Tag Archives: disney

Preparing for Disney with Toddlers: Tips and Tricks from Real Moms and Bloggers

Preparing for Disney with Toddlers

We are headed to Florida soon for a much needed family vacation! With my work, I get the privilege of traveling here and there, and Dusty joins me a few times a year as well; however, it has been over a year since we have taken a full family vacation including baby Ollie. If you have been around for awhile, you know that the Bahorich clan loves everything Disney and we cannot be more excited to take Ollie on his first Disney adventure. We are also extremely blessed to have planned this at the perfect time before we were too far along in our pregnancy. This will be a great trip for us before turning into a family of four in the spring. It is going to be so much fun!

Since we frequent Disney World and the Orlando area a lot, I have a good idea about what spending a day at the parks looks like but this will be my first trip with a toddler on board. My husband, Dusty, and I was able to have this trip in the back of our minds when we spent a week there back in May for my birthday and we were able to take lots of mental notes as we observed families.

However, being that we have not necessarily traveled with a toddler on our own, I reached out to some of my favorite bloggers and friends to gather their tips, tricks, insights, and everything else in between.

Some of the top things that I heard:

  • Start out early. If your child is an earlier riser anyways, leverage that with being at the parks at rope drop. Then head back to the hotel around lunchtime for a break at the pool or nap time. Round out your day back in the parks. This will assure there are no mid-afternoon meltdowns and a more enjoyable time overall.
  • Download the Disney Parks App. It will be your lifeline through your planning and during your trip. It has all your reservations, ride wait times, hotel information, and more. You can now order at some restaurants through this app as well as preview menus and make dining reservations. It is a must.
  • Pack your own snacks. You can take in your own snacks into the parks! Of course, you do not necessarily want some chocolate in your bag that may melt; however, granola bars, food pouches, Cheerios, and other grain-based foods are great for snacks along the way and help keep your daily food cost down for not only your little ones but also the whole entire family!
  • Thorough packing lists. Research a few packing lists out there. They are easily found on Pinterest throughout (and one that I made below). They are helpful for me to collect items that I would have never thought of and even forgotten from trip to trip!
    Because I found so many good resources on this topic, I have broken down some of my favorite posts that I discovered while researching for our trip to help make planning for Disney with a toddler easier! Enjoy!

Tips for doing Disney with a Baby or Toddler

“I would recommend going to Disney World during the Winter rather than the Summer but if you do go during the Summer avoid 4th of July weekend. It is so packed that lines for even baby rides are ridiculously long and it won’t be enjoyable to wait 2+ hours for a 5 minute ride.” – Sandra’s Studio in Disney World with a Toddler | Must-Haves & Tips

“This is a lovely relaxed whimsical indoor boat ride [It’s a Small World] that takes you past a collection of singing children from around the globe – there’s so much for the little ones to see on this one!” – Bump to Baby in What toddlers love at Walt Disney World

“Most people don’t know, but the Mickey at Town Square talks. It was really awesome and he even sang the Hot Dog song to Ricki. (If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, you soon will.) I would 100% recommend doing this, it is more personal than breakfast and also free! One of the less crowded spots to meet Daisy, Donald, Minnie, and Goofy is at Pete’s Sideshow Circus. I have never seen a wait longer than 20-30 minutes (you can get fast passes for this also, if needed).” – The Crispy Mama in How To Take Your Toddler To Disney World (And Not Go Insane!)

“Any ride that a toddler can go on a baby can go on as well. You just can’t bring a stroller onto any ride or have one while standing in line. That’s where you’ll want to wear the baby. This will make your life at Disney World so much easier and free up some hands for toddler wrangling.” – Casual Claire in Disney with a Baby and a Toddler

“Basically everything in Magic Kingdom is toddler friendly, so your tiny human will have a blast no matter what.” – A Monkey and His Momma in Disney with Toddlers, What Not to Miss.

“If you are going to be using a stroller, find a way to make it your own because if you have a common stroller (especially Baby Jogger or BOB), it might be difficult to find yours in the sea of strollers after rides and shows.” – Simply Darring in Prepping for Disney

Park Secrets & Helpful Information on the Go

If you don’t have loads of time to weed through blog post after blog post, I highly suggest checking out a few of these resources to help you along your way!

Disney Every Week with the PassPorter Moms! is one of my favorite podcasts! They provide tips and tricks for all types of Disney trips. I love hearing their opinions on hotels, food options, transportation and more! They have episodes specifically on special events, must see’s and do’s at each park, traveling with kids with special needs, and so much more! Each episode is around 30 minutes and so easy to listen to while cooking dinner or on your commute!

