She’s FINALLY Here!

As I reached the end of my pregnancy, I started to get frustrated with my body and started to have serious doubts that I would be able to handle or deal with child birth this time around. When you get pregnant the first time, you really have no idea what giving birth will be like. You have no idea or even an inkling of what to expect. When the second time rolls around you have a general idea of what happens.  And when you have a traumatic experience the first time, you have fears and doubts about the second time. I had to keep telling myself to trust my body, and trust in God’s plan.

After reaching and then surpassing my due date, I was discouraged and uncomfortable, I thought she would never come out. I reached 41 weeks on Monday, August 1st, which coincidentally happened to be my son’s first day of full time pre-school. My husband and I woke up early, got him dressed and took him to school, where I was pretty much abandoned by my son as he walked (more like ran) away from me to play and yelled bye to me from afar. My husband and I went home to enjoy our FIRST and what would be our ONLY full day alone, to do WHATEVER we wanted.

2 o’clock rolled around and it was time to pick up my son from school and we also had a doctors appointment. My husband half jokingly told my father-in-law we would let him know if he had to pick up our son from the doctors office, and I added “…don’t worry she’s staying in, you won’t have to do that.” I was slightly nervous because of two reasons: 1) I had to see a different doctor because my doctor was out of the office, and 2) I KNEW they would be checking my cervix…WHICH (for lack of a better word) SUUUUCCCKKKKSSSS!!!

While in the exam room, I was talking to the doctor and telling her that nothing had changed and I was getting really discouraged because I was hoping to have that “natural birth” experience that I didn’t get with my son. Up until this point I had also denied a membrane sweep, 3 times, because I knew it would hurt, and because there’s no guarantee that it would work. There are stories of women who have to do it 2, 3, or 4 times before it works and really at that point you don’t even know if it worked because of the sweep or your body was just ready. If there is one thing I will always remember my Grandma telling me, it’s “follow your gut, you know what’s best for you, it’s your body.” During the exam, I felt a small gush and basically the doctor said that she thought my water broke so I should just go downstairs to labor and delivery. All I kept thinking was “Holy crap, she’s coming, I don’t know if I can do this again!”

I walked out of the exam room and told my husband what happened. So we went to L&D and anxiously awaited the arrival of our little one. The doctors and nurses were wonderful and I was able to labor on my own for about 4 hours. My contractions weren’t painful but they were really close together. Unfortunately they weren’t doing anything because I had only progressed about from 3cm to 4cm after 4 hours. I was induced the rest of the way and also had an epidural. I was able to SLEEP through my WHOLE labor which was AMAZING! When I gave birth to my son, I had the shakes the whole time so I was so tired when it came time to push. This time I was rested and ready to push!

About 11 hours in, I started to feel something coming after each contraction but I wasn’t really sure what I was feeling. So I just slept it off and went back to sleep.  After about 12 hours in labor, the doctor came in to check on my progress and can you guess what I had been feeling? the rest of my water bag and my daughters head pressing down. “Huh, so that’s what that was,” is what I thought.  The truth is I felt NOTHING with my son, so this was a completely new experience for me. Then the doctor looked up and said “Okay, let’s try pushing!” All I kept thinking was “Holy crap she’s coming! Holy crap 2 kids! Please don’t tear, please don’t tear, PLEASE DON’T TEAR!!!!”

After only 15 minutes of pushing, (and only second degree tears!) our little princess arrived on August 2 at 5:15am.

So to all you mothers and mothers to be: “Trust your gut, trust your body, only you know what’s best for you.”  After all was said and done, his plan was perfect and my body didn’t fail me. We are happy to announce the (better late than never) arrival of our beautiful daughter Tori. Here are a few moments from my delivery.

 

 

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Thrifting for Baby!

When my son was born I will be honest, I didn’t really think too much about the cost of items because we had so many generous family and friends who bought us just about everything we needed.  As my son grew older however I started to realize how crazy expensive kids are. Now that I am pregnant (almost 9 months) with baby #2 and little man will be starting pre-school in a few months, I am determined to save as much money as I can.

