13 November 2012

10 Tips on Tuesday: Disney edition

Tips on Tuesday:: Disney Edition

Today I'll share some great Disney tip blog posts that I recently found! We're gearing up for our own family trip to Disney World and we'll be celebrating a lot of fun things while we're there- Baby E's first trip, her 8 month birthday, and DH and my 4th anniversary. It's also the first anniversary that we'll be spending at Disney, which is where we were supposed to honeymoon (unfortunately the Army had other plans, but that's a story for another day!). So, without further ado, we're off...

#1- 31 Days to Planning your Disney Trip
OK, of course I'm going to start off with my own series of tips hehe. I spent 31 days last month sharing tips about the parks, transportation, dining, and other fun stuff, so be sure to check it out ;)

#2- Door Side Delivery
Oh my word! I wish I'd known about this sooner. So... depending on where you're staying in Orlando, you can get groceries delivered to you! Check out their website to see if they service where you'll be.

#3- Getting Ready for Mickey (Part 1)
Such a creative lady!! She has super fun ideas and tips- and this is just part one in her series, I'm off to read the rest! Here are a few ideas from her post...
  • Disney Bingo, a fun game and helps kids get familiar with characters they'll see but may not be familiar with as much
  • Secret Decoder Message, a super fun way to break the news to the kiddos that they're going to Disney World!
  • Pressed Penny/Quarter Money, festive way to keep track of monies
  • Tip Holder, a festive way to leave tip money for housekeeping

#4- Getting Ready for Mickey (Part 2)
OK, so I couldn't help myself, I had to link up some more from Counting Coconuts (see #3 above). Here's some of her continued fabulous ideas for Disney...
  • DPS, Disney Planning Syndrome, tips for schedule planning!
  • DIY Disney Tees
  • Gifts for the kiddos
  • Disney movie nights

#5- Getting Ready for Mickey (Part 4)
OK, so seriously, Counting Coconuts has some amazing ideas hehe (see #3 and #4 above). This is the last of hers that I'll link to today- I'd say just head over to her blog and look around for more crazy awesome Disneyness :) Here's a few highlights from this post...
  • Learning Presidents, for a little homeschooling at Disney
  • Mickey Mini Unit, fun Disney-themed homeschooling
  • Disney pillowcases, these would be super easy to make
  • Invites, special personalized invites to character meals, etc.
Fun article designating different jobs for various ages of the kiddos, so everyone can help get ready to go to Disney! Remember, "delegating" is not a bad word. 

Since I'm an OCD planner, hehe, this is a post right up my alley! Amazing tutorial for creating your own Disney Binder complete with everything you'll need for your trip. Tons of free printables, too! I can only hope that I, one day, too, will have as many amazing printables as her :)

From the same website as #7 above, this is a great list of useful resources when planning your Disney trip. The "Charts and Data" I found especially useful since I've never been to WDW around the time we're going this year. Gave me a great idea for what to expect and which parks would be best on which dates.

#9- Easy WDW
This website has fabulous articles about crowds and events and tons of reviews about everything at Disney. When you go to the site, check out all the links on the right hand side- I've been using it extensively to help plan out our trip!!

#10- Your First Visit
Although it will certainly not be my first visit to WDW, I've been using this site to help plan our trip this year as well! Great articles about crowds, sample itineraries for the different months- I'd definitely check it out if it's your first or fiftieth trip!

12 November 2012

Menu Plan Monday:: 04 Nov

So we recently started menu planning (and actually sticking with it!), so I figured I'd start sharing them! Generally I'll plan out one meal for each dinner. However, we're flexible- if we notice an abundance of leftovers, or we're just tired/busy one night, we'll nix the originally planned meal and instead have leftovers or a super easy 10-minute dinner of some sort.

Here is our menu plan from the past week! We tried a few new things and were pleasantly surprised! These recipes are all vegetarian (my carnivorous hubby had some crock pot meat with his meals) and are gluten-free, or I adapted them to be GF :) I added comments about what I did differently, if anything, when I made these... enjoy!

  • scrambled egg beaters with shredded cheese
  • Greek yogurt & apple slices
  • Refrigerator Maple Blueberry Oatmeal
    • Change Ups: substituted 1 1/2 tsp agave syrup for the maple syrup, used whole milk, upped the blueberries since I use a larger container, added some nuts upon consumption :) I also started doubling the recipe so its a more substantial meal.