The Bucket List Family is one of my newest obsessions. They are the most adorable family that sold everything (plus an app for a huge profit) and now is adventuring the world. They most recently spent 30 nights at 30 different resorts are Walt Disney World. Each resort has such unique and magical features and they really did a great job at capturing them all! I linked to their first video but make sure you watch them all to get the full recap of their adventures!

Disney Parks Moms Panel is the ultimate digital resource for you provided by Disney to receive helpful tips and heartfelt advice about Disney vacation destinations from real moms, dads and in the know family members. They have a search each year for new contributors and it is really hard to be accepted and approved to the group. This is a great place to go if you have a question about a theme park, restaurant, service, shop, hotel or activity!

Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Review

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge use to be a dream far off in the distance for me. It was an out-of-reach resort that I longed to stay at. Thankfully, before Dusty and I got married, we became Disney Vacation Club members and now those African savanna balconies are not just a dream.

Dusty and I had visited the resort a handful of times prior to staying there. One of our favorite places to eat on property is Boma, and we love the architecture and lounge areas. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great Walt Disney World resort inspired by traditional African savanna lodges and brilliantly themed with the adjacent Animal Kingdom theme park.

About the Animal Kingdom Lodge

We found that Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was a super family-friendly resort. This seems to be an obvious observation at the most family-friendly theme park on the planet; however, this resort stands out above the rest. Here, you’ll find family-friendly rooms with bunk beds, outstanding cultural activities and animal programs, and rooms overlooking four savannas with over 200 animals and birds.

The lobby captures the look of an African savanna lodge and the lodge itself has one of the largest collections of African art in the United States which is displayed throughout the resort. It is arranged in a horseshoe design, with rooms and public areas that overlook the 33 acre wildlife preserve where over 30 species of African species graze and roam about.

The Animal Kingdom Lodge has two sections: Jambo House, the original resort and main area, and Kidani Village, the Disney Vacation Club resort space. Resort guests can use the facilities, swimming pools and fitness centers, throughout both areas and a shuttle van goes back and forth.

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Our Room

Although a Savanna View Room is highly desired, we chose for the lesser and cheaper option for an overlook of the pool area. We requested a high floor which granted us an amazing view regardless of our area. We also preferred staying at Jambo House over Kidani Village, as it is closer to many of the activities and restaurants. Although we are DVC members, we found that Jambo House was equally accommodating as Kidani Village would have been.

Our room included a queen sized bed, small couch with pull out bed, small table with chairs, a flat screen TV, a dresser with three drawers, a small refrigerator, coffee machine and a wardrobe with an iron, ironing board and small safe. The bathroom has my favorite Disney design, the split design, with the vanity and two sinks outside and a small room that consists of a toilet and shower with a bathtub.

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Other Amenities

Dusty is super critical on resort gyms; however, Animal Kingdom Lodge’s gym passed his “test”. The gym is located in the Jambo House section, which was another reason for us to stay Jambo-side. It has all the basic equipment – cardio machines, some free weights and weight machines – to get a good workout during your stay. There’s a spa that offers a range of massages and facials and a free sauna and steam room.

Although nobody should have to do laundry on vacation, we always seems to. There are a few laundry rooms around the resort that are efficient and easy to use. They are free to use select ones for DVC members so it is really convenient for us. A standard guest would pay $3/load.

I was also impressed with the resort’s calendar of activities, which included African culture immersion, poolside games, wine tasting, cookie decorating, music sessions and animal programs. We loved that there was always a family activity going on in the main lobby of Jambo House, games and fun at the pool, and we really enjoyed watching the nighttime movies around the pool area and the nighttime animal viewing. Some activities have a cost, but many do not and are free to guests.

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Restaurants

The Animal Kingdom Lodge offers several dining options, from award-winning, African fine dining to quick service restaurants serving class American favorites. Our favorite restaurant is Boma, where they offer family-friendly buffets with a great selection of food from over 50 African countries along with typical American classics. We have yet to eat at the other two locations on property, Sanaa or Jiko; however, we did stop at the quick-service location a few times which also had African (and American) cuisine. We additionally stopped in for a drink at the lounge.

What is your favorite part of Animal Kingdom Lodge?

Shop Small :: CinderEllie Designs

Thank you, Cinder Ellie Designs, for sponsoring this post, part of the 2017 Shop Small Spring series. I was selected for this opportunity by Cinder Ellie Designs; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

CinderEllie Designs

It has officially been one week since we have returned home from Disney. Life hits us, of course, the moment we got back. Ollie has gone from baby steps to running, literally. We had our anniversary to celebrate as well as Mother’s Day. And our refrigerator went out! I know life is full of ups and downs but this week we were just full!