I am actually pretty addicted to thrifting. I mostly blame my mom because she used to drag me on trips to Goodwill so often. I hated it. Of course I would become my mothers daughter and I now drag my son there, although he loves it and thinks we can buy everything from the thrift store.

I’ve compiled a list of how to thrift and get the best deals on your baby gear! The great thing about thrifting for kids is that you can thrift just about anything. Toys, books, baby gear, clothing, furniture; but there are also things that you should never thrift for.

Before Thrifting:
1.  Make a list of ALL the things you want to buy or need for baby
2.  Do your research on all those items
3.  Know the cost when bought brand new
4.  Check to see if the on sale price is comparable or better than second hand
5.  Check to see that the items meets the safety standards
6.  Check to see if item has been recalled

Where to thrift:
1. Craigslist or similar listing sites
Specific and takes a lot of time
2. Thrift Stores – local (churches, organizations)
Hit or miss with variety or selection
3. Thrift Stores – Chain (Goodwill, Savers, Value Village, Etc.)
Better Selection and variety
4. Garage Sales/ Yard Sales
Hit or miss with variety or selection, time waster
5. Specialty Consignment Stores for Kids
Large selection and hand bought to quality is decent to excellent

Never Thrift For:
-Cribs
Too much liability, better to be safe than sorry
-Stuffed Animals
Notorious for being the home to dust mites and bed bugs and are ridiculously hard to clean
-Car Seats
Along the same lines as cribs, once a car seat has been in a car accident its’ safety has been compromised and you don’t know what the previous owner has put that seat through. They also go through a pretty quick safety standard update and every year there is a newer model that has been updated to be safer. Be safe not sorry.
-Bath Toys
Bath toys can have hidden mold and mold is disgusting.

Use Caution when Thrifting for:
-Pack and Plays
-Bassinets
-Baby Bath Tubs
These things are hard to sanitize and clean, although it can be done, it is a pain. Bath tubs also get deep scratches where mold and mildew live and it can be hard to get those things completely clean.

General Rules when thrifting for items:
-Ask yourself if it can be CLEANED, WASHED, and/or SANITIZED?
If the answer is no, do not buy the item obviously.
-Make sure there are no missing parts or pieces, no broken parts or pieces, no chips, and if it has batteries check the battery compartment to see if there is corrosion.

Definitely Thrift for:
-Toys
Make sure there are no broken or missing parts and pieces and that sounds and lights work with batteries. Plastic toys are best but don’t avoid wooden toys, they can be cleaned! Just make sure the paint is not peeling and there is no chips in the wood.
-Books
No missing pages, board books are the best to thrift because they are easy to clean!
-Gear: Strollers, Bouncers, Jumpers, Baby Carriers
No broken or missing parts or pieces, can the fabric be washed/cleaned, no stains rips or tears, and for strollers check the brakes and make sure the ride is smooth.
-Nursing Covers/ Car Seat Canopies
No stains, rips, or tears
-Receiving Blankets
No stains, rips or tears
-Clothing (especially dressy clothes)
No stains, rips, tears, or that the item is not overly stretched out if it has elastic. Especially thrift for dressy items that kids hardly use and newborn clothing.  More often than not, those items will be brand new and gently used when they show up at the thrift store.

After you thrift:
-wash your hands, use some hand sanitizer
-take a black garbage bag and put your items in the bag and in your trunk
-clean, wash, and santize your items ASAP. I will be the first to admit that germs will probably be on the item.
-if you can’t get to the item right away, leave it in a black garbage bag and in the garage until you can clean it properly.

Here is the link to check for safety recalls and alerts:

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/

If you would like to see how I clean, wash, and sanitize my thrifted items, make sure to like, comment, follow and subscribe! I hope this video and post helps you to save just a little bit of money!

Check out the video below for other tips on thrifting for baby!

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What’s in My Hospital Bag?

I’ve got a new found interest in filming videos rather than typing. So every now and then I will be posting a video instead of a blog and I will link it here on my website.

Please find me on YouTube: Inspire Aloha

I recently got around to packing my hospital bag. I’m at the point in my pregnancy where anything can happen (and everything started to happen the first time) so I am finally prepared this time! If you are interested in finding out what I packed in my hospital bag for baby #2 check out the video below and let me know what you think!

