2.) ClosetMaid 1499 KidSpace Open Storage Locker, 49-Inch Height

I wish I had known about this in our first house that didn’t have a mud room! This would be perfect for a hallway, or even inside the closet for your kids to hang up their coats and bookbags when they come home. Plus, it’s super cute!


3.) Goldenvalueable Hanging Mesh Space Saver Bags Organizer 3 Compartments Toy Storage Basket for Kids Room organization mesh hanging bag 2 Pcs
Set , Pink and Purple

How fun are these? I like that you can see through them so you don’t have to try and remember what you put in each one! Would be fun for stuffed animals or dolls.

4.) Naomi Home Kids Toy Sling Book Rack, Primary Colors/Natural
I don’t know about you, but we are drowning in books. Emma Kate has a ton, and then I saved a bunch of mine from my childhood and we add them into the mix. I feel like when they are in stacks we end up reading the same ones over and over, but this would help us to see more of them at once.

5.) Bath Toy Organizer -The Original Tub Cubby – Large 14×20” Quick Dry Bathtub Mesh Net

EK is at this stage where she wants to put all her toys in the bathtub and have a “pool party” with them. Which is fine until it’s time to get out and then they are just all over the tub, some with sitting water in them, and that’s just not super sanitary. I love the idea of this net so they toys can drain, and also it’s a place to store soap and shampoo bottles.



6.) Weekly Dry Erase Board Calendar Stain Resistant Technology Magnetic Whiteboard Planner for Refrigerator

My child thrives on a schedule, so knowing what is going on the next day is important to her. She can’t read yet, but I think creating picture magnets and putting them on the days of the week would be a great way for us to all stay organized.


7.) Bean Bag Stuffed Animal Storage

Yall. I wish these were around when I was a kid. I had a million stuffed animals and it would have been great! Instead, we had real bean bag chairs, and they would get a hole in them and little white balls would spill all over the room, and then we had to patch them up repeatedly with duct tape. Ah, the good ole days. This is a great way to have a cute place to sit and keep all the furry friends out of sight. Love!

7 Amazon Finds to Organize Your Kid's Room

As a part of the Amazon affiliate program, if you purchase a product through one of my links, I receive a small commission. Thanks for checking out these 7 Amazon Finds to Organize Your Kid’s Room!

Related: How to tame your kid clutter while teaching them valuable lessons.

 

Walt Disney World Recap Video September 2018 Part 2

You may have seen part one of my Walt Disney World Recap Video September 2018.

Well, I am back with part two of our trip! Check out the video below for all the Disney fun, and be sure to hit “subscribe” so you don’t miss any videos on my channel. I would venture to say that Emma Kate had the time of her life.

 

 

We love Disney in the fall, the Halloween Party, Food and Wine Festival, and decorations are all amazing. Now we can’t wait for the Christmas decorations! (Ok, maybe we can wait until after Halloween!) What is your favorite time of year to visit Walt Disney World?