Thankfully, I have a ton of Disney things still on my mind to keep the magic in the air. One is our final shop in our Shop Small Spring series, CinderEllie Designs. Her flowy tank was just perfect for our waterpark day at Typhoon Lagoon! I absolutely adore it. The color is something that I don’t have a lot of so I keep finding myself grabbing it from my closet as a top that’s a bit different than my normal routine. I love the glitter print as well!

If you are heading down to Disney, use the code “springfling17” for 20% off at her shop through the end of the month! Also, head on over to our Instagram page today for a special giveaway with her and Ellie ‘n Ollie, our new magically inspired tee shop!

CinderEllie Designs

Here is a little bit more about Ashly, the owner of Cinder Ellie Designs:

How did you get your shop started?
After leaving the classroom in January 2016, I found myself a little flustered. I’m a creative person, and my house was always cluttered with projects that I couldn’t wait to start. I am truly blessed with a patient man for a husband because he is always supportive and must have known I NEEDED a creative outlet. I started making my daughter shirts with the machine I had once used to make bulletin boards and activities for my students.

In August, my former student and babysitter asked me if I had thought about selling shirts. I laughed at her and asked her what she wanted me to make her. I made her a few shirts, and her comment sparked my interest into researching the possibility of opening my own shop. It was kind of a snowball effect of me making things for her and her family which turned into more requests from more people. I quickly needed a way for my friends and family to easily reimburse me for the things I made. At the end of the month, I jokingly created an Etsy page.

In September 2016, I launched my Facebook page and uploaded a few designs to my shop. I feel incredibly blessed to have done so well in such a short amount of time. CinderEllie Designs has been an incredible creative outlet while also helping me stick to our budget (most of the time) and helping out with a little income.

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
The hardest part of owning a shop is the fact that I want everyone I reply to via message on Etsy to be absolutely ecstatic about their experience with CinderEllie Designs–regardless of if they order a product from me or not.

I have said yes to rush orders I probably should have said no to because I empathize with my fellow procrastinators. My husband gets asked countless times each week for approval of each order I ship out. We once spent 30 minutes on a shirt that had an odd layout- scrutinizing it to ensure it was absolutely centered. I just want to make sure everyone has a great experience with CinderEllie Designs, and the perfectionist side of me comes out in full force with each order.

What is one thing unique about you?
I am great at making little-bitty pieces of paper. That was actually what my dad warned my husband about before we got married. Since I was little, I have always loved crafting. With crafting comes messes. And tiny pieces of paper. I got in trouble in Kindergarten because I thought the grass we were cutting out of construction paper for a picture we were making would look better cut a different way. I stayed in from recess that day. Give me a pair of scissors and a hot glue gun, and I can conquer the world.

What is the best part of owning a shop?
The absolute best part of owning CinderEllie Designs is making someone’s event even more special. I have helped announce pregnancies, celebrate birthdays, and coordinate outfits for magical vacations. I love that I am a part of so many happy milestones in complete stranger’s lives. That probably makes me weird. Or creepy. But it’s true. I also love that CinderEllie Designs gives me a creative outlet, and I have complete ownership of what I do in my small business.

How did you get your shop name?
My daughter’s name is Ellie. When we are being silly, I’ve always called her CinderEllie. Her favorite Disney princess was Cinderella for a time, and she went through a period where she would hide her left shoes (only her left shoes). When I opened the Etsy shop, I knew most of my designs would be inspired by her loves and interests. I immediately knew CinderEllie Designs would be my Etsy shops name for this reason. She’s a strong-willed, spunky little girl. Could there be better inspiration?

What is one way that you keep organized?
Organization something I am still working on. Like I said, I literally opened this shop almost as a joke. I have envelopes for each month of the year. I also use Etsy to keep my current orders organized. My husband is also amazing at creating spreadsheets, so he helps me keep up with inventory and numbers.

How do you balance family life and work life?
Sometimes I completely fail at the balancing act, but I try to keep designated days/nights for CinderEllie Designs. I also have pulled many late nights so I didn’t miss out on anything in Ellie or my husband’s life. Other times they go on Daddy-Daughter dates so I can focus on getting orders out. I travel for work part-time, so I’ve had to get a lot better at using the Google Calendar app on my phone to keep track of where I’ll be each day and what days I will be fulfilling orders. I also recently moved my workspace to a room that is not directly attached to my house. Having a designated, separate space for home and CinderEllie Designs has helped with my family/work/CinderEllie Designs balancing act immensely.

Animal Kingdom Photo Shoot with Cherry Blossoms by KC

Thank you, Cherry Blossoms by KC, for sponsoring this post, part of the 2017 Shop Small Spring series. I was selected for this opportunity by Cherry Blossoms by KC; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Cherry Blossoms by KC

We are still enjoying the Florida sun this week at Disney! It has been just a perfect glorious week! We spent Monday at one of our favorite parks, Animal Kingdom. Did you know how perfect Animal Kingdom is for a photo shoot?! We took so many pictures!! I personally love mini-photo shoots at Disney but I typically think of Magic Kingdom for these types of things. Not anymore! Animal Kingdom is starting to become one of my favorite parks and this is just another reason why!

