Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Kids Closet finds!

As tradition has it, I am going to post pictures of my treasures I found at Kids Closet for my own kids. I didn't do so well this time in REAL STEALS, like I did last sale with the $15 Kangaroo Climber. My total this year was $114 (so far!).

I got Beth what she needed - a few more dresses and just basic bottoms- shorts and capris. She talked me into two other outfits, I'm still not thrilled with, but oh well. Somehow, between last summer and now, I managed to buy over 20 shirts for her for this summer and 4-5 complete shorts or capri outfits, so she didn't need much this year, except plain old shorts and dresses. Here is Beth's mound of 12 items, which includes everything you see here plus an Ariel doll, you don't.

The pink tank top and striped skort outfit is Osk Kosh, the teal outfit next to it is a brand I've never heard of, but it has a mathcing "flowy" skirt that Beth had to have.

This precious dress is smocked and is DARLING!

...and the yellow/floral dress is by Plum Pudding and is just too cute on, too.
The rest are just Old Navy, Gap and random brands of jean capris and shorts. There is one T-shirt with flip-flops on it that I just love, so that is why she got it! There is also a pair of sandals that she "had to have", but I really doubt she'll ever really wear!

After surveying what I already had for Sarah for this summer (mostly 24m and 2T stuff that was all Beth's old stuff) I knew she needed more 18-24 month stuff, so that was my goal for her- plus, she needed more little play sundresses - my potty-training outfit of choice! I PLAN to start with Sarah late summer, unless she shoes any interest before then, I also found a few other couldn't resist outfits that she had to have!

Sarah's haul includes 18 items - 2 bathing suits- probably to be left at daycare to be used for her water play days, 2 skort outfits (brands??), 5 dresses by Old Navy, Caters, LeTop, etc, 3 "outfits" by Gymboree, LeTop & Carters, 3 DVDs (2 Wiggles, 1 Elmo - each $1!) and 3 pairs of shoes - 2 "water" sandles and one pair of Stride Rite tennis shoes.
I have a few I want to show you up close...
How cute is this little Patriotic shirt?! I LOVE IT! It comes red gingham capris, which she probably won't actually wear on the 4th, but I have some red shorts that will go perfectly with the top. I love it!

I couldn't resist this little ladybug jumper! Partly because the girls (well, Beth only, really) sometimes refers to my mom as "ladybug" and secondly because it is just too darn cute!

This little outfit is skorts, but I had to have it because of the little beach critters on it!

And this little skort outfit looks like it will be soooo "cool" on for hot days -its very light weight cotton and has a criss-cross open back.
I may not be finished shopping yet - each day I find something new, and generally talk myself out it. I do need to see if Sarah needs some plain basic shorts. I've done very well in staying out of the toys this time. We just do NOT need any more. I have my eye on a few "big" outside toys that I might buy at 1/2 price if they are still there on Saturday, but we'll see. The sale opens to the public tomorrow, so its going to get busy and stuff will start FLYING off the shelves soon!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Birthday Surprise!

~*~Updated to add a picture of my OTHER Birthday surpise from Bob~*~

Yep - today is my 32nd birthday. Woo Woo.
This is what we woke up to this morning! 1 1/2 inches of really pretty snow! School is a little late, so we are just kinda being lazy this morning and enjoying watching it snow...we don't get to see it THAT often!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

One of the kids ALWAYS gets sick during Kids I wonder who will be next week?

Remember that statement/question in my last entry? Well - the answer is SARAH! Up last night throwing up (like you all wanted to know). She seems okay this morning...SO FAR, but we've only been up an hour or so. Maybe she'll get it all out of her system before tomorrow when the real Kids Closet work kicks into full gear.

Ho Hum....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Crazy Week Coming Up!

Well, Kids Closet set-up officially starts tomorrow and kicks in FULL GEAR on Sunday with a few days of getting ready, private sales on Wed/Thurs and then the public sale starts a week from tomorrow. Its always a very crazy week...and the ribbon I ordered to make an additional 20 or so bows has not arrived yet, so on top of the crazy days next week, I'll be busy finishing bows at nighttime to have them ready by next Wed. AUGH! Oh- and did I mention that Bob will be out of town at a Safety convention of some sorts. He'll be back Wednesday - just in time for my birthday. :-)

Beth goes back for her Strep Throat re-check tomorrow and does NOT want to go. She hated the throat swab....I don't blame her. Sarah is finally not snotty! Yeah...but for how long? THAT is the ultimate question! One of the kids ALWAYS gets sick during Kids I wonder who will be next week?

