Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Disney World: How to plan the perfect Disney Vacation

 I feel like I sound boastful when I say that we know how to plan the perfect Disney World vacation, but after multiple trips, a sister who was a Disney Travel Agent and now being Disney Vacation Club members, we do know the ins and outs by now. If you type "Disney" in my search bar to the left, you will get quite a few past Disney posts. 

For those of you who asked about the Disney Vacation Club or DVC, it is Disney's version of a timeshare. Now, before you cringe at the thought of 30-50 years of Disney parks, know there is more than what meets the eye. I was totally against purchasing a timeshare with Disney at first. But my husband did some research and there is a whole lot more to offer. You buy a certain amount of points that you are alotted each year. You can use those points towards your Disney stay. Don't want to go to Disney Parks? It's good at a TON of other places all around the world. Like hundreds! We can go to Hawaii or Paris or Italy or Norway even!! Any hotel that has partnered with Disney...and there are A LOT!! So we bought that a few years ago and we calculated after visiting Disney 7 times, it paid for itself. And now we have it for 50 years. You have to pick a main base home. We picked the Grand Floridian since it was newly done and they were offering the full term of 50 years. Best part? If we don't want to go or get sick of using it in this way, we sell it. So that is a little background on that.

So, if you saw on my Instagram Stories, our villa was AWESOME! We had a separate bedroom with king bed, large walk in closet, a full kitchen with stove, dishwasher - the whole nine yards. A shower the size of a room with soaking tub and even a tv inside the bathroom mirror! All of this was at the Grand Floridian villas. Our extended balcony view wasn't bad either.  I didn't take many photos of it but you can see it HERE. I believe you can even pay a bit more for a view of the Magic Kingdom so you can watch fireworks from your room. I don't think we would pay for this villa out of pocket every time we went to Disney, but because of the DVC, we are able to do it effortlessly. We've also stayed at quite a few others including regular rooms and all have been awesome. Our other favorite is the Beach Club Resort. We love that we can walk to Epcot from there and we would do that every evening for crepes in France. You can also rent these points from people who own if you don't want to make the commitment of buying a DVC membership. I think it's called DVC Rentals from David's Disney Vacation Club Point Rentals.

I had a few questions from people and I thought I would answer here. One was above, about the DVC. Other questions were, how do we plan our trips and how are do they seem so flawless and enjoyable!?

First off we start planning our trips months ahead of time. I use the website (You can also call and book with a rep if you aren't familiar with everything). It really doesn't take me very long to plan it now that I've done it once or twice. We pay attention to the dates that Disney gives us when we can book fast passes and dining reservations. I literally waited until 12am on the date we could book fast passes so that I could get us on the Avatar: Flight of Passage....which I am SO happy I did because that ride was AMAZING and the standby line didn't get below 2 hours the entire time we were there. It's important to book the new and popular rides and restaurants early on. I've said it before and I will say it again, the best Disney trip is a well planned out Disney trip.

There are a few of different ways that you can buy park tickets. There is what is called a day hopper pass that lets you visit any park on any given day during your stay.  You can visit 2 or more parks in one day if you like. We typically do that but this year we knew we were only going to go the parks for 6 out of the 8 days we stayed and so we bought passes to visit JUST 1 park per day for 6 days. You can pick the park but you are only allowed one park a day. This is cheaper than the hopper passes and if you have your days all planned out, why not do this? My point is to check out all of your ticket options to save money. Kids under 3 are free.

