Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Using VRBO for your Disney Vacation

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Have you heard of VRBO
"Powered by HomeAway, The world leader in vacation rentals"

VRBO is a site that allows individuals list their properties as vacation rentals. 
You can find vacation rentals all over the world through VRBO.  These rentals range from small condos to large homes and sometimes even whole apartment complexes. 

Rather than get into all the nitty gritty of VRBO itself, 
I want to share what I have learned through researching for our Disneyland vacation.

VRBO for Disneyland
*Hundreds of locations- some even right across from Disneyland
*Something to accommodate and party size
*Family friendly. Many of the rentals have strollers, high chairs, beach toys and more
(no need to pack bulky strollers in the car!)
*Options: swimming pool, bbq's, theater rooms, decked out in Disney decor- you can find it
*Lower than Hotel Prices: Price per person is usually(not always) lower than a hotel
*Full sized kitchens and fridges- save on $$- prepare meals to take to the park
*Washers and dryers at most rentals
*Living space- it really is more like home
*Split the cost with multiple families
*Free Parking: Some provide parking passes for Disneyland if they aren't close enough to walk, might as well ask about it.

*Cleaning Fees
 I've seen them from $70-200 depending on the rental. This is decided individually- you may be able to work with the renters on the cleaning fee but usually it's pretty set in stone. 
*Damage Deposits
Usually $300-400 to protect the owners against any damage done. Most of them say fully refundable. Definitely ask each owner specifically about that. Some are partially refundable while some are fully refundable. Be sure to ask the likelihood of getting all of that back. I was told several times that it is refunded 10-14 days following our stay.
*Damage Insurance
NON-refundable fee usually $70-80 This is actual insurance so it is not refundable. I didn't see more than a handful that required this but it IS there. You can click the 'Rates' tab on any VRBO rental or the 'detailed price' link below the 'quote' button will also show any extra fees.
*Pool/Spa heating fees
Not all have them but if you have a place with a pool or spa, make sure to double check or ask the owner about it. I've seen them be $10-20 a day! That adds up.
*Additional Persons Fee
This one is ridiculous IMO. And it comes up more often than the Damage insurance so triple check on this one. A rental may say it sleeps 12 then say additional $5-10 pppn (per person per night) 
above six. That adds up really quick if you are planning to max out at 12 people. 
*Verify that the property is vacant.
VRBO is a site that allows individuals list their properties as vacation rentals. Let me clarify, these are usually people who own several properties with the intent to rent them out, however, I did run across a couple 'rentals' which were part of a persons home, meaning you would be staying in the same home as the owners. Possibly their basement, casita, or even a 4th floor "apartment" on their home. While some may be ok with staying with total strangers, I think the majority isn't... which does have a bonus to it, the prices are usually less for these kind of rentals. Not enough incentive for me to stay there but maybe for someone else.

Additional Tips:

*Prices vary by location, size, and number of persons staying
*Discounted rates will pop up if you are planning last minute or off season trips
*Weekly Discounted Rates:If you plan to stay for an entire week, many will usually give you a good discount.
*Distance Saves. If you don't mind being a little farther from the park, go just outside of the Anaheim area and avoid the new 15% TAX RATE that applies to all Anaheim rentals. This went into effect over the summer of 2015.
*Multiple families going? Find a large home and split the costs. Usually ends up costing less than a hotel room and you have more amenities.
*NEVER EVER pay through a wire transfer, Money Gram, or Western Union, even Paypal. 
I trust Paypal but in this case, it may be used as a way to avoid VRBO requirements and safe guards.The best option is to pay through VRBO to ensure your transaction is verifiable. I did read that you can pay in cash in person but every renter I talked with requires payment before your trip, just like if you booked a flight or hotel, it's only guaranteed once its paid for.
*One last tip, check the reviews but don't solely rely on them. I've read that negative reviews are not posted. Kind of ruins the idea of even having reviews available. But take note to the percentage of renters who actually left a review. If 200 people stayed there and only a handful left a review, I'd make sure to talk with the owner in depth before agreeing to rent from them.

