Becoming a Disney Junkie One Step At a Time…

Becoming a Disney Junkie One Step At a Time…

This is a sponsored post. I have received free product compensation in order to facilitate my review. As always all opinions and obsessions with all things Disney are 100% my own. Affiliate links are included in this post, I’ll be compensated if someone clicks on an affiliate link and makes a purchase.

I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I was not a huge Disney lover growing up. Sure I’d seen all the classic Disney movies, but I was never the type of person who was “obsessed” with all things Mickey related. I never understood the adults who were infatuated with the Disney experience so much so that they were still visiting the theme parks (sans kids), or locating rare Disney memorabilia and shopping it up. I may have even scoffed at grown women who proclaimed themselves official Disney princesses (insert eye roll).

Then we had kids…

Disney Junkie

Disney Junkie Status

On our first trip to Disney we weren’t particularly impressed with the long lines and overpriced hot dogs. The boys were only two and three years old, and we’d gone to meet some family in town who were adamant about experiencing Disney. What else is there to do in Orlando, right? Fast forward just a few years when we experienced Disney on an entirely different level. We were invited to participate in the coveted Disney Social Media Moms Conference and experience all that Disney had to offer on the VIP level. Minds blown..

There is something about experiencing the Disney magic through the eyes of your child, it’s invigorating. Reminiscent of a time when everything was magical, your childhood.

We totally drank the kool-aid. In fact, the magic of the mouse was so intoxicating, we’d finally understood what the term “Disney Detox” meant once we returned home. All of the detail and wonder that is carefully placed into making this world so magical just rushes through your veins in such a way that normal life just doesn’t seem that exciting anymore. You find yourself planning your next Disney getaway before you’ve even hit I95.

Disney Detox

Disney Junkie

One of the few ways we have been able to tame the Disney withdrawal is with injecting a bit of magic into our every day lives upon returning home. You can start by picking up small trinkets or souvenirs that will remind you of the fun you experienced (but not too much, it could send you spiraling into a Disney depression). I received the Disney collection on vinyl at the DSMMC and I would play it for a little ‘pick me up’ at home. The boys scored a captain’s hat on our recent Disney Cruise aboard the Disney Dream and they break it our every once in a while and pretend they are still cruising along the Atlantic Ocean.

Disney Junkie

KEEP Collective sells charm bracelets online with the entire Disney collection that is sure to please any Disney lover (or novice Disney Junkie). Their Disney collection is quite impressive with all of the classic Disney favorites including an updated Mickey peace sign! You can collect all of the charms and create a fun tradition for you and your little ones. The leather band is embossed with the classic Mickey ears adding just the right touch for any Disney lover.

Disney Junkies

We recently ordered a special KEEP Collective bracelet for my mom from the boys. She is planning a big move out-of-state and they wanted her to have something to remember them by. They’ve selected a single leather band with the Tree of Life charm and an single bar engraved with the words NANA. Their favorite name for my mom. I can’t wait to see her face when she opens it!

 

Essentially yours,

Erika

Essential Planning with Samsung Galaxy S8

Essential Planning with Samsung Galaxy S8

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SamsungUnlocked #CollectiveBias

Planning can be arduous for some, I used to be an uber planner, these days I’ve learned to keep a healthy balance. Summer in South Florida comes with a few different types of planning.

Back To School with Samsung Galaxy GS8

All of the supplies, equipment purchases, and of course the new-found pressure to nail the infamous first day pic. It’s enough to keep your head spinning! These days my life consists of the simplest methods to achieve what it is that matters to our family, and that’s time together. The less time spent trying to run around like a chicken with its head cut off, the more I’ll have to spend those precious last moments with the kids.

Samsung
Wireless voice, data and messaging services on Samsung Unlocked Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge devices are compatible with most major U.S. GSM and CDMA networks. For these devices, wireless services are available on GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile and CDMA networks such as Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular®. Visit www.samsung.com for more information on your device. Support for certain features and services such as VoWiFi and hotspot, vary by wireless service provider. Wireless voice, data and messaging services on Samsung Unlocked Galaxy S6 and Galaxy J3 devices are compatible with most major U.S. GSM networks. For these devices, wireless services are available on GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile. Visit www.samsung.com for more information on your device. Support for certain features and services such as VoWiFi and hotspot, vary by wireless service provider. SIM card must be compatible with area’s available networks. International calling, data services and coverage vary by network provider. Contact provider for details.

The new Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8 has kept me on track this back to school season. The convenient scheduling apps (fewer pre-loaded apps makes this convenient) available and reminder settings helped to keep me right on track. Having an unlocked option made this a simple purchase online at Walmart.com. Since the phone is available for purchase unlocked, you can just call and add it to your existing plan.