  • leftovers
  • pasta
  • salad
  • ... anything quick I can throw together during the baby's nap!

.: Sunday :.
Broccoli Cheese & Rice Casserole
Notes... This is a new go-to recipe for us! Pretty easy to throw together and yummy! We plan on trying different cheeses to see if we can get an even better flavor. Also plan to add some cauliflower next time!
Change Ups...
  • doubled the broccoli, which I also chopped up so you'd get bits of broccoli in every bite!
  • upped the parm to ~1/2c.
  • used GF flour
  • substituted paprika for the mustard
  • we too used brown rice

.: Monday :.
Black Bean Burgers
Notes... This is a staple in our family's "Fav Recipes." Easy to whip together, nutritious, and you can add toppings or spices to tailor this to your own family's likings!! You can see how I switched things up a bit below- I usually try something new with the spices every time!
Change Ups...
  • substituted 1 whole chopped green onion (green and white parts) instead of the pureed onion
  • used 2 cans of black beans, rinsed
  • used GF flour (I've also used cornstarch instead)
  • used Ezekiel bread (ran out of GF bread)
  • used garlic powder instead of fresh (we were on a time crunch!)
  • added ~1 tsp smoked paprika (we LOVE us some paprika in the SK household)
  • added 1/4 tsp dried oregano

.: Tuesday :.
Quinoa Veggie Mac N Cheese
Notes... This is pretty similar to the Broccoli & Cheese Rice Casserole from Sunday. DH liked this quinoa version better, but I preferred the Rice version. Might try and combine the two next time!!
Change Ups... 
  • used ~3c. broccoli & cauliflower for our "veggie," which I also chopped up so you'd get bits of veggie in every bite! 
  • added Adobo seasoning
  • used whole milk instead of soy/non-fat
  • skipped the optional items and toppings

.: Wednesday :.
Smashed Cauliflower
leftover Quinoa Veggie Mac N Cheese
Baked Potato Fans
Notes... Being a vegetarian, I often create meals out of a few side dishes- tonight was one of those nights! I'll be posting the cauliflower recipe in the near future, so stay tuned ;)
Change Ups (to Baked Potato Fans)...
  • left the skins on the potatoes, just took the eyes out
  • poked holes in potatoes with a fork, then just popped them in the microwave on "potato" setting, no added water
  • sprinkled potatoes with salt along with the olive oil before baking

.: Thursday :.
Green Monster Smoothies
Notes... The green monster smoothie ended up being Baby E's first food that she really enjoyed!! Go figure, but at least she's getting her leafy greens, hehe. 

.: Friday :.
Red Beans and Rice
Green Monster Smoothies
Notes... I'll get ya the link to the red beans & rice when DH gets home (he made them!).

.: Saturday :.

{linking up here...}
Homemaking Link Up @ Raising Homemakers
Gluten Free Weds @ Gluten Free Homemaker
EOA Link Up @ Deep Roots At Home

06 November 2012

Tips on Tuesday:: First edition!

So maybe this will become a weekly topic, some tips or articles that I've enjoyed :) We'll start simple this week, with three things that I've done myself! Perhaps next week I'll do a Disney-themed Tip Tuesday! Anyhoo, I'll keep it short and sweet today, since Baby E is napping and so my time is limited hehe. So without further ado, first up for today...

#1- VOTE!! VOTE!! VOTE!!
Many have fought and died throughout our nation's history in order to defend our freedoms, including our freedom to vote. Proud to say I've already voted via absentee ballot. So today I'll be praying for our country and the outcome of the election. May God bless our great nation. (Image source)

#2- How to Budget for Christmas and Avoid Going into Debt
Here's a wonderful article that includes 10 easy steps to reign in and keep track of spending during the holidays (and all year round really!!). I already do much of this myself, so I found it very worthwhile to share with you. Nothing fancy, very straightforward steps to help you have a financially stress free Christmas this year! 

#3- How to Remove Wax and Reuse a Candle Jar
I tried this this past week, and it worked like a charm!! I think it's even the same candle brand... either way. I used vinegar to remove the candle wax- worked great! I also soaked the sticker on the bottom with some vinegar prior to removing, and it came off without any sticky residue being left behind! Fabulous :) Our Q-tips are now being housed in this jar hehe.