Our Disney Vacation

We recently took our first family vacation to Walt Disney World.  It was the first time our girls have been to Disney and the first time in almost 14 years for hubby and I!  My in laws joined us for most of the trip and it was great to have them there.  (They also have not been in almost 14 years.)  So, buckle your seatbelt because I’m about about to take you on vacation!

Driving to DisneyWe drove.  From Ohio to Florida.  It was a long drive!  We did it over two days, leaving Friday after school, stopping in Georgia and then continuing on to Florida on Saturday.  The girls were rockstars!  I bought new coloring books, new markers, new lapboards, sticker books and treats!  Plus we had the Kindle to watch movies when they got tired of crafting.

Walt Disney WorldBoy were we excited when we saw this sign!!  We headed to the resort, Art of Animation, unloaded our stuff and then went straight to the food court for dinner.  We were hungry!  The kids also wanted to take a dip in the pool, so we got some swimming in before we hit the hay for our first day at the parks.

Magic Kingdom was up first and I was so excited to see Pumpkin’s reaction to Cinderella’s castle.

Seeing Cinderella's castleHorribly focused picture, but her reaction did not disappoint!  The kids were so excited about all the things!  We rode rides, met characters, ate too much food and the kids survived all the way to fireworks!

Fireworks over Cinderella's castleThe next day we headed to Animal Kingdom, nice and early. 

Animal KingdomWe headed straight to the safari and we saw so many animals!  It was a great ride and the tour guide was pretty funny, too.

Lions on the safariThe girls love animals so Animal Kingdom was off to a great start! 

Fish at Animal KingdomOh, and the fish.  They could’ve watched those fish all day!  But we had a FastPass to get to so we moved on.  To the Festival of the Lion King, where not only did we see a great show, but the girls got selected from the audience to participate in the final song.  Cue: sappy mom moment.

Festival of the Lion KingDino-land USA was a hit with Cupcake.  It’s Tough to Be a Bug was NOT appreciated by Pumpkin.  But overall we had another great day at the park.  And we made it back to our resort in time for Cupcake to do an art class before dinner.

How to Draw class at Art of AnimationThe next day we took a day off from the parks and slept in and wandered around exploring the resort.

Cars at Art of AnimationWe stayed in the Cars area of the resort.  It wasn’t too far from the lobby area and it had a pool, so it suited us well.  We particularly liked the Cozy Cones around the pool area.

Finding Nemo at Art of AnimationThe Finding Nemo area of the resort is the closest to the lobby.  It also has a larger pool with a zero depth entry, so it’s very kid friendly.  And a little splash pad area as well as a small playground area.

Lion King at Art of AnimationThe Lion King area is where we were originally planning on staying, but I’m glad we switched as there is no pool in this area.  It sits between Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid which both have pools.

The Little Mermaid at Art of AnimationThe Little Mermaid is at the far end of the resort and instead of having indoor hallways the entrances to the room are on the outside.  The theming of the resort is fantastic!  There are these great statues all over the place and so many details everywhere you turn.  It’s a lot of fun for the kids!

We left our resort and headed over to the Contemporary to eat brunch at Chef Mickey’s.

Chef Mickey'sThe girls were in heaven!  Waffles, waffles and more waffles!  And the characters!  The food was pretty good and the interaction was fun.  We left there happy and stuffed! 

After an afternoon dip we headed out again for the evening and hit up Disney Springs.  We surprised Cupcake with a reservation at T. Rex, which was really cool.  Of course we had to walk around the whole restaurant and check out all the dinosaurs.  Then we headed over to the Build-a-Dino to build a dino and then we checked out the rest of Disney Springs.

Build-a-dinoIt wasn’t the relaxing day we thought it would be but by morning we were ready for Epcot!