When I was pregnant the first time around I had absolutely nothing packed. I went into preterm labor at about 32 weeks and then was induced at 37 weeks due to Pre-Eclampsia. You would have thought that after the preterm labor scare I would have gone home and packed a bag right away. Yea, that didn’t happen.  So when I went to the hospital the second time, I still had nothing with me.

This time I am ready! I have been ready since I entered my 3rd trimester. Luckily I haven’t had to use it but I am definitely more prepared this time around. I hope this list will prove helpful, especially to moms giving birth in Hawaii (Oahu). A lot of the postpartum supplies that you will need is quite hard to find but I’ve tracked them down for you (and your husband/ other half because we all know they will be the ones to run to the store at midnight to grab these things when you run out).

My bag is from Jane, it’s just a simple tote bag. It was really cheap (only $10!), and it’s a good quality waterproof bag. Unfortunately you have to stalk the Jane sit everyday until it becomes available, but I’ve noticed it is available pretty often. Everything inside of my bag is contained in ziplock bags. I am obsessed with organization (more specifically ziplock bags) especially when I travel. Why ziploc bags? Because they are cheap, easy to find, see through so I can see exactly what I have, and they keep everything contained so it doesn’t get lost. Especially if for some reason your tote rips or breaks, rest assured everything will be contained so that you will not be spilling out the contents for the world to see. On the top of my bag I have a little note attached with items that are currently not in fhe bag but should be included when its GO TIME! These are items I use everyday so obviously I can’t pack them away just yet. The note makes it easy for me to remember or to inform someone else in case I leave the bag at home.

So what’s in your bag Thay?! Okay, okay here is a list of what I have included, please keep in mind that this is only for Mommy, not baby or daddy. I have separate bags for both of those special people. 

What's In My Hospital Bag || Mommy's Hospital Bag for Labor & Delivery || INSPIREALOHA.NET

What’s In My Hospital Bag || Mommy’s Hospital Bag for Labor & Delivery || INSPIREALOHA.NET


Toiletries
•Tootbrush (mine are disposable because I don’t want to bring hospital germs home with me)
•Toothpaste
•Chapstick
•Hand Sanitizer
•Face Wash
•Body Wash
•Shampoo (I packed the 2 in 1 Body wash and Shampoo from Honest Co.)
• Loofa and Washcloth (in BRIGHT colors so that I dont forget it at the hospital, although I will probably chuck both when I get home, hospital germs)
•Hand Lotion

Post Partum Supplies
Some of these items are suprisingly hard to find locally so I’ve tracked them down for you!
•Nursing Pads (mine were samples from the new expo, Kapiolani Hospital does provide some, but some nursing pads are better then others)
•Dermoplast Spray – Make sure it’s the BLUE can not the red can. The Blue can is SUPER hard to find. You cant have it shipped to you (I don’t know why) but it is available at LONGS DRUGSTORE. Kapiolani Hospital also provides this but I ran out because I would spray this stuff like no tomorrow.
•Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads – Also really hard to find. Yes you can make your own, but I am extremely lazy to do that right now. Find it locally at TARGET only!
•Nipple Cream – This is just personal preference. Kapiolani Hospital also provides a small sample size to you but its small, and I slathered this stuff on since my milk came in early the first time. The one I have is called “Motherlove” its certified Organic but is only found at TARGET. You can also order it online.

Electronic Bag
•Phone Charger
•Portable Charger
•Camera

Misc Items
•Hair Ties
•Headband
•Basic Makeup
•Handheld Mirror
•Glasses (if you need them)
•PEN – you never know how important a pen is, until you have to sign 1,000 pieces of paper. There is A LOT of paperwork post-birth.

Clothing
All my clothing is in this Mesh Travel Bag from Ikea. You can find similar ones on Amazon and also at Target. Its washable so I can just toss the whole thing in the wash when I get home. You could also just use a gallon size Ziplock bag.
•Nursing Tanks (2)
•Nursing Bra (2)
•Robe – This one was cheap and was also from Jane.Com
•Maxi Dress for Going Home
•Belly Bandit – I have 2, both are different sizes because you don’t know what will fit until after you give birth. Then you have to size down as you get smaller post-partum.

