Disney Wonder Cruise 2018: Part 1

Back in December, we took Emma Kate on her very first Disney cruise. I found a good last minute deal, and we decided instead of spending a ton of money on Christmas, we would take a family vacation. We sailed on the Disney Wonder, and were to make stops at Key West, Castaway Cay, and Nassau.

We arrived the night before and stayed in a hotel so we would be near the port first thing the next morning. Emma Kate was so amped up that night and it took forever for her to go to sleep (ok, so I was excited too.)

That morning we walked around to burn off some of Emm Kate’s perpetual energy before driving the 10 minutes to the port.

We got the bags dropped off and the car parked, and we checked in. We got in line for a photo with this guy, and before you know it there were calling our group to board.

We immediately went to guest services and were able to snag princess meet and greet tickets as well as character breakfast tickets. Then we went to stand in line to see about changing our dining time (we had late which is WAY late for us) and to get PALO brunch reservations that were sold out online. We were able to get brunch, but they said they didn’t know about the dining which made me nervous. A downfall of booking late I guess, but I know there was no way Emma Kate was going to eat dinner at 8:15 when her normal bedtime is 7:45! We went up to the buffet to eat lunch, and then explored the ship. I loved seeing the Wonder all ready for Christmas!

At this point, Emma Kate still didn’t quite understand that the boat was going to start moving and we would be on it for a week. Oh well. She figured it out soon enough after we pulled out of port ha!

It was time to check out our room, and we went to drop off our carry on bags. We had an oceanview room on deck 2. At first I was a little bummed to not have a verandah, but honestly it ended up being great because 1.) The weather wasn’t great so I doubt I would have spent a ton of time out there, 2.) I didn’t have to worry about EK jumping off the balcony and 3.) We were midship, and the lobby is deck 3, so we were one quick flight of stairs to the lobby, restaurants, guest services, character meet and greets, and more.

We met our stateroom host, dropped off our things, and headed up to show Emma Kate the kids club. I was SO pumped about this because I knew she would love it. Heck I love it!

She was obsessed with the slide and went down about 100 times.

Don’t worry, I plan to do a whole post about the kid’s club, there is so much to say! After we left, we went back to the room for a minute before the muster drill and noticed DCL had left us a beautiful cheese tray. (Anyone who knows me knows that cheese is the way to my heart.)

We had a quick and delicious snack before the muster drill, and then it was time for the sail away party. It was at this moment that I teared up. Being up on the deck, about to sail away for a week, my daughter on my husbands shoulders singing and dancing and squealing at her favorite characters. I had waited so long to take her on her first Disney cruise and here we were. It was surreal and perfect.

We went to the front of the ship to watch us sail away, and then Emma Kate finally realized we were moving!

We went inside as it was getting close to early dinner time, and we still didn’t know what seating we had. Bobby decided to call the dining line, and just see where we were on the list and what we should do. He explained we had a small child that went to bed early, and they gave us THE LAST TABLE at main dining. Yall, I was so so thankful. They said there were 27 other families that had a request in as well, so I don’t know if it was because we called to follow up or what, but whatever it was, we were seriously breathing a huge sigh of relief. The only thing was…it was 5:25, and dinner was at 5:45! We hurried around getting dressed for dinner and made it to Animator’s Palate just in time.

I love this menu, and was excited to have it the first night. We met our super sweet server, Dee, who has been with DCL for 12 or 13 years! She was so great with Emma Kate and was from Thailand. Emma Kate did ok at dinner…she got a little antsy so we had mickey bars and other dessert and then brought her to the kids club for the first time alone.

This gave Bobby and I a chance to walk around and see more of the ship, grab a snack, and relax. We got a text that Emma Kate wanted us and we were so confused because we had just dropped her off! We ran up there and discovered that she just “wanted to tell us the slide was closed.” Seriously. That was it. Emma Kate has been going to daycare since she was a baby and has never before had to power to “summon” us while at school, so I think she liekd the idea, but I did not. I kind of wish she didn’t know that she could haha.

Pro Tip: After this happening a couple of times (and nothing was wrong), we asked the workers to put a note in her file to not text us unless something was really wrong (hurt, crying, sick, etc.) and to not text us just because she wants to tell us something.

We went back to the room and had another sweet surprise from DCL! Cheers to a great first day!

More coming up soon!

If you would like help booking your next Disney Cruise please email me, I would love to help you! heather@travelwiththemagic.com

Merry Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas from the Montgomery Family! I pray your holiday is merry and bright, and 2019 is everything you want it to be. Never forget the reason for the season. Happy Birthday Jesus!

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Babbleboxx: Gift’s for Everyone on Your List

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com, however, all opinions are my own.

Everyone loves getting gifts, and sometimes it can be hard to know just what to get for those in your life.  Any gift listed here be an amazing gift for any girl on your list!