EpcotWe were lucky to have FastPasses for Frozen and the girls were so excited to meet Anna and Elsa.  Pumpkin didn’t like Soarin’.  Cupcake liked Mission:Space.  Turtle Talk with Crush was a lot of fun and meeting Gaston was so entertaining!!!

GastonIn the evening the in laws took the girls back to the resort for dinner and swimming and hubby and I stuck around to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival.  And so I could try on fun hats.

Hats at EpcotI read all the menus around the World Showcase and it was a tough call, but I finally decided on a chicken dish with naan from Africa.  And it was soooo good!  A little spicy, but so good!!

AfricaWe stuck around for the fireworks and headed back to the resort to see our sweet girls passed out from a day of fun.

dsc_3305Our last park day was starting early the next morning with a breakfast reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table.  This was for my Cinderella-loving girl.  She’d been looking forward to this so much.  And then she saw her favorite princess…..

Seeing CinderellaShe was so funny.  Like she’d seen a celebrity.  Oh, the cuteness.  Then she was so bashful  when she finally got to meet her.  She opened up a bit more for the other princess she met at breakfast. 

Enchanted Tales with BelleWhen we got to Enchanted Tales with Belle Pumpkin didn’t want a part in the show, but Cupcake got a speaking part!  She did great!

And I saved the best FastPass for last!  Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train!  I was so afraid Cupcake wasn’t going to like the rides, so I saved this one for last so as not to scare her so that she wouldn’t go on any other rides. 

Seven Dwarf's Mine TrainShe scored a front row seat and loved it!  Pumpkin not so much…..

Seven Dwarf's Mine TrainIt was a great way to end our Disney trip!  It lived up to the anticipation and was probably the best vacation you could have with kids.

After leaving Disney we headed over to Titusville for a visit to Kennedy Space Center.  I had won passes from Chick-fil-A last year when they had a partnership with KSC for the kids meals. 

Kennedy Space CenterMy future rocket scientists were ready for adventure!

Kennedy Space CenterThe Atlantis was definitely the favorite part of the trip.  The presentation was great and there was lots of interactive things for the girls to do afterward.

Kennedy Space CenterPretending to drive a rocket ship is fun and all, but going down a really big slide is where it’s at!!!

Kennedy Space CenterWe had lunch with an astronaut.

Kennedy Space CenterWe learned all about Snoopy’s role in space exploration (except Pumpkin….she slept right through that!).

Kennedy Space CenterAnd then it was time to say goodbye to Florida. 

dsc_3739It really was an all around great trip! 

I’d love to take the kids back to Disney in a few years. 


I’ll be back soon for a detailed “what they wore” in Dinsey post!!  Because you know I made all of their outfits!


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A Whimsical Halloween

Happy Halloween!!!!  My girls are so excited for trick-or-treat tonight.  They thought long and hard about what they wanted to be for Halloween this year and Pumpkin changed her mind about 100 times but in the end they settled on a fairy and a butterfly.

Fairy and butterfly Halloween costumesCupcake, not typically a girly girl, requested a fairy costume.  Not just any fairy, but a pink fairy.  With a wand and wings.  Pumpkin wanted to be a monarch butterfly.

Fairy and butterfly Halloween costumesI used the same patterns for both costumes, which made my life a little easier as I didn’t have much time to get these whipped up after our vacation (which I’m still trying to finish a blog post on!!).  The dresses are the Tinkerbell dress from Made for Mermaids.  The wings are the Wonderland Wings from Peek-a-Boo Patterns

Butterfly costumeOH, she’s just the cutest butterfly I’ve ever seen!  She just loves this costume.  From the moment I finished it she’s wanted to wear it nonstop.

Butterfly costumeI modified the wings pattern just a bit because the accent pieces are only on one side if you follow the pattern directions, but I needed the the orange on both side.  So I appliqued the accents before assembly rather than “quilting” them into the wings and they turned out great.  I also used one less piece of fusible heavyweight interfacing because I didn’t like the way Cupcake’s wings turned out with it.  I also added some heat transfer vinyl dots to give it more of a monarch look.

