Mama Monday: Date Night is a Must Do!

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I think a must do for any mama(or daddy) is to schedule a Kid’s Nite Out (in) and an adult night out! Date night is one of the best things for our entire family. Ideally I schedule ours for halfway through the trip. We do this for any trip that is six nights or longer. The kids get a quiet night in and some time to recharge and get a longer night’s sleep. The parents get some adult time and a chance to eat a meal without a character, and to not have to rush through eating. I always use Kid’s Nite Out. They are a sitter service that comes to your room. They have an exclusive with Disney so if you ask Disney who they recommend this will be who they give you. They background check their sitters and you can be very particular about your request. When my oldest was just a year old, I had very specific requirements and they honored them all. They show up in their purple shirt with a name tag. They can’t bathe the kids or take them to the pools but I don’t mind that. They also arrive with a ton of age appropriate toys that have already been cleaned along with some books. These were a big hit with our kids. Their rates are very reasonable at $18.50 per hour for two children.  We leave one of our cells with the sitter for text and picture updates as needed. Then we are off!  Our sitter’s name was coincidentally Melissa. She was fantastic and I highly recommend her!

We went to Narcoose’s Friday for our date night. We took a cab over so it was like a real date night out. We enjoyed a leisurely meal with wine, appetizers, and entrees. This is one of our entrees. 
It was all delicious! And the restaurant even honored our request to be away from any tables with children. We were polite enough to leave ours at home for a later in the evening reservation. We skipped desert and decided to go into Epcot for extra magic hours.  
We returned home to children already snug in their beds, the dishes cleaned up, and everyone happy. This morning our oldest even asked where the sitter was and if she was coming back!
I make recommendations like these and more for my clients. 
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Mama Monday : The Wine Stroll at Epcot’s World Showcase part two

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We last left off enjoying your World Showcase Wine Walk and I promised to tell you what to do with your kids. Along the way in the World Showcase there are stations called Kidcot Fun Stops. 
Some people have dismissed these gems for their kids because it looks like a craft station. It IS a craft station. Why would you want to have your kid stop and make a craft while you are at DISNEY? Simple. Next time you see one stand near the table and just listen to the conversations. These Kidcot Fun Stops have very little to do with the craft for me as a mama and everything to do with the opportunity for my child to interact with someone from that country we are exploring. They talk to the kids and the kids ask questions. It is an incredible learning experience. 
And they do color something while they are there. Kids open up more if they are doing an activity with their hands. I think the Kidcot Fun Stops are nothing short of brilliance. And remember that Wine Walk Card? Your child is happy coloring and conversing with someone from another country, grab your wine card, grab your taste of wine, and sit back and soak in watching your child learn without even realizing that’s what they are doing.  It really is blissful.  If it happens to be extra magic hours, the countries are even peaceful after the crowds clear out from Illuminations.  This post had something for the kids but I think the mamas benefit too from this experience. Next week there will be a live post from Walt Disney World and you will find out what I think is a must do for any Mama on a Disney vacation that is six nights or longer. 
I would love to hear from you. Email me or follow along on facebook

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But I don’t cook on vacation….

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I often get asked why I would use a grocery delivery service. I don’t cook on vacation. I don’t think anyone should have to personally! But I do use a grocery delivery service. I have used the same service for years. But recently that service has not been offering the best customer service so I am trying a new service(We Go Shop)  out this trip. I will let you know how it goes.

While traveling with small children, you already have so much STUFF to take. And with the weight limits and bag limits, it is just one less thing to worry about if you can have someone else shop and deliver it for you. Some people like to stop on the way to the resort. I personally don’t know how they get in and out of a store they haven’t been to in the 30 minutes you are given. And this is if you are taking a private car. If you are doing Magical Express, then there is no stop and you have to take a cab to the grocery store and back. No thank you!
This particular service charges a flat rate for the shopping portion and it is based on your total bill. You don’t pay a markup on the grocery items. They are willing to shop the sales for you or stick to your brands if you prefer. And then they charge a delivery fee. Honestly, I am wondering what is the catch??  It seems too good to be true. Another agent swears by them so I hope she’s right! The other service marked up the prices of the groceries, no sales were passed on to you, and you paid a minimal delivery fee. They always texted you to let you know the order had been delivered to Bell Services. By the way, Bell Services will keep your cold items refrigerated for you until your room is ready.

Here’s a peek at what we ordered for this trip. Keep in mind we have a 1 year old and a 3 year old so there are a lot of baby items on this list. Our kids eat most things at the restaurants but I like to make sure they have breakfast in the room, snacks, and some fruit/veggie options. And we