There is a lot to take in when searching for a vacation rental on VRBO but overall, I think it can be worth it. 

As I was researching for our stay, we ended up finding other sources inadvertently through VRBO properties and planned to work with them seperately. Here are some sites we found.

This is who we are working with. They have been very accommodating and friendly. All the homes listed are very nice luxury homes. We are excited to work with them for our stay. 
I'll let you know what we think about it after our stay. 

(Castle #14)

These are decked out in Disney decor and have a special theme to each home. However, I didn't like that prices are only available by phone requests. This site is similar to VRBO in the fact that each of the homes are owned by different people so your contact info changes from house to house. They do have great reviews as far as I can tell. 

What options have you looked into for your 
Disneyland vacations?
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Aged Perfection: Part 2

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The Piano Tuner came... and then I cried! Bad news... way more costly to get it properly tuned than we had figured in or can afford. {Let me go cry some more}
So we did the only thing we could do. Sell it. It's gone.
This lovely set up is no more.

I sure hope the new owners can take good care of it. It's awesome.
On to the search for a piano again. Good bye lovely.

Aged Perfection Part 2!

I went for option 3! 
It's all finished. I have to admit it was the easiest choice. I love the natural distressing on it and preserving is pretty simple.

1) I used the foam sand blocks {Love the sand blocks!} to remove the chippy paint-you can see just how raised and chippy some of the paint was in the before pictures!

2) I wiped it clean of any dust and debris as best and quickly as I could.
3) Then I sealed it in with General Finishes flat clear top coat- 3 coats. It didn't even need sanding between coats. Sweet!

It just glided right on with the cheap craft foam paint brushes. I did rinse them out a couple of times during the process as there was some discoloration coming from the brush picking up the wood color and some inevitable left over dirt. 

The wood went so much darker and the surface is much smoother and set to be more durable now! I really love the dark and light contrast it has. 

A big 'Thanks' to General Finishes for the sample kit I received in the mail. I'm a believer in your top coats for sure! I have done waxing top coats, which aren't bad and have their place, but I don't like having to polish it up, I didn't have to with the GF top coat, at least not on this project. 

**I was given a free trial kit from General Finishes. I was not paid by General Finishes for any relating posts. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 
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Monday, September 21, 2015

Target Deals of the Week

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Who's excited for fall? Crisp fresh cool air, pumpkin spice everything, kids in Halloween costumes... so much to enjoy! 

Here are a few awesome Target sales to help you get ready for all the fall festivities!

Valid through 09/26/2015

Halloween Shop
Valid through 09/26/2015
Sun Joe Electric Lawn Mower - Green (14")
Valid through 10/03/2015

Plus save an additional 5% if you're a Target redcard debit card holder!
Always remember to check CartWheel for more money saving coupons too!

***Don't have Cartwheel yet? No worries. Download it now for Androidor Apple.
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

TONIGHT! FREE Home Depot DIY class: Fall wooden pumpkin candy holders

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Check out your local Home Depot for fun and free DIY instruction classes.

Tonight, at many locations, you can learn how to make this cute pumpkin candy(or magazine or plant) holder! (You can buy the supplies there to actually make it.)

Here are the details for the Southern Utah  locations. You'll need to register ahead of time too. 
So fun!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

ModBod Daily Deals

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So ModBod is joining the "Daily Deal" trend which is great news for those of us who love their clothing but not always the price. I am a fan of their basic tees. They are thicker material than a lot out there but usually they cost about $17 which is a lot for a basic tee... for me. 

Today they have one on sale for just $8.48! If I spot any I love, I'll share them with you but be sure to check them out on your own.

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Aged Perfection Sings to me!

**This post may contain affiliate links. Such links may provide a small commission. Thank you in advance for any clicks or purchases from my affiliate links. I try to provide you with only the best of links with products I love and think you will too.
Who loves natural aged perfection? And Pianos?! ME! 