Fairy costumeDespite the specific request for an all pink costume this kid was less than thrilled about the result of her fairy dress and wings.  It’s too pink and the wings are too small.  She does like how sparkly the wand is, though!  Ugh, 6 years old, going on 16.

Fairy costumeShe eventually warmed up to the costume and flew around like the beautiful fairy she is. 

The Tinkerbell pattern only has a pattern piece for short sleeves, but because we live in the Midwest I wanted long sleeves, so we wouldn’t have to layer.  Well, so I wouldn’t have to color match their layering.  So I used the Harper pattern, also from Made for Mermaids to extend the sleeves.  Turns out it’s supposed to 62 degrees tonight, so layering shouldn’t be necessary! 

Fairy costumeThe wands are simple, made from a dowel rod and a wood cutout from the craft store.  I painted them, glued them together and added some ribbon accents.  Despite the fact butterflies don’t carry wands Pumpkin insisted she have one, too, and who am I to argue? 

In the end I’m really happy with how these turned out given the time crunch I was in (and the fact I had to keep going back to the fabric store for more fabric, then supplies for the wands, then pom poms for the antennae!).  And I’m sure that after tonight these will be put into regular rotation in the dress up wardrobe.


Happy Halloween!!!


*post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links I receive a small commission though your price remains the same.  Thank you for your support.

Unicorn Birthday Party – Pumpkin is 4!!

Today my sweet, little Pumpkin turns 4 years old!  It’s hard to believe!  We celebrated over the weekend with a unicorn themed birthday party.  Pumpkin was in unicorn heaven!!

Unicorn birthday party dessert tableThe dessert table is always the star of the show.  We had a unicorn head on the wall (from Target, borrowed from Pumpkin’s bedroom), streamers, a simple cake with a glitter unicorn and stars cut from my Silhouette Cameo, pastel marshmallows, iced cookies and felt unicorn horns that I made for each of the kids.

Unicorn birthday party cakeI had grand plans for icing a unicorn on the cake, but wasn’t feeling too artistic the morning of the party, so I went down to the craft studio and cut out some glitter shapes and stuck them on lollipop sticks and plopped them into the cake.  And added a frosting border and added some silver sprinkles.  And called it a day on the cake.

Unicorn birthday party iced cookiesI think I had already used up all my artistic abilities on the cookies.  I made cut out cookies with sprinkles and iced them with royal icing.  And sprinkled some with sanding sugar to make them sparkle.  I was tickled pink with how the unicorns turned out.  Pumpkin was tickled pink that they had sprinkles.

Unicorn birthday party cookies

Unicorn birthday partyI kept the food simple.  Mini corn dogs, mac and cheese, fruit, veggies, cheese and crackers and chips.  All big hits with the adults and kids alike.

Unicorn birthday partyFor craft time the kids painted unicorn suncatchers. And surprisingly they didn’t make a huge mess.

Unicorn birthday party - Pin the horn on the unicornAnd they played Pin the Horn on the Unicorn.  I sketched out and colored the unicorn on a piece of poster board and cut the horns out of glitter cardstock. 

Unicorn birthday partyPumpkin laid out the ground rules for present opening.  They were all supposed to stay on their bottoms and behind the line.  That line kept inching up until she and I were trapped in the corner…………

Unicorn birthday partyShe joined in with the other kids in singing “Happy Birthday”.  And was so pleased with herself when she blew out all four candles in one breath.

Unicorn birthday party cake and ice creamWe had unicorn cake and unicorn ice cream.  Pumpkin and I had a lot of fun making these together the day before the party.

Unicorn birthday partyAnd the sweet birthday girl looked adorable in her Made for Mermaids Brooklyn/Riley mashup with glitter heat transfer vinyl unicorn and stars.

She told me she loved everything about her party and I couldn’t be happier.  I loved seeing her face light up with every detail and watch her have so much fun. 