There is really not that much else to report. Its been a cold, icy day and I'm so ready for spring!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weekend Get-away- in June...

Bob turns 40 in June. I think he is worried I am going to throw him some awful surprise party, so he told me he wants to go SOMEWHERE AWAY FROM HERE for his birthday. Our original plan was (and still might be) Gatlinburg. We honeymooned there, so it holds a special place in our heart, and we've been twice before, so we don't feel the need to be such tourists! :-) But now I'm rethinking that. There are so many places that we haven't been. We will only have 3 nights and 4 days, and our budget isn't huge (we did just get back from Disney, after all!). So, help me out, where can we go - no more than 5 hours away from where we live- and have a rockin' good time for Bob's 40th birthday?? Now, I don't necessarily mean somewhere I can "party" the whole time, because that is SO NOT ME, but somewhere new and fun? And the girls will NOT be with us! Thoughts???

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bows, Bows and More Bows!

Some of you may not know that my new-found "hobby" is bow making. Not necessarily for my girls, but to sell. A few years ago at Kids Closet (consignment sale) we had a wonderful lady who made bows to sell. And then she moved and there was NO ONE consigning bows and many many people wanting them, so I decided to give the craft a whirl. It took me a while and a bit of money to start up, but once I got the hang of it, its been fun! I sold over 50 bows at the fall sale- maybe more than that, but I lost count. So, for the last month or so, I've been getting ready for the Spring Sale. I just ordered some really cute green/pink striped ribbon, so I'm exciited to see how those bows turn out. I have about 12 days left to finish up and I usually end up making more in the middle of the Sale if I see one particular color or pattern selling out each day. I sold over 15 plain black bows at the Fall Sale and only 3 of those were "pre-made." So far - this is what I have finished:

Anybody local - I'll be happy to directly sell any of my bows to you anytime and I can make anything (color/pattern/size/clip) that you want!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Going, Going, Gone!

Beth's TOOTH, that is! I knew it wouldn't be long, but I didn't expect it would be tonight!

Its her bottom left tooth - the close-up pictures I took aren't great, but at least you can really see it!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day 2008

And for growth comparative purposes:
Valentine's Day 2007:

Also - I must mention that Beth has her first real loose tooth! Anyday now I fully expect to be posting a picture of my toothless almost-5-year-old! AUGH! I had no clue she would start losing her teeth so YOUNG! Huh???

Monday, February 11, 2008

Just one of "those" days...

Have you ever had a day that was just plain bad?? I mean - every single aspect of it? Everyone is cranky and tired and grumpy; nothing sounds goods to eat/drink; nothing suits the kids & the are cranky and tired, too; you just don't "feel" good; ...and so on....

Yeah...Sunday was one of "those" days. I won't even go into details to spare you from reliving my bad day. Ick.....

Here's to a better week....hopefully.............

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sarah - 21 months

These pictures were taken during the SuperBowl last Sunday- she was dressed for the party and enjoying her Raisins! Also notice, that at 21 months old, the girl is still DROOLING! When, oh when, will that stop?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Animal Kingdom & The Disney Studios

The last two parks of our Orlando adventure were Animal Kingdom and The Disney Studios (formally MGM Studios).

We went to Animal Kingdom on our 3rd FULL day there. This was the day we should have just stayed home....infact, after naps, we didn't attempt any other parks that day. This was Beth's overly tired and cranky-to-the-max day. We broke down and rented a stroller here and it was nice, but it WASN'T nice having to keep up with the darn thing after we got off each ride. The "cast members" move them around and keep them "organized" and the stroller was NEVER where we left it! Beth, on the other hand, was happy, and so were Bob's shoulders! We didn't do much at AK. We did the Kilimanjaro Safari, the Rafiki kid's area (Beth's favorite) and the Bug's Life show (we all hated it - will NEVER do it again!). We also ate at Yak and Yeti - which might have been the highlight for me!

