Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road…at Disneyland! #DisneySMMCDLR

Disney Social Media Moms

This past week I had the pleasure of attending the Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road Conference. The “on-the-road” events have been held three times this year, earlier in New York, Puerto Rico and this time at the Disneyland Resort. Last year, I attended an On-the-Road conference in Portland and was thrilled to receive the invite to this year’s event, held at the Paradise Pier Hotel, Disneyland Resort. 

Find out more about Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road event that took place at Disneyland including up-coming Disney events & the new film Moana #DisneySMMCDLR

 

Find out more about Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road event that took place at Disneyland including up-coming Disney events & the new film Moana #DisneySMMCDLR

A glowing breakfast!

I actually gasped when directed into the conference room as there were Made with Magic Mouse Ears and Paint Brushes on the tables for each conference attendee. The rainbow of glowing colors was just beautiful! These special Ears glow right along with the nighttime entertainment and the brush can be used to change the colors of your Ears (or the Ears of other guests!)

After breakfast and mingling with my fellow bloggers (around 50 of us), Leanne O’Regan, (director of public relations at the Walt Disney World Resort) introduced each of the speakers and kept the conference moving at an enthusiastic pace.

Find out more about Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road event that took place at Disneyland including up-coming Disney events & the new film Moana #DisneySMMCDLR

Michele Himmelberg talks about what’s new at the park, including the new Frozen live stage show

Michele Himmelberg (Public Relations Director at the Disneyland Resort) shared with us the new developments coming to the Disneyland resort, including changing over the Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror into Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission: BREAKOUT! in Summer 2017. I’ve yet to ride on the Tower of Terror, so I definitely need to ride this on my next visit before it’s gone in early January. She also hinted that there will soon be exciting news coming from Aulani resort in Hawaii (another bucket list location for me!)

Find out more about Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road event that took place at Disneyland including up-coming Disney events & the new film Moana #DisneySMMCDLR

Erin Glover explaining how the Disney Blog comes up with story ideas

Erin Glover (Editorial Content Director at Disneyland Resort) and Victoria Lim (Managing Editor, Content & Public Relations at Walt Disney World) spoke at the conference I’d attended in Portland 2015 so some of the content was familiar. It was all still relevant and a helpful reminder that I need to jump in with video more often to share with my readers (despite my nerves about being in front of the camera!)

I was able to quickly create this video from Magisto during Victoria’s presentation. I’m going to have to do these more often!

Learning about the Magisto app from Victoria Lim at #DisneySMMCDLR #DisneySMMC

A video posted by Julie Bigboy (@juliebutterfly2000) on

Amy Smeed, the head of animation for Disney Animation Studios shared some not-yet-seen clips of the highly anticipated movie, Moana.  The film is scheduled for release Nov. 23, 2016. Amy’s excitement about this project absolutely bubbled over. You can truly feel how invested she is in the characters she’s helped to develop.

MOANA - (Pictured) Amy Smeed. Photo by Alex Kang. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

MOANA – (Pictured) Amy Smeed. Photo by Alex Kang. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Amy talked a bit about how the animators were able to travel to various Pacific Island locations, scouting ideas for characters and theme. She also shared how they chose the voice actress for Moana. We watched footage that showed how animators took the scenes from storyboard all the way through finished scene.

MOANA’S MISSION — Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson) may be a demigod—half god, half mortal, all awesome—but he’s no match for Moana (voice of Auli‘i Cravalho), who’s determined to sail out on a daring mission to save her people. Moana's first challenge is convincing Maui to join her. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, produced by Osnat Shurer, and featuring music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa‘i, “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

As you can see from these stills from the movie, the art is breathtaking and the characters are deeply unique.

From Disney: Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson) may be a demigod—half god, half mortal, all awesome—but he’s no match for Moana (voice of Auli‘i Cravalho), an adventurous, tenacious and compassionate 16-year-old who’s determined to sail out on a daring mission to save her people. Moana’s first challenge is convincing Maui to join her. Along the way, she discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), produced by Osnat Shurer, and featuring music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa‘i.