Some things I will toss in later are:
•Deodorant
•Hair Brush
•Wallet (with insurance cards)
•Phone

Some things that I chose not to include but you should consider are:
•Slippers (AKA Flip Flops For showering and walking around) I didnt include these because I wear rubber slipper EVERYWHERE.
•Pads – Hospital provides giant ones, and I needed those GIANT ones more than the typical maxis you buy from the store. But, I do have some for my return home.
•Underwear – The hospital provides this AMAZING mesh underwear that you can just toss or wash when you get home. You can always ask for a few extra pairs before you leave.
•Going Home outfit – Dont forget to take into account weather conditions around the time you will be giving birth. Pants, no matter how stretchy will be uncomfortable in summer, so that’s why I packed a maxi dress.
•Socks – I was CRAZY hot after I gave birth the first time, even in the hospital. Although your hospital and you may be different so socks are good to have.
•Pillow – I just ask for more pillows when I’m there. If you bring your own, use a BRIGHT pillow case so it doesn’t get lost.

That’s it! I keep the bag by my door, and I also take it with me to the doctors office because I was sent to labor and delivery from my doctors office the first time. Hoping you found this helpful, don’t forget to subscribe and follow me! I will be posting a Baby Bag post soon, so stay tuned! 

35 Weeks: Since I’ve Been Gone

With my first pregnancy, I blogged about everything that happened. The aches and pains, tests, complaints, all of it.  I’ve come to find out that it has helped quite a few people. I contemplated for awhile if I would continue to blog through my second pregnancy, but days turned into weeks and weeks into months. I’ll be honest, it’s damn near impossible to blog while barfing and trying to take care of a 3 year old. There are MANY, and I mean MAAANNNY Mommies out there who can, and do, and look like freaking Wonder Woman while doing it. I however, am not one of those women. I am a big lazy baby when I am sick, and I am even lazier while pregnant.

Inspirealoha.net 32 Weeks Pregnant

Inspirealoha.net 32 Weeks Pregnant


Following my horrible bout of morning sickness that lasted roughly 4 months, I made the conscious (or semi-conscious depending on how you look at it) decision to just sit back, relax and enjoy this pregnancy. Every few weeks I would get the urge to write and then open up my computer, only to get side tracked by Amazon, a TV show, a trip to the bathroom, or my little man who just HAD to show me something super awesome or tell me a joke.

To be perfectly honest my little man is the main reason I’ve been staying away from blogging. I realized early on that when baby came, life would not be the same for my little guy. I wanted to shower him with all my love and attention, because this would be the last few months where it’s ONLY him. To my surprise, he’s been really excited from the get go. So excited in fact he was telling people I was having twins!!! For the record I am not having twins.(ultrasounds have only showed one, that we know of, but you know kids, they have this weird 6th, 7th, and 8th sense) 

He talks to my belly and gets to feel all the squirming and kicking. He loves helping me buy all the new baby items and has been helping me clean like a maniac for his new siblings arrival. He also likes to give his input about names. The typical toddler boy he is gives suggestions like “poop” and “butt” and my favorite “poop on your head”. It’s been a relief to say the least that he’s so excited to be getting a new lifelong friend.This pregnancy hasn’t been all roses though, let me tell you! After my brief hospital visit for my morning sickness, I was given anti-nausea medicine (which I didn’t take because I’m a hippie) and instead turned to essential oils (cue Angels singing). I could sniff those damn oils all day long. I digress. After the morning sickness I was instructed to take the Gestational Diabetes (GD) Test because I had developed it in my first pregnancy. I failed the 1 hour and passed the 3 hour. What was my reward? A retest at 28 weeks! Can you guess what happened? I once again failed the 1 hour and passed the 3 hour. The good news is that I am now in the clear for GD. 

inspirealoha.net 31 weeks Pregnant

inspirealoha.net 31 weeks Pregnant


Other than the headache of going through so much testing for GD my pregnancy has been pretty uneventful compared to my first pregnancy. This time around I have been a lot better about my eating and exercise habits. If you didn’t think that those things mattered, I’m here to tell you that they do. I have noticed a substantial difference in my energy levels during this pregnancy compared to last but I’m sure it could be attributed to the fact that I am chasing a 3 year old all. day. long.