I will do a complete list of all of my favorite places to take photos on property soon… but until then I am loving my 101 Dalmatians mouse ears from Cherry Blossoms by KC! They were the perfect “animal” ears for a day at Animal Kingdom without going all safari on everyone — not that anything is wrong with that either. The ears are made out of white with black spot fabric. The headband is hand covered with black ribbon and the center is adorned with a red sequin bow. They are so lightweight and great for a full day at the parks! They also stayed in place on my head on all of the rides. I did take them off for Expedition Everest, but I would hold on to all of my valuables on this ride regardless!

If you are heading down to Disney or have a little one who just loves puppies (I’m thinking puppy-themed birthdays as well!), use the code “BAHORICHABODE” for 10% off at her shop! Also, head on over to our Instagram page today for a special giveaway with her and Ellie ‘n Ollie, our new magically inspired tee shop!

Cherry Blossoms by KC

Cherry Blossoms by KC

Cherry Blossoms by KC

Cherry Blossoms by KC

Cherry Blossoms by KC

Cherry Blossoms by KC

Here is a little bit more about Kristen, the owner of Cherry Blossoms by KC:

How did you get your shop started?
It all started with a trip to Disney World in November 2016, where my best friend and I had created several pairs of ears for our trip. We had so many cast members and other people from around the parks asking about our ears and even had a guy try and buy a pair I was wearing one day. Once we came back from our trip I had multiple people asking me to make ears for their next trip to Disney. With all the interest people were showing in the ears, I decided why not create an Etsy shop. On February 2017, I opened my shop and have been loving every second of it.

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
I would have to say trying to do to much. Since I am a new shop and love to craft, I have so many ideas of different ears that I want to make and sometimes I put to much on myself at one time. My husband is great at helping me stay on track so I don’t get to overwhelmed.

What is one thing unique about you?
Well, when I say that I’m a Disney nut, I am not just saying that. I have been going to the parks since I was born, my parent’s honeymoon was there, I got married at the Polynesian and have been a pass holder since 2004. Disney is in my veins and I want to help create everlasting memories for my customers.

What is the best part of owning a shop?
Being able to create something that can make someone, whether older or younger, have an even more magical trip to Disney. I have so many memories of going to the parks and to help someone else have wonderful memories is such an amazing thing for a Disney nut like me.

How did you get your shop name?
Well, I didn’t want to limit my shop to only Disney products so I wanted a name that was unique and said something about me. I am a lover of nature and beauty and the Cherry Blossom tree is so beautiful and so my name was created.

What is one way that you keep organized?
My favorite organization tool in my craft room is my pegboard my husband made for me. Everything is right there in arms reach from my scissors to my thread and glue.

How do you balance family life and work life?
It’s not an easy thing to do sometimes but I have a great family that is understanding. I try and not make any ears on the weekends and leave that time for the family. I also try and fill all my orders while my step daughters are at school and my husband is at work. It doesn’t always work out that way but I do my best to always have my family come first.

A Birthday Celebration with Princess Powers

Thank you, Princess Powers, for sponsoring this post, part of the 2017 Shop Small Spring series. I was selected for this opportunity by Princess Powers; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Princess Powers

As I mentioned yesterday, we are living the dream in Disney this week! We are staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge for the first time and I am loving every minute of it. So far we have explored so many great shops at Disney Springs, headed over to Typhoon Lagoon for my 31st birthday and then ended the evening at Boma!

My birthday was just darn perfect. We didn’t really get to celebrate a big 30th birthday for me last year as we were super pregnant with our little Ollie, so here we are solo parents kidless for the week for my 31st! If you have never been able to check out Animal Kingdom Lodge or Boma, you are definitely missing out! I will have a complete review of both super soon.

But until then, let’s talk about this super adorable mouse ear shop — Princess Powers. I just loved wearing her ears for my birthday celebration dinner! It was so perfect. Her ears are a bit different than others, more lightweight and floral gorgeousness (is that a word?)! I absolutely knew that her Jasmine Wire ears would work best for me because I wear so much darn aqua colored clothing! I was slightly concerned about packing these in my suitcase, but good news! They travelled so well and held up great even in checked luggage!

If you are traveling to the parks soon, or just need something to make your day feel extra special, I would definitely check out Princess Powers! Also, head on over to our Instagram page today for a special giveaway with her and Ellie ‘n Ollie, our new magically inspired tee shop!