I got lucky with this one. Within minutes after seeing it posted for sale I immediately got in touch with the seller and set up the arrangements to pick it up. Right after I did that, she got tons of offers higher than mine on it. So sad. But she was kind enough to let me know and I hurried down to check it out and paid a little bit more, which is totally ok because I love it. I loved it from the start. 
I'm lucky my husband wanted it too!

We've been searching for a piano so our children can learn to play for over a year! We just couldn't get to them before everyone else did. I wanted to know about the age of the piano so I got as much info as I could. The serial number inside the piano dated it back to 1986. Then when I saw it in person, there was another serial number on the music backing(where the music books sit) that did not match the inside. It dates back to 1940. That means someone rebuilt it. Pretty cool!

My first instinct was to just leave it as is. Then when I got there and looked closely, I saw it would need some help. The paint was is chippy and some pieces of wood are missing.

I went through a whole debate in my mind...  

1) Strip it completely and paint it?  
2)Lightly sand the chippy paint off the top and paint the rest? 
3) Or lightly sand it all and seal it in so that no more paint chips off?

Which do you think I chose?

Stay TUNED for the after shots!! Side NOTE: anyone know a good piano tuner in Southern Utah? 
I know I know, my jokes often fall FLAT... Oh I'm just killin myself here! Ha! Ok, I'm done. 

 {BTW my dining room set just took a backseat to this piano project.}

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Outdated Lighting? A little DIY project...

**This post may contain affiliate links. Such links may provide a small commission. Thank you in advance for any clicks or purchases from my affiliate links. I try to provide you with only the best of links with products I love and think you will too.

All-Area Lighting Sale

I feel like a lot of my posts about my home start with... "When we bought our home I knew I'd change THIS"

So a little background on our home might help. It's OLD! And ORIGINAL everything! It's really in pretty good condition considering it's age but... being 31 years old and original(just like me- haha) it needs some updates. Between the honey colored cabinets, trim, and flooring... the very gold lighting throughout the house, murky "oat" white paint, and brass door knobs...
I KNEW a lot would CHANGE!

Some things needed to be changed completely while others could simply be refreshed.

We spent a couple hours(by we... I mean my husband and his brother who happens to be an awesome electrician)... changing out lights and fans.

I could scour the internet and find amazing lighting with abundant price tags but of course, that's not in my budget.

Here's where my DIY comes in...


I used to sit and stare at these fans hanging in my house and wonder if they were real gold- they are that shiny people! Of course I knew better, especially because when we took them down... some of the "gold" was peeling off. Ha!

I should have gotten an awesome shot of them while they were still hanging but nope... didn't do it.

Here is the best I have as a before shot. 

And here's the current after shot... 
They are going to be hung in our sunroom... it's hot up in there.
{Yup, I went gangsta, which is sooo NOT me but I'm in a mood}

I used Rustoleum high gloss white spray paint from Lowes. More cans than I like to admit... It took almost a full 4 cans... or was it 5? I know I made multiple trips to the store though... {Hate that}
When they are actually hung I'll take some more pictures for you! I can already tell I'll love them!
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Friday, September 4, 2015

Final Epic Mickey Countdown and a Disney Freebie

**This post may contain affiliate links. Such links may provide a small commission. Thank you in advance for any clicks or purchases from my affiliate links. I try to provide you with only the best of links with products I love and think you will too. _____________________________________________________________________________________________

I love this freebie! We did one a while back but it's disappeared. You can create your own little vinyl decal family. I love the idea of making a cute picture frame with the decal and a picture from our Disney trip.

And if you didn't catch that...  we are totally COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS UNTIL OUR DISNEY TRIP!

My husband and I were questioning if Disney really is the right way to celebrate our victory over debt because well, it is quite expensive to get there.