The past 4 years have flown by.  She’s still as sassy as the day she was born.  And still as sweet.  She’s such a loving, snuggly, expressive, and funny girl.  Oh how I wish I could keep her little forever. 


M4M Best Friends Collection

Made for Mermaids had another new pattern release yesterday!  This time it’s the Skipper Skirt, Stacey Top and Barbie Headband!  That’s right!  Three new patterns!  And there was a rerelease of the Hailey and Rose patterns.  You can get them either in a bundle of the 3 new patterns or all 5 patterns until Sunday.  Or they can also be purchased individually.  So, you want to see how cute they are?

Stacey and Skipper patterns from Made for MermaidsPumpkin of course loves this outfit because it’s full of ruffles!  She loves the ruffles of the skirt and the ruffly shirt. 

Stacey and Skipper patterns from Made for MermaidsIt’s the perfect compromise outfit for us because she always wants to wear skirts or dresses and I always need her to have leggings underneath.  The Skipper Skirt has 3 legging options; shorts, capris or pants.  So it’s a pattern I can sew every season!

Stacey and Skipper patterns from Made for MermaidsThe Stacey Top has lots of options, too!  Short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, long sleeve.  Pocket, bib with ruffle, elbow patches, tabs for the roll up sleeves.  

Stacey and Skipper patterns from Made for MermaidsOh, and did I mention you can make the skirt with knit or woven fabric?  The polka dots above are knit.  The arrows are cotton woven.  The main part of the shirt and the leggings need to be knit, though.  And I used these great solid knits from Purple Seamstress

Stacey and Skipper patterns from Made for MermaidsNot only does Pumpkin love these patterns, but Cupcake does, too.  I just knew she would be excited about a butterfly skirt.  She’s been eyeing this fabric in my stash for quite some time.  Luckily I had some navy knit to go with it, so she got a whole outfit, too.

Stacey and Skipper patterns from Made for MermaidsI was super excited to try out the 3/4 rolled up sleeves on her outfit.  And I think they’re adorable!  She loves the pocket.  She wore this outfit to school the other day and came home with a little piece of paper folded up in her pocket.  #loveher

Stacey and Skipper patterns from Made for MermaidsThe star of the show is this headband, though.  She was over the moon excited about a matching headband.  She, of course, wore it to school with the rest of the outfit.  And then the next day with another outfit.  And she wants me to make a bunch more. 

This outfit sews up so quick, so I know I’ll be adding more of these to their wardrobe.  It’s a new favorite!!!

Be sure to pick up your copy of these patterns while they’re still on sale!  (through Sunday, 10/2)


Market to Market Relay 2016 Recap

Last Saturday was my favorite race of the year!  Market to Market Relay Ohio.  This was my third year participating in the race (and it’s also the race’s 3rd year).  New this year was an earlier start time.  In the past 6 AM was the earliest start time, but this year they added 5:00 and 5:30 waves.  Lucky us drew the 5 AM wave. So the day started at 2:30 AM.  It’s so hard to wake up so early!!

Upon arrival at the start line (which is an hour away from home!) we picked up our “baton” and proceeded to the photographer for our official costume contest photo.  If you’ve read my previous years’ recaps you know the costume contest is my favorite part of this race (2015 and 2014).  We’ve won the costume contest both years and we were looking for a threepeat!

Market to Market Relay Ohio - fruit running costumesWe went with a fruit theme and everyone got to pick what fruit they wanted to be.  I sewed all the costumes using Patterns for Pirates’ Essential Tank and embellished them with heat transfer vinyl and/or screen printing paint.  I had a little help with the HTV on the strawberry and watermelon.  I also made the headbands out of felt.  I was so excited to see us all together looking so cute!

We sent our first runner (grapes) over to the start line and at 5 AM the trombone wielding, pink fuzzy guy led the pack.