Princess Powers

Princess Powers

Princess Powers

Princess Powers

Here is a little bit more about Jen, the owner of Princess Powers:

How did you get your shop started?
I started my shop after wanting a pair of lightweight, floral ears to wear to the park. I thought I wanted to wear a Rapunzel pair, but after making them I changed my mind and decided to Disneybound as Cinderella and ended up making her too. Eventually, my girlfriends saw them and thought they were so cute so I made a lot of the iconic princesses to share with them. Once I realized I had a lot of extra flowers, I made an Etsy shop to get rid of all the leftover supplies in my house. They became more popular than I could have imagined, so I decided to continue making them.

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
Everything involving inventory has been the most difficult part for me. I always under or overestimate the amount of different flowers I need, so a lot of times I’ll have a certain princess-inspired pair of ears that will be out of stock until I am able to get the needed flowers.

What is one thing unique about you?
I am a licensed educator, but I currently work in the education department at a zoo and I absolutely love it! I’m trained to handle exotic mammals and reptiles.

What is the best part of owning a shop?
I love seeing people love and wear my creations! It’s so crazy to me that someone chose my ears to wear on their trip to Disney!

How did you get your shop name?
A lot of people wonder why our shop name is ‘Princess Powers’. Well, here’s the answer: Since I was young I always wished I was a princess. After all, I grew up watching all the fairytales in the form of movies and dreamed about beautiful gowns, castles, and of course, Prince Charming. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that all of those things are not what being a princess is all about. Being a princess means standing up for what you believe in, and it means having courage, while also showing kindness even when things don’t seem to be fair. Therefore, ‘Princess Powers’ means nothing more than having the abilities to be a princess in real, everyday life and using those abilities to make the world a little bit better.

What is one way that you keep organized?
My husband bought me these bins from Home Depot (I’m pretty sure they’re for tools–haha!) to keep all of the flowers, headbands, ribbon, etc… organized! They have been a lifesaver. Also, I keep a planner book and write down when orders are due to be made, shipped, and delivered.

How do you balance family life and work life?
Has anyone figured out this answer yet? …. 🙂 When you do, let me know!

Shop Small :: Mouse Apparel

Thank you, Mouse Apparel, for sponsoring this post, part of the 2017 Shop Small Spring series. I was selected for this opportunity by Mouse Apparel; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Mouse Apparel

Goodness gracious and all of the magic feels! We are hanging out at Disney this week and let me tell you… We are loving it! We left our little man at home and are enjoying some great adult Disney time!! As I prepped for this Disney trip, I managed to find some amazing small shops that I cannot wait to share with you this week!

First thing’s first, let’s talk about the awesomeness of the small shop, Mouse Apparel! Her tees are incredibly magical and I honestly could not choose… so of course, I went with my gut and eyed up a perfect Dole Whip lovers tank.

We love Dole Whip around here and honestly, I cannot believe it took me all these years to discover its magic. I have only been a Dole Whip lover for a few years, and considering all of my years of loving Disney — I’m not sure why it took me so long!

So check out Mouse Apparel for your next trip! I’m loving her newest design, “Happy with a 100% Chance of Disney,” tee. It’s a little play off a weather forecast, and the weather is always good in both California and Florida. How cute!! And use the code “BAHORICHANDMOUSE” for free shipping on all orders until 5/31/2017. Yes please…

Also, a side note that I’ll talk more about later… but we opened our own magically inspired tee shop yesterday! Head on over to our Instagram account for a giveaway opportunity for your own shirts from Mouse Apparel and our shop, Ellie ‘n Ollie!! Hurry, it’s only for 48 hours!!

Mouse Apparel

Mouse Apparel

Mouse Apparel

Here is a little bit more about Adrienne, the owner of Mouse Apparel:

How did you get your shop started?
My husband and I have always had the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2015, both of us were working corporate jobs, caring for our first baby, and trying to keep it all together. We needed a business I could do from home, that we were passionate about, and that would afford us the time for me to be home with our daughter.

Like a light bulb, one morning John said, “What are the two things Adrienne knows best… Disney and Christmas!” and the idea to create shirts inspired from the parks and movies I’d always loved was born. It seemed so simple, how did we not think of this before?!

Immediately we went to work on researching how to start a home based t-shirt shop, and though no path to success is smooth, every challenge we faced was only a speed bump in our path to reach those goals. Now I work on Mouse Apparel full time and spend every day with our little girl! We may be a little shop, but the time I have with her is more valuable than the work I did in the corporate world.

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
It’s all on YOU. You manage every aspect of the business; from customer service, production, accounting, investing in equipment and technology, marketing, promotions, everything! There is freedom in asking a boss what to do when you’re in a new or uncertain situation, but when YOU’RE the boss, you have to rely on your research, advice from those you trust, and your gut. But I’ve found as long as you ask, “What is the right thing to do for my shoppers,” those answers come easy.