But after reviewing all the Disney on a Dime posts, I started to think that maybe we really could do it and stick to a budget and let's be honest, my husband is super excited. We are all super excited!
It was something he grew up doing with his family(I did not). I did, however, grow up on a budget. 

So we are going to Disneyland! 
We decided to even let the secret out to our littles so that there is no turning back.
(We had a little swim party to celebrate- hence the swim apparel)

These are snap shots from my phone- please excuse the blur... also caused by extremely excited children who wouldn't sit still long enough for a photo. LOL!
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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Clearance Accent Pillows- Target. Hurry

**This post may contain affiliate links. Such links may provide a small commission. Thank you in advance for any clicks or purchases from my affiliate links. 
I try to provide you with only the best of links with products I love and think you will too. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Anyone looking for cute new accent pillows?

While I was at Target, whittling away my time and taking advantage of some great Cartwheel deals (They have 50% off storage bins today- I bought 4... and they are turquoise. Saved me $16!)
I found this pillow sale going on.  Savings of up to 50% on some of them!
Plus save an additional 5% if you're a Target redcard debit card holder!

If I wasn't buying a new washer from Lowe's right now, I may have given in and bought a couple. 
It's always fun to refresh your home decor a little. Enjoy!

***Don't have Cartwheel yet? No worries. Download it now for Android or Apple.
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Monday, August 31, 2015

Sneak Peak! Upcycled Dining Set.

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I'm seriously excited!!! 
I got an awesome surprise from General Finishes in the mail after a rather exhausting day!

{is it just me or are Fridays tough after making it through the rest of the week? Everyone seems to praise Friday's but my favorite day is Sunday!}

This totally made up for it though!

I have been doing lots of paint projects in the home lately. Remember my China hutch? Ya I still have one more to go. And my end tables? And my door? Oh and the trimming on my home! Yup I've been busy painting. But I also have this rather awesome dining set that I have been trying to decide exactly how I want it. It's got a design on top that I will enhance or just completely cover. {No going in between here} The base has great details that I want to for sure bring out. As for the chairs... I know how I want them, just have to find the right fabric for reupholstering them. That'll be a first for me too! 

I'll give you a hint on my design plan... Antique white an Seagull gray!

Thank you General Finishes for the sample box! 

Stay tuned for the After Shot! This will be my first time using milk paints. 
Ready to learn with me?

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Picking a Paint Color for Your Front Door

It's officially been two years since we bought our home! 
{Where did the time go?!}

Among the many projects I knew I wanted to tackle after moving in was painting my front door!
I LOVE statement doors! I have many pins dedicated to choosing the right paint color and how to paint your front door. I'm the kind of person who has to gather waaayy too much information before deciding what to do. Kind of seems like a time waster but in the end it's really beneficial because I learn great techniques and new tricks as well as making a solid decision that I hopefully love for a long time. See how cute all these ideas are??

We seem to be having a slew of random house projects popping up- not the fun kind either. I don't like that kind of stress so I resort to my therapeutic PAINTING in those stressful times. I must have been waaay stressed because I not only painted the door but my whole entryway too! It finally got a fresh crisp white coat- no more old yellowish off white. I'll show that off later!

As for the door, I quit being wishy washy and just went for it. I already had this paint color on hand from one of the amazing Ace Hardware free paint days for Clark + Kensington flat paint. I'm a huge fan. Clark + Kensington knows how to make paint with great coverage and less dripage. So this project was FREE! LOVE THAT!

Anywho, what do you think?? I'm loving the color contrast between the scrolly white screen door and the turquoise behind it! The panels to the side also have the same white scrolly metal "screen" so I'm debating on painting the inside of the side panels to match the door. But maybe that would be too much turquoise?? 

I also need a cute Welcome mat to match! Any suggestions on finding a budget friendly but adorable mat? 
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Discovery of Life

Hey, I just wanted to share a great quote I found in my new gym and a cute free printable I found on pinterest. Yup.... I headed back to the gym. It's been a good long time. Hopefully this time around I'll make it more of a lasting habit helping to create balance in my life. Anyway, I love this quote they have hanging on the wall. 