©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

I got goosebumps and tears in my eyes watching the opening scene as the art was beautiful and the music was incredibly touching. Though I’m not able to share the details of the film clips we watched, I will say there were laughs, gasps and yes, even a few tears from those of us in the viewing group! I can’t WAIT to see the entire film.

©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

The conference offered two surprise guests who both discussed how they balance motherhood and work life. Tiffani Theissen (Saved by the Bell & Dinner at Tiffani’s) and Ginger Zee (Good Morning America meteorologist & Dancing with the Stars) could not be more different it seems, but both have the challenge of raising their children and also keeping their own work identities.

Though each of these ladies have completely different paths, they both shared a common theme of balancing work and home. Their talks gave me pause, as a new SAHM raising 4 kids but also keeping up with my personal need to write and share via social media and also wanting to contribute to my family finances. They were both quite inspirational to me and I’m so glad I was able to hear them speak.

Mom talk about balancing work, travel and being a mother with @Ginger_Zee from @GoodMorningAmerica #DisneySMMCDLR #DisneySMMC

A photo posted by Julie Bigboy (@juliebutterfly2000) on

After the conference ended and I’d had a chance to take a few pictures with my fellow Blogorail and TravelingMom friends, I was able to meet up with my family who was already inside the park.

Find out more about Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road event that took place at Disneyland including up-coming Disney events & the new film Moana #DisneySMMCDLR

Some of my Traveling Mom #TMOM crew

It was the perfect chance to see the Disneyland Resort sparkling one last time for the Diamond Celebration. We were also able to watch Soarin’ Around the World, with a new film that takes you on adventure far and wide! So glad that I was able to catch Paint the Night one more time before it ends it’s run as well.

Find out more about Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road event that took place at Disneyland including up-coming Disney events & the new film Moana #DisneySMMCDLR

Me and my pal Mickey

I was invited to attend the Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road Conference. I received breakfast during the conference, complimentary park hopper tickets for me and my family, FastPass tickets to view Soarin’ Around the World and a bag of gifts from Disney. Travel expenses were paid by me. As always, opinions are my own.

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Perfect Picnic Potluck Slow Cooker Baked Beans Recipe

This baked beans recipe is the perfect side dish! It's budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing. Best of all this baked bean recipe goes together in the slow cooker!

Need a perfect side dish to take with you to a potluck? How about an easy side dish that you can put together quickly and then leave to cook on its own? Something cheap and that everyone will love? Of course, we all want those kind of dishes and this baked beans recipe fits the bill! And it can be cooked in the slow cooker so that’s even better! Keep reading for the baked beans recipe-

My mom has been making these beans for years and brings them to each family gathering. In fact, our family doesn’t ask her what she’d like to bring to a potluck, they just tell her, “You’re bringing your baked beans”. They are just so good and perfect for a potluck.

When I had a potluck invitation last month, I requested the bean recipe from Mom. And when I got to the part in the recipe that said “Bake for 7 hours” I stopped in my tracks. Temperatures were in the high 90s and there was no way I was cooking a casserole of beans for 7 hours when I don’t have air conditioning! So I adjusted the recipe and made it in my slow cooker and they came out just as delicious.

This baked beans recipe is the perfect side dish! It's budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing. Best of all this baked bean recipe goes together in the slow cooker!This baked beans recipe is the perfect side dish! It's budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing. Best of all this baked bean recipe goes together in the slow cooker!This baked beans recipe is the perfect side dish! It's budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing. Best of all this baked bean recipe goes together in the slow cooker!

Don’t be nervous about using dry beans, they are totally easy to work with. And so inexpensive (a one pound bag for this recipe costs just around $1.20). Feel free to adjust the amount of brown sugar and molasses to taste. If you prefer them less sweet, just add less sugar. I find that the liquid thickens up nicely overnight in the fridge and you can skim off any fat from the bacon that has floated to the top. The beans heat up well in a pan on the stove top for leftovers…if there are any! I hope you enjoy my mom’s recipe.