What is one thing unique about you?
One thing that is unique about me is I still haven’t grown up. I will always be a Disney kid and believe in magic. I cry during World of Color and Fireworks shows, skip through the streets of New Orleans square, and will always have room for a Dole Whip. Being at Disney reminds me of all the good spirit people have within them.

What is the best part of owning a shop?
My FAVORITE part is the positive response from my shoppers. Seeing photos, reading great reviews, and knowing something I created helped make their Disney memories even better is so fulfilling. It’s what makes creating a business inspired by your passion so worthwhile. Also, my husband and I are a phenomenal team, in both work and parenting, so working with him has been one of the best parts too.

How did you get your shop name?
This one is pretty simple 🙂 Apparel was necessary so everyone knows we sell clothing. Mouse was a nod to the big guy… Mickey!

What is one way that you keep organized?
Lists, lists, and more lists. This helps me sleep better and I feel accomplished when I complete a to-do list (which motivates me into wanting to create more accomplishments!)

Goal setting is so important to organization. You can’t reach your finish line until you hang it up! So no matter what I’m working on (a daily schedule, or a monthly prep meeting for the shop) I always have a written goal to reach.

How do you balance family life and work life?
I am a stickler for schedules – especially my toddler’s. She sleeps at the same times every day, so I get right to work as soon as she is down. Having a home based business allows me the freedom to work whenever so I get most of my work done after she goes to bed. We plan on having another baby, so I’ll have to revisit this answer when I’m managing two nap schedules!

When you own your own business or any creative passion, you never turn it off. We are always thinking of new designs, or where we’ll take this shop next. For us, that balance works, because even though we are always talking about the shop, we do so while spending time with our daughter.

Shop Small :: CoconuTacha

Thank you, CoconuTacha, for sponsoring this post, part of the 2017 Shop Small Spring series. I was selected for this opportunity by CoconuTacha; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Shop Small

If you don’t by now, we are a Disney family! We love Disney around here and have officially started counting down to our next trip at the end of the month! The moment I saw these prints, I knew they would be perfect to help complete decorating the walls of Ollie’s playroom. They were fun, added a bit of color, and allowed me to have a bit of subtle-Disney in our home.

I’m not an over-Disney person when it comes to decor. I love it, but I don’t want a Mickey-fied house either. I try and keep my sprinkles of pixie dust to a minimal where really, only a true Disney fan would know what was going on here. One day I’ll show you all of my pixie dust throughout the house, but for now let’s just love on these prints!

Owner, Natasha, thinks of her shop as a product of my life so far. She draws. She paints. She honestly is creating something everyday. Since the age of 3 when she received her first paint set for Christmas, she has been drawn to what can be produced on such materials. Inspired by fiction books, sci-fi films, magic and nature, she has always found something to draw, paint or make in 3D. I love how many Disney-inspired pieces she has in her shop, but she does so much more too. From wedding invitations to cards to prints, her shop is full of great things for your walls or a friends’.

And something else? Natacha has offer you 30% off any of her products in her shop with the code “BAHORICHABODE”! The coupon expires soon so don’t wait!

Also, great news! We are now hosting a giveaway for one of these signs for your house over on Instagram!! Hop on over to the my account to learn more about how you can enter through April 16th!

Shop Small

Here is a little bit more about Natacha, the owner of CoconuTacha:

How did you get your shop started?
When I was 16, my boyfriend persuaded me to start a blog to showcase my work – I didn’t think much of it but I thought ‘why not?’. So I set up a small blog on Tumblr. After a year or so, I realized that I was getting a lot of interest; people were even asking if they could purchase my artwork! And so I opened my Etsy shop, www.coconutacha.com when I was studying Graphic Design in the University of South Wales.

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
The hardest part of owning a shop (and I guess perhaps any business!) is that you have to have many different job titles. As well as being the artist/designer, you are also the Customer Service Representative, Sales Advisor, Graphic Designer, Marketer, Post Person and the list goes on…. I used to think that owning my own business would mean that I would be drawing and painting all day – that is so far from reality!

What is one thing unique about you?
I would say my style is the thing that is most unique about me and my shop. I love painting in a splashy (almost messy) watercolour style, but still keeping it simple, minimal and subtle.

What is the best part of owning a shop?
The best part of owning a shop for me is definitely the feeling that I get when someone purchases a piece of my artwork! I still get a little shocked and surprised, and I am eternally grateful to everyone that has ever bought something from me. There are also perks such as getting to choose my own working hours. Also there’s no travelling or commuting involved! I used to spend 3 hours a day (sometimes longer) travelling to and from my office job – it was a nightmare!