Market to Market Relay start lineShe ran in the dark.  Runner #2 ran in the dark and I started in the dark as well as my leg started around 6:40.  Thankfully halfway through my first leg the sun started to make it’s way up and I was able to turn off the headlamp and see where I was going.  I was feeling pretty good about my run, but keeping my pace a bit on the slower side as I was anticipating a 5 mile run.  Turns out the leg was only 4.3 miles, so I was saving gas for no reason.  But I had two legs ahead of me so I was happy with that.  And well, we’re in it to win the costumes, not the race.  😉

Market to Market Relay Ohio

It was a beautiful morning and we all ran through our first leg feeling good.  Then it was back to the top.  By the time my second leg rolled around the sun was shining really bright and the heat and humidity were really picking up.

dsc_1538I threw on my visor to give me some sun protection (blue eyes problem) and grabbed my handheld water bottle and braced myself for a 5.6 mile leg. 

Market to Market Relay Ohio I started the leg feeling pretty good.  I didn’t get very far before the wind knocked my pineapple top off my head, so I ended up having to just carry it.  So, with a water bottle in one hand and a pineapple top in the other I cruised through the first two miles of the leg.  I could definitely feel the heat, but I had the shade of the trees to help it feel somewhat bearable.  But I spend the next 3.6 in the sun.  The hot, hot sun.  I was fading fast, but I told myself I just ease back and keep running until I was passed by April (she’s was on our 3rd M2M team and I knew she would pass me on this leg).  But just before 4 miles I needed a break.  So I walked.  I poured a little water on my head, drank a little and tried to give myself a pep talk.  I started running again and right at 4 miles April caught up to me.  We chatted for a minute and then she went on ahead.  I had been playing leapfrog with another runner and in commiserating about the heat she mentioned it was lunch time.  And then it dawned on me that I hadn’t eaten!  No wonder I had no energy.  It was now after noon and all I had eaten was an egg sandwich at 3 AM and a Quest Bar after my first leg (around 7:30). 

I hopped in the van after my leg and devoured my lunch!  We continued moving through our legs, chatting with other teams along the way, occasionally  running into our two other teams, and just having fun.  We sent runner 7 out on her second leg and shortly after we got a notice of a lightning delay.  Our poor lemon had to run the last 2 miles of her leg in the pouring rain with a lightning rod on her head!  (the headbands were made of foil wrapped in felt)

Market to Market Relay 2016For every 30 minutes of lightning we had to move forward an exchange point.  So we waited for a bit, then moved on.  So runner #8 didn’t get to run her second leg.  And at the next exchange it was the same situation. And then again.  It had been stormed for an hour and a half at this point.  So we just hung out in the van, sang along to the radio, ate lots of chips and begged the lightning to stop so we could run the last leg of the race.  We made it to the last exchange point and decided whoever wanted to run could run.  And our second team was planning to do the same, so we could all finish together.  Just as we were preparing to head to the path a huge streak of lightning flashed right where we were standing, so we packed up and drove to the finish line exchange.  We ran in for the team finish and our 2016 relay was in the books. 

Market to Market Relay OhioDespite the disappointing ending to the day we still had a great time and are looking forward to doing it again next year. 

We hung out a big after the race for our free pizza and beer and to hear the result of the costume contest.  Even though they wouldn’t be able to hand out the time awards because of the adjustments that needed to be made for the lightning delays we were told they would announce the contest winners.  Finally it was time!  After a quick tally of the votes the costume contest winners were announced and once again we won!!!

Market to Market Relay OhioI tell you what.  Waiting for those results and listening to them announce the runners up is torture for me.  A lot of thought and hard work goes into our homemade costumes, so it really means a lot to me.  My team is awesome for wearing the silly headbands I made for them or carrying them while they ran! 

So, now the pressure is on!  It’s time to start thinking about next year’s costumes!  We’ve got a reputation to maintain!