I am currently 35 weeks and in comparison to my last pregnancy, I have gained about 28 lbs VS 75lbs the first time. The BIGGEST change besides my weight is that I have had no swelling! It’s been so amazing to not feel like a giant whale. Have I been without aches and pains though? No. Backaches have been plaguing me in recent weeks and I am being closely watched for Pre-Eclampsia (since I also developed that in my first pregnancy) but that has been the extent of it. We are nearing the 9 month mark and Doc thinks that I’m not going to make it to full-term because baby is already head down, and low in the pelvis. I’ve already had a talk with my new little love and it needs to stay put until July. You need to bake just a little bit longer! 

Has Anyone Seen Thay?

Hi Friends!

I know I sort of just dropped off the face of the earth and you may (or maybe not) have been wondering what the heck happened.  It’s weird how life will throw you a curve ball just when you get into the groove of life. Things had just been settling down, and we were all getting into a rhythm and then WHAM! I caught an awful flu/sinus infection in October, which put me out of commission for about 2 awful weeks. When I finally started getting better I was working my tail off since I had been out of work for so long.  Then, the holidays snuck up on me and before I knew it, it was thanksgiving. I decided to take thanksgiving slow and enjoy the time spent with our family.  The problem was I had been keeping this secret ALL to myself.

My son turned 3 on December 1 and we took him to Disneyland for his birthday.  After that life has been kind of a blur.  Christmas came and went, and where was I? Battling a serious bout of morning sickness.  That’s right friends, we are expecting baby #2 in July this year and it has been nothing short of exhausting.  My morning sickness has been borderline Hypermesis (the really serious kind of morning sickness), If that wasn’t enough, my little man and I have been passing a cold back and forth for about a month now and mine took a horrible turn which landed me in the hospital and hooked up to an IV. I think we’re finally coming out of the cold AND morning sickness stage (I HOPE!) and can finally start enjoying this pregnancy.  It’s so funny how everyone asks if I’m excited and my response is “I’ll let you know when I stop barfing.”

So, in a nutshell I haven’t been around because I’ve been in bed practically all day because even standing to shower will cause me to vomit, sometimes uncontrollably.  It’s an experience to say the least! To be honest I probably won’t be back completely for another few weeks. HOWEVER, when I do feel up to it you can look forward to more Hapai in Hawaii, which I have since relocated to this site. If you want to take a walk with me down memory lane, you can click the archives and see the journey through my first pregnancy.  If you still feel like walking with me (because if I’m running you better run to, because I’ll be running for ice cream or away from giant cockroaches) then I’ll be posting some new pregnancy content.  It’s like when I’m pregnant my wit level kicks up a few hundred notches. Don’t get any ideas though, pregnancy is no walk in the park for this mama, and there will be no talk of me being pregnant all the time.

So stay tuned for more, it’s sure to be a good laugh this time around too.

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Magic Morning VS. Extra Magic Hour Disneyland -- A guide to early admission options at Disneyland Resort -- Inspirealoha.net

Magic Morning VS. Extra Magic Hour

Magic Morning VS. Extra Magic Hour Disneyland -- A guide to early admission options at Disneyland Resort -- Inspirealoha.net

Magic Morning or Extra Magic Hour, aren’t they the same thing? First and foremost although the two names are used interchangeably depending who you talk to, I MUST tell you that they are most definitely NOT the same. Well, what are the differences you ask? Read on to find out the differences and some tips on making the most of your early admission! Continue reading

Disneyland Annual Passport VS. Park Tickets -- Your Guide to the costs of both -- Inspirealoha.net

Disneyland Annual Passport VS. Park Tickets

Disneyland Annual Passport VS. Park Tickets -- Your Guide to the costs of both -- Inspirealoha.net

So you’re planning a trip to Disneyland? I’m so STOKED for you! Beyond excited! I’m so excited there isn’t even a word to describe it! Now that you’ve decided to go to Disneyland, there are so many questions. Where to stay? How long to stay? Visit other attractions? Where to eat? Why is it so expensive? How can I save money?  I’ve done it all from 1/2 a day to a week to lavish or budget. So, I’m here to help you break it down!