Breakfast Items
1-      medium box of honey nut cheerios
1 box of Kashi soft cereal bars, any flavor that is fruit based
Dairy Case
2-      4 packs of Lifeway Drinkable yogurts for kids Pro Bugs Berry or Banana flavors NO orange
1 gallon organic whole milk, horizon brand if available otherwise any organic brand
1 dozen cage free eggs, prefer brown
1 small container of butter, like country crock or something that is small
Produce
10 bananas approximately-organic if possible
1 small container of frozen peas/carrots veggies. Can be the singles. Prefer organic if available if not the Green Giant brand.
Baby Items
14 Plum Organics squeezable fruits/veggies for baby or tots. variety of flavors is fine no prunes
1 can of Earth’s Best Organic Formula in the red can
1 pack Earth’s Best™ TenderCare Size 5 Chlorine Free Disposable Diapers (26-Count)
1 pack Pampers® Baby Dry™ Diapers – Size 5 (27 Count)
3 plum organics super puffs, variety of flavors
1 bag of yogurt bites
1 box of Earth’s Best Sesame Street Bars
1 box of MumMums
Deli
1/4 lb boars’ head oven roasted or smoked turkey lunch meat sliced thin
1/4 lb boars’ head colby jack cheese sliced thin
Snacks
1 bag of individually boxed raisins-prefer organic if possible
1 box of Annie’s cheddar bunnies or 1 bag of goldfish
2 jiffy pop stovetop popcorns
Drinks
1 case of bottled water no nestle brand, prefer ozarka
1 gallon bottled water, no nestle brand, prefer ozarka, with spout if available
1- 12 pack yuengling beer
1 bottle of Pinot Noir – $25 or less range, examples Belle Glos Meomi, Schug, King Estate, Rodney Strong. If none of those pick something from Russian River Valley or Oregon
1 bottle of Savignon Blanc – $20 or less, Oyster Bay, Kim Crawford, anything from New Zealand
2 six pack of 8 oz canned coke
 Looks like a lot but the kids will eat the snacks and we will enjoy our beverages! Plus breakfast in the room will be super easy in the mornings. 

Did I miss anything on my list??
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Mama Monday : Wine Stroll in the World Showcase part one

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Welcome to Mama Monday! Disney isn’t all about the kiddos. There is plenty for the Mamas (and dads) to do while at Disney too and I am going to help show them to you!
Our first stop in our Mama Monday series is Epcot. It is one of my favorite parks for the evenings. I find it relaxing. We go hard during the day and come evening we want a nice meal and a drink or two and a stroll through the countries.  

To help get you started check out the World Showcase Wine Walk. The above picture is courtesy of our friends over at The Disney Food Blog. It is approximately $20 for six wine tastings, two in each country of France, Italy, and Germany.  You can start in any of the three countries and purchase the card there. They will staple the receipt to the card so you don’t lose it. Then taste away. I have started in each of them personally and I like to end in France but it’s your stroll so choose! The tastes really are a nice sized taste but no where near a full glass. It is about a 2 ounce pour of each wine. The wines are set though I have had them sub one out when they ran out. That is not usual though. So overall you are only consuming 12 ounces of wine.

Mamas tend to worry so much about what are the kids doing, how are they, that we can go the entire night and not even realize we are thirsty. Now with the wine walk card, you have bought the card. You are going to use it. You can’t let it go to waste right? I think that is the beauty of it personally. It forces me as the mama to stop, take a breath , and enjoy just a little taste of something adult. Prior to kids, I would get the card as an appetizer so to speak with the wines. Just some little tastes and then I would choose which glass of wine I wanted at each country in addition to my little tastes. If that is more your style, it works too. But I imagine for most mamas the card alone will be a luxury. I mentioned I like to end in France. It is because I do still indulge in a full glass at the end of the evening on our countries stroll. The empty park benches below make a perfect spot to enjoy the wine.
I know what you are thinking, that sounds great and all but what about the kids? They will never let us stroll through the countries.  Next week find out what to do with your children during your evening stroll. I promise they will be along for the walk! Are you ready to check it out in person? Email me for more information. 
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They Will Never Remember It So We Are Waiting Until The Kids Are Older

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This is one of the biggest misconceptions about Disney that I hear often. Why would you ever want to wait to take your kids to THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH?? We took our oldest for his first birthday. He’s three now. He certainly DOES remember his first Disney trip. There are things we did on that trip that we didn’t do on other trips. He adores the Disney characters and over time who his favorite one is changes. He still remembers feeding Minnie Mouse grapes at Chef Mickey’s. 


Now that he has a younger brother (who we took on his first trip when he was nine months, he’s about to turn 1) he tells him about the trip. He has been to Disney multiple times and each trip was different in its own way. We took him on the Tea Cups on this trip and on his next trip he remembered going on them. He was quite concerned though on his first ride on them.

We had two couples and their kids go with us on that trip and he clearly remembers the people that were with us. He talks about H and L going to Disney with him for his birthday and he asks before every trip if they are going to go again with us. No doubt they remember this trip too. L was 4 and H was 3. 

If we followed this guideline of only doing things they will remember, we would never leave the house with our kids. They take music classes, swim lessons, sports classes, go on a variety of play dates, attend birthday parties, dinners out, etc. We create family memories together by living in the present. 

The best part about taking them when they are younger than 3 is they are FREE. That’s right, FREE. Disney allows children who are under the age of three to go into all of the parks, water parks, etc for free. They can share meals with you at every restaurant which means the character meals are FREE. You can save hundreds of dollars on their first trip just by going before they turn 3. You can even celebrate their 3rd birthday there and as long as they are 2 on the day of check in, they are FREE. This is definitely a great deal.

Even if he never remembered this trip though, this look right here is one that is embedded in my memory and his daddy’s memory and I know we will never forget it. This was the look on his face when he saw we were about to meet Mickey Mouse. He was not even walking yet and he wanted down on the ground and he crawled as fast as he could over to Mickey and Minnie. The pure innocent joy on his face makes every trip worth it to us to take him and to let him and now his brother experience Disney.


So when asked why take the kids if they won’t remember it anyhow, I always say take the kids. YOU will remember it and they will surprise you with what they do remember. I personally could not have waited to share the Disney magic with my kids until they were older. We went to Disney often before the kids were born and have continued to go often since they arrived. We have incredible family memories from all of our trips and my kids are very lucky to have experienced these.


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