My box was super cute and came packaged very nicely. There were cards on top explaining all the items inside.

I am so pleased with it all! Let’s take a look at what was inside.

Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones: I already use and LOVE this headphone brand, so I was excited to see Aftershokz in my box! As an avid runner who hates cords, these are perfect for the fithusiast on your Christmas list. The open ear design allows you to hear everything going on around you, and they are so lightweight for forget you are wearing them. Check out their cool colors like Midnight Blue, Forest Green, Slate Gray, or Canyon Red.

Charles & Colvard
Signature Halo Moissanite Necklace 0.91CTW in 14K
White Gold: This is called the Forever One halo necklace, and it is
set in 14K gold with a 6mm hearts & arrows center stone that is surrounded
by 1mm pave stones. I didn’t know that Moissanite is a naturally occurring gemstone. It’s also an environmentally responsible and ethically sourced gemstone. It’s also beautiful with unique optical properties that are super sparkly.

Be sure to check their social media handles and
www.charlesandcolvard.com for seasonal savings.

Chesapeake Bay Candle: Looking for a gift for that hard to shop for family member? These soy wellness candles with botanical inspired ingredients are perfect. They are designed an poured right here in the USA, and below is the info on the amazing scent I got in my box:

awaken + invigorate lemongrass eucalyptus
Includes essential oils of: eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, spearmint
Fragrance description: Awaken your senses with the energizing notes of lemongrass and
verbena wrapped in invigorating eucalyptus leaves, aromatic lavender, and garden
mint.

Finishing Touch Flawless: I was skeptical about the Finishing Touch Flawless at first but now I love it! This device gently erases facial hair instantly & painlessly. It has a cool built-in light and is 18-carat gold plated. Your hair will not grow back thicker, and there is no redness or irritation after!

Fun Socks
Fun x Fiorucci Women’s Sheer Crew Socks: These sheer socks are from a limited edition collection with Fiorucci. They also have t-shirts, winter accessories and more! I love that you can dress them up or down, they work for all types of outfits.

They also have a special offer for you! Special Offer/Discount
Take an additional 15% off your entire order at FunSocks.com by using code
BABBLEBOXX at checkout. One use per customer. Code expires 12/31/18
Discount is automatically applied by clicking the link: https://funsocks.com/discount/BABBLEBOXX

ALDI
Cocktail Shaker and Glasses: ALDI has gifts for everyone on your list at affordable prices. You won’t want to miss these Crofton Chef’s Collection Cocktail Shakers and Drinkware
available for a limited time starting Dec. 19 for $9.99 each for the shaker and $8.99 for a set of two glasses. I was so excited when I saw them in my box, as believe it or not we don’t own a cocktail shaker! Not to mention it’s the cutest one I have ever seen.

I was really pleased with the contents I was given, and would happily gift to any of my friends or family! All useful but fun things I think any girl would be excited to receive.

Christmas Recap 2017

Happy January guys! I can’t believe it’s now 2018. How many of you are still forgetting and writing 2017 on everything? Hand raise! We had a great Christmas, but just like every year it flew by so fast and I want it back! Here are a few of my favorites photos and things we did.

The Friday before, Emma Kate had PJ day at school and obviously had to show them off.

Saturday we made reindeer food and fudge.

Christmas eve we went to church along with my mom and dad. 

Love singing Silent Night with just out voices and the candles. So beautiful. 

After church, we hit up PDQ. I know it’s not very traditional, but we knew we were going to be cooking all the things that night and the next day so I was not up for cooking again for lunch.

Bobby cooked pork chops for dinner and mom was in charge of bread, which is terrifying because she always burns it. So she sat in front of my oven to make sure she didn’t. Bless it. 

We made cookies for Santa and left them by the tree with some milk. 

We read the Christmas story from the Bible and the Night Before Christmas. My sister’s plane arrived just in time for her to get to join in and tell Emma Kate good night.

My mom, dad, and sister left to go to their house, then Santa came!

On Christmas morning, I made EK sit at the top of the stairs and wait just like I used to do. She was a trooper even though she didn’t really understand ha.

She ran downstairs to see that Santa came, and was so excited! She even had gifts in her stocking.

This is my FAVORITE Christmas photo from the day. Sums it all up perfectly. 

Happy girl loved her “doctor things”

Self timer for the win!

We got ready then drove down to my parents new house for the day. It was my first time seeing it with furniture and I love it!

Emma Kate even has her own room.

Also, Santa made a visit to Grammy and Papa’s house, too.

Bobby also got in on the gift action. (and he got me a laptop!)

Maybe a future career?

The weather was in the low 70’s and perfect.

We had our big meal at lunch, and it was delicious.

Santa even left Emma Kate a cupcake.

Self timer again! 

Lunch goodness.