Back To School with Samsung
This Samsung Unlocked phone will work on any GSM or CDMA compatible network. For these devices, wireless services are available on GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile and CDMA networks such as Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular®. Support for certain rate plans, features, and services such as VoWiFi and hotspot vary by wireless service provider. SIM card must be compatible with area’s available networks. International calling, data services and coverage vary by network provider. Contact provider for details.

Let’s not forget the 12 megapixel camera and the first-ever Infinity Screen! The Galaxy S8 display stretches from edge to edge giving you the most amount of screen in the least amount of space making those back to school photos a cinch on the first try (well, it won’t guarantee a smile).

Hurricane Prep with Samsung Galaxy GS8

Another way to prep in South Florida is for the peak of hurricane season (September). Floridians spend hours downloading apps and getting storm tracking updates to stay ahead of the storm (so to speak) and brace for impact. These imperative online updates are the very life source for residents of the southern states. They allow us all to prepare to our best ability and stock up on non-perishables to sustain us.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Unlocked made it easy to switch phones and add to my existing plan effortlessly. With this new unlocked option purchase (online only) you can choose your carrier, data plan, services, features and apps, so you can get your phone exactly the way you want it. The Samsung GS8 and Samsung GS8+ are only available online. I’m currently using it to track Hurricane Irma so we can stay put to ride out the storm.

The water-resistant feature makes this phone optimal for our rainiest season. With an IP68 water-resistant rating, it can resist a splash or accidental dunk. With Walmart’s easy online ordering you can have an unlocked Samsung at your doorsteps in your favorite color within 3-5 business days (my favorite was the Orchid Gray).

Samsung Galaxy GS8

Essentially yours,

Erika

Time Saving Tips for a Busy Morning Routine

Time Saving Tips for a Busy Morning Routine

This is a sponsored post. As always all opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

With a new school year in full swing, parents are scrambling to get organized with school clothes, supplies, and gear. Luckily I’m a bit of a planner and started collecting all summer long. It saves me the last-minute drama and some very long lines. I’m focusing my energy on preparing easy early morning routines that will help get everyone off to school both happy and healthy.

There is nothing worse than rushing, not eating well, or showing up to school tired each morning. Studies show this kind of morning ritual takes its toll on a developing brain and can set kids up for some pretty big disappointment grade-wise. I’m focusing my energy on creating “pockets of success” throughout our home that can shave on time, but not on quality of life.

Saving Time

The most sage advice I’ve ever been given as a parent is, “treat the need, not the behavior.” So I walked throughout my house looking for areas of concern that could potentially cause a hiccup in our morning routine. Backpacks thrown on the front bench, sneakers in the kids closet all the way upstairs, or hair brushes and toothbrushes in different locations.

Busy Morning Rituals

In order to create a flow for our morning ritual, I added extra hooks by the front door at a child’s height. They can grab this on the way out the front door with no time wasted, they can also drop it off first thing as soon as they come home from school, eliminating clutter.

I added baskets under the front entry bench area for only their shoes, and a basket on the stairs for their slippers. This way they can throw on shoes quickly just before leaving, and drop off their slippers in the basket and avoid a mess. Again, once they return home they can hand off and get ready to be in “house-mode” again.

I created space on the kitchen counter where they can pick up their lunch boxes and drop off once they get home. This all allows for a smooth transition both in and out of our home each day.

Busy Morning Routine

Bathroom Hygiene

Let’s face it, having two boys a year apart can lead to some pretty sticky situations at home. Their aim isn’t always at it’s best, and if the toothbrush isn’t readily available they may very well skip brushing altogether. My job in this arena was to make a no-fail system for bathroom success each morning.

I created a basket with all of their needs on top of the counter so it was easy accessible, and had everything they needed to leave to school fresh and clean. In the basket I include their toothbrushes and toothpaste (duh), but also, their hairbrush, wash cloths for their hands or face, floss, etc.. I’ve included sanitizing wipes by the toilet (for any mishaps), and my new-found savior the Fresh Wave Pods that keep the boys on time and fresh, but keep me sane. Things can get pretty stinky with two boys sharing one bathroom, Fresh Wave Scent Pods allow for easy refills, and it keeps the bathrooms smelling fresh all day long! There were days where I couldn’t walk by that bathroom without cringing, now we all have a solution we can easily manage.

Busy Morning Routine

Food Matters

The days of kids eating a donut or a toaster strudel on the way out the door are over. We know so much more as parents these days, it’s hard to ignore. Breakfast is indeed one of the most important meals of the day. Our bodies run on fuel, the type of fuel we give our kids each morning determines what kind of response their body will give them while in class. Healthy whole foods are key to keeping kids interested in learning, high-sugar cereals, donuts, or packaged muffins will set them up for a guaranteed crash.

The message we send to our children about how they should care for their bodies starts at home. I started collecting different cookbooks with quick and healthy breakfast options early on this summer to make sure I would have enough skills in my foodie toolbox to get both kids off to a healthy start this year.

Welcome back to another fun school year, I can’t wait to make it a great one!

Essentially yours,

Erika

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