Because really, working out, getting outdoors... it's not about just filling a time gap or having something to do, it' s about living and living well! Being Refreshed! Love it! 

Of course, it wasn't all pretty like this! I wanted to print a fancy one for my home. The cute frame was a free download from FreePrettyThingsForYou. It comes in a few different colors as well. So glad people are willing to share their talents! Thanks a ton FreePrettyThingsForYou

Love free printables? So do I! Follow my Printables Board on Pinterest!
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A little update

**This post may contain affiliate links. Such links may provide a small commission. Thank you in advance for any clicks or purchases from my affiliate links. I try to provide you with only the best of links with products I love and think you will too.

UPDATE: I can hardly believe it. Whoever swiped my old domain www.TheMLBB.com is done with it. I happened to check into it today thinking it was still some spammy looking site and it was available again! So now you can access my site through TWO domain names.


Wahoo. Now to get all my site stats back!

I am working my way back into regularly posting on the blog again. I've missed it. However, I've made a few adjustments this time around. Please take note to avoid any confusion. P.S.You Rock! 

1: The domain name changed to www.FrugalToBeFree.com
This is the BIGGEST change you'll see. While the domain has changed, I have left the site name the same as before, My Lil' Budget Blog. The change happened because a little time lapse error on my part while taking care of my husband back when his appendix burst, remember that? OUCH... He's always more important than a website or blog.

2: At the top of any future post you should see a tiny note as follows(or just look above this post):

**This post may contain affiliate links. Such links may provide a small commission. Thank you in advance for any clicks or purchases from my affiliate links. I try to provide you with only the best of links with products I love and think you will too.

This is to stay in compliance with blogger code more than anything. I really really don't make much of anything...if anything as of right now since I've been a bit MIA. But I do hope to increase my blog earnings over time. However, I will do my best to keep the posts on topic and not spammy. No one likes spam but everyone loves a great resource for awesome products! This new header announcement also applies to all past posts-even if not presently showing. 

3: Post content and frequency. I will not be able to go back to the days where I posted multiple deals a day. I just don't have time for that. So if that bums you out, sorry. I'll still share deals quite often but not full grocery lists weekly and not multiple posts a day. I may not even post daily, more than likely it'll be somewhere around 2-5 posts a week. If you notice a time when I'm posting a lot, it's not permanent, just a heads up. 

And as always, I sure love when I get comments on posts. I want to know more about my readers. If you are the non conversational type that's ok too- I'm that way sometimes too. Comments just really help me know if you like what you're seeing and reading. It also helps giveaway sponsors to know you are reading the blog and awaiting their fab giveaways! Just sayin' 

So all in all, nothing too crazy-besides te domain change- happening. Keep reading and keep saving!
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Must Have Money Saving App!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Such links may provide a small commission. Thank you in advance for any clicks or purchases from my affiliate links. I try to provide you with only the best of links with products I love and think you will too.

I really should have shared this app right as soon as I found it! I LOVE it! I've casually used the app for a while now and have found it to be super user friendly. It appeals to my organizing side in a whole new way!

Why do I love ShopKick?? 

#1 Reason: You don't have to buy a single thing to make money from it! 

How does ShopKick work? 

Basically if you have a smartphone, you download the app here, have the GPS setting on and earn points(they call them kicks) when shopping!

 There are four ways to earn Kicks:

1) Walk-in points. (My fav) Just have the shop kick app open on your phone as you enter the stores listed from the app. You will get points(or kicks) anywhere from 25 even up to 200 just for simply walking into a store with your app turn off. 
2) Scan products. While the specified store click on the store icon and then click on products. There will be a specified amount of product Scan products. While I specified store click on the store icon and then click on products. There will be a specific list of products that you find it and scan as you're browsing the store. Kicks vary from 10-75 and sometimes more per product.
3) Click kicks. In the shop kick app click on products and there will be a full list of different product groups. Click on each individual product group scroll to the bottom and find an icon with an envelope. Tap or click on the envelope and it will reward you with kicks anywhere from 1-5 points, usually 1. Not every group will have the envelope icon but most do the icon is almost always at the bottom of the page.

