Hey folks, here is a video with me trying on glitter. It’s not quite a tutorial because I this was my first time before but it went pretty well so hopefully you can still pick up some tips from it. Not sure what happened at the end. I remembered filming an ending but can’t find the video so I made it work.
Any suggestions for future Adventures in Glitter videos or questions? Please leave me a comment. Happy Shopping!
Now that you’ve read my Disney World trip post, here are my tips for your own amazing vacation at Walt Disney World. Just FYI, for the most part, the pics are just random ones of our trip. They don’t necessarily correspond to the tips ahead.
Like this one:
I’m a huge fan of research before a trip. I’m also the family member who decides where we will go, what we will see and where we will stay, so I do kind of have to do some research. I pretend I don’t enjoy it but I’m kidding no one. For this trip, I went to Chapters and flipped through their travel section and bought Walt Disney World with Kids 2016. I highly recommend this book. I’ve already lent mine to a friend who is going later this year. It makes excellent recommendations about scheduling ride times, using your FastPass+, where to eat, and it even has it’s own app that you can buy to that helps you decipher wait times while you’re in the park. Both the book and the app were super handy and I definitely recommend them.
FastPass+ – the book goes into all sorts of detail about it so I’m just going to give you an overview. When you buy your DW ticket(s), each ticket holder gets three opportunities to schedule a time when they can “jump the line” in a particular ride. You can schedule these as soon as you buy your tickets, up to thirty days (sixty days if you are a hotel guest) in advance. Specific rides have a “FastPass+” entrance (you see them everywhere) with a clock over the entrance. When your time comes up, you walk up to the FastPass+ entrance, scan your ticket, or wristband, and voila, shorter lineup to get on the same ride. For example, we had a FastPass+ at 10:30 am for Splash Mountain, which is valid between 10:30 am and 11:30 am. At 10:40 am, we scanned our cards at the FastPass+ entrance and went into a lineup that was ALOT shorter than the regular lineup. We walked past the regular lineup people for close to 5 minutes. I’m so not even kidding. We walked and walked and walked and walked, passing people who were in the regular lineup (some of whom were glaring at us as they clearly had been waiting a long time). Within 10 minutes, we were on the ride that others were waiting over an hour to get on. This is definitely a feature that is well worth looking into. You can even download the Disney World app and change your FastPass+ reservations while just wandering around the park. They also have kiosks set up for those who don’t have the app or just don’t want to use their phones.
If you have a toddler or preschooler, I would bring your own stroller. You can rent strollers in the park but you park your car FAR from the entrance. At Epcot it was probably about a kilometre, but at Magic Kingdom parking was probably closer to a mile away from the entrance. There are trams all day but during busy times you have to wait for them and it was a toss up on whether it was faster to walk or ride.
For those of you worried about losing your stroller or having it stolen, have no fear. Husband (who is a chatty guy) was talking to a security guard who was watching over one of the (many, many) stroller parking lots (so not kidding) about how much theft they see. The security guard told him that theft isn’t a problem there, but they had a huge problem with abandoned strollers! I have two theories about that: 1) exits to rides often aren’t near the entrances. If you’ve parked your stroller by the entrance, you often have to wander a little to find the entrance and your stroller. 2) Occasionally, stroller parking gets a little out of hand. People just leave them everywhere or they are grouped untidily. Security guards or other staff will come around and arrange the strollers so they look more tidy. If you think you’re stroller’s missing, just keep looking, it’s probably just nicely placed a little farther down the line or in the legitimate stroller parking area.