For this particular post I’m going to talk about cost of entry to Disneyland.  I’ve seen the prices rise significantly over the past 3 years alone and it’s kind of staggering.  Now, before you get angry, you have to understand that Disneyland IS NOT Disney World.  It is a much smaller resort area only spanning about 160 Acres while Disney World is….wait for it…27,443 ACRES.  Now that it’s put into perspective, annually Disneyworld welcomes over 52 million people and Disneyland welcomes about 22 million. Disneyland is about 0.6% the size of Disneyworld yet it welcomes just under 50% of the same amount of people as Disneyworld.  Don’t believe me? Disneyland has had to close its gates due to capacity and overcrowding a fair amount over the past few years and there is no signs of it slowing down.  Disneyland is an amazing place and I can understand why so many people come to this magical place!  That being said, Disneyland has a serious overcrowding issue and to make crowds more manageable the only way is to figure out how to thin those crowds, and since people are willing (and will probably always be willing) to shell out the money to visit the happiest place on earth, it just makes good business sense.

Disneyland Annual Passport VS. Park Tickets -- Your Guide to the costs of both -- Inspirealoha.net

All 3people in this picture LIVE in HAWAII and are ANNUAL PASSHOLDERS!

I practically live in LA. Yes, it’s out of hotel rooms and suitcases BUT, I’m always there whether with family, friends, or solo.  I decided 2 years ago that I would invest in an Annual Pass for Disneyland.  It gave me something to do and honestly I’ve never looked back.  Until this year, I’ve taken pause to actually think about the feasibility of keeping my annual pass. So, this is helping me as much as it’s helping you.

When I first got my annual pass in 2013, I only paid around $650 for a Premium Passport.  The highest tier of passports available at the time, there were some excellent perks. No blackout dates, it included parking, 20% discount on merchandise, 15% discount on food, and a slew of other discounts. Fast forward to 2015 and the my Premium Passport is not available anymore, although I renewed a month before it magically disappeared.  When I renewed in September (and boy am I glad I did) it was $779. In October 2015 Disneyland rolled out 2 NEW passports and discontinued my tier of passport (fear not they are honoring it until it expires). Let’s review the Passport tiers shall we? Continue reading

Disneyland-Aholic

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Hi my name is Thalia and I am a self proclaimed Disneyland-aholic. From the time I was about 3, I started going to Disneyland AT LEAST once a year while I visited my uncle in California, I’m 28, so that’s AT LEAST 25 times, did I mention I’m from Hawai’i? Oh and I’ve been a Disneyland Annual Passholder for the past 2 years, that’s an additional 50 times (so far) that I’ve visited “The Happiest Place on Earth”.  I mentioned I live in Hawai’i right? If that’s not enough, it’s not just Disneyland, it’s Disney in general, I still have every single Disney Movie ever produced on VHS tape, Barbie Dolls of every Disney Princess, a drawer (or three) dedicated to all my Disneyland outfits, I dressed my family up in a Frozen theme for Halloween, for the past 3 years I have been trying to figure out a way where I can travel AND also work for Disney, my two dream jobs.  By work for Disney, I mean be a Princess….and I mentioned that I’m 28 and from Hawai’i RIGHT? I’m sure there’s more that I could tell you to prove my case, but, I’m going to end up looking like a weirdo…unless it’s already happened?

People who know me, know I LOVE all things Disney and Disneyland. In the 25 years that I have been visiting Disneyland I have watched it grow and change and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Magic Kingdom!  I’ve also been able to pick up a few tips and tricks along the way.  In just over 2 weeks we will be taking our son to Disneyland for the….3rd time. Yes, the 3rd time and we are from Hawai’i, and yes, I have every intention of getting him hooked on Disney.

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Here are 5 ways that I gear up for Disney Vacations with my family.