How did you get your shop name?
Haha, it was more of an ‘under pressure’ thing.. When I first set up my shop on Etsy, I didn’t think of a shop name at all until it asked me! It was a spur of the moment combination of my name and favourite fruit (Natacha and Coconut); and so CoconuTacha was born! I also didn’t want anything too specific, such as ‘Natacha’s Watercolours’, in case I wanted to branch out in the future – which I did! I now sell a range of stationery, from wedding invitations to planners and calendars.

What is one way that you keep organized?
I sell my own weekly planner in my shop which I even use myself to keep on top of my weekly tasks. I write lists and keep a diary of important events and projects coming up. I don’t think I would manage without doing any of these things!

How do you balance family life and work life?
I work from home so I am always surrounded by my friends and family. I tend to schedule my working hours to when everyone else is working as well – and try to stick to it! I also try not to work weekends, but it’s a bit of an unrealistic goal when owning your own business – it’s not a 9-5 thing. But I always make sure I take time to switch off and relax with friends and family – that’s one of the main reasons that I quit my full time office job in the first place.

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

When we started to plan our babymoon to Disney, I knew it would be different. I was not prepared mentally on how different of a trip this was going to be. We did a lot of things right and some things I would totally do differently and take slower. I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to go on many of the rides at Disney World during this trip. I knew that I could watch the shows and other entertainment that Disney provided but other than that I was unsure. Many people thought we were nuts for doing Disney while 27 weeks pregnant; however, we had a blast! Here are my top 10 tips for doing Disney pregnant!

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

1. Wear comfortable clothing.

This can be said for anybody really; however, really think about what you are going to be most comfortable in. On a normal, non-pregnant park day, I usually can be found in a tank top or t-shirt and cuffed jeans. However, for my pregnancy trip, I opted for a super thin tank and shorts to make sure that I did not overheat. Even in March, this pregnant gal was warm and I was super thankful for less restricting clothing and my maternity tank from PinkBlush.

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

2. Think about your shoes.

Again, any park goer should think about their shoes. I opted for my Sanuk Yoga Sling flip flops. They are super comfy and if my feet were to swell up any (which they didn’t), the cloth sling would have been the least restricting on my feet. We also made sure that when we took breaks that I propped my feet on another chair to minimize the chances of swelling.

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

3. Water + snacks.

I take my CamelBak Eddy Water Bottle pretty much wherever I go. Disney is no exception. There are water foundations everywhere and it really saves me a lot of money as well as helps both Dusty and I keep hydrated throughout the day. I also always pack a handful of snacks for the day to keep us well fed in-between meals. We also opt to do two lunches to keep our energy going. We typically split one quick service lunch around 11am before the lunch rush, hit up the rides while they are slower, and then return for our second quick service split lunch around 2pm to 4pm. Making sure that you are keeping up your energy for all the extra walking throughout the day is a necessity.

4. Enjoy more relaxing rides.

Originally I was really bummed about all of the rides that I could not do, but once I got to the parks, it really did not phase our trip much. Yes I would have loved to go on Space Mountain, but I know that we will be back with our baby boy soon and this trip was just not the trip for thrilling rides. Instead, we focused on shoppings, shows, and the more relaxing rides. There were a handful of rides that Dusty had never even been on because we typically shoot for the more popular, thrilling ones. I was amazed by how much I enjoyed Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival, Journey Into Imagination With Figment, and Mickey’s PhilharMagic.

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

5. Take a mid-day break.

This was a easy transition for us on our park day during our babymoon because it rained for three hours in the middle of the afternoon. Instead of fighting the rain, we were able to hop on the monorail and ride quickly back to the Polynesian for a refresher. Dusty was able to go to the gym and I rested a bit with a delightful bath bomb. It also allowed up to avoid the “drown rat” look that we gracious received with the down pour after lunch. We were able to make it back to a new park by late afternoon and felt great!

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

6. Schedule your Fast Passes.

For me, I like to schedule all of my fast passes earlier in the day back-to-back. This allowed us to have a plan for the morning, and we were able to be more flexible in the afternoon. The pregnant-friendly fast passes that I choose for our morning at the Magic Kingdom were Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

What I would do differently is not space my fast passes all over the park. I did do it in a good order where we could easily move from one side of the park to the other without backtracking through lands; however, with my back-to-back timing, it was hard to waddle my pregnancy body through the lands as quickly as usually. If we did this again, I would probably focus more on having my fast passes on one half of the park and in a condensed time frame, still allowing us to have the afternoon and evening less structured and still being able to take advantage of the fast pass perks.