Another thing that we always buy is the meal plan. THIS IS WORTH IT. If you use it to your advantage. We buy the meal plan that allows you 1 sit down meal, 1 quick service and 2 snacks a day. The meals also include one alcoholic or non alcoholic beverage with it and usually a dessert as well. We use our sit down meals at the best restaurants that have the most expensive foods. Be careful because some restaurants are 2 points instead of 1 point so that uses up 2 days of sit down meals. On the website that I book through,, it tells you how many points there are at each restaurant and you can filter accordingly.
We also use our quick service meals and snack points at the more expensive places. Don't buy a banana for a snack when you can buy a $6-8 snack at Epcot...that type of thing. With that said, there is usually 1 meal a day that we still end up paying for and we generally pick breakfast so we grab a cheap parfait, bagel or something of that nature and pay out of pocket. That way, you aren't spending a fortune on top of your meal plan. One year we bought the biggest meal plan which is 3 meals a day with snacks....we COULD NOT even use all of this. We ended up giving snacks away at the end of our trip. (And going home feeling bloated lol) Trust me on using the lesser meal plan . It's not worth it price-wise to buy the larger meal plan unless you plan on eating at ALL of the high end restaurants every single day. If you are a newbie, you can call Disney Dining 1-800 number and ask them any questions you might have. I personally think that booking your dining restaurants is easiest to do online.

ALSO, you might want to take advantage of Garden Grocer. This is a grocery store that you can order food online and have them deliver to your hotel room. We did this for some late snacks or if we didn't have a dinner/breakfast planned. If you don't want to spend a ton on meals, eat some breakfasts in the room before leaving. Also, we buy 2 large packages of bottled water to bring with us since I'm a water snob and won't drink tap ;) We drink a lot of water. Buying waters in the park is so expensive!! Like $3-5 a bottle. So do yourself a favor and at least have waters delivered. Even with the delivery charge, it's cheaper.

Overwhelmed yet?

If you haven't been to Disney, you do not know the magic of "Magic Bands" the colorful and waterproof bands that let you do EVERYTHING at Disney. This includes getting off of the plane and getting onto the Magical Express which is the bus that takes you from the airport to the resort, checking in and opening your hotel door (skip check in at the desk), using your meal plan for food, buying anything additional (it links to any cc you wish) and lets you get into the parks as well as using your fast passes. We never bring a single wallet, cash or card with us. Just our licenses. We leave the rest locked up in the hotel safe. When you purchase your stay at Disney World, they send them to you a couple weeks before your trip- you just need to make sure that you select them online under the Magic Bands tab. The coolest thing is that you get to choose the color and they add your names on the inside. They are adjustable and you can pop the smaller piece out to fit little wrists. They are also reusable so we have about 6 each of these now. And you can now take the middle parts out with a screw driver to interchange and mix colors. We haven't gotten that fancy yet ;) But I do match them with what outfit I'm wearing ;)

My tips for going to Disney World with younger kids are to get a stroller that lays back. Check the weather right before you leave and pack layers. Plan out in your calendar which days you will go to which park and plan your dining options according to that. If you are a first timer, dining in the parks is the easiest option. But if you want to be adventurous, you might want to experience dining at another resort like the Polynesian's Dinner Show, Spirit of Aloha, or the Grand Floridian's Citricos, which we did this year! Every resort has a few restaurants and Disney Springs has a bunch too. Check for special events such as after hours magic, festivals like the Flower and Garden Fest or Christmas Celebration, Dessert & Fireworks shows and more. Another huge thing for us is what time of the year we go. The busiest time in Disney is Christmas and July. We always go in early March because the weather is always favorable and we beat spring break when the parks can be packed!! This year we had one week without spring break and one week with spring break and you could tell the difference with busyness in the parks. Fall is great too but we find it is rainier during that time. Last tip, get a battery pack for your phone! Between photos, video and using the app your battery can die really quickly. I love the Mophie. It doubles as a protector case.

Tomorrow, I am going to leave our itinerary here for you guys to see how I planned our trip this year. I'm splitting this into 2 posts since this is pretty lengthly already. Mind you, all of this was done months before we left. When we got on that Magical Express, we did nothing but enjoy the magic of Disney. No really, it's magical there!  I highly suggest downloading the Disney App. You can also see wait times, map and hours to every park and ways of transportation to each Park. You can view EVERYTHING from there and I live by this each time we go. Also I will leave you a list of my favorite restaurants and the rides that you should get a fast pass for.

For now I will leave you with some of our favorites.
Here is a list of the rides that I think are worth using Fast Passes for: Note that there are some rides the little ones can't go on but Disney offers a rider swap so that you can ride with older kids, adults or yourself and then swap with your spouse so that they can ride, without waiting. I rode with Scarlett first and then Ty would ride with her again. It's great because Scarlett got to ride 2 times!! One last thing to note is that they allow you 3 fast passes per day. They only allow you 1 of the most popular rides per park in one day, so be aware of that. Once you use those, you can get more through the app!

Magic Kingdom:
7 Dwarf's Mine Train
It's A Small World
Thunder Mountain
Splash Mountain
Peter Pan
The Jungle Cruise
Space Mountain
Big Thunder Mountain (roller coaster)

Frozen Ever After
Buzz Light Year's Space Ranger
Test Track
Living With The Land

Animal Kingdom:
Flight of Passage (Hands down the best ride in all of Disney)
Na'vi River Journey
Kilimanjari Safari
Kali River Rapids
Expedition Everest (roller coaster)

Favorite Restaurants: (Keep in mind we haven't even tried 1/2 of the restaurants in Disney World but these are the ones we liked that we have tried.

Magic Kingdom:
Cinderella's Royal Table
Be Our Guest
Crystal Palace (breakfast)

Le Cellier Steak House
Rose & Crown Pub
Garden Grille
Coral Reef Restaurant
Pinocchio Haus (quick lunch)
Nine Dragons
Tokyo Dining
Crepes De France (snack shop)

Animal Kingdom:
Yak & Yeti

Hollywood Studios:
Sci-Fi Diner

Disney Springs:
Earl of Sandwich (sandwich shop)
Wolf Gang Puck's DiningRoom

Boardwalk Joe's Marvelous Margaritas
Big River Grille

Grand Floridian: 1900 Park Fair, Citricos, Beaches Pool & Bar Grille (Quick lunch)
Polynesian: Ohana, Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Pineapple Lani (snack shop)
Beach & Yacht Club Resort: Beaches & Cream Soda shop (quick meal), Yachtsman's Steak House
Animal Kingdom: Boma, Jiko, Sanaa

I'll post our whole itinerary and photos very soon! Stay tuned...

Monday, February 26, 2018

My 10 Tips for Traveling with Kids.

Every year, we choose one vacation destination that is the kid's choice.  We give them some options and let them decide where we will travel. This year, it was Disney. As I am packing up the kids for our upcoming vacation in a day or two,  I thought I would share some of the things that work for us and keep things going smoothly when we travel.

1. Bring an activity or adventure bag/backpack with some new items in it. A new gadget or toy can keep them entertained for quite some time. If you don't want to buy new, take a couple of their old toys and hide them for a month or two. Then pack it to go. It will be like a new toy when they get it again! 

2. Snacks. I can't t express to you the power of snacks! I bring a bag of snacks for them on the plane and I'm never sorry I did. We also bring empty water bottles and then buy a bottle of water to fill them once we are past security. Easy peasy. 

3. Timing. Try to book flights around times that work for the kids. For us, that's when the littlest ones will nap. This might not work for everyone but for us, when we book around nap time, Maxwell falls asleep on the plane ride 9 out of 10 times. 

4. Movies on iPad or laptop. When we fly Jetblue, they love the tv's but when we fly Southwest, there are no tv's so we end up bringing the ipads to let them watch a movie. When we are taking long drives, we always bring the portable dvd players. 

5. Be prepared. extra clothes, meds, pacifier, tissues, SNACKS again. One time we forgot to pack Maxwell a change of clothes so he was literally pant-less for the last half of the trip! Don't let this be you. Ha ha. Also prepare for the weather where you are going. Layers are a good idea. I hate when I forget sweatshirts for the kids we end up buying more because they are cold. Also, get to the airport EARLY! Even if you have to wait, we let the kids run around and play while we enjoy a preflight cocktail. Relaxes us and lets them get their energy out. 