  1. Outfit Planning: It’s all about the outfit!  I plan all our outfits day by day for entire trip.  I make a list and about 3 days before our trip I make sure all the outfits are washed and cleaned.  The day before our trip (or the day of if we are leaving on a red eye flight) is when I usually get to pack and I will pack each outfit in gallon sized ziplock bags.
  2. Pre-Disney Shopping spree: I go shopping here at home! The sales tax in Hawaii is half of what it is in California. Since I travel for a living I also try to make a trip to a dollar store and bring things home. What do I buy? Anything Disney. Crayons, books, coloring books, toys, pens, containers, glow sticks.  Anything that will keep my son busy.  I also like to visit Target and Ross to buy my Disney shirts. They are usually anywhere between 25% to 75% off the price of Disney Parks merchandise and usually a lot cuter. I save some money and avoid the crazy shopping madness at the Parks.
  3. I create at least one matching outfit for the entire family.  It makes for such a great picture! This year I’m super excited to share with you what I created! Last year I sewed these really cute pocket tee’s with matching shorts and this year I got to use a serger to step up my sewing game!
  4. I binge watch Disney Movies. My son already watches an insane amount of Disney Junior. The sad thing is that there is no dedicated “Disney Junior” land so he can’t really interact with the characters that he really loves! (come on Disney what are you waiting for!?) So we watch and read books with the old school disney characters like Snow White, Ariel, Cinderella, Mulan, Alice in Wonderland, Nemo, etc.
  5. Have a loose plan: If you have a plan for Disneyland and are hell-bent on sticking to it, no one will be happy.  The biggest thing to remember is that you are in the happiest place on earth and on vacation! It’s okay to have ice cream for breakfast for a couple days. It’s okay buy that $10 balloon.  It’s okay if you are eating at odd hours.  If you try to stick to a strict schedule, especially with young children, you will have an angry toddler and no one will be happy. Instead of planning minute by minute. I have a general idea of what I want to get accomplished over the span of the trip and then break it down day by day. Either way I don’t let it bother me if we didn’t get to The Haunted Mansion at 5:13 PM

Disney Fun

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What do you do to gear up for a Disney Vacation?  If you’d like for me to elaborate on any one of these please make sure you leave me a comment down below! Stay tuned for subsequent posts about staying safe at Disneyland, must eats, must dos, and more! I LOVE DISNEYLAND!

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Mini Pumpkin Pies -- Inspirealoha.net

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Remember how I said I don’t really care for pumpkin anything? It’s amazing how many recipes I’ve found lately that have really turned my palette around! Pumpkin normally grosses me out, I’m not really sure what it is…the texture or the taste. Or it could be the fact that I threw up and got incredibly sick after eating a pumpkin pie at a thanksgiving dinner about a decade ago…yes a decade ago…an elephant never forgets right?

Well today this elephant is bringing you yet another fall and thanksgiving favorite Pumpkin Pie! Not just any pumpkin pie, but MINI pumpkin pies.  You guys will be MIND BLOWN when you see how easy and FAST these little desserts are. Seriously, the cuteness factor of is at 100. I whipped these little guys out in about 45 minutes…NO JOKE! The only thing that takes a little while is the cooling BUT, you could totally eat them warm and they will still be just as amazing…if not better!

Continue reading

Baking Fails: Cake Mix Pumpkin Cookies -- Inspirealoha.net

Baking Fails: Pumpkin Cake Mix Cookies

When I was about 15 and in high school, I thought I wanted to be a baker when I grew up.  I started taking cooking classes in school and LOVED it. Cooking is so much fun and a great skill to have for life! One thing that I learned was that baking is a science.  Baking requires precise measurements of certain ingredients or it all goes to waste!  Sometimes it requires increasing or decreasing amounts of ingredients to obtain the perfect result.  I just want to share with you some of my baking fails to SAVE you the trouble of making them yourself.

I’ve been seeing on Pinterest, recipes for making cookies from cake mix, specifically I saw a recipe for 2 ingredient pumpkin cookies. First let me say that when I think cookies, I think soft and chewy cookies OR crunchy cookies. Second, after I started making this recipe I instantly remembered my recipe for pumpkin cake, which is so yummy by the way! You can find that recipe HERE. Continue reading