We rented a car, even though our hotel (which wasn’t on Disney property) had a bus service to and from the park and I am so glad we did. It was about a 10 – 15 minute car ride from the hotel to the parking lot of either Epcot or Magic Kingdom but it took AN HOUR from the time you were leaving the hotel until the moment you entered the park. How can this be, you say. Well, there’s the car ride, then it takes you between 5 – 20 minutes to park, depending on the time of day and if other people are idiots that can’t figure out how to follow the dude in front of them. Then there’s the 1 km – 1 mile walk to the entrance where you wait for a ferry or a tram to take you across the lagoon to where Magic Kingdom actually was. It was a little shorter to get to Epcot but not much. By the time you get through security and actually into the park, you left the hotel an hour ago. I can’t imagine adding waiting for a bus that makes 6000 stops on the way to your hotel/the park onto this trip. Rent the car, you will totally appreciate it because….
The book suggests that you take a minimum four hour break in the middle of the afternoon, go back to your hotel, have lunch and naps or a swimming break. The first time I read that, I thought that was just the craziest thing I had ever heard. I mean, I travel all this way to Florida, and spend $100 per person, per day to come to this stupid park and you’re suggesting that I take a four hour break in the middle of the afternoon?!? Are you insane??? No, they are brilliant. We did it and next time we go, we will do it again. First of all, it cut down on spending since we were able to have lunches in our hotel (and since we had a kitchenette, lunches were way cheaper than a restaurant) and having that time to take a nap everyday was amazing. I napped every single day we visited DW. Daughter napped most days (you win some, you lose some). And when we would return to the park at 4pm, we were refreshed and raring to see more sights and ride more rides. By 5 pm, you could see the parents and the kids who had been there all day start to meltdown. And we would walk around them and get on our next ride. Trust me, take the break.
So those are my five tips on visiting Walt Disney World as well as the plethora of great information you will find in the book.
Have you visited DW? Any tips that I missed that you would like to add? I’d love to hear them. Happy Shopping!
My SIL posted an article on Facebook entitled, “Ten Things Our Kids Don’t Need for Christmas This Year.” Of course I read it, I’m always open for new suggestions on how to buy experiences and not stuff. This was a little different. It talked about the Christian perspective of Christmas but most importantly, it talked about not being perfect. Not buying everything on your kids’ list. Not staying awake at night to Pinterest the heck out of your house so it looks perfect and everything is homemade. And that really resonated with me.
I write a shopping blog. Some would think that this would make me a blatant consumerist and this blog would be propagating the idea that “More is Better.” But that’s not why I write the blog or shop for others. I do this to buy less. To buy more meaningful. To buy things that will be loved and cherished, played with, and worn. Not things that are forgotten in a closet or a basement. Chances are, if you are reading my blog, you have too much stuff already and so does just about everyone you know.
So heading into this holiday season, I just wanted to say a few things: Don’t Buy Everything. Whether that means you make a gift, get loved ones one nice thing instead of 100 stocking stuffers, or donate some money or time to someone less fortunate. Don’t get sucked into the phenomenon that “More is Better” or “Give Your Kids Everything They Want So They Don’t Hate You.” Buy what you can afford. Feel good about what you give. A gift means that you took time and money to think about someone in your life. It should not be an overwhelmingly guilt-ridden obligation. Take whatever is your “Reason for the Season” and hold onto it. I plan on doing exactly that. And I hope that my attitude about doing things together will make each Christmas the best one that my daughter remembers.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays or whatever greeting you prefer this time of year. I wish the best for you and wonderful times with family and friends. And, as always, Happy Shopping!
Hey folks! Here’s the last edition of “I’m Back and Where I’ve Been.” Wow, I knew I was busy this summer but when you break it down like this, I did a lot of stuff. Anyways, onto the pictures.
My friend Amy and I have become race buddies. We started this last year when we did Foam Fest as a group and then her friend flaked on her four days before Dirty Donkey and she begged me to do the race with no training other than regular bootcamps (I hurt so bad the next day). This year, we did Foam Fest, which is a 5K fun run. If you want to start getting into doing fun runs and obstacle courses, this is the one to start with. There are families and kids doing this run. It’s not competitive. It’s got bouncy-castle-type-things to jump on and slide on and lots and lots of foam. I highly recommend it and I’m planning on taking Daughter when she’s old enough.
