Sunday, May 17, 2015

Bring it To Disney

I am not a crafty person. I can do some simple ones and have been fairly successful at finding things the Girl Scouts like to do. As we have been planning our Disney trip, I've been doing some Pinterest stalking for planning ideas. I have seen a lot of "make your Disney trip more magical" and "how to save money at Disney." Most of which involve a lot of craftiness on the part of Mom (because, let's face it, most Dads probably aren't a. Stalking Pinterest or b. Trying to make a Disney vacation "more" magical). I'm not sure why *I* (or any parent) needs to make Disney, of all places, MORE magical. Perhaps the internet age has made us all more competitive. I just know my parents would have never dreamed of making ANY trip more magical. And our 2 trips to Disneyland (at ages 3 and 13) were about as magical as those trips got in the 70s and 80s (I do not have a lot of memories of either trip).

But knowing my girls and wanting to do a little bit more as I am having fun planning this trip, I let my crafty side out, a little.

The girls are very excited about meeting a lot of characters so I knew they would be interested in getting autographs and I'm not a fan of autograph books (or guest books for that matter) so I looked for other ways to do this so we can incorporate the signatures into our photos somewhat. I combined a couple of ideas.  *Get a cheap, plastic photo album. *Get some scrapbook paper & cut it to fit in the album. *Get some Disney style alphabet stickers (I got mine at Michael's). *I bought some small clipboards for the girls to keep their paper secure & to have a hard writing surface for the characters. I also bought some Disney character stickers for the girls to use to decorate their photo albums and clipboards.




I also knew I wanted at least one family photo where we are wearing matching t-shirts -- hopefully in front of Cinderella's castle. Etsy.com has a LOT of options that are fairly affordable and customizable. Now I probably could have done these on my own (or asked Rocky to), but paying someone else $5 was a small price and I think my time is worth more than that! 10 days until we leave. And 5 days left of work. I think we are all looking forward to our first family vacation, that doesn't involve visiting anyone.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Stitch Fix

As a reward for losing those first 10 pounds, I decided to sign up for Stitch Fix. This is a fashion retailer service for women: you answer some questions about what you like, your measurements/sizes and they pick out 5 articles of clothing for you and send to you. There is a $20 styling fee, which is refunded if you purchase anything. You are able to make some requests, show examples of what you like on a Pinterest board to give them ideas. My first fix arrived yesterday. I was actually very happy with what was sent, even though most will be returned.

 1. Gabe Maxi Skirt. I LOVE this skirt. It is soft and so comfortable and unfortunately about 5 inches too long. I had to roll up the waist band to get the hem off the floor. I considered keeping it as I do like it, but at $48, I want to be sure it actually fits.

2. Finnegan Chino shorts. Another love, except for fit. The size is shown as a 14, so I was happy that my hard work is definitely paying off! Maggie said I can just wear a belt, which is true, but again at $48, I want the right fit.


3. Sam Hi-Lo short sleeve tee. I was just meh about this tee. The fabric is soft and this would be very comfortable, and perhaps in a smaller size it would fit better. I felt like I was swimming in the shirt and it just hung on me.


4. Alena collared button down. I wanted this to fit SO much, but again, wrong fit. This one was actually too small, tight around the bust and it just didn't lay right on my hips.


5. Chester embroidered bib top. I debated for some time on this one. So cute, but I wasn't sure how comfortable I would be with how shear it is. Rocky talked me into it. A  simple camisole will make this great for work and without, it will be fun this summer; plus it will go great with the cranberry shorts I just got off eBay!


There is a $20 styling fee for the service, but you only pay that if you choose to send everything back. The top I chose is $48, which includes shipping.

I do NOT like clothes shopping. I'm not a good shopper and I'm definitely not a "dig through the sales rack to find something awesome" type of gal. I've gone with people who are and while it's fun to find those deals, it was also exhausting! I'm all for saving money, but I prefer to do it on eBay :)

I've submitted my feedback and updated my sizes in my profile so my next fix should fit a little better. I signed up for quarterly fixes -- mostly so I don't end up spending TOO much. This is going to be a great way to slowly update my wardrobe as I get rid of pieces I either no longer wear or no longer fit!

You can sign up for your fix at this link: https://stitchfix.com/referral/4986985

I was not compensated for this post. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Disney World Planning

The Dailey Family is headed to Disney World! Rocky and I figured out last summer that we can truly afford to take the girls on a BIG family vacation and what's bigger than Disney? Jessie will turn 5 while we are there and this is the perfect time as both girls should have lots of memories from this trip.

The thing is as this is an expensive trip and we want to "do it right," there's a lot of planning to be done! We worked with a Disney Travel Agent named Samantha with Magical Vacations Travel. I cannot imagine trying to navigate a the world of Disney planning without a guide! Samantha did most of the pre-work for us -- gave us several options of where to stay on property, ticket options and made reservations for us for several Character meals and, of course, Jessie's visit to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. As we will be at Disney World over Jessie's 5th birthday, we decided we might as well give her a 5th birthday she'll never forget!

There are a million different sites, bloggers, travel agents/guides, etc who can assist you with putting together your vacation. Aside from Samantha, probably my biggest source of information came from a combination of the above in the form of Pinterest. I started my board over a year ago, before we had even really discussed it. It was merely an idea we had. I have to say the best part of this is the ability to take pieces from each blogger and figure out what works for us.