4) Purchase Kicks. OK this one is not technically free but if you're making a purchase anyway you might as well try it out earn some free kicks. If you add your credit or debit card to your shop kick account it will track your purchases at those stores as long as you have your shop kick app open at the stores. Right now you can earn 200 points just for adding your credit or debit card to your shop kick account as well.  Honestly I have not done this yet and have earned plenty of points for kicks to earn free gift cards. The rewards vary. I've earned two target gift cards so far and have not used to purchase kicks feature.

Another feature I really like is that you can find deals in your area really easy by simply clicking the "Deals" icon. Above is a snapshot of just the first two stores with deals! There are lots of "Back To School" deals going on right now. You can save the deals to your profile too so that later you can quickly access them. Sweet! There are some great discounts from 20-50% off too! Check them out!
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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Lemons=Lemonade so broken screen door=picture frame? Obviously! A DIY Pallet Wood Project

So ya know the old saying... "If life gives you Lemons... make lemonade." 

Here is my DIY-er version... "If your house gives you a broken screen door... make a picture frame!"

 It just so happens that is has been quite windy this summer and our back screen door got blown right off (bad) but it somehow left one piece of glass unbroken(good)! Way to stay positive right?

I also seem to be a collector of pallet wood and most of it is still sitting in my back yard... time to start really putting it to good use. 

So with a little imagination, one disassembled pallet, some screws, a couple ceiling fan braces and even a strike plate(to hold the glass in place).... we ended up with THIS!! 

The great part is I didn't even cut a piece of wood to make it. The sizing and placement turned out perfectly for me. 

Feel free to pin and share with a link back to this post. Thanks so much!
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Disney on a Dime Tips: Top 3

My hubs and I have been gathering information, tweaking the vacation budget, and weighing out the pro's and con's of my recent post To Disney or To NOT.

Of course I felt like I needed a refresher on all the "Disney on a Dime" posts floating around. There are A LOT of them. So I figured I would share a list of links with great Disneyland info and MY FAVORITE TIPS. I actually found a couple new to me tips!

Just check out my Disney Pinterest Board for all the great links on Saving in Disney.

Here are the tips I loved:
(if we head to Disney, I will for sure be doing them)
1: Use your Target Red Card to buy Disney spending cards. Save 5% right away!
Amazing! What's so great about this is that you can use the Disney cards anywhere in the park on food or souvenirs and you instantly saved 5%! I also think it would be a great idea to give each child a small amount on their own card-then when it's gone- it's GONE. Also- this is a great opportunity to teach your kids about finance. 

**Along with this tip, one blogger suggested keeping those $5 target reward cards you get from time to time and then turning those into your Disney cash cards before your trip. Although you get these free, you won't be getting 5% off the Disney cards so you could use them for snacks to take into the park and then buy the Disney cards separate too. Either way, it is a great idea!

2: Rent DVC points! (Disney Vacation Club) One blogger tells of how she saved $3200 on hotels by doing this!! She paid $800 for 6 nights to stay on Boardwalk(normally $4000)! I'll let ya know first, it will cost MORE than just an offsite hotel but if you want the experience of staying IN Disney and can't hack a several thousand dollar bill just on a room, this is a great option. Read her post HERE. There is a lot to consider with this option and I'm still researching it out. If you are going to Disneyland, there is only the option of staying at  The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. We figured for 5 nights in November it would cost about $1450 to sleep our family of 6.
Or you could go the Get Away Today route, we have used them before and they were fantastic- they take care of the tickets and all. I've also heard for larger groups that renting a condo from Vacation Rentals By Owner(VRBO) is an awesome deal- like a home away from home!