6. Prevent Sickness. Clean the seats & trays with antibacterial wipes. Last thing you need is sick kids on vaca. I look like a hypochondriac wiping down the entire area near us but I really do not care. The kids even help me to wipe everything down. It never fails every time we go on vaca Maxwell gets sick (not even exaggerating) so I will take all precautions to try to prevent as much as I can. If they would keep them on, I'd probably make them wear masks. ha!

7. Realize and accept that kids are kids and will get cranky and tired and be emotional. Sometimes I put this picture in my head that we will have a glorious, amazing vacation with not one tear shed and smiles from ear to ear....And I'm not sure why because that is never the case. Ha.  That is only going to happen if you leave the kids, and maybe not even then! lol. So expect the tears and a tantrum or two. When I set the reality before I go, I feel less stressed about the inevitable. And sometimes it doesn't turn out as bad as I anticipate.

8. I can't say enough about PLANNING. I know some people like to be able to fly by the seat of their pants and be spontaneous on vacation but in my experience and opinion (I know this one might not be for all and that's ok), the most enjoyable trips we have been on were the ones that were well thought out and planned. Disney World being one of them, surprisingly. When we go to Disney, we have every single thing planned out. Why? Because that is how you do a stress-free Disney in 2018. You make restaurant reservations, you make fast-passes, you plan out how long it takes to get from resort to each park etc etc....Then you get to enjoy what would otherwise be long lines, chaos, crying kids while you wait years to eat....etc.
The same can be said for any vaca. I'm not saying that you can't do a few things spontaneous here and there but when you have kids, it is best to have a plan. The plan can always change but at least you have an outline to go by.

9. Bring a babysitter or go places that have Kid's Clubs. Most of the time we want to spend time with our kids while on vacation but often I find myself wishing for a night or 2 where we can enjoy a dinner by ourselves or sit in the jacuzzi without our little crazies. If you can afford to hire a sitter for the trip, this is great!! But if not, pick destinations that have babysitting options or Kid's Clubs. You would be surprised how many places offer this. I've found that most of the Kid's Clubs are for kids 4 years old or older but once in awhile you can find one that does all ages.

10. Gate Check strollers. I do not know why anyone with small kids would not gate check a stroller. This is our saving grace for tired kids. And it's free on most flights. We usually bring a double stroller for both kids. Scarlett is 6 and can still fit in the double Baby Jogger stroller. (check weight requirements). We bought ours used for cheap just to bring to Disney. When they get tired of walking, they can get in and relax or nap in the stroller. I've also seen many people using car seats on the plane for littler ones. I thought about doing this with Maxwell in upcoming trips. I will let you know my experience on that.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fredricksburg, TX

I posted our time in Luckebach, TX last week. We also went to Fredricksburg, TX. Here are some photo of our time there.  We loved exploring the small town and shopping in the quaint shops. We actually didn't spend too much time here but it will still fun to have lunch and visit a few shops. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Valentines, Shmalentines.

Valentines, shmalentines. 

So Valentine's is not one of my favorite holidays. And I'm not saying that because my husband, ahem, forgot it this year. I just never really got into it that much.  Don't get me wrong, red is my favorite color to wear and I love the thought of love and romance and all that mushy stuff. But I just prefer surprises for no reason on days that have no meaning at all.
The kids on the other hand, love Valentine's Day. Scarlett made her disappointment known when she found out that I was not getting them anything for the holiday of LOVE this year. I told her, "I'm going to show you my love instead". Which didn't get a very good response rating. She replied, "You aren't going to get your kids that you love even a small treat!?" And with big brown eyes that reminded me of Puss In Boots when he begins to charm his enemy, and a pout that would make any Mama think twice, I decided I would get them each one thing to say I love you. But it WAS NOT going to be another dang stuffed animal or anything with sugar in it. I was thoughtful and got them each a gift that I knew they would use and play with often. My kids LOVE Moana right now and are always pretending to be the characters from the Disney movie. I purchased Maxwell a Maui hook from Amazon and Scarlett, a Heart of Te Fiti necklace. Of course I didn't want to buy the cheap plastic one from Target. Which led me to getting on Etsy and scrolling and scrolling until I found the most realistic and well made Heart of Te Fiti that anyone could ever want! And $60 dollars later, a well made Moana necklace from Italy was on it's way....

Shopping is my best friend and nemesis, I tell ya. But I figure I'd rather give my money to that person who made it then some big store chain, right?? I'm gonna go with that.

Oh, did I mention Ty forgot Valentines? Ha. Of course I did. But he redeemed himself by buying me some workout equipment and making dinner for the entire week. ;) It's ok babe. There's always my's July 23rd in case you forgot. (I should have been a comedian) But anyhow, like I was saying earlier, Valentine's Day is just a day where single people feel alone, couples expect things from their significant others (like me) and where people waste money on nonsense that will probably be thrown out by the week's end. Am I getting too Grinch-y here? I mean, to me, it would be so much more meaningful if Ty picked a weekend and planned something for me and the kids to all do together. Or if he brought home a bouquet of donuts (yes, it's a real thing-saw it on Instagram) for no reason.  Or possibly a romantic weekend away to just "to say, I love you"....Cue the Stevie Wonder music! I am a sucker for romance but just not really for one specific day I'm not even entirely sure why. So there's my thoughts on that.

But if you LOVE Valentine's Day then I hope you had a wonderful day. And if you don't, hey, it's already over. Either way, sending you all my love everyday!!!! xoxo


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Destination: Luckenbach, TX.

I wasn't going to write a big, long post on Luckenbach, TX.  But it may very well turn into that because I must fill you in on this gem of a tiny town. We went to Fredricksburg because so many people said it was a cute and quaint place to visit. And it was. But what they didn't tell me, was that I would LOVE Luckenbach TX even more.

Picture this,
You pull into a long dirt road that opens up into something out of a small town country setting. You see a large group of bikers parked to one side. The bikers seemed to have taken one section of the picnic table area for there pit stop meet-up. Their leather vests and facial hair screamed, "Scary biker dudes" but having a former Bike Club boyfriend, (yes Ty was in a bike club), I know that this look is just that. Some of the nicest guys I knew were part of these clubs. Not to say they weren't tough, the contrary, but they also were good people. And if you watched this group of bikers closely, you would notice that they too laughed and smiled just like regular folks. There were a few old looking buildings here and there. One most recognizably the infamous "Post Office" which wasn't a post office at all anymore, but now a bar. And probably the coolest one I've been to in a long while. On the otherside were covered stages where musicians performed on most nights. Some of these stage's sides were covered with license plates from around the country. Chickens ran freely as a crowd of folks mingled and listened to the live music. I don't think I saw one person there who wasn't wearing cowboy boots or hat. The southern accents filled my ears and I felt strangely, at home. Never setting foot in Texas before, I found this peculiar. Nonetheless, I felt like I could visit here often. I felt welcome. I could see spending nights here, getting to know the locals and drinking Texas beer, even though beer isn't my drink of choice, Texas beer just seemed cool to drink.

On the backside of the Post Office, the side that had an order window which was only used for ordering beer,  was a group of food trucks. And beyond that, 2 or 3 fire pits with stone seating all around. If you wanted to wander further, you could cross the bridge and field to see the river or let the kids run around in the field.

We wanted to grab one of those "cool" Texas beers and so we made our way into the "Post Office".  The collage filled walls were a story. Anywhere you looked, you could see bits and pieces of history. I couldn't help but take a long hard look around.
A big ole sign read, "CASH ONLY" and I nudged Ty. We never have cash. "Anywhere we can get cash around here?" Ty asked not expecting the answer to be yes.
"Right around the corner outside here, ya'll will see a big box." the bartender with a friendly face replied.
Confused but not asking questions, we ventured around the corner. Sure enough, there stood a big wooden box that looked more like an outhouse than an ATM. One might have thought otherwise if it weren't for the sign on the front of it: ATM. Ty opened the door and ta-dahhh! An out of place, shiny ATM appeared. And thank God because I was dying for a drink. Upon returning inside, I looked at the menu quizzical. I am not a beer drinker and with the only wine option being a cheap chardonnay, I thought I'd skip the inevitable cheap-wine-headache and try a beer. Ty offered me a sip of his IPA. After nearly spitting that out, the bar tender suggested a Texas beer that they just got in. And she was right, it was just perfect.

We sat down and listened to some live music. Someone resembling the voice of Chris Stapleton was singing. Just my luck since Chris Stapleton is a favorite of mine. Scarlett made friends with a dog and was busy teaching him tricks while Maxwell watched from the side, Buzz Lightyear hanging from his hand. The older couple that the dog belonged to seemed thrilled to be showing off their well-trained dog. As if they were proud grandparents, showing off their first-born grandchild.  I just sat on that wooden table and let the sun pour over my body. The guitar strumming just seemed to brush away any worry I had.

Across the way sat a Cowboy Hat Shop. Hats and old wagon wheels decorated the inside and outside of the small shop with no doors. Two older gentlemen in cowboy hats sat on the bench in front of the hat Shop chatting small talk. I eavesdropped just to hear the words "cattle" and "ranch" spoken in a country dialect. The biker next to us wearing a leather vest and some serious muscle hanging out, was chatting with others. His smile was infectious. The kids laughed and pointed at the chicken that had somehow managed to get stuck in a nearby tree. The joke of the day...."chicken butt." (you'll understand this when you scroll through the photos below.) Scarlett requested a photo with the chicken in the tree. Of course.

Now THIS...this is something that, without even knowing it, I had spent a long time looking for. The peaceful embrace of a small-town vibe. I bet many of you don't know that I came from a tiny small town in Massachusetts myself. Not as tiny as Luckenbach, TX, but just the same, a small town.

We spent the whole afternoon here. We ended our day by the fire pits and by that time, the place had started to clear out. Another musician was playing at sunset and I suspected that the daytime crew was heading out before the nightlife began. We made the peaceful trip back home. Hill Country in Texas is amazing. Something I didn't expect but have found myself obsessed with. If you are ever in Texas, do yourself a favor a visit this small humble spot. It might be exactly what you didn't know you needed ;) 


Monday, January 29, 2018

Scarlett & Maxwell Take 6

The giggles from the other room as I write this are time-capsule-worthy. Scarlett and Maxwell are watching The Parent Trap (original version) and I absolutely love that they are so intrigued by this movie from 1957.
Any old movie that I put on, they are glued to! They may not look like me, but now I know they are truly my children. I'm a sucker for an old flick.

It's been awhile since I've posted a Scarlett and Maxwell post. The time is slipping away too quickly and I recognize this more and more as the kids get older. Funny how that happens. I used to hear my parents say it and all be darned, they were right!
I want to soak up all these little moments and live in them forever. I love this chapter of life. Don't get me wrong, I have my fair share of "Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!" moments. In fact, I have more than I'd like. But beneath all of the chaos and screaming, dirty clothes and messy rooms, tears and stressful, trying times, I know how truly and utterly blessed I am. I'm one of those folks who is always thinking, "life is too good, something bad is about to happen." A horrible habit I know, but it's how I'm wired. And ya know what? It's made me appreciate things more than the average person. How's that for the glass is half full?

Scarlett is turning 7 years old in 4 months and I have all sorts of emotions about that. I mean, how in the hell does time do that!? Someone please tell me. I am not sure why but her turning 7 is affecting me more than when I turned 30. 7 just seems too big and I am having a hard time accepting it.

Scarlett is becoming such a young lady. She is everything that I knew she would be. Independent, headstrong, kind, nurturing, smart, loving, and of course, stubborn just like her Mama. She has the most descriptive and intriguing imagination. I love to listen to her play with her brother. All of the magic comes out in her words. She is such a little social butterfly. Moving to Texas, I had fears that the kids wouldn't adjust but Scarlett made friends on her first day. I should have known. She is flourishing in school and loves all of her new Texas friends. She got and "Exceeds" on EVERY SINGLE SUBJECT! I am floored by her effort and how smart she is. She is also on 2nd grade reading level. I love the outgoing personality in her. She begs me on most days to go out and see if we can meet kids in the neighborhood. She began horse lessons here in Texas this month. She has been riding English since she was 3 but we couldn't find one English riding barn here in Texas. Imagine that!  Anyhow, we decided to try Western. She is loving it just as much!  As long as she can be there with those horses, she is happy and all is right in the world.
Although she gives me a run for my money with her witty remarks and will to be continuously right at all times, (no clue who she would get that from....gulp) I JUST know that those qualities are going to allow her to be something grand. And I try my hardest every day not to tame the wild out of her. My very hardest. I also read last week that studies show, a nagging mother makes for a successful daughter. Hmmm. Who would have thought my flaws would pay off!? ;)

Maxwell has become so verbal! I love it. I can't get enough of his chatter and cute sentences. Maxwell hasn't been doing as well in school here in Texas. He is much different than his sister. He likes to take his time to get used to things. He must feel things out before he feels safe to let his guard down. He watches before acting and wants to hold onto me a little longer than his sister did. He adored his school in New York. The teachers and his friends- he would come home happy and talking about playing with his friends every day. Now, the teachers at his new school have been telling me that he seems sad and doesn't play or interact. He only watches. This breaks my heart. This is not the boy I know. As soon as I pick him up, a smile comes over his face and he runs to me like it is the best part of his day. The teachers tell me that he is like a different child as soon I come to pick him up. Im hoping he gets used to the new school and begins to enjoy it. Because honestly...this kills me every. single. day. It was my worst fear when we decided to come here. But then I tell myself that all personalities are different and Maxwell might need a little bit longer to adjust, that's all. Sure enough, this week has been a bit better. He has been playing more at school and seems to be interacting more too. So let's cross our fingers for Maxwell, shall we? He has also started potty training. And he's in big boy underwear!! Again, the time thing kills me. I don't have a baby anymore...sob. But this means that we won't have to buy diapers anymore and we can go on vacations without the baby packing and having to cater to the baby before all else. So we look forward to that.

And I know most of you won't care about these but I want to remember them...

Favorite Foods:
Right now Maxwell favs are: pasta, cupcakes, waffles, pancakes, yogurt, ice cream sandwiches and blueberries & bananas.
Scarlett loves: Salmon, fresh mozzarella, soft pretzels, yogurt, raviolis and smoothies.

Scarletts highlights: She is reading like a pro and acing spelling tests and math.
Maxwells highlight: He is now starting potty training! He is successfully going pee on the potty and we are working on the rest ;) He is also starting to use his imagination as well as his sister.

Comedy of month: 
Scarlett: I hear from the other room, "Wow this is really hairy, I think I need to shave this." I look in cringing to see what she is referring to. I see her holding a hair brush. Thank God!
Maxwell: He repeats, "Oh bother!" in the same tone as his father when I ask him to clean up his toys or say sorry to his sister. It cracks me up that he knows in what context to use certain phrases.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Everything I Eat For An Entire Week.