We build sandcastle and picnic and chase after seagulls. I definitely look forward to it every year.
And the rest are just some miscellaneous pictures that I took over the summer. I hope you enjoyed reading about my summer as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you. Happy Shopping!
Hey folks, I couldn’t believe how many Advent Calendars I found when I started doing the post so I had to break it into two posts.
First off is the only non-beauty one I could find, the David’s Tea 24 Days of Tea. This one is also super popular and usually sells out within a couple of days of being release but was still available on the website at publishing time so act fast if you want one.
The Body Shop has two Advent Calendars this year. Each has 24 products so I’m assuming the price difference has to do with a combination of quality/quantity of product in the higher-priced calendar. Since I was too lazy to read the contents and compare them (I also don’t know that much about The Body Shop product range as I don’t shop there), you can click the links below and compare for yourself. 🙂
Happy Thanksgiving to any American readers. To my fellow Canadians, Happy Thursday before Black Friday. I hope folks on both sides of the border score some really great deals!
With December 1st approaching, it’s time to talk about Advent Calendars. I really love the idea of Advent Calendars – the opening something everyday in the countdown to Christmas. Both Daughter and I are allergic to chocolate (serious hives and eczema) so here’s a round up of some non-chocolate, toy-based Advent Calendars that I’ve seen. Obviously this isn’t a comprehensive list so be sure to add any that I’ve missed in the comments.
I’ve been seeing Advent Calendars since September, which always seems so ridiculously early to me. In the past, the really popular ones like Lego and PlayMobil sold out really quickly but now they are clearly making more as I saw them both in multiple places while I was shopping yesterday.
Barbie does an Advent Calendar that includes shoes, purses, necklaces and even one outfit. I would’ve LOVED this as a kid. Daughter is still a couple of years from Barbies yet but I’m super excited when she gets there.
One of my goals for the summer/fall was to clear out excess stuff. We’ve lived in this house for six years and stuff just seems to accumulate. Now some of it is baby stuff. We’re still on the fence about a second baby, so I don’t want to get rid of that stuff yet. But there’s lots of stuff that both Husband and I have from our lives before we met each other. Some of it is still in boxes in the basement…. definitely time for that stuff to go. Anyways, all this to tell you that I’ve been selling things on Kijiji again. Mostly excess yarn this time but also a used aluminum screen door and some candle holders. In the past I’ve sold shoes, baby items, Nightmare Before Christmas memorabilia and recently, my husband sold a car. I love Kijiji but it can be a weird and scary place. So here’s some tips to get you going if you want to sell using Kijiji.
Post clear pictures – First of all, your ad is one of thousands on the site and one of at least dozens in the category. The one thing that’s going to make it stand out is clear pictures. People want to see what they are buying. One, clear picture is all you need. Multiple, clear pictures are great. Blurry pics might as well not be there. And if you don’t have any pics, don’t bother posting an ad.
Use key words – While the description is important, be sure to use keywords that folks may use when searching for your item. For example, I was so busy writing tempting descriptions for my many yarn ads to include skein weight, colour and yarn weight, I forgot to put down the most basic descriptor: yarn! Now if someone was searching for “yarn,” they would’ve missed several of my ads because I forgot to put that in.
Be open to offers – I think Kijiji is the last acceptable place that people haggle on prices for things smaller than cars and houses. I always increase the price for my item a little more ($2-10, for small items, more for larger ones) than I would like to sell them for and add OBO (or best offer) to my ads. I try not to haggle until the person has actually come to see the item as I feel there is no sense wasting your time unless they are really interested. Watch out for folks who will try and talk you too far down. Think about how little you can accept for the item and don’t go any further. I was selling an exersaucer and got several calls and emails asking way, way under the $50 I had posted it for. One person even went so far as to ask me if I would just give it to her, for free. I politely declined but was surprised at her guts. Stick to your guns and you will get the price, or close to it, for the item.