A few of my big takeaways:

  • Planning ahead is SO important. Lunch at Cinderella's Castle on Jessie's birthday? Check. Meeting Elsa & Anna on Jessie's birthday? Check. Without planning ahead, these would not have been "easy" to get. Our travel agent made the dinner reservations the day our window opened (180 days out). And Rocky was online at 11 pm to get the FastPass to meet Elsa the day that window opened (60 days out).
  • Make a schedule - how ever it works for you. I ended up creating an excel spreadsheet to compliment our schedule on MyDisneyExperience [mostly because the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique reservation doesn't show up on MyDisneyExperience]. There are many options that people share on Pinterest, but for me, the spreadsheet seems to be working. I've got it saved on GoogleDocs and will print a copy before we leave.
  • Don't plan by yourself. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement, but man, has it been fun talking about our trip with my family!! I love a good surprise and am not a present peeker, but I'm not sure how these parents can actually plan something like this without including their kids! I think I know the girls well enough, but I know I would be sweating over whether or not Maggie would want to do the princess make-over with Jessie or does Maggie even want to meet ANY princesses?
  • Build in some downtime. I can't count the number of people who have told us this. We will be there for 6 full days (2 travel days) and I've built in a couple of opportunities for us to either hang at the pool or visit one of the water parks -- we purchased park hoppers and got a free day at one of the water parks of our choice. We'll see what the girls want to do. I've even blocked a night out for Rocky & me. Disney offers in-room babysitters or kid clubs. We are waiting until we get there to decide which. A good opportunity for Rocky & I to check out the Disney Brew Pub or try a few drinks through Epcot World Showcase.
We have 41 days to go. I did some countdown calendars for the girls, but they kind of fell to the way side. I have one in my office, just on post it notes. This is the first time in a long time I've taken 2 weeks away from work and I'm really looking forward to it. Feels like a great way to kick off summer! I know I'll update with more tips once we return!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

#Bod4God The 5K

As I was trying to decide between walking or running (aka jogging aka moving slightly faster than walking) the 5K celebration, Cris (aka my Body & Soul Boot Camp instructor aka the one who talked me into the study) shared this verse:


Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially sin that so easily trips us up. And let us RUN WITH ENDURANCE the race that GOD has set before us.

It's not often you get a clear directive from the Lord. This was so abundantly clear that I knew at that moment I would need to at least TRY to run. To which God replied:


"'If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23
Was I seriously having a conversation with God through His Word? Yes I was. I did a search on Pinterest for Biblical inspiration and was not let down, as proven by my previous  post. 13 different references. If I've learned nothing else in the past 2 years, when God asks something of you, the best thing to do is say Yes (and it's okay to do so begrudgingly, though it is better to get into the spirit of it). I think it helped that I didn't have a lot of time to think about what God was asking of me. I knew a 5k is approximately equal to 3.1 miles, though my concept of space isn't the greatest. But I didn't have time to "train" for this event. It was going to happen next week and I was going to run (aka jog aka move slightly faster than a walk).

So how did it go? Rocky, Maggie & Jessie came to cheer me on and even followed me, taking photos & videos along the way. I was the only one with a cheering section! I spent some time praying, thanking Jesus for running along side me and asking him to block the wind. I missed a couple of turns and the couple behind me was kind enough to get my attention to bring me back on track [I'm sure there's a great metaphor there]. I did end up walking with them for a couple of blocks, but we all ran the last stretch back to the church. And I finished, I crossed the finish line. As I told Maggie, it wasn't fun, but it wasn't as bad as I expected. I'm still no runner and I probably won't seek out those activities, but I now know I can do it. It's no longer a mountain in my way. I am able because He is able.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.
Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

#Bod4God Run-spirational Verses

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us Hebrews 12:1

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

When you walk, you won’t be held back;
    when you run, you won’t stumble. Proverbs 4:12


For with God nothing shall be impossible. Luke 1:37

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

I run in the path of your commands,
    for you have broadened my understanding. Psalm 119:32


Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 1 Corinthians 9:26

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

"'If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23

He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29


but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31


Sunday, March 29, 2015

#Bod4God He's Not Done With Me Yet

Is that really me?? I'm not done; don't know that I'll ever be "done." But I'm so much further than I was 12 weeks ago. And I've been able to do more than I thought. My "secret" is the timeless combination of eating less and moving more. Just like Pastor Steve Reyonlds says in his book.

 I'm watching what I eat -- counting calories, being mindful of what I eat. I've discovered that is my downfall: eating because the food is there or because I'm bored. I'm much less likely to mindlessly eat if I'm writing down what I eat because it is hard enough to guess portion size when I pay attention! And I am trying to be honest when I write down how much I eat.

Moving more. My goal is 5-6 classes each week. Between Body & Soul bootcamp and our personal trainer, getting one or two more in isn't difficult. I do much better when I have the accountability of a class -- someone to tell me what to do next & many someone's who will ask where I was if I'm not there.

We have 2 more groups in this study. The last one is a 5k or walk "Celebration." I'm still trying to decide which I'm going to do. I know I need to challenge myself and do the 5k, if only to say I've done one and never need to do another. I'll see where God leads me!