I have had quite a few questions on Instagram (@itslaurenrebecca)  about what I've been eating and how often etc. So I thought I would share with you my meal plan for the entire week. That is EVERYTHING I will be eating for the entire week. I also wanted to share that I am doing the Tone It Up fitness plan but not their meal plan at this time. I'm sure I will try it out eventually but for now, my own meals have been working for me. I keep a google sheet for the week and that helps me to keep track of what we ate. Sometimes we don't feel like eating something on a particular day or might not have enough time to cook something so we pick a different meal off of the list to cook instead. So I just highlight what was eaten. For instance, we had healthy clean tacos today instead of yesterday because Ty wanted the bun-less burgers yesterday. This works for us because life happens and things change and so we can't be set in stone. Also, sometimes you are just craving something different so this works as long as we swap the meals out and stick to the meals on the chart. You will note that I start my week on Saturday because that is the day that I go grocery shopping so it's easier for me to do it this way.
I was raised vegetarian so I have no problem eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables. I do lots of lunches where I just eat raw veggies, cheese, eggs and of course, my favorite, Peanut Butter!! The one thing that I had a hard time letting go of was pasta. But I've realized that there are whole wheat pastas or zucchini/squash noodles that make delicious meals as well. It's all about experimenting with new things.

If I have a harder workout that day, I try to eat more protein so I may add in apples and peanut butter or cottage cheese for an after dinner snack. That may not be on the chart but I know that it's ok to do so.
An "X" under workout means I need to work out that day, which is usually a Tone It Up workout as of lately.  I also used to do the Bikini Body Burn workouts. I only take 2 days off and usually try to get some outdoor activities in on a weekend day that I'm not working out. If I don't have a lot of time one day, I will just do the toning moves for Tone It Up but if I have more time, I will do those AND an additional workout.

MealSaturday SundayMonday
Breakfastcoffee, Yogurt bowlBanana & PB Overnight Oats and coffeeTropical Green Smoothie
Snackprotein smoothieChocolate Peanut Butter Chia Bar cottage cheese & fruit
Lunchcheat mealMozzerella, tomato & basil 2 HB eggs, cheese slices, green beans, apple slices w/ PB with snacking round
Snackchocolate PB Chia BarProtein SmoothieProtein Smoothie
DinnerSweet Potato wedges with fishburgers with no bun, Clean Eating Vegetable Fritters with mashed cauliflower
Snackcheese no snack tea
Water60 oz60 oz60 oz
WorkoutXOutdoor activity X

Greek Yogurt Bowl: banana blueberries, kiwi, granola & coconut and Coffee Tropical Green SmoothieBanana & PB Overnight Oats with TeaTropical Green smoothie
apples with pb & choc bits Pomegranates yogurt with almondsyogurt with fruit
Salad w/ Tuna & chocolate PB Chia bar for dessert Veggie Wrap w/ cottage cheese2 HB eggs, cheese slices, veggie & PB with snacking round veggie wrap with cottage cheese
Protein SmoothieProtein SmoothieProtein SmoothieProtein Smoothie
Clean Eating Taco TuesdayChicken Marsala stuffed w/ cheesy carmelized onion Baked Sweet potatoes w/ Crispy Kale & Feta w/ Steak Kids: RaviolisBaked Coconut Chicken Strips with vegetable & brown rice
yogurtteano snack cocktail/wine
60 0z60 0z60 oz60 oz

So there is an example of what I eat for an entire week. I hope that is helpful and I encourage anyone looking to feel better and look better, to start meal planning and working out regularly. I can immediately tell when I haven't been working out that I don't feel as good. My mood is ehhhh and I just feel unaccomplished. There are so many benefits to keeping your lifestyle healthy. I am going to share some before and after photos soon. This time last year, I was NOT as in shape as I am now. I worked out a lot but it was because I was eating whatever I wanted. What you eat is so important when trying to get in shape. They say it is 80% what you eat and 20% working out. I believe that whole-heartedly.