How I Make Our Disney World Planning Booklets

wdw planning booklets


I promised a while back that I would share how I put together our Disney World planning booklets.  We’ve used planning booklets on quite a few trips now.  This much planning and detail isn’t necessary for every trip, but here are a few instances they are helpful.

Use Disney World Planning Booklets if:

  • You are traveling with a large group
  • You are traveling during a busy, crowded season
  • You are trying to maximize what you can get done at park opening/rope drop

For this trip, we are hitting all three of the above.  We’ll be traveling with 13 people total and we tend to tour as a herd.  The biggest reason we stick together, especially in the mornings, is to optimize what we can get done at rope drop.  If you hit the rides and attractions in a particular order and get there first thing, you can really avoid a lot of lines.

I use small photo albums from Dollar Tree to make the booklets.  I thought about just using our phones for this, but not everyone in our party has a smart phone.  And I think it’s simpler to pull out the booklet.  Each family unit gets one, which keeps me from having to repeat the same info over and over.

What goes inside our booklets:

[Read more...]

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Weekend Links, couple of Wedding Pics, what C.S. Lewis ate, and more

Before I get the weekend links, I wanted to share a couple of wedding pictures.  Our daughter, Meredith got married last weekend.  It was such a special time to celebrate with friends and family.

We don’t have photos back from the photographer yet, but I managed to snap a few with my phone.



Instead of wedding cake, we served donuts from North Lime Coffee & Donuts.  When Meredith and Stephen first told me that’s what they wanted to do, I really wondered about it.  But it turned out to be a big hit with the guests!   [Read more...]

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Weekend Links – Reluctant/Resistant Readers, Book recommendations and more

I woke up the other day thinking about our homeschool plans for next year. Of the two students I’m still homeschooling, one is a reluctant reader and one is resistant.

Since I love books and reading, it makes me a little sad that I haven’t been able to instill that same love in my kids. So, I started thinking about how to renew my efforts. Learning to read was a bit of a chore for both of them, so it stands to reason that reading for pleasure might not be high on their list.

They do like being read to. I read to our kids, even when they are in middle school and high school. Yes, they read to themselves too, but we love a good read-aloud. I love this article about the benefits of reading to older kids.  But I also want them to grow up to be readers.  Maybe not nose-in-a-book-all-the-time type readers, but hopefully, several books in a year.

That led me to google something like “making readers out of kids who hate to read”.  And that led me to several interesting articles.   [Read more...]

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Freezer Friendly Homemade Pizza Sauce – 100 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

Need to make pizza for a crowd? Don’t like buying premade pizza sauce? This is exactly what you are looking for.



Pizza night has become something of an Americanized tradition for oh, probably 99.9% of American Families. There’s nothing quite like a pizza made just how you like it–from the crust, to the last shred of cheese on top. And in my mind, the sauce is what makes or breaks the level of delicious when it comes to pizza night!

If you tend to make pizza for a big crowd, and especially if you like to know exactly what’s in your food, you’ll love this super simple pizza sauce recipe you can make in your slow cooker. Make a big batch of this, and you’ll have enough for pizza night and plenty to freeze for next time, too!

If you like to make and freeze your own pizza dough or buy pre-made frozen ahead to stash in your freezer, this is a meal you can make from scratch easily whenever you get the pizza time urge!

Head over to Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures to get this recipe for Pizza Sauce.  And psst…Tell us, what’s your favorite Pizza topping?

We’re sharing 100 days of summer slow cooker meals.  This is day 12 .  Keep your kitchen cool – don’t miss a single recipe.  Subscribe to the email list. You find the other posts in this series by clicking here.

100 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

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Teriyaki Wings – 100 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

Are wings a staple around your house? Then this recipe might be just what you are looking for!




I love the twist that doing wings with teriyaki flavors gives this classic go-to kind of food. It’s different enough to add some variety to the menu, but super simple since you can put it together in your slow cooker and go!  Simple meals like this are what save us during the crazy, full summer months, right?

Pocket Change Gourmet is all about being affordable, and you can get this recipe by clicking over there.

We’re sharing 100 days of summer slow cooker meals.  This is day 10 .  Keep your kitchen cool – don’t miss a single recipe.  Subscribe to the email list. You find the other posts in this series by clicking here.

100 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

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Weekend Links

I’ll have another recipe in our 100 Days of Summer Slow Cooker series later today.  The response to the series has been fantastic so far!  We’ve got lots of great recipes lined up to share with you and none of them are repeats from last year’s 75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker series.

But now I want to share a few links for other things that don’t involve slow cooking.