Christmas day is also my moms birthday so we had a cake, of course!

Emma Kate learned how to “drive” papa’s golf cart.

The sign of a good day, asleep int he car by 7:30. We drove home and were so sad it was all over, but thankful for the great memories!

I hope you had a great Christmas with your loved ones. I’m already looking forward to next year.

Merry Christmas 2017

From my family to yours, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas with those you love.

Luke 2 New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 

Holiday Like This at Universal Orlando Resort

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Universal Orlando Resort, however all opinions are my own.

It’s always fun to Visit Universal Orlando Resort, but if you want a little “extra” something, be sure visit for the holidays. There are so many fun decorative touches throughout the parks as well as special shows and events you won’t want to miss. It’s just the perfect thing to get you in the holiday spirit!

1.) Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s: If you have any Mischievous Minion fans in your house, this parade is not to be missed. There are adorable floats with your favorite Despicable Me characters as well as those from Shrek and Madagascar. Don’t forget about the Macy’s balloons flying high in the sky! There’s singing, their’s dancing, and a lot of smiling (trust me on this one!) Be sure to catch the action
Dec. 18 – Jan. 6 at 8 pm.

2.) The parks all decked out for the holidays: Going from attraction to attraction at a Universal Orlando Resort theme park is a blast, but it’s even better when there is Christmas music in the background, beautiful lights, and garland everywhere you look. That little bit of extra magic was really fun to see and kept us smiling all day long.

3.) Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular at Islands of Adventure:

Seuss landing was adorably decorated and full of whimsy. I could have just walked around looking at the decorations all day! But, there is even more to see with a live retelling of the classic tale “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” featuring music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller.

You can even meet the green guy himself after the show. There is also a character breakfast with the Grinch, but it’s a separate ticketed event.

4.) Christmas at Hogwarts: This was definitely a highlight of our trip, and I’m so glad we went back into Islands of Adventure to see it. Walking through Hogsmeade all decorated for the holidays was cute, but the projection show took the cake.

Shows are done every few minutes, and the projection on the castle is breathtaking. Seriously, the pictures don’t do it justice. Trust me, you do NOT want to miss this!

Universal Orlando Resort

5.) On Site Hotel Decorations: 

We had the privilege of staying at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, which was also very much in the holiday spirit. There was a huge tree in the lobby as well as an adorable village make of candy and desserts. They will also be having Christmas character meals, so be sure to call for more information if you will be there over Christmas. The other in site hotels have their own decorations as well. It would make for a fun evening to go visit them all!

These special holiday events and happenings are going on now through January 6th at Universal Orlando Resort. Which one are you most excited about?

 

 

Tips for a Healthier Holiday

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Purell, however all opinions are my own.

I will be hosting Christmas Eve at my house this year, which means a lot of planning, organizing, and making lists, as well as lots and lots of cleaning. When you have family members flying in from different states that are just coming from the airport, it’s even more important to make sure your house is clean and organized to keep germs at bay.

No one wants to be sick for the holidays, right? Here are five of my best tips for preparing for having a healthier holiday:

1.) Get exercise: The holidays are extra busy, which can make it tough to fit in your regular workouts, but this is something you really shouldn’t skimp on! Exercise can help boost your immune system and in turn may cut down on the amount of colds you get this year.

2.) Get enough sleep: Another tempting thing to skip out on is sleep. With late holiday parties and staying up past your bedtime getting your kids costume ready for the Christmas play, you may find yourself reaching for the snooze (and the coffee!) more often. Aim for 7-8 hours a night to keep your immune system up. Also, infection-fighting antibodies are reduced when you don’t get enough sleep.

3.) Wash your hands/sanitize when often: PURELL® Hand Sanitizer is the #1 selling sanitizer, and they also make soap, too! While washing with soap and water is best, sometimes it’s not possible to get near a sink, so make sure you have PURELL pocket sanitizer in your purse, car, and we like to keep a pump of it by the back door as we come in and out of the house. When you sanitize, make sure to leave your hands wet for 15 seconds!

4.) Disinfect and clean your house: The PURELL® brand has an amazing new Multi Surface Disinfecting spray that I am obsessed with. It kills 99.99% of bacteria and viruses in 30 seconds, is worry free around kids, pets, and food, and there is no water rinse required! It cleans with the power of bleach without harmful chemicals. Here are some common things to make sure you sanitize with your disinfectant spray: Highchairs, soft surfaces you can’t wash, your refrigerator, doorknobs, remotes, counters, light switches, handles on kitchen appliances, computer keyboards, and toys. (YES it’s safe on all of those things!)