Kilimanjaro Safari was nice -not what I had expected at all. I detected a little bit of "the Jungle Cruise" in it - as far as the "commical" guide and the part at the end about being chased by poachers. The animals were beatiful. I didn't realize that all the Safari animals are housed at night and AK closes earlier than the other parks because it takes 2 1/2 -3 hours each night to get all the animals into their enclosures and fed! WOW!

Beth LOVED the Rafiki kid's area, especially the "vet" center and petting zoo. That was a cool area.

We never made it into a whole section of the part - like the Dinosaur area - or saw any of the shows I really wanted to see- like The Festival of the Lion King or the Nemo stge show. We were just too tired and Beth desperately needed a nap. I think AK was my least favorite park and I don't necessarily feel the need to return...unless I'm headed to Yak & Yeti's!

The last morning we were there, we went to The Disney Studios.

This was mainly a show park for us - no rides. We saw the newly revamped Playhouse Disney show - which now includes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins, Handy Manny and My Friends Tigger & Pooh.
NEW Little Einsteins set:

Beth screaming BLAST OFF!!

We also saw the Voyage of the Little Mermaid show (very cute - no pictures allowed!) and the Beauty and the Beast stage show - my absolute favorite! I took over 30 pictures at this show, but I'll only bore you with one!

We ate at the ABC Commissary and then let Beth play in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground - her favorite!
Then it was time to go. Once the kids are older, there will be more to do there. Age 4 1/2 is not an easy age for The Studios. We rode no rides here. Beth wouldn't even THINK (nor would I) about the Tower of Terror and she was too short to ride the Aerosmith rollercoster. None of us are Muppet fans, so we skipped that show, but from I heard from other people around us - that was probably a good thing to skip! I liked The Studios. We all had a good time, despite being drop dead tired and working on a time schedule to make it back to the resort to catch the Magical Express to the airport.

All-in-all the trip was great! We leared A LOT about what to do/not to do next time and I feel a lot more educated! Disney has changed a lot since the last time I was there in 1996! Plus- this time, "I" was "in charge" and had my own child. I still absolutely LOVE it!
So, from here on out- its back to regularly scheduled blog business and I promise to post some pictures of Sarah soon! She's 21 months old now - wow- that happened fast! That is how old Beth was when we moved to Kentucky in Jan. '05.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Magic Kingdom & Epcot

We spent a few hour our first day at Magic Kingdom, all morning/early afternoon the second day and dinner/night the third day. It was all jumbled up because of dinner reservations I had at Chef Mickeys & 1900 Park Fare the 1st and 2nd nights. ANYWAY - Magic Kingdom is HUGE. TWICE as much to do there as all the other parks, especially with young ones. We could have easily used another 1/2 day there. I think next time we'll plan for 2 "full" days there and I'll try to make our dining reservations for places inside the park - like Crystal Palace or Liberty Tree Tavern. We did everything Beth wanted to do - Space Mountain, The Indy Speedway, Pooh's ride, Peter Pan, The Teacups, Dumbo, Cinderella's Carosel, Alladin's Magic Carpet, Jungle Cruise, Swiss Family Robinson's Treehouse, Pirates of the Carribean (okay, I was the one who wanted to do this one - Beth was hesitant!), the Train, Small World, Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor and Mickey's Philamagic - I'm sure I'm missing something, but I just can't think! I could have skipped a few of those. I had high expectations for the Laugh Floor, but it was....okay. Cute and interactive, but not my favorite. I really liked Mickey's Philamagic 3D show. It was the first thing we did and it kinda kicked off the experience! We also managed to miss every single parade, but did catch part of the afternoon parade at Magic Kingdom before we left for naps! We also caught the fireworks twice - once from the observation deck at The Contemporary and once from FantasyLand inside MK.

Beth & Bob on the Teacups:

Firework over the Castle:

On Cinderella's Carousel:

EPCOT (Experimental Prototyple Community of Tomorrow) was just like I remembered it - not my favorite, as far as "rides" go, but beautiful!

I had REALLY high expectations for Nemo and the Sea's ride, but holy cow was this a total bummer. I was HIGHLY disappointed as the "ride" didn't do anything but take you through a tunnel with a bunch of fish aquariums and one BIG aquarium and they've superimposed Nemo and his friends into those aquariums. Total waste of time. HOWEVER, Turtle Talk with Crush was ADORABLE!!! Beth LOVED it, as did I. Do this even if you don't do the ride.

