Category: Daily Life

Paying for Disney souvenirs with pennies a day

Souvenir shopping is one of my all-time favorite activities, especially at my happy place, but Disney souvenirs can be VERY expensive.  To help with costs, we started saving our pennies and all of our extra change goes towards our souvenirs, but saving without a plan can be unfruitful, so we created a modified savings plan.

There are lots of ways to budget and save, but I’ve found that this is the one our kids love to use.  First, we have a “Wish Fund” jar and a general penny fund.  I collect whatever spare change we have and place in general penny fund to start the process.  For instructions on how to create your own “Wish Fund” jar, read my previous post here.

I then created a spreadsheet starting at 1 penny, then adding a penny per day for 365 days of the year (day 2=$.02, day 3=$.03, up to $3.65 for the last day of the year).  I created 3 columns (one for each month per quarter) and had 4 pages total.

It’s easy to start with any spare change you have, but the harder part comes as the year goes on.  To help with the ‘larger’ savings, I would add any extra funds from our budget starting from the end of the list.  For example, if I had an extra $20, I would subtract $3.65, then $3.64 and so forth, with $1.85 leftover (place this in your general penny fund).  I highlight each day of savings, so I don’t lose track, and my kids love to see if we can ‘get ahead’ throughout the year.

If you stick to adding WITHOUT subtracting any funds, then you’ll have over $600 dollars for your souvenirs!  I like to give the kids a certain dollar amount per day for souvenirs and allow them to budget their money to get the items they want.  Once their souvenir money is assigned, I use the rest for our ‘snacking’ fund and don’t feel guilty about getting my daily Dole Whip fix.

Have fun exploring the World!

Disney x COACH

COACH and Disney teamed up to create some BEAUTIFUL items for that special Disney collector. I recently received a gorgeous hang tag and can’t wait to add it to my travel bag 🙂  (Even the box is super cute !)

Hang tag from Mickey collection

The Disney x COACH collection launched in July 2016 in celebration of Coach’s 75th anniversary, however the current webpage for Disney x COACH states:

“It’s been fun, but our limited-edition collection featuring custom illustrations
of Mickey Mouse is no longer available.
Thank you for your interest!”

But don’t despair, you can still find some great Mickey-themed COACH pieces at Dillards, Amazon and eBay.  (Click on the underlined names to access these sites)

Have fun!


Last minute Halloween (Disney style)

Kids aren’t the only ones who like to dress up for Halloween, however this year it snuck up on me and I didn’t have a costume planned by Monday. So what to do? Pull out the vinyl cutter and create your own.


Earlier this year, I made some pirate themed Mickey ears (I’ll post on that one later), so I decided to follow along with that theme. I used a red t-shirt, traced a Mickey pirate design, cut out in layers and ironed on. It took about 10 minutes and worked perfectly for my last-minute costume.





Silhouette School blog has excellent tutorials and you can find out how to trace an image for cutting HERE.  I highly recommend this resource when learning to use your vinyl cutter.

Also, this will be a perfect addition to my Disney trip wardrobe 🙂

I hope you and your family had a Happy Halloween!



Making a customized jewelry dish


Lately I’ve been adding vinyl to everything, so when I saw these glass square bowls on clearance, I had to have them.  I designed several for my family, then had to create one of my own 🙂

clear square bowl pic

Of course, mine had to have a Disney inspired look, too! This was super easy to design and using my vinyl cutter machine, it took very little time.


I designed 1/2-inch circles and cut out a few in different colors.

yellow curio cut                                cut circles

For my Mickey dish, I used red and yellow. I placed them in a random, sporadic pattern around the outside of the dish, so the vinyl wouldn’t be ruined by any items placed inside the dish.

transfer mickey pic

Then I added my Mickey to the bottom outside of the dish. If you are adding words, a monogram or a direction-specific design, make sure to MIRROR the image before cutting on your machine.

Hope this inspires you!


Have fun being creative!


Disney Pumpkins & Fall Decor

Yesterday was the first day of Fall.  This is one of my favorite times of the year and always look forward to the day that I can finally pull out my Fall Disney door decoration (please excuse the old door).  The pumpkin has a removable layer to display the Jack-‘o-lantern underneath, but I usually leave it covered until Halloween day.

Fall Door Decoration

And before you ask, I purchased this MANY years ago (before I ever owned a home of my own) at a Disney store outlet, so I doubt it is still available for purchase.  But it is my favorite Fall decoration, and I love pulling this out of the closet each October.  When I see this, it reminds me of cooler weather (even though it may be 100 degrees outside) and also has the BEST character, Sorcerer Mickey (of course, his real title is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey, but it gets shortened ALOT).

To go with my favorite door decoration, we also love to carve pumpkins (and roast the seeds…YUM!).  We’ve tried cutting, painting and light bright pegs, but for all of these you need to start with a great design and stencil.  I’m not great at freehand, so I really LOVE when someone makes my life easier by sharing their templates.

Colleen at has a post on Disney stencils for designing your pumpkin this fall. All of the favorite characters are represented such as Frozen and princesses, but also the Villains 🙂

Have fun being creative!