This baked beans recipe is the perfect side dish! It's budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing. Best of all this baked bean recipe goes together in the slow cooker!

Perfect Picnic Potluck Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dry navy beans or small white beans
  • 1 package (12 oz) bacon
  • Yellow onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Add dry beans to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover. Leave to soak in hot water for one hour.
  2. Cut bacon into 1" pieces and fry in a skillet until starting to crisp. Add chopped onion in with the bacon and grease and saute until onion is softened.
  3. Remove two cups of water from the soaking beans and pour into a bowl. Add brown sugar, dry mustard and molasses, stirring to combine.
  4. Drain beans of the remainder of water and add to the slow cooker. Add bacon and onions, stir to combine. Pour liquid into the cooker and stir all. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 7 hours.
  5. Add salt to taste.
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http://momrewritten.com/picnic-potluck-slow-cooker-beans-recipe/

Mom’s Disney Packing List – FREE Printable!

As the main packer for my entire family when we vacation, it’s easy to forget my own things! While I’ve carefully coordinated the kids outfits in zip bags I tend to forget that I need to pack for myself and end up tossing things in the suitcase willy-nilly at the last moment (yes, I’ve forgotten my pajamas and my toothbrush before!) I created this free printable packing list so Mom can quickly remember all she’ll need for a Disney trip. Here are a few tips before you stuff your suitcase (keep reading for the free Mom’s Disney packing list printable).

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Day Bag

I love using a crossbody bag like my Baggallini Everything Travel Crossbody Bag when I’m at Disney. You’ll have everything you need handy and be hands-free. You’d be surprised what you can fit inside one of these compact purses. In addition to your usual wallet, pack your bag with a few things you’ll need for the day like lip balm with an SPF, a small nail file and hand sanitizer.

I dole out a squirt of hand sanitizer to each person in my family after each ride when we can’t get to the bathroom to properly wash our hands. If you don’t have a baby and therefore aren’t carrying a diaper bag with baby wipes, pack a small clutch with hand wipes when napkins aren’t enough to clean sticky fingers and faces.

Check the Forecast

Contrary to popular belief it does rain in California and it is occasionally very cold in Florida. Don’t assume that the weather will be in the 70s for your trip: Be sure to take a look at the forecast and pack accordingly.

If the weather is expected to be cool, I like the option of layers. A short sleeve shirt topped with a long sleeved tee. Add a sweatshirt and you can always tie it around your waist if you’re too warm mid-day. A scarf and fleece hat are good options on chilly days. And both are small enough that you can stuff them in a bag if you don’t need them.

Don't forget the essentials on your next Disney vacation! Mom's Disney Packing List with FREE Printable!

Me and the boys with my Baggallini Crossbody Bagg

Hot and humid? Leave the layers at home and choose lightweight and breathable fabrics. Pack several shirts for each day so you can bring an extra into the park and change mid-day when you’ve turned into a sweaty mess.

Also, take a look at your outfit head-to-toe before you wear it under the hot sun all day. I bought a lightweight top a few days before my last trip and didn’t realize that it had a keyhole opening in the back. Yes, I applied sunscreen to my shoulders, arms and neck. But not knowing about the keyhole opening, I was left to cook and the result was a very strange sunburn!

Don't forget the essentials on your next Disney vacation! Mom's Disney Packing List with FREE Printable!

Block it Out

Sunscreen at Disney is a no-brainer, but consider the type you’ll need for a day in the Parks. I don’t like the misty spray-on types because the coverage just isn’t great and most of your sunscreen gets blown away in the breeze. For my face, I like a matte sunscreen that’s non-comedogenic otherwise I just feel oily and that dust is just sticking to my face (it probably is).

While we’re on the subject of blocking rays from your skin, let’s discuss blocking the sun from your eyes as well. A pair of comfortable sunglasses is a must. Bring a case or a protective sleeve to put them in when you’re on a ride. And don’t wear them on top of your head because that almost guarantees that they’ll fall off!