Beth also likes Spaceship Earth (inside the big ball!). They've updated it and its very cool. She also liked a few of the exhibits after you get off the ride. MY favorite and Bob's too, was Test Track...a new "speed" ride sponsored by GM. This was REALLY neat - be sure to "fast pass" this ride, though!
I think that is all we did. We skipped Soarin and the spaceship rides, as Bob and I get rather "ill" with simulators like those. If we hadn't had Beth with us, I could have spent a whole day in the Countries of the World part of Epcot (enjoying good food in China or a margaritta in Mexico!). But I think Beth would have been bored. We also never got a chance to see Illuminations Fireworks, which I've heard is awesome! We were able to catch a glimpse at them from our resort, though! I also got a chance to finally eat a chocolate covered frozen banana in Epcot - one of my favorite treats at Disney World! We also hit a few things in one of the Innovations buildings. Beth and Bob liked it - I was bored silly. I'm not a fan of "exhibits and experiments". Too much like a museum. Anyway, this was a 1/2 day park for us, but COULD have been a full day one. I think it depends on your kids and how much they are "into" science and physics and such.
Some good pic's of Beth from places around Epcot:

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bibbity Boppity Boutique

The Bippity Boppity Boutique (BBB) is a very new concept at Disney. The first one was built inside the giant World of Disney store in Downtown Disney. the next one was built inside Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom. It is a "full-service" hair and beauty salon for little girls to be transformed into princesses. You can pick from just hair; hair, nails & make-up; or the works - hair, nails, make-up, dress and accessories (for whopping $150 or something crazy like that!). We opted for the hair, nails and make-up only at the BBB inside the castle and Beth wore her OWN dress. We got there late...we were pretty much late for everything! We had to wait about 15 minutes then a "fairy godmother-in-training" took Beth off to her chair and started the transformation. Beth got to choose which hair style she wanted and then the fairy godmother-in-training went to work. I've never seen so much glitter hairgel in my life. Beth hardly cracked a smile during the whole hair process- these may perhaps be the ONLY smiles I captured on film:

She DID like the make-up and nails.
I wish I could have chosen to do those two things only. That would have been a bigger hit. Beth wasn't thrilled with her hair and neither was I. It just wasn't cute. It has entirely too much gel and gunk in it. It was slicked back and its just not a cute look for Beth.
Beth was asking for her hair to be washed by the time we got back to the hotel. She did, however, LOVE LOVE LOVE the crown that was in her hair, and I had to fix her hair so she could wear that darn crown for the next 3 days.
My opinion moms, is forego the BBB and just spend the $10 or so in one of numerous stores that sells that tiara and fix your own daughter's hair! The BBB was crowded and noisy and expensive. I do not think it was money well spent and I think it was a complete waste of time and money. I booked a reservation thinking Beth would see all the other little girls with their hair all done up and BEG to have her's done too...but she NEVER made a comment about any other little girl's hair, the entire time. I don't think she would have even known it existed if I hadn't made such a fuss. I thought this would absolutely be something she would love doing - she just wasn't impresses and neither was I.

Seriously moms- I don't recommend it. Buy the small tiara in the store and make your own little princess in your hotel room. All Beth wanted to do was wear her dress to the Park anyway, so that was the most exciting thing for her - she could have cared less about the hair.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Before I booked our trip, I did a lot of research on the new Disney Dining Plan. After visiting a lot of different websites and Disney chat forums, I finally decided it was the best value for our money to do it. So, I booked it with our trip. I'm not entirely sure of the total cost, but I THINK it was around $360 or so. It was $38.99 a day for Bob and I and $9.99 a day for Beth, if memory serves me. Considering we did THREE character meals that cost $70+ just for that meal alone, I think we got a pretty decent deal. The "basic" plan includes, per person each day: a Table-service meal each day, which requires reservations basically anywhere you want to each sitting down. You MAY get lucky and be able to walk in somewhere, but honestly - just make reservations. Nothing happens if you miss them or decide not to go. The plan also includes a Counter-Service meal (entree, drink and dessert) and one snack (basically anything valued at $3.50 and below). It was A LOT of food....We rarely used our snack credits and had 4 left (out of 12) the day we left, so I stocked up on snacks for the trip home. The one thing that no longer makes the plan a "great" value is that gratuity is no longer included in the plan, so we has to tip about $15-$20 at each character meal and about $12 at our sit-down lunch one day. Other than that- the EASE of the plan is what makes it nice. I didn't have to carry around an obscene amount of cash. Its like an all-inclusive resort! I liked it and would recommend it. Even if it doesn't SAVE a lot of money, just consider it a pre-paid dining plan. Its so much easier!

That being said, let me review where we did eat. Our first night there, I made reservations at Chef Mickeys, located inside The Contemporary Resort, for dinner with Mickey and the gang. Probably not a place I'll go back to. It was very crowded and noisy! The buffet was...just okay. Not great. The best part was the dessert buffet! Beth loaded up on on gummy bears, chocolate chips and M&M's. Its vacation, after all! I had to-die-for caramel bread pudding! Bob had something chocolate! The characters were great here and each and every one came to our table, signed Beth's autograph book and took pictures. That was nice, but really, unless your kids just HAVE to do this dinner - skip it. I think next time, we'll do the Liberty Tree Tavern Mickey dinner. I heard it was MUCH better food!!! Here are some pictures of our Chef Mickey's dinner.

The second night, we had dinner at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian Resort for dinner with Cinderella. I chose this one over the dinner in the castle for several reasons. I had read and heard that at the castle dinner, the characters don't interact with you - especially Cinderella - and the dinner was 2 Table-Service credits, as opposed to the 1 Table-Service credit (per person) we were charged at 1900 Park Fare. The food was buffet style from countries around the world. Again- just okay. Nothing fabulous, but good. The characters were ALL great! You've seen the pictures with Cinderella, but here are a few of the other characters we met.

This is Cinderella's Step-sister Anastasia:

This is the other Step-Sister, Drizella:
Both Step-sisters were HIGHLY entertaining and very funny! They have a fun job!

Lady Tremaine (step-mother) was under the weather that night, so the Fairy Godmother filled in for her:

And I decided to jump in the picture with Prince Charming.......He was very sweet!

I'd HIGLY recommend this dinner just for the Character interaction and the beauty of the Grand Floridian.

The next morning, we headed to Epcot for the Princess Storybook Breakfast. BY FAR the best meal and best character dining experience! Beth got to meet FIVE princesses! (see yesterday's post for pictures!). The food was excellent! We were in the country of "Norway" so I was expecting strange food, but it was a "cold" buffet- cheese, fruit, pastries and then they brought out a platter of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and potato casserole for our table to share. Beth ate the best at this meal! If you have little girls, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this meal above and beyond any other character meal. Its worth it! We had a sitting time of 10 a.m., so we just called it brunch and didn't eat lunch that day. We also go a good hour of Epcot done while we waited for 10 a.m. to roll around!

Monday, we ate at Yak and Yeti in Animal Kingdom. This was our last Table-Service sit-down meal. It is Asian cuisine and it was YUMMY! I would consider it the best meal we had. No characters - we were charactered out!

As far as counter-service meals, we ate at Casey's Corner for lunch the first day - hot dogs and fries. It was good. The outside seating area has been taken over by ducks and seagulls, so be prepared to share your space with the fowl. (side note- also position yourself under an umbrella if possible. We had to make a trip into a store for a new shirt for Bob right after lunch...if you get my drift). We also ate at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe on Sunday night. I had BBQ and I'm not sure what Bob had. I THINK Beth had PB&J here. It was good - crowded, but a nice meal. This is the place where you can get a 1/2 rotisserie chicken, but the wait was 30 minutes till they were done, so we passed. But they looked big enough for 2 people to split...easily! At The Disney Studios, we ate at the ABC was good. I had fried fish and Bob had a cheeseburger. Beth had...hum....ham and cheese wrap. No one complained about their food and everyone said it was good! ABC (network) TV posters everwhere! Oh- the last night we at at Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney. Also very good! Beth was NOT thrilled were her HOT PB& was beware if you have picky kids. Ask for this to NOT be toasted!

I think that covers our eating habits for the week! As much as we ate, we didn't gain any weight! We did enough walking to walk-away those calories each day! I also took along quick B'fast foods like Poptarts, Cereal Bars and Quaker Oats B'Fast cookies to eat in our room each day - that worked out nicely!!