I love the new Summer Reading Guide from Modern Mrs. Darcy.  I’ve found quite a few good books through Anne’s recommendations. And now my summer reading list is looking nicely filled out.  I’m looking forward to many evenings on the back porch with a good book in hand!  You can get your copy of the Summer Reading Guide by signing up for the Modern Mrs. Darcy email list.  It’s free!

white dishes


I thought this post from The Kitchn on 6 Helpful Things to Consider When Shopping for New Dishes was interesting.  I’ve been thinking about getting new dishes for a while.  Ours are getting pretty chipped.

One piece of advice in the article is to buy white dishes.  I have a set of white dishes, and I agree they are versatile.  But I really like having color too.  I’ve been pondering Fiestaware.  What do you think?  Do you agree with the advice in the Kitchn article?

I hope you have a great weekend!


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Lemon Chicken Baked on a Bed of Sauerkraut – 100 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

Crockpot Lemon Chicken baked on a bed of Sauerkraut


This is one of those recipes that sounds so strange, but tastes so good!  The chicken is perfectly moist and so full of flavor.

Even if you’re not a sauerkraut fan, this is worth a try.  It’s not overly krauty.  And it’s perfect if you’re trying to reduce carbs.

Find the recipe here.

If you love using your slow cooker, check out our All Slow Cooker Weekly Meal Plan.  It’s got all the planning done for you (including the grocery list) so you can go enjoy summer!

100 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

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Free Disney Dining and My Favorite WDW Restaurants and Treats

My favorite Walt Disney World promotion is back!  Free dining!

I have to say, this is so very, very tempting to me.  We’ve been to WDW several times on the free dining promotion.  A couple of years ago, Jim and I went on a long weekend trip together to celebrate our 25th anniversary.  We had free dining on that trip.

I have a hard time justifying eating at very many of the table service restaurants when we go without free dining.  It can cause the cost of the trip to really add up.  But it’s so very fun to be able to book restaurants that we’d never eat in ordinarily.  And snack credits are included too.

Today, I’m going to share a few of my favorite WDW treats and restaurants.  But first, if you’re as tempted by the free dining promo as I am, check out the details from our site sponsor, The Magic for Less Travel.  They’ll give you a free, no-obligation quote so you can decide if it’s in your budget or not.

Hungry for a great vacation?  Fall FREE Dining has been announced for Walt Disney World!  FREE Dining is offered on non-discounted room and ticket packages at select Disney resorts and is available August 31-December 23, 2014 (Blackout dates apply).  Are you ready to plan that Magical vacation during FREE Dining?  Contact The Magic For Less Travel for your FREE no-obligation quote!  Don’t forget to ask about their Disney Gift Card offer with select Walt Disney World packages!

Magic Kingdom Treats and Restaurants

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One of my favorite places in all the world is the Magic Kingdom Confectionary.  I love walking in here just to absorb the sweet scent.  But I do have a few favorite treats that can be found here.   [Read more...]

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Recent Reads, Doppelgängers and Derby Day

Recent Reads

I decided to go back and finish The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and I’m glad I did.  It was a lovely book, where the characters learn about love, forgiveness, grace and extending all of that not only to others, but also to themselves.  I’ve learned that I only like books that offer hope in the end.  The Language of Flowers offers that in abundance.

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The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith is the first book I ever preordered.  It came in the mail on Tuesday.  I am really enjoying it.  It’s worth getting the hard copy  instead of a digital version.  I’ve been doing most of my reading on my phone lately (Kindle app), but this book needs to be held in your hands.  It’s beautiful to flip through, but the words draw in the reader and are full of encouragement.

One of the first chapters tells the story of the many rental homes that Myquillyn and her family lived in.  It had me remembering all the places that Jim and I have lived.  I’ve thought about what I liked and didn’t like about each place.  What we did to decorate.  What I was too afraid to do, but wanted to (paint the harvest gold refrigerator and the cabinets in our first house).  If I’d had this book back then, that kitchen would have looked a lot different!   [Read more...]

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Homemade Toaster Strudels {quick and easy}

I like to show my kids that things they like in the grocery store or restaurants can usually be made at home. It takes some of the appeal out of spending that money when you know that you can make the same thing at home, and often times they are cheaper, healthier, and taste better. I’m not saying these Homemade Toaster Strudels are any healthier, but they were SO easy and very tasty!

Homemade Toaster StrudelsThese literally come together in just minutes using puff pastry and pie filling! Of course, you could certainly make them completely from scratch, but that would require a lot more time and patience. My kids aren’t big on patience!   [Read more...]

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