Cover Your Head

Nothing like having the sun bake on the top of your head all day to make you grouchy. How about a sunburn on your hairline part? That’s fun the next day, right? Try out several styles of hats pre-trip to find out what will work best for you.

If you plan on riding anything remotely fast, you’ll be taking your hat off and on throughout the day so keep that in mind. If I have a multi-day trip planned, I’ll bring at least two hat options so I can change them out from one day to the next. Baseball hat one day and giant wide-brim sun hat the next!

2015-05-11 10.42.43-7  2015-05-11 10.42.38-4

Don’t Forget Your Hair

Bring hair ties. Several of them, because you never know when one will snap or slip off the end of your braid while you’re riding Space Mountain! And bobby pins or something to pin back your bangs. I decided one Disneyland trip to wear my hair down and it was just about the windiest day EVER! My hair was a tangled mess by noon. Pack a small brush in your bag to detangle if you wear your hair down. My recommendations? A ball cap with a ponytail looped through the back and bangs pinned back underneath the brim. Or a big sun hat with your hair in a braid.

Don't forget the essentials on your next Disney vacation! Mom's Disney Packing List with FREE Printable!

This was the last time I wore my hair down at Disneyland…it was a tangled mess from the rides and the wind!

Keep It Cool

Though it does rain quite a bit in Florida and it can get chilly on both coasts, the general weather at Disney parks is on the warm side. Consider also that many of the ride lines will have you waiting in the sun and you’ll be ready to head indoors for A/C by 9 am! Pack a few items in your day pack that will help keep you comfortable. A squirt bottle or misting fan that you can refill at the drinking fountains can be wonderful on a scorching day.

Don't forget the essentials on your next Disney vacation! Mom's Disney Packing List with FREE Printable!

We like to bring a travel size shaker of Gold Bond Ultimate Comfort Body Powder. It soaks up excess sweat and helps prevent chafing. A cooling towel that you wet and then shake to chill is just perfect for wrapping around your neck. Something like the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Cooling Towel really helps to bring down your body temperature (and this works better than wet paper towels from the bathroom!)

Don’t forget a water bottle to stay hydrated. You can request ice water at any counter service restaurant and then pour it into your bottle.

*ahem* Feminine Needs

Did you know that stress can cause your “monthly visit” to start unexpectedly? Even if you’ve checked the calendar and aren’t expecting to start, you might want to pack feminine hygiene products just in case. Disney does sell these items in the bathrooms (about 50 cents each) and you can also purchase them at the Baby Care Centers and in some hotel gift shops.

Pack an Alternate

It’s a good idea to bring in a second pair of socks to change into if you get them wet or they’re just sweaty. Or have a pair of waterproof sandals that you can wear on wet rides instead. I like to bring in a second t-shirt with me too so that when I’m sweaty or I spill something on it, I have a fresh shirt to change in to. Though you could always buy one in the gift shop and call it a souvenir (I’ve done that too!)

Don't forget the essentials on your next Disney vacation! Mom's Disney Packing List with FREE Printable!

Break ’em In

Don’t even think about heading to Disney wearing brand new shoes! For the love of all things, break your shoes in before you spend 15 hours wearing them through the parks. And I recommend taking in a second pair to switch into when your feet start to ache. I’d also say you should give your outfits a “trial run” at home. You’d hate to be wearing something that was uncomfortable all day.

Pregnant at Disney? Expectant Mom's Complete Disney Packing List of Important Needs

Crocs Womens Women’s A-Leigh Floral Flip Flop (Amazon)

Keep in Touch

A phone charger and cord is a must. Not only do you want to be able to reach others in your group, there are also Disney park apps that will allow you to check wait times and book dining reservations. Besides you also want to be able to take pictures and share them to social media throughout the day!

EasyAcc Monster Power Bank (Amazon)

Be Prepared

Blisters are a Disney nightmare. Though you can get basic items like bandages at the park First Aid, you should consider adding a few things to your personal first aid kit. I swear by New-Skin Liquid Bandage because it’s waterproof and stays on all day. My kit also includes ibuprofen, headache reliever and antacids. Just make sure you store all the meds in a place where little hands won’t get to them (or keep them in child-proof containers).

Back at the Hotel

I don’t know about you, but when I’m at the parks I sweat like crazy under the sun. And that means that my bra is usually saturated by the end of the day…yuck! Make sure to pack at least 2 bras to alternate every other day. Bring a sample packet or a travel size bottle filled up with laundry detergent. Give your bra a quick wash in the sink and then hang it to dry so you’ll have a fresh one to wear each day.

Make sure you give your bathroom a top to bottom when packing to make sure you don’t miss packing any essential toiletries. You’ll want to remember to bring your make-up remover, hair brush and products, contact lens solution and case, etc. If you prefer to use your own shampoo and soaps pack travel size varieties, though they do offer very nice complimentary products at the Disney resorts.

Don’t forget your swimsuit! You won’t need to bring a towel if you’re staying at a Disney resort hotel, they have them at the pool. A pair of flip-flops and a cover-up are a good idea too.

Here’s the FREE PRINTABLE –  Mom’s Disney Packing List

Don't forget the essentials on your next Disney vacation! Mom's Disney Packing List with FREE Printable!


All packed up, Mom? Here are more Disney packing lists!

Disney Trip Free Printable – Packing List for Kids

Packing List for a Baby in Diapers

Expectant Mom’s Disney Packing List

What’s In My Disney Parks Diaper Bag?

Disney Trip FREE Printable - Packing List for Kids    Traveling With a Baby in Diapers - FREE Baby Packing List Printable! #Ad #SuperAbsorbantPregnant at Disney? Expectant Mom's Complete Disney Packing List of Important NeedsThese are the baby travel essentials you should bring in your travel diaper bag.

For more Disney packing printables,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Disney Packing Printables Loop:

 

12 Things to Do Waiting in Line at Disney Parks

Best Uses of Waiting in Line at Disney Parks

I’d venture to say that not too many people enjoy standing in line. That’s why they invented the FastPass, right? If you have to wait in queue though, there are some constructive ways you can spend the time. Here are my 12 ideas for the best use of waiting in line at Disney parks.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Check Out these 12 Best Uses of Waiting in Line at Disney Parks

A quick pic in line at Autopia

Apply Sunscreen

Outdoor queues can make you feel like you’re cooking under the sun! Waiting in line is a great time to reapply another coat of sunscreen. If you’re sweating, pat off the sweat with a napkin and then apply.

Skip using spray-on sunscreen while standing in line though. The quarters in queue are a bit tight for that (and not everyone wants your sunscreen mist in their eyes!)


Study the Map

Where are you headed next and how will you get there? Now’s the time to pull out the map and plot your course. The map key will let you know where the nearest bathroom is too, in case that’s your next stop. Or try a little game with younger kids and see if they can find certain icons, like “Where’s the carrousel?”

Check Out these 12 Best Uses of Waiting in Line at Disney Parks

Board with wait times at Disneyland. You can get these times on the free mobile app too.

Have a snack

Dry goods that you pre-package into snack-sized bags are perfect for waiting in lines. Things like nuts, dried fruit, trail mix, chopped veggies or sturdy crackers work well. If you finish the snack, you can dispose of the baggie (there are always trash cans in the queue for this). Or if you reach the end before your snack is done, just seal up the bag and put it in your pocket.

Check Out these 12 Best Uses of Waiting in Line at Disney Parks

Heimlich never misses a meal – Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

Play a Game

Pictionary – Keep a small spiral-bound notebook and pen handy for quick games of Pictionary. The artist can come up with the idea (Disney movies!) and everyone in the group can try to guess.

Who Am I? – This is our family favorite in the car too. One person chooses a Disney movie character and the others have to ask questions that can be answered with a yes or no answer (ie: “Does this character have fur?” or “Does this character sing in their movie?”)

Check Out these 12 Best Uses of Waiting in Line at Disney Parks

In line for Star Tours – Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

There are also Disney travel games that you can tote through the line and they’ll easily fit in your day pack. Games like World of Disney Eye Found It Card Game are quick to pull out and play while in queue.

Disney Mobile App

Thinking about hitting up Splash Mountain but want to know the wait time before traipsing across the Lands? Need to know where Mickey is meeting & greeting? Have to get a dining reservation on the fly? Check out the free Disney Mobile Apps for Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Plan Your Next Meal

If you didn’t make any Advanced Dining Reservations (and you don’t really need ADR at Disneyland), you can figure out where you’ll be dining next. If you already have a restaurant decided on, I highly recommend figuring out what you’re going to order. It really saves you time that would be spent in the restaurant perusing the menu if you plan your meals ahead of time.

I like to print out the restaurant menus so we can look them over in line and have everyone decide ahead of time. This way one adult is in charge of ordering for the group and it expedites the process.

Check Out these 12 Best Uses of Waiting in Line at Disney Parks

Themed sculptures in line for Radiator Springs Racers – Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

Journal Your Memories

A small hard-backed spiral-bound notebook is perfect for jotting down special memories throughout your trip. This is also a great activity for when you’re waiting for a meal to arrive at the table service restaurant. Pass the journal to a new family member to write in for each queue. For little ones that can’t write yet, have them draw a little picture of their memories.

Look for Hidden Mickeys

They’re everywhere! You’ll probably be able to find a few on your own (Imagineers hid them in plain sight in many of the line queues!) but if you need help, check out this book Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets or the Disneyland version, Disneyland’s Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Disneyland® Resort’s Best Kept Secrets.

     

Take Pictures

No better time when you’re smooshed together in a queue than to snap a full-family selfie! Some line queue have interesting props to pose with along the way, so get out your camera and capture the moments.

Check Out these 12 Best Uses of Waiting in Line at Disney Parks

Taking a photo of the kids in glasses from Toy Story: Midway Mania is a must!

Take a Nap?

Well, if you’re a baby, maybe! Pop your little one in the front carrier and let them nap while you wait. You can always grab a Rider Switch pass too so that the grown ups can take turns with the sleeping child. Here are more tips about traveling to Disney with a baby.

Play with a Toy

Young kids tend to get pretty squirrelly waiting in line so give them something to occupy little hands (so they’ll resist climbing on the rows of bars, squabbling or hanging all over each other!). A small action figure, doll or race car can keep an imaginative child busy. Handheld light-up spinners are always fun (especially at night).

Hold a small bottle of bubbles for them and let them dip in the wand and blow! Avoid any toys that need a lot of space, like a light saber or a toy that will annoy other guests, like a balloon that may hit people on head.


Plot the Next Adventure

My kids always want to know what we’re doing next. Decide where you’re headed next and brush everyone up on what’s to come so when you hit the exit everyone knows what to expect.

Check Out these 12 Best Uses of Waiting in Line at Disney Parks

The talking and moving Buzz in queue – Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

Looking for more?

Check out these books, Lots to Do In Line: Walt Disney World and Lots To Do In Line Disneyland. Tons of things for kids (and adults) to spot while waiting.

   

What are your favorite things to do while you’re waiting in line? Share in the comments!

Check Out these 12 Best Uses of Waiting in Line at Disney Parks


Budget-Friendly Back-to-School Outfits at Gymboree

Find out Where to Get Budget-Friendly Back-to-School Outfits

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I was compensated for this post.

Back-to-School Outfits

I love back-to-school shopping but not the price tags! And boy, do I hate buying something for my kids only to see it falling apart at the seams after a few washes. When I shop at Gymboree that doesn’t happen because the clothes are high quality (my 4-yr old is wearing Gymboree hand-me-downs that have now gone through 3 other kids!) No sticker shock there either because they offer wonderful sales and great coupons, not to mention Gymbucks for use on a future order.

Do your kids need clothes but you don’t want the challenge of mixing and matching the outfits yourself? Gymboree has paired up with Stitch Fix to give you some quick shopping ideas for back to school. Here are a few outfits that I put together for my kids!

Gymboree Back to School for Big Girls

 

Even though my 12-yr old daughter is on the upper size of Gymboree, I was still able to find something trendy and fun that she’d love to wear. Gymboree is great for offering full collections to coordinate head-to-toe but you can still mix and match for something unique and quirky too.

Boy's Gymboree for Back to School

 


My 12-yr old boy is all about athletic gear and comfort. Long gone are the skinny jeans and now he’s all about the basketball shorts! Gymgo Active has been the perfect line for him and he likes the bright colors and comfortable fit.

Preschool Boys Gymboree Back to School

 

My 4-yr old starts transitional kindergarten this year and he’s so excited! He’s a rough and tumble guy and Gymboree holds up to his active play. Gymboree jeans are a staple for my kids and their colorful graphic tees are always a hit. My kid loves to coordinate his undies to match his outfit (yes, really!)

Baby Back to School Gymboree

 

And even though she’s not starting school, the baby is still growing like a weed and needs a new fall outfit! Such pretty colors and patterns, and those tiny red shoes are adorable!

Be sure to check out Gymboree’s current sales and consider signing up for their emails so you’ll know when Gymbucks rolls around!

Julie-signature

 

Disney Gift Card Giveaway! (ends Aug 21st, 2016)

Disney Gift Card Giveaway! (ends Aug 21st, 2016)

Every little bit helps when you’re saving up for Disney! $50 could buy you a sweet souvenir. Or maybe a quick service lunch at the parks for the entire family (with dessert!) It’s also almost halfway towards a one-day ticket! What would you spend a $50 Disney gift card on?

I am joining with some other awesome bloggers for a giveaway of a $50 Disney gift card!

Details: Must be 18+ to enter.  US only.  Ends August 21, 2016 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time aka Walt Disney World time). Void where prohibited.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email from The Philosopher’s Wife.  After 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.  Disney, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. are not affiliated with this giveaway in any way.

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Tangy Slaw

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Tangy Slaw

Slow Cooker Recipe? Perfect Timing!

It’s been in the high 90s at our house for a few weeks and we don’t have air conditioning. When it’s that hot I do not want to turn on my oven. I do not want to stand over a hot stove. Sometimes I don’t even feel like I have the energy to think about eating because the heat just wears me out! Here’s a quick and delicious way to cook dinner without heating up the house. And clean up is super quick so you can eat and get back in the pool!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Tangy Slaw

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

I saw a recipe online for pulled pork that required 7 HOURS of cooking in the oven!! Heck no, I’m not turning my oven on that long. You can still get a tender pulled pork in your slow cooker using my recipe. This recipe calls for a 4 lb pork shoulder roast or pork butt (I buy these in bulk at Costco). You could also easily double this recipe if you’re serving more or if you want to freeze half of the cooked meat for another meal.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Tangy Slaw

I wrap my pork in foil to keep the juices contained as much as possible for moist meat!

Tangy Cabbage Slaw

You could buy one of those bags of pre-cut cole slaw mix but cutting your own cabbage is so cheap and easy. And using fresh cabbage really gives your slaw a great crunch! Consider using some purple cabbage to add color to your slaw. I cut my cabbage on the thicker side with a long bread knife but you can cut it however you wish.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Tangy Slaw

I picked up these yummy buns in the bakery section of the grocery store. They are heartier than packaged hamburger buns so the bread doesn’t get too soggy when you add the juicy pork and slaw. Serve these sandwiches with a helping of BBQ potato chips and corn on the cob and that’s a tasty meal you don’t have to slave over the hot oven for!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Tangy Slaw

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Tangy Slaw

Ingredients

  • 4 lb pork shoulder roast or pork butt
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 4 buns, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, sliced (I used a mix of colors)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Milk, as needed

Instructions

  1. Remove pork from packaging and pat dry. In a medium bowl, mix dry spice ingredients. Add pork and rub on the mixture until pork is covered. Wrap pork tightly inside a sheet of heavy aluminum foil. Place the pork inside the slow cooker then add sliced onions all around inside. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours.
  2. When done, use a baster or a measuring cup to carefully remove 1 cup of liquid from the slow cooker and add to a large bowl. Mix in 2 cups of barbecue sauce and combine with the liquid. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl.
  3. Carefully remove the roast from the foil while it's inside the slow cooker and discard foil. Transfer the meat to the bowl with the liquid and onions. Use two large forks to shred the pork with the juices and cooked onions until completely torn apart.
  4. For slaw, use a large bowl to whisk together vinegar, mayo, yogurt, salt and pepper. Add milk a teaspoon at a time until mixture is a good consistency and not lumpy. Add sliced cabbage and chopped red onion, combining with two large spoons until all cabbage is coated with sauce.
  5. Top bottom bun with pork, add a generous portion of slaw and top with bun. You might have to eat this with a fork and knife (that's what I do!)
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Back-To-School DIY Disney-Style Storage Box

Back-To-School DIY Disney-Style Storage Box is Perfect for Storing School Supplies or Disney mementos!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing Disney inspired back to school ideas.


DIY Disney

New school supplies are the best part of back to school, right? The smell of new crayons, the feel of a newly sharpened pencil across the paper and all those crisp, lined notebooks! I love it all. And there’s nothing like adding a bit of Disney magic into your school routine. This DIY will show you  how to take an ordinary cardboard box and turn it into a personalized Disney-style storage box that’s perfect for safekeeping all your back to school supplies!

Back-To-School DIY Disney-Style Storage Box is Perfect for Storing School Supplies or Disney mementos!

Totally easy and you just need a few craft supplies that you probably already have on hand! Read on for the how-to!

SUPPLIES:

  • Cardboard box with a lid. I used one with a hinged lid.
  • Scrapbook paper or wrapping paper
  • Glue or glue stick
  • Photographs
  • Ribbons, Washi tape, scrapbooking die-cuts, stickers, etc.
  • Clear packing tape
  • Scissors

Back-To-School DIY Disney-Style Storage Box is Perfect for Storing School Supplies or Disney mementos!

If your box is being recycled, remove all stickers or excess tape from the box until the surfaces are smooth.

Lay each side of the box on the wrong side of the paper and outline the shape.

Back-To-School DIY Disney-Style Storage Box is Perfect for Storing School Supplies or Disney mementos!

Cut the paper on the line. Add a light amount of glue to the wrong side and place the paper to the box, smoothing out any bumps or creases.

Decorate the top of your box with photographs, strips of ribbon or decorative Washi tape and stickers until you have a design you’re happy with. When decorating the lid, it’s okay to wrap things like ribbon and tape around the edges to the inside of the lid. I had a smooth black washi tape and a white Sharpie so I could personalize my box.

Back-To-School DIY Disney-Style Storage Box

Carefully apply clear packing tape in strips across the top of your box, going horizontally. I made my tape about a half inch longer on each side so I could wrap around the edges. Try not to overlap the pieces of tape too much, butting them against each other for a smooth finish. Work carefully because once you stick the tape you won’t be able to remove it. I had 3-D stickers so I applied them after this last step.

Back-To-School DIY Disney-Style Storage Box is Perfect for Storing School Supplies or Disney mementos!

Hot-diggety-dog! You have a perfect Disney-inspired back to school box for storing all your school supplies. Of course, this would also make a great place to store Disney mementos like maps, tickets and souvenir buttons, as well! My kids don’t start school for another few weeks so we haven’t bought our school supplies yet!

Back-To-School DIY Disney-Style Storage Box

Now that Dillon has his own box, I need to make one for each of my other kids! What theme will you use to make your Disney box?

Back-To-School DIY Disney-Style Storage Box is Perfect for Storing School Supplies or Disney mementos!

For more Disney inspired back to school ideas,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Red | Back to School | Disney Inspired Ideas Loop: