The Mommyhood Life – Travel, Crafts, Food, and Florida Family Fun

Month: January 2014

Marriott Grande Vista Resort , Orlando Florida ~ Our Disney Vacation

We returned home from a last minute Disney trip this week.  My parents had an extra week available to exchange on their timeshare so I was able to convince the Hubby to take the trip down to Orlando.  This was the second time we stayed at the Marriott Grande Vista Resort in Orlando.  It’s across the street from Sea World, a 15 minute drive to all the Disney attractions and Universal, and less than 5 minutes away from restaurants and shopping.

We first stayed at the Marriott Grande Vista Resort back in August of 2012 when we did our first big Disney trip along with my parents, brother, and sister in-law.  Back then we stayed in a 3 bedroom lock-off villa, this time in 2014 we got the 2 bedroom lock-off villa because my father wasn’t able to come down and the rest of the family only stayed with us a few nights. 
 
I am a huge fan of this resort!  They offer so much, on the days we wanted to just relax and recover from all our Disney fun, this resort is perfect.  The kids can never get bored, they offer daily activities for them.  Such as arts and crafts, games, and different events like having Gatorland visit the resort.  They also have fun kid friendly pools, a rec room, boat rentals, a candy/ice cream shop and fishing rod rentals.  If its raining there’s a game room and the maze room which is a tube area for the kids to run off some energy.  They also offer kids drop-off nights and a kids field trip day to Gatorland for a fee, so parents have a chance to sit back and relax.
 
  
  
The Marriott Grande Vista also has a store and several restaurants on site.  Weather you want a sit down meal, a quick bite to eat by the pool, or pizza back in your room, this resorts got you covered! 
 
 
The store sells prepackaged S’more kits for the fire pits that are set on a beach area by the pond
 We didn’t make it to a fire night yet, because there is so much to do in Orlando.  However the kids loved building sandcastles on the beach!
If your looking for an adult friendly night, that’s also covered.  With poolside bars, relaxing hot tubs, and an onsite spa and fitness center!

The landscaping is beautiful and the resort is set on a golf course.  The kids woke up every morning and watched the golfers from the back patios. 
The staff was also excellent, my mother kept shutting the lock off suite door by accident along with her room key and security always came fast with a smile on there face to unlock the door. 
 
I also love having a full kitchen in our villa, we saved a lot of money being able to make breakfast most mornings, and barbequing a couple nights.  Our villa also had a washer/dryer and Jacuzzi tub.
 
I understand why many people choose to stay in a Disney resort, however if you are looking to experience all the other attractions Orlando has to offer, or you want to spend days away from all the coming a going of the theme parks then this resort is an awesome alternative. 
*this is not a sponsored post*

Doll Clothes Superstore Review and Coupon Code

One of the best parts of playing with dolls as a child is dressing them up, but after a couple years of doll clothes shopping I’ve learnt that buying these outfits at the store will often cost you more than the doll itself.  However I am very excited to have found an amazing place to get all Lilly’s fun doll clothes and accessories from now on!
Doll Clothes Superstore sent me 2 outfits to review with Lilly, and I must say the craftsmanship is impeccable!  The seams are straight and even, the Velcro is done perfectly, and the designs are adorable.  The quality is much better than most of the outfits I’ve bought in the past.

Plus these outfits are less than a quarter of what I’ve spent on doll outfits in the store!  Now Lilly can have enough outfits to keep her babies and Barbies in style everyday!   Doll Clothes Superstore
also sells twin doll outfits, perfect for Lilly’s Bitty Baby Twins she got for Christmas and Matching Girl and Doll Outfits.
We received the Bitty Baby Pink Dress and Barbie Pink and Lavender Glitter Dress to review.  As soon as the package came the outfits immediately made there way onto Lilly’s favorite Barbie and her precious Bitty Baby.
The Bitty Baby Pink Dress retails for $8.55
The Barbie Pink Lavender Glitter Dress retails for $4.25
These prices are awesome, but Doll Clothes Superstore is also offering a great deal for my readers, a 10% discount with no minimum purchase when using coupon code: lollipopsdcs
Lilly hasn’t taken her Bitty Baby’s New dress off and is very happy mommy got to review these items.  We will soon be stocking up her doll armoire with cute new outfits!

 

Connect with Doll Clothes Superstore:
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BlogDisclaimer: I received the doll clothes for free in order to facilitate this review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Plane Travel with Twin Toddlers – Lessons Learned

Our last family trip to Brazil included the huge task of handling two 18 month old lap children, no easy task with a 5 year old in toe and a 24 hour trip. Our excursion started in Boston, with layovers in New York and Sao Paulo, then we finally reached our destination of Vitoria, Brazil. I learned allot about air traveling with two toddlers from this round trip vacay.
Plane Lessons Learned:
  • Less is more with carry-ons and layovers. If we had a direct flight it probably wouldn’t have mattered to much about how much carryons we had but with our 3 plane itinerary, the carryons ended up being more of a hassle then they were worth and scaled way back on the trip home. When your each carrying a baby, watching a kindergartner, and worrying about all the carryons it can get crazy. Then if you add airplane stairs to the mix because the plane doesn’t pull up directly to the gate… forget it.
  • Ask for lap child seat belts! I cant believe we traveled three planes down there and not one stewardess mentioned these to us! The first flight on the trip back they brought them right over and they were awesome, they just wrap around your seat belts and are so helpful with keeping a fidgety baby seated
  • Some Stewardesses are better than others. All in all we were pretty lucky we traveled Delta and Tam airlines, all our Tam flights were great, but I learned years ago with my oldest that Brazilians seem to be allot more tolerant about children travelers. My first flight on Delta to NY was horrible the stewardess were rude and snippy about the twins and while never offered the lap seat belts she seemed to come by my husbands seat 10 times to complain about how he was holding my son I swear she would have been happier if DH sat on him. The way back the Delta stewardesses were awesome! gave the kids snacks and the pilot came out with wings for them. A good stewardess can really make the whole process allot less stressful.
  • On the way there I packed a bunch of toys and activities with the hope of avoiding any meltdowns but the best thing I packed was Tape, regular scotch tape, I packed a few rolls of it and it kept them busy for hours. Perfect for take off and landing when you cant use electronics or have the tray out.
  • Prepare before you board. Have bottles ready, diapers changed, and jammies on before you board the plane. The plane bathrooms are so tiny, lines can get long, and by the end of our long flight they were pretty disgusting so trying to change a rolling toddler wouldn’t be to much fun, and making a bottle with a grabbing toddler in your arms, not so easy. Also get yourself ready for a long hall stuck in a chair, once Lilly fell asleep I wasn’t moving an inch.
  • Bring everyone a change of clothes on the plane. I thought I was safe packing just a pair for the babies well you cant predict everything. My oldest who has never gotten motion sick in his life (and has taken this trip 3 times before) got sick on the way home and got sick everywhere, all over himself, DH, and Aidan. This lead to a quick stop at the airport gift shop after the plane landed.
  • A rolling carry on is best, I brought a rolling suitcase with the babies clothes and then when traveling through the airport we put everything else in it, Diaper bag, laptop bag, pocketbook, exc. One bag to roll one carriage to push, done.
  • Schedule a good chunk of time for layovers. You don’t want to be running from one plane to another with little ones. Its best to give them some time to run off energy, move around, eat, and watch the planes out the windows. This will make for a much more pleasant plane ride.
  • Bring your own food and drink on the plane. On international flights they still usually serve dinner and breakfast, but with a lap child its practically impossible to eat. There is little room left to open your seat tray and even when you get it open trying to stop your munchkin from spilling everything is a whole different task. I went to the food court prior to boarding and got a drink with a cover and takeout that I could eat out of the bag, this was allot easier.

All in all our trip was easier than I expected and well worth it!

American Girl Doll Hospital Saved the Day!

Lets face it, everyone knows how incredibly expensive American Girl Dolls can be.  However they are also adorable and a fun experience to share with a little girl.  The meals, the hair salon, the matching outfits, its a fun activity. 
Lilly is very blessed and has received a Bitty Baby and the Bitty Twins Starter Collection as gifts through out the years.
However a puppy, a three year old, and a $80 doll don’t mix well together.  Lilly innocently left her Bitty Baby sleeping on the couch before she fell asleep herself, mommy didn’t notice while busy doing laundry, and an hour later we had a sad little girl, an angry mommy, and a crated dog, because Lilly’s prized American Girl baby was chewed up all over the floor.
I thought about sewing it but it was missing a chunk of the torso, so as I perused the stores website trying to see how much it would cost to replace this doll, I came across the American Doll Hospital!  I was so relieved and excited,  I had never heard of this service before but its the perfect solution for any mishap your expensive little doll runs into!
They can replace limbs, torso, heads, and hair.  They can also remove them, and add hearing aids, glasses, and so much more.

 

The process is simple.  There is a order form on the Hospital’s webpage, you print it out and fill in what you need fixed on your American Girl Doll.  Then you put it in a box without any clothes or accessories on, place postage on it and send it out with the mail man.
A few weeks later you get your precious American Girl doll back looking good as new.

They cleaned up and polished her head, put a Hospital Gown and Cap on her, and sent her home with a Good Health Certificate from the Doctor.

 So for under $30, Lilly’s baby was back and in perfect health!
She was so Excited!

(This is not a sponsored post ~ Just sharing my experience)

Simple Mini Cucumber Sandwich Recipe

These are so yummy and addicting.  A family friend brought them to a Christmas Eve party one year and I make them constantly now.  There healthy, tasty, and filling.
  
Ingredients:
1 Cucumber
Packet of Italian Dressing Seasoning
8oz Package of Whipped Cream Cheese
Loaf of Finger Sandwich size Pumpernickel Bread 

 Mix the Cream Cheese and Packet of Dry Dressing Mix and Chop the Cucumber into slices.

 Spread the Cream Cheese Mixture on each slice of Bread

 And top with Cucumber Slices

 And that’s it, done! Simple and Easy!