5.) Sanitize your kitchen before meal prep: When cooking and preparing in the kitchen, it’s easy to forget about wiping down counters, cutting boards, and water faucets. Make sure to use the PURELL Multi-Surface Disinfectant for meal prep! Don’t worry, it won’t stain clothes or fabric, and is designed to quickly kill the cold and flu viruses.

healthier holiday

It comes in 3 scents: fragrance free, citrus, and fresh (my favorite!) and is available for purchase online at Amazon.com, Jet.com and Walmart.com. In addition, it is available at select grocers: Publix, H-E-B, and Shoprite and at Harris Teeter in January 2018.

Westfield Shopping Spree Giveaway

It’s time to get serious about your holiday shopping! If you live in the Tampa area, you can also check out all the fun holiday offerings at the Westfield malls in Brandon, Citrus Park, and Countryside.

Of course the thing every child wants to do is visit Santa! You can come tell him what you want for Christmas through Christmas Eve. You can even get a fastpass (shorter, faster line) by purchasing your photo package in advance online. (visit each mall’s website for a complete list of hours). 

Emma Kate was SO pumped to meet Santa and tell him what she wanted for Christmas. The photographers were great, and the set up was super cute, too. I was not expecting to see Mrs. Claus so that was a fun treat! Our photos were ready instantly to take home with us, no waiting around. 

There are last minute/extended hours shopping from December 15-24 at the malls. Also, be sure to check out the website for more details on discounts and special events.





Not sure what to get that special someone on your list? A Westfield gift card makes a great gift, because then they can pick out what THEY like best!

westfield

Who wants a chance to WIN a $100 Westfield gift card? Just follow the rafflecoptor directions below. I will announce a winner on the 12th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, however all opinions are my own.

Winter’s Wonderland & Sea of Lights Holiday Events

Living in Florida, we have learned that there is so much to see in and do, especially around the holidays. Something that is new to us is Winter’s Wonderland & Sea of Lights Holiday Events at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. We were invited to come check out the aquarium and learn about the holiday events that you and your family can enjoy this year.

Emma Kate loves animals, so she was pumped to see the turtles, otters, sharks, and in particular, the dolphins, like Winter and Hope of Dolphin Tale fame. We met some super sweet volunteers who gave us so much information about the animals that call the aquarium home, and the rescue and release process for some of them. I in particular love their mission:

“We believe in preserving our marine life and environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release.”



There were so many adorable animals at the aquarium that for one reason or another can’t survive in the wild, and while some will live there permanently, there are some that are able to be released back into their natural habitats which is so awesome.

Ok, so moving on to the awesome activities going on for the holidays! So in addition to touring the aquarium, you can also do these things on select dates:

    • 11/24-12/23 – Come see Winter Claus: Guests have the opportunity to meet Winter Claus (set-up in Spectrum Theater)
    • 12/15, 12/16, 12/22, 12/23 – Stay Late: The aquarium is staying open late until 9 p.m. This way guests can best enjoy the lights, see Winter Claus, enjoy free cookies and enjoy a “Sea of Lights” 45 minute boat ride! (Sea of Lights will run from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. on select dates with $9.99 admission starting after 4 p.m. The Sea of Lights Boat Cruise will take you around Clearwater Bay to see the holiday lights by boat!)
    • 12/27-12/30 – Meet and Greet: Actors from the Dolphin Tale movies will be at the aquarium to meet guests. (<—-awesome!)

  • Don’t miss out on Experiencing Winter Wonderland with lights and décor all around the aquarium. There are also special santa dive presentations at Mavis’s Rescue Hideaway.winter's wonderlandAnyone recognize the above office from a certain dolphin related movie?

You can also purchase 20 oz. Coca-Cola products in the park like Coke, Sprite, and Dasani water to enjoy during your visit to the aquarium.

marine aquarium


I highly recommend taking your family to enjoy the special holiday offerings at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium this year!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored, however all opinions are my own.

Thanksgiving 2017

This year, I hosted Thanksgiving at my house. It was just us and my parents, but we ended up with enough food to feed a small army, and ate leftovers all weekend. It was nice and relaxing, and I’m glad I got to spend time with my family.

Thursday morning I started cooking and getting ready, and soon my parents arrived with the turkey, an it was time for the parade.

It was also time for mimosas!

Bella is one smart cookie. She knows when the turkey is being cut, every year!

After we ate, everyone but me napped (what’s new) and we watched football.

The next day Emma Kate and I went shopping with my parents while Bobby was at work.

Is it just me or does she look way too grown in that picture?!? Anyway, Saturday we went to the playground, and found a turtle (we are VERY exciting people).

That night we met one of EK’s friends from school at our local outdoor mall for the dancing lights and a kids sing along show.

She has a BLAST and we were all worn out after. On Sunday, Emma Kate and I went for a stroller run to the playground while Bobby was at work, and then we met up with my parents at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, but more on that in another post. Anyone recognize that office from a certain movie about a dolphin?

We had a great holiday, and I hope you did, too! Now, on to my favorite…Christmas!