7. Explore non-park adventures.

One of my favorite things that we did the entire trip was actually not park-related at all. Dinner at California Grill during the Magic Kingdom fireworks was absolutely amazing. We were able to spend the day relaxing at Disney Springs and exploring our resort. We finished up the evening by getting dressed up and having our weekly “date night” with the most fantastic view. The dinner itself was delicious, but a little pricey. California Grill is definitely a treat dinner, and not normal occurrence for us on a Disney vacation. I think it was perfect for us to wrap up our babymoon.

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

8. Do not overdo it.

Overall, I am so so glad that we did Disney for our babymoon; however, as much as I could not fathom it prior, it was a different experience than the past. It was slower, more stops, and more exhausting. On a day-to-day, I feel fairly normal so I did not understand how this could really change our park hopping process during the trip. It did. I was tired. I was worn out. I moved slower. I waddled more.

Just do not overdo it. I am glad that we spent most of our week at Vero Beach and excited that we were able to have the one day at the parks, but more than that would have been an even slower paced experience. We woke up late. We hit the bed early. We took naps and breaks. All of these things made the trip better overall.

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

  1. 9. Take lots of photos.

Dusty and I have opted not to have maternity photos taken during our pregnancy. Not because we are anti-maternity photo shoots, but with a babymoon, house renovations, and all the other expenses that comes with a baby, a maternity photo shoot did not make the cut. We did take TONS of photos at Disney and purchased a one day Memory Maker from our trip. It was totally worth the investment. I only saw this option to purchase the one day pass ($59 at the time) on the MyDisneyExperience app itself, and not on the website. We had the best time taking a moment here and there maximizing our photo opportunities throughout the park. We even had the sweetest PhotoPass photographer that ventured out with us through Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival and took some “maternity photo shoot”-like photographs. This was his own idea and I cannot express how much it just made our day!

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10. Have tons of fun!

Disney is the place to have fun, so do it! Enjoy the day, take it easy, and maximize on the rides and shows that ideal for your stage of pregnancy. We went during my 27th week and I could not have loved the experience anymore. Yes, there was rain. Yes, I was tired. Yes, the entire experience was a wee-bit different than the last times we have been there. I enjoyed every moment we had. It was such a great vacation with Dusty before our whole world changes and we get to meet our little guy!

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

10 Tips for Doing Disney Pregnant

Citrus Soarin’ Diffuser Blend

Citrus Soarin' Diffuser Blend

Although I do not say it much, we love essential oils in our house. Combine that with my love for Disney and insert Ashley… Ashley and I met via the web on a Disney site specifically for those that had completed the Disney College Program. I fell in love with her ride-specific oil blend that she shared with the group and asked her to share it with you! Who could resist a Disney-inspired essential oil blend? Enjoy!

Meet Ashley

Hello! My name is Ashley and I am the Social Media Marketing Manager for My Oil Gear. We provide diffusers, glassware and accessories for people who use essential oils.

Needless to say, essential oils are a HUGE part of our daily lives. I am also a Disney girl, through and through. I participated in the Disney College Program in 2008 and it solidified my love for Disney.

So what could be better than combining 2 of my biggest passions by creating a Disney inspired essential oil diffuser blend? It is amazing to me how scents not only can take you to another place and fully impact your mood.

In February, we were gearing up for a big event in Orlando which also included a team building day at Disney. I had been experimenting trying to recreate some of my favorite Disney scents for the diffuser. I knew that the woodsy and citrus scent of Soarin’ at EPCOT would probably be the easiest one to recreate. But I had to find the right balance of citrus oils and a few days before our trip I finally felt like I hit the jackpot.

Citrus Soarin' Diffuser Blend

If you have never been on Soarin’, it is an attraction at EPCOT at Walt Disney World. You load up into chairs and they lift you up in front of a huge screen that takes you “soaring” through different scenes and places in California. They heighten your senses by coordinating scents with some of the different fly-through scenes. The 2 most noticeable scents are a woodsy scent are you fly through a river scene over trees. You also fly over an Orange Grove and the ride is filled with a wonderful orange scent.

I hope this diffuser blend allows you to close your eyes and soar away!

Citrus Soarin' Diffuser Blend

snaps from orlando

snaps from orlando

We love, love, love Disney. We are Disney Vacation Club members, I am an ex-Disney cast member, and Duston has grown to enjoy these moments in Orlando more than me. Disney is so much more than the parks. We love the food, golf, and atmosphere! This trip was a short one, and definitely fell into a hectic time in our life (in between moving and everything), but much, much needed. Highlights of our trip included a bike ride through the campgrounds, a day at the parks, a spring training game rooting for our lovely St. Louis Cardinals, and a relaxing afternoon full of sunshine and the pool!

snaps from orlando snaps from orlando

snaps from orlando snaps from orlando

snaps from orlando snaps from orlando

snaps from orlando snaps from orlando

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