Thursday life

The most important thing is family–Walt Disney


Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your life?  It is easy to get bogged down by the minutiae of everyday and not feel God’s blessings.  I have this quote hanging on my wall and it always makes me smile.  It reminds me to let go of the little things and focus on my blessings:  my kids, my husband and my crazy dogs.

We love these crazy dogs!


I think Walt would be surprised at how influential his life, thoughts and dreams have become to others.  He was not a perfect man, but then none of us are perfect people.  Perfection is an illusion that limits our ability to enjoy what we are given.  So, give up on perfection and smile at the little things.



Have a blessed and beautiful day!


Disney & Pixar: Aren’t they the same thing?


disney pixar

I ran across an article about Disney and Pixar this morning and my daughter asked, “Aren’t they the same thing?”  I guess if you’ve grown up watching their collaborative creations, you would think so, but they are different aspects of the same company.

Disney And Pixar Fight To Rule The Mouse House (you can read the article by Nicole LaPorte for FastCompany here)

Disney is synonymous with animation, as they should be since Walt created the industry with his first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937.

Although other studios have jumped onboard the animation train, Disney and now Pixar seem to dominate.  In the 1980s, Pixar became the innovator for animation, demonstrating how computer-generated imagery could appear realistic and just as emotionally captivating as traditional animation.

In the early 1990s, Disney and Pixar agreed to work together on one computer-generated animation film and with the enormous success of Toy Story, they agreed to work on 5 more films over 10 years.  Since that time, there have been many amazing collaborations:  A Bug’s Life, Toy Story sequels, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Up, Wall-E, Cars, Brave, Ratatouille and now this summer’s biggest animation debut, Finding Dory.  You can see the full Pixar timeline here.


We’re excited about seeing this sequel and plan on making Finding Dory headbands or hair bows to wear for the movie, so I’ll have to post on how to make these once we’re done.

Have fun being creative!


I am heartbroken…

This has been a difficult week for Orlando.  It started with the tremendous loss of Christina Grimmie.  She was one of my family’s favorite singers on the Voice.  She was not much older than my own daughter and I was stunned to hear of her murder.

The very next day we woke to hear the terrible news about the shooting massacre at Pulse nightclub.  So many families forever changed…

Then today, it felt like my heart was beyond broken to hear the tragic news of the toddler and gator.  I recalled how many times my family has enjoyed the beautiful beach areas at Walt Disney World, without any thought of alligators.  That could have been my family, it could have happened to any one of us who gets lost in the Disney bubble and forgets that we share this land with nature’s creatures.

I am praying for all of the families affected this week and my heart is broken for you, for the tears you shed and the immense feeling of loss.  I also pray for the City of Orlando, for the city that welcomes me as I return to the World, my happy place.  I hope you heal and continue to move forward.  You are always in my heart



Christmas cards

The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique — Walt Disney

Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey at Hollywood Studios, June 2015
Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey at Hollywood Studios, June 2015

During our last visit to WDW, we took a GREAT family pic with Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey.  As soon as I saw the pic, I knew it would be our Christmas card, but it was missing something…Santa hats.  Since we went in June, I didn’t think about Santa hats and I doubt my husband would have carried them in his backpack all over the parks anyway.  So, how do you take a GREAT pic and make it even better?  Check out

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

PicMonkey is a free online photo editing site.  You open the pic, add some details,save to your computer, then send out for printing (especially if you need more than 1 or 2).  Super easy, right?!

Item needed:

  • Pics
  • Computer with online access


Open PicMonkey


Choose ‘edit’ to open the photo editor

Open the pic you want to edit from your computer

picmonkey first pic

Choose the snowflake at the bottom of the list (themes).  Then choose ‘Santa Land’ theme at bottom of list.

picmonkey theme

picmonkey santa land modified

Open ‘Kringle caps.  Choose cap, size and color.

picmonkey kringle caps2

Make sure to save on your computer when done.

Final Christmas Card 2015
Final Christmas Card 2015


Have fun being creative!


*This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a (very) small commission if you click a link and purchase something.  It does NOT result in additional charges to you or cost you anything extra.

Pooh Bear’s Trip

The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil–Walt Disney



Being a Disney fan, I have a large Disney movie collection, especially on VHS.  We also own DVD and Blu-Ray, but my older daughter was raised on using a VCR to watch her favorite characters.

When my oldest was 6, we sold our home and moved 300 miles away. It was difficult for her to deal with the changes: a new home, new friends, a new school, but her trusty Pooh Bear was always by her side…until he fell into a storm drain. You know, one of those really deep ones with rushing water. It was devastating.

Being a Disney fan, we always watched Disney movies and had recently seen Fantasia 2000.  fantasia2000

In the movie, a toy soldier falls down a storm drain and goes on an adventure, which eventually leads him back home.  My daughter immediately asked me if Pooh Bear had to go somewhere.  I told her, “He probably went back to Disney to visit his friends.  I hope he has a safe trip and we’ll see him soon.”

A few weeks later, my daughter received a postcard from Pooh Bear

2015-05-11 13.05.27 2015-05-11 13.05.56


and miraculously (thanks ebay), he returned to our doorstep after his adventure.

To this day, she still smiles about that time in our lives (and still loves Pooh Bear)


Have fun exploring the World!