Don’t accept any forms of payment except cash – I can’t stress this enough. If they don’t have cash, they can’t have the item. I don’t care about your sick grandma or kid or how you just have to run to the bank. People who are serious about buying will show up, cash in hand. Which leads me to….
If it smells like a scam, it is a scam – No one, in their right mind, would EVER offer you more for the item than you are asking. EVER. I don’t care how good the offer sounds. My MIL was selling her nice leather couch on Kijiji. She got an offer for more than she was asking for the couch. They sent a legitimate looking cheque that she took to the bank, who confirmed it was a scam. The idea is the cheque looks like it has cashed, you mail the item to the scammer and then the cheque bounces. No money, no item.
Be wary of out-of-town sales – I am not a fan of selling to out-of-towners. Often they are the scammers described above who should be avoided at all costs. I have sold once out-of-town with success so it can be done. First of all, I was upfront with the buyer that they would cover all the costs of shipping the items. I was not paying to ship them. Now, you can either use the Canada Post app to estimate the shipping costs, or you can actually take your items to a Canada Post outlet and they will estimate for you. Don’t forget an envelope or box and include those costs as well. I emailed the estimated cost of shipping plus the cost of the items back to the buyer, who agreed to the sale. She then emailed me money (PayPal works too if you have an account). I deposited it and went back to Canada Post and mailed the item. Get a tracking number. This way you have verification the item arrived to the buyer and they can’t claim they never received the item.
Download the Kijiji app – Everyone has apps nowadays but I find the Kijiji app really helpful. It has a messaging system built into it that immediately notifies you if someone sends you an email/message about one of your items. And you can reply to the person right in the app. No more going into your email’s junk folder to look for Kijiji messages!
Be patient – I would say that everything I’ve ever put on Kijiji has sold, eventually. It may be on there for two days or three months but I’ve always found a buyer. Be patient, especially when you are getting messages from scammers and people who are trying to low-ball you. Don’t feel pressure to pay Kijiji to “Bump Up” your ad to the top when it feels like your items aren’t moving. The right buyer will come along for the item.
Be careful – Keep your wits about you when selling online. If something doesn’t feel right, back out of the sale. Meet in public areas to exchange items/money if you can. If you must give out your home address, never tell the buyer when you won’t be home. Pick a time for them to come to your house and stick to it. Try to have someone else home with you, if possible.
I feel like I ended on a particularly scary note with Kijiji selling but it is easy and fun to do. I myself have sold almost $300 in yarn in the last 6 weeks that was just hanging out in my basement, doing nothing. I’m sure you have stuff in your basement/attic/spare room that would make someone else very happy.
Have you sold on Kijiji? How did it go? Do you have any tips that I missed? I’d love to hear them! Happy Shopping!
I love going to see Santa. Even before I had Daughter, my mom and I would go and see Santa together. It was a ridiculous but fun family tradition. Now of course, we go every year and use it as an opportunity to have a family photo. Here we are at St. Vital Centre last year:
Since Santa visits are an important part of holiday shopping, I thought I’d quickly post Santa’s schedule here in Winnipeg during the 2016 holiday season.
CF Polo Park: Santa arrived on November 20th and his hours are: Monday to Saturday 10am – 8pm; Sundays 10am – 5pm; Black Friday: November 25th 9am – 8pm; Late Night Shopping: Thursday December 22nd 10am – 8pm; Christmas Eve: Saturday December 24th 10am – 2pm. Find more information here. As a side note, Polo has given their Santa display a facelift and it looks awesome. Here’s my quick snap of it from the second floor by the elevator.
St. Vital Centre: Santa arrived on November 16th and his hours are November 21 to December 23: Monday – Saturday 9am – 8pm; Sunday 9am – 5pm except for Wednesday, November 23 – 11:30am – 8pm; Thursday, December 24 – 9am to 1pm. Find more information here.
Portage Place Shopping Centre: Santa arrived on Nov 19th but his schedule at this mall is erratic so be sure to check their calendar with his hours here.
Grant Park Shopping Centre: Santa arrives Nov 26th and his hours are: Monday – Friday 2 pm – 8pm; Saturday 12 pm – 6 pm; Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm; Dec 24th 12 pm – 4 pm. Find more information here.
Kildonan Place: Santa arrived Nov 18 and his hours are November 20-December 23: Monday-Saturday 10:00am-8:00pm; Sundays 11:00-5:00pm; Christmas Eve 10:00am-3:00pm. Just FYI, KP was the only mall to specify that outside cameras were not allowed but I’m not sure how thrilled the other malls are about outside cameras. Find more information here. KP is also one of two malls that do Santa visits with pets. KP schedules these on Sunday evenings during the Christmas season. Click here to see the details and plan to go early, it’s a huge hit.
Garden City Shopping Centre: Santa arrived on November 19 and his hours are: Nov. 19 to Dec. 23, Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 2pm, 3pm-5pm, 6pm-8pm; Sunday: 12pm – 2pm, 3pm-5pm; December 24, 12pm – 3pm. Garden City also does “Paws and Claus” pet pictures with Santa every Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 6pm – 8pm starting November 22 and ending December 21. For more information click here.
Oak Hammock Marsh: November 26th, 12 pm – 3 pm. Bring your own cameras to get a shot with Santa and “take part in many fun activities including cooking bannock and sipping hot chocolate over an open fire, face painting, and making a Christmas craft.” There are also wagon rides available for $5 per person. Click here for more details.
Did I miss Santa somewhere? Please let me know in the comments. Happy Shopping!
EDIT: After publishing time, Fort Whyte posted their Santa visit schedule, Sunday, November 27 & December 4, 11 am – 3 pm. Note that there is a charge to see Santa of $7 per family. Check out more information here.
Hey folks. I’ve been having a great time with these trips down memory lane. I think I’ve actually shared more than if I had blogged through the whole summer. One of the most fun things we got to do this summer is take a trip to Disney World! I have always wanted to go, ever since I was a little kid. This summer seemed like the perfect time.
People tell you it’s a magical place and how fun it is. And they were right. Even Husband, who was game for the trip but not a huge Disney fan, had the best time ever and wants to go back soon.
So we, went in the middle of May and imo, that was the perfect time. It was warm enough to go swimming but not so hot that you were worried about heat stroke. It was just before American schools let out for the summer, so there weren’t too many people there. That doesn’t mean it was dead, it just wasn’t the huge amount of crushing crowds that I hear they can get during the summer.
We got a four-day pass and spent two days at Magic Kingdom and two days at Epcot. I wish we’d had more time and gotten to spend at least one day at Animal Kingdom but there’s always next time.
Surprisingly, character visits ended up being some of my favourite experiences. We booked them for Daughter but added on a bunch more when we found them so fun. The actors and staff work so hard at making each families’ visit a special one. Kudos go out to all of them.
At Epcot, we loved Test Track and the representation of all the lands in the World Showcase. Daughter really loved all the fish in the aquarium and Seas with Nemo and Friends exhibit. It was also time for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and there were all these amazing flowers and topiaries there.
It was so cool. Clearly a lot of work went into designing, growing and maintaining all the plants.
Lastly, but definitely not the least, was the cool stuff we bought there. We spent a few hours at Disney Springs, which is just a large outdoor mall with the most humongous Disney Store I have ever seen. I think I read somewhere it’s the largest one in North America. We bought some great souvenirs:
Don’t worry, Daughter got a few things too but apparently I didn’t take pictures of any of them.
Anyways, thanks for sticking with me until the end. This is probably the longest post I’ve ever done and I barely scratched the surface on our Disney trip. Been to Disney? I’d love to hear about it. Happy Shopping!
Hey folks! My reboot is going so well that I filmed another video that I wanted to show right away since the product is limited edition. Yay, another YouTube video. Oh right, stop talking and more watching!