3: Pack your own food and drinks into the Park
Ok, this one is a no brainer and pretty common but you can pack snacks and a small cooler into the park. You can put it in your stroller or pay about $12 a day for a locker and head to the park area for lunch and dinners. BUT the idea I LOVED from one blogger was to pack refillable water bottles- for water yes- but also pack those individual drink mixes with you as well. They are compact and when you are thirsty for something other than water, you can quickly make a gatorade, lemonade, or punch drink instead of spending the $4-6 for a drink in the park. I read you can ask for a cold drink of water at any food service for free too. And keep your eye out for the drinking fountains throughout the park.

BONUS TIP: Buy lanyards and pins on Ebay before your trip. 
You can get them MUCH CHEAPER this way and the kids can trade with the characters and workers in Disney. I haven't done this one yet but I think the kids would love it and it would make for a great souvenir. Here is also a blog post about pin trading which is the source for the image above.

Hope you enjoyed these tips and will search my Disney Pins for more! 
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Friday, July 24, 2015

To Disney or To NOT... feeling torn

Sooo... ya know 46 MONTHS later... and now seeing savings adding up.... My husband and I are feeling torn on whether we should actually spend a small fortune on a family Disney trip. 

Don't get me wrong. WE LOVE DISNEY. We love the rides, the yummy treats, seeing the characters, seeing our kids(and our own) excitement and the escape from reality. Disney really brings it all. We just DON'T love the price tag. 

I think that through those 46 months of pinching our pennies, something happened to us. WE CHANGED. We really do budget differently and we value what we have to work with SO much more now. We still have lots to learn but the feeling of dropping $2000-$3000 on a trip to Disney just isn't settling well with us. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to Disney with many of the posts on how to do it on the cheap... but even on the cheap, you'll still be forking over a fair amount of moola. Aaanndd.let'sbehonest. If you are going to Disney you don't want to worry about finances while you are there. They've made it so magical and inviting and EXPENSIVE... that experiencing Disney the right way -in my opinion- is not having to worry about the $$ spent on yummy park treats and a couple souvenirs as well as not having to tote around a cooler for your meals... have I made my point yet? Of course, if you are willing to pinch your pennies for Disney, you may be able to go more than once too... could be worth it.

In short, Disney = spending a small fortune 
(or stressing over every expense while you are there)

There are sooo many other WAY less expensive options that could be just as memorable and enjoyable. The real kicker is that my husband works for an airline company and gets great flying benefits. My kids LOVE Hawaii... which would cost a third the amount of a Disney trip. We've never been to Legoland and my kids have asked many times to go there.Way less than Disney. We could even buy passports for our kids and go somewhere foreign. Less than Disney. We could almost do all three for the same amount as ONE Disney trip. 

In short again, Not going to Disney = New adventure elsewhere, more adventures elsewhere, AND more than likely saving money.

When ya lay it out like that, it's hard to choose Disney. Not that we won't ever go back but maybe right now is not the time for it? After all, we have kids ages 8, 6, 4, and 2. There would be a lot of missed rides and kids who may not remember it anyway and I'd most likely end up pushing the stroller around for hours with sleeping kids. Maybe it's all about timing here. Maybe when they are all old enough to ride it all! This year got a lot busier for my husband too. He's almost finished with his dreadful but fulfilling CPA exams(Hoping this time around we-yes we- are finished with the CPA exams chapter of life). He's a lot busier at work too which had influenced our travel dates anyway. We haven't decided to ditch Disney (for a couple more years) just yet. There are some other family factors I haven't mentioned but will you hate it if our Epic Mickey gets dusty.... really dusty? 

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Hutch #1 is DONE! A Chalk Paint makeover

Remember when I showed you my honey oak EVERYTHING?? Well, not much has changed yet... Except for one China hutch. It has a totally new look! 1980 something look was replaced with a clean light cool toned color scheme making a hug difference. I hear angels singing when I look at it! 

Here are some close ups!

All filled in and lit up. I love it